Social media mavens can't help themselves, as details leaked virally this week following Monday's technical dress rehearsal (that's the crowd above) for Friday's opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The ceremony's artistic director, filmmaker Danny Boyle, begged those in attendance to "save the surprise" and even projected a Twitter hashtag (#savethesurprise) on the stadium's giant screens, but spectators tweeted pictures of the event and chatted up that the theme (spoiler alert!)...
.... is "Isles of Wonder," including a recreation of the British countryside with actual farmyard animals, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. If you absolutely must know more, ITV News has the scoop on what Boyle apparently has in store Friday night. And in other social tidbits leading into the XXX Olympic Games:
• A study by Olympic sponsor Atos, one of the IT vendors powering the London 2012 games, predicts the end of ‘passive armchair sports fans by 2020.’ "The guy sitting calmly with a beer, or a Diet Coke, with some peanuts and watching alone — this armchair fan will die," said Gilles Grapinet, head of Atos' Global Functions. Instead, "a new breed of spectator will make and publish his own content and share it with other people." [Reuters]
• Olympic sponsors are “cherry-picking data” to show ROI reports, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex. So far, "only a small minority of brands have seen their scores significantly improve. London’s overzealous attention to preventing other brands gaining an Olympic boost has been particularly counterproductive for the sponsors. [Marketing Week]
• Coca-Cola, British Airways and Adidas are seeing the biggest return from their London 2012 according to social marketing Socialgility: “Early movers with a dedicated London 2012 presence have benefitted from months of active social media engagement but from a standing start. Others have, by virtue of using their existing presence and established audience, had the benefit of concentration of effort as public attention peaks.” [WallBlog]
• Samsung India, official sponsor of Team India, has launched a free social app, 'PlayUp,' which incorporates live updates and country-based geo-targeting as 'News Tiles' display content parsed by location and sport, as well as a medal tally, schedules, key events and competitor ranking. “‘PlayUp’ is the first global mobile-based social network dedicated to live sport and has been the number one free sports App in 28 countries worldwide.” Samsung India has also created a ‘Fans Speak’ Facebook app for sending best wishes to Indian team members, as well as setting-up more than 500 kiosks at its mobile retail channel and Smartphone cafes.
• Team USA quarter-miler Sanya Richards-Ross has started a social media campaign against non-payment of athletes at the Games, criticizing organizers for ignoring the financial plight of the majority of track and field athletes across the world. Richards-Ross tweeted, "With $6 billion exchanging hands during the Olympics, why do athletes compete for free?!" What's more, she adds, "Track athletes should be allowed to don multiple logos on our uniform. I'd love to show my other great sponsors love." Check out her retweets to see how other athletes have responded to her arguments.