The Tokyo Olympics are (finally!) here! But no one seems to care…
Right about now, the summer games would typically be the most hyped event on the planet.
We are excited about everything opening back up this summer but we seem to be not excited about the Tokyo Olympics…
WHAT’S UP ⬆️: The Olympics (sort of…)
There is momentum for the Tokyo Games… but it is surprisingly flat compared to what it should be.
The Olympics are all MASS right now and no VELOCITY… which means no excitement.
Why? It could be intentional… Do Americans feel guilty about all the uncertainty right now?
There is still widespread concern in Japan about whether or not it’s wise to host a global event that will bring in an influx of travelers (even with the travel restrictions compared to years past). Are media outlets in the U.S. reluctant to express excitement from afar for fear of appearing tone deaf?
WHAT’S NEXT: What will it take for Momentum for the Tokyo Olympics to surge? This is the perfect example of a topic that needs VELOCITY to fuel its momentum.
We identified 5 velocity topics of conversations bubbling under the surface that could help fuel engagement & excitement (velocity) for the Olympics if they continue to gain traction.
#1: STICKY ATHLETE STORIES:
The stories about young & emerging athletes like Sha’Carri Richardson and Katie Ledecky have us watching and waiting to see how their fates unfold.
Sha’Carri Richardson’s is the most prominent one breaking through right now:
- At just 21 years old, Richardson had secured her spot on Team USA — making national headlines by clocking in at just 10.86 seconds and shattering records for the 100M dash.
- Her story took a turn last week when news broke that she tested positive for marijuana after qualifying. She is consequently suspended from the Olympics for 1 month.
- Now we stay tuned to see how her story unfolds… will she be able to compete in the relay after the 1 month suspension? Will fans pressure the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to consider removing THC from the list of restricted substances?
#2: THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF ATHLETES’ MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS:
Naomi Osaka, who grew up in the United States but is a Japanese citizen, is arguably her country’s biggest sports star right now — she represents a new vision of Japan that embraces multiculturalism and can be open about mental health concerns.
Osaka pulled out of the French Open in May & skipped Wimbledon citing mental health concerns. She plans to compete in the Olympics. She’s set a precedent that it’s OK for athletes to voice mental health concerns.
Lindsey Vonn, known as one of the USA’s greatest Olympic athletes (retained from competitive skiing in 2019) is also a huge proponent of mental health. Vonn has partnered with Olympic TOP Partner and insurance provider Allianz, as a global ambassador to help shine a spotlight on the importance of mental health.
Allianz announced on Olympic Day, June 23, the Allianz Support Dog Squad program, an effort launched to provide an extra boost of emotional support to Olympic-bound, world-class athletes.
“I’ve always been, on a personal basis, a huge supporter of mental health and a dog lover too… There’s definitely a difference you feel as an athlete when dogs are present. They have a special ability to help you alleviate anxiety and the big pressure that comes with such a huge event.” Vonn said. She has two rescue dogs as well as a King Charles Spaniel named Lucy.
#3 POLARIZING SPONSORSHIPS:
Official sponsors of the 2020 Olympics are in it to make a statement — creating conversations ‘for’ and ‘against’ and compelling brands to choose who to sponsor based on expressing a strong POV
- Puma picked up Gwen Barry after Nike dropped her
- Kim Kardashian’s label Skims will supply Team USA for the Olympics & Paralympics with undergarments and loungewear — which comes as a shock to many after the brand has previously stirred controversy in Japan for originally launching the brand in 2019 under the name Kimono. The name attracted accusations of cultural appropriation, leading to Twitter protests under the hashtag #KimOhNo. Kim has since used this as an opportunity to say her brand is “built with inclusivity and diversity at their core”
#4 TECH INNOVATION HYPE
The adoption of new advanced technologies is playing a crucial role in the Tokyo Olympics 2021… to make the Olympic Games experiences more innovative, interactive, and immersive for everyone.
For the last decade, Japan has been ramping up innovations.
Now the Olympics will act as a platform to unveil various advanced technologies like self-driving vehicles, Facial Recognition Systems, touchless security screening, Robot Assistance and state-of-the-art instant language translators in anticipation of showing off their technological prowess to the world.
#5 THE DISRUPTION OF ENGAGING WITH THE OLYMPICS:
Sports betting, Esports and streaming services will disrupt how viewers engage with the 2020 Olympics.
- Esports are making their Olympic debut
- NBC will be streaming through their new, in-house streaming platform Peacock
- A constant stream of updates on odds & performance through sports betting platforms like DraftKings will keep spectators engaged
WHAT’S DOWN ⬇️: Viewing alone on the couch from your cable TV.
Younger generations don’t even have a cable box, and people want to spend this summer out and about. We’ll all be streaming from Olympic parties in social settings while our couches collect dust.