10 Reasons Youth Sports Can Benefit from a U.S.-Based Olympics

kidswimming(NOTE: This blog was updated Jan. 8, 2015, from a previous October 2013 post in conjunction with the USOC announcement earlier today) 

We often focus on the economic, TV and media value of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but the legacy to grassroots sports participation is the long-term Holy Grail. London 2012 actively tried to use the inspiration of the Olympics to drive youth participation more than any other host city, even though UK media reports mixed results.

So, which city might host the Olympics in 2024? #Boston2024 is the U.S. choice for a candidate city! As the U.S. Olympic Committee puts Boston forward for 2024, here are 10 reasons for optimism of how the U.S. youth sports market can benefit from a U.S. based Olympic Games:

  1. Local Legacy – cities and organizing committees are more committed than ever to leave a legacy beyond brick-and-mortar venues to positively impact youth participation.
  2. Grow the Sport Initiatives – U.S. National Governing Bodies such as USA Swimming (aka the day job) and USA Gymnastics are more aggressive for growing participation and have programs in place to do it.
  3. Riding the Promotional Wave – USA Archery experienced 46% growth in youth memberships with a lift from movies like the Hunger Games and Brave. We will see this inspiration with added media coverage, TV and more.
  4. Diversity & Inclusion – NGBs are far more focused on reaching new audiences than ever before and certainly more than past U.S. Games (1996 Atlanta, 2002 Salt Lake, 1984 Los Angeles in recent history).
  5. NGB Sponsor Model – the success of sponsorships at the NGB level is based on a combination of elite events and grassroots membership. This means NGBs are better prepared for local activation to complement Olympic partnerships.
  6. All Marketing is Local – 74% of USA Swimming members are more likely to purchase our sponsor’s product, which means local activation at the cash register to support national campaigns.
  7. USOC-IOC Relationship – the USOC has made tremendous strides in improving its IOC relationships on revenue share which gives us all a greater chance for success.
  8. USOC-NGB Relationship – the marketing relationship is strong and we share partners such as AT&T, BMW, Omega and Visa.
  9. Yankees & Red Sox Fan Can Agree – there is no better sports event in the world to create unity for the country and agreement on getting active in Olympic sports.
  10. Team USA Performance – on the field of play, we perform better at home and that results in excitement and heroes to inspire youth participation.

As fans, we would love to see the Olympic Games hosted in the U.S., but it’s also great business for youth sports.



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  1. 18 Marketing Opportunities for Swimming Leading into the Olympic Year | SportsMarketingLab.com

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