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Olympics Advertising: Trends for the 2024 Summer Games  

June 10, 2024
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Sporting events are some of the most-watched worldwide, with the Super Bowl and World Cup bringing in major ad revenue for broadcasters. This year, Olympics advertising is set to break records, already up 18% from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics according to NBCUniversal, which has broadcast rights for the Summer Olympics Games.  

The Paris 2024 Olympics will be the first since 2018 without major impacts from the pandemic, suggesting audiences may see major changes compared to previous Games. Following are five Olympics advertising trends experts are expecting this summer.  

1. Diverse Representation

A recent AdAge article indicated the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee is targeting Gen Z audiences by releasing campaigns that align with their values, including togetherness and hard work, so they can relate to and connect with the athletes on Team USA.  

Jess Park, chief of fan and brand engagement for the Olympics, said in the article, “As we think about the way that we’re building out our creative platform, we’re going to really lean into that idea of representation, and really think about the diverse stories that we can tell so that every single fan, young and old, can see themselves in Team USA.” 

Major brands are also embracing diversity in their Olympics advertising this summer. For example, Coca-Cola is releasing a campaign called “Celebrate Everyday Greatness” that highlights how relatable everyday moments contribute to athletes’ achievements. The athletes showcased in the campaign come from various backgrounds and include Olympic and Paralympic competitors.  

2. Varied Advertisers

Typically, only big-name brands like Toyota, Visa, and Procter & Gamble can afford traditional Olympics advertising. This summer, smaller and local brands will have a chance to secure ad time. The Current reports that NBCUniversal will offer more lower-cost advertising opportunities on its Peacock streaming platform. 

Peacock will livestream every Olympics event and offer replays, including several 24/7 Olympics channels and other related programming. In AdAge, Dan Lovinger, president of Olympic & Paralympic Partnerships at NBCUniversal, said about 20-25% of Olympics viewership is expected to come from Peacock. 

According to AdAge, in the past, NBCUniversal had ad inventory for about 100 Olympics advertisers. This year, with the addition of its Peacock streaming options, ad inventory has doubled. “This is going to open up the ability for small and medium-sized agencies and advertisers to access the Olympics. They’ve just never been able to do that before,” said Ryan McConville, executive vice president of ad platforms and operations at NBCUniversal, in The Current. 

3. Social Media Marketing

A recent Deloitte report found that nine out of 10 Gen Zers use social media to consume sports content. A Morning Consult study found that YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are Gen Z’s go-to sources for sports news.   

Team USA is targeting this demographic with a TikTok account that features its athletes as creators. For example, a recent post showcased the U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team making friendship bracelets and attending a Taylor Swift concert together. Another post featured hurdler Trevor Bassitt crafting a warmup playlist comprised of popular artists like Drake and J. Cole.  

Other brands will partner with individual athletes for wide-reaching influencer campaigns. An article in AdWeek cited the example of Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal whose social media following grew 667% (5.8 million new followers) during the 2020 Olympics. This year, brands like Powerade and Adidas hope to replicate that exposure by partnering with athletes like gymnast Simone Biles and track and field star Noah Lyles for social media influencer campaigns.  

The Olympic organization itself is hoping to engage Gen Z by adding new youth-centered sports with active fan communities on social media like breakdancing, surfing, and sport climbing.  

4. Sustainability Focus

The International Olympic Committee has publicized its sustainability efforts, suggesting many brands will also focus on sustainability and eco-friendly messaging in their Olympics advertisements this year. Considering that major brands like Toyota and HP highlighted environmental messages in their campaigns for the 2021 Olympics, others will likely follow suit this year.  

Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends Report indicates that sustainability is a significant marketing trend today. And research by McKinsey and NielsenIQ proves that consumer awareness and demand for sustainability are rising.  

Given these factors, it’s likely that brands participating in Olympics advertising will leverage this global platform to showcase their sustainability efforts, aligning with broader consumer trends and their corporate environmental commitments.  

5. Increased Spending

Global ad spending is expected to reach its highest level ever this year, topping $1 trillion, because of events like the Olympics and the U.S. Presidential election.  

As advertising budgets grow, so does the complexity of managing campaigns. This complexity demands additional resources, whether in the form of technology or talent. Without efficient resource management, agencies may become overwhelmed, leading to potential bottlenecks and decreased campaign effectiveness. 

Managing Olympics Advertising Spend with Automation

Leveraging automated payment software like AvidXchange FastPay can significantly streamline spend management, helping agencies to optimize their workflows and focus on strategic priorities in busy times. 

Payment automation software typically integrates with many accounting systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, helping to provide a streamlined and efficient solution for managing and recording financial transactions.  

By automating invoice processing and payments, agencies can reduce labor-intensive tasks such as manual data entry, check printing, PO matching, and assigning spend to accounts. This not only saves time but also helps reduce the risk of errors. 

Additionally, payment automation solutions offer enhanced spend visibility and control compared to manual systems. These systems offer sophisticated reporting and detailed reconciliation features, helping agencies to monitor expenses and make timely, informed decisions. This level of insight can be crucial when managing multiple campaign budgets in a busy season.  

Payment automation is designed to support timely and accurate payments via tailored methods like virtual cards, paper checks, or enhanced direct deposit depending on supplier preference. Enhanced payment efficiency and reliability help foster better relationships with suppliers and partners. 

By adopting payment automation software, media agencies can manage increased spend with ease and upgrade overall financial management, ultimately supporting more strategic business growth. 

For more information on adopting payment automation within your AP department, reach out to one of our experts by clicking the button below.  

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