Ready to be in Good Company?

Ready to be in Good Company? Let’s Connect >>

Lessons Learned from the Tokyo Olympics: Digital, Streaming, & TEGNA Clients Win Big 

Looking back at the Tokyo 2021 Sumer Olympic Games, there is a lot to be said about how consumption of the games changed from years prior. What does this mean for your brand as we approach the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing?

Meredith Cunningham Published: October 29, 2021
Lessons Learned from the Tokyo Olympics: Digital, Streaming, & TEGNA Clients Win Big  image

The 2020 Olympics were unlike any other. From Allison Felix becoming the most decorated female American track athlete in Olympic history to Suni Lee’s all-around champion Gold Medal in gymnastics, there was no shortage of magical moments – and TEGNA stations and sponsors brought them to the masses. 

As we gear up for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, what lessons have we learned from Tokyo?  

One lesson is that media consumption of the Games is changing. NBCU says the Tokyo Games were the most-streamed Olympics event ever – at nearly 6 billion streaming minutes, which is an increase of 25% from the 2016 Rio Olympics, and 101% more than the 2018 Games in PyeongChang. On top of that, NBC Sports Digital’s Average Minute Audience of 477,000 viewers in primetime is the best ever for an Olympics.​

Meanwhile, TEGNA’s digital platforms also thrived during the Tokyo Games. Daily average Olympics content visitors increased 57% vs. Rio and increased 89% vs. PeyongChang. Video plays also increased 30% vs. Rio and 80% vs. PeyongChang.  

Better yet, these magic moments translated into real results for our Olympic advertisers.  

According to Jeremy Cochran, Director of Marketing at Meals on Wheels People, which ran an Olympic campaign with TEGNA’s KGW, the Tokyo Olympics were a tremendous boost for the brand. 

“We were able to reach an audience that we aren’t normally able to reach, and the success from our campaign not only over-delivered on the impressions, but it also allowed us to reach our audience in our local market using the Tokyo Olympics on an international scale,” says Cochran. “Using OTT really increased the bottom line for us, and we saw a higher average donation and we saw more traffic coming to our website during the Tokyo Olympics.​” 

Meanwhile in Denver, Derek McCormick, Marketing Manager at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, also saw the benefits of an Olympic campaign. “This summer, we decided to run a couple of new creatives through 9NEWS and TEGNA for the Olympics. That drove hundreds of more visitors per day to our location, which is fantastic,” McCormick notes. “It was a really great success. Having people out here to learn about our mission was one of the biggest outcomes we had.”​ 

These sentiments back up what NBCU found in a post-Olympics report that found that Olympic advertisers ”have been the benefactors through it all, acting as an extension of the Games in a totally new way” which is “leading to greater recall and positive long-term brand impact.”  

The report also found:   

  • Viewers are 35% more likely to search for brands that advertise in Olympic coverage.  
  • Commercials in the Olympics are creating a 15% lift in brand recall and a 21% lift in message breakthrough for sponsors.  
  • Co-branded vignettes within the Olympics are delivering higher scores for the same brands than similar vignettes on competitive networks, with 50% stronger brand memorability scores and 36% higher likeability.  
  • In-show integrations are 7% more effective than non-Olympic integrations and 45% more effective than standard ads.  

“Brands that are connected and showcased during the Olympics have historically seen significant ROI generated and elevated their brands to new heights,” says Matt Ginn, TEGNA’s Director of Enterprise. “It’s an invaluable and unique opportunity to have a direct meaningful and emotional connection with their existing and prospective customers.”   


Brands looking to align with Olympic content that showcases unity, triumph, victory, and the power of inspiration can contact us today to learn more and be part of this amazing journey. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Ready to be in Good Company?

    Ready to be in Good Company? Let’s Connect >>