2024 Summer Olympics Preview: What Local Businesses Need to Know

07.25.2023 Jessica Sloan4 min

Almost exactly one year from now, the 2024 Summer Olympics will kick off in Paris with nearly three weeks of competition featuring 10,500 athletes across 329 different competitions. Billions of viewers from around the world will be tuning in throughout the contest, turning the Olympic Games into one of the most significant advertising events occurring anywhere in the world.

Due to the massive audience and reach of the Olympic Games, this sporting spectacle offers excellent advertising opportunities not only for national brands, but for regional and local businesses as well. Cable TV, streaming, video on demand and second-screen engagement all offer powerful, cost-effective options for targeting your customer base through Olympics ad campaigns.

As the exclusive broadcasting partner of the Olympic Games, NBCUniversal—which includes both NBC network and cable channels like USA, Telemundo, and the E! Entertainment Television network—will be your destination for planning media buys on cable TV during the Olympics. Read on to learn more about the benefits of Olympics advertising, along with valuable audience insights to improve your engagement with your target customers.

The Unique Opportunity of Olympics Advertising

Even if your business has advertised around live sporting events in the past, you may not be prepared for the massive scale and impact of Olympics advertising. Consider the following:

  • The 2020 Summer Olympics attracted more than three billion unique viewers across television and digital formats;
  • Compared to the 2016 Olympic games, the 2020 Summer Olympics saw a 33 percent increase in television coverage;
  • More than 150,000 hours of programming were televised during the last Summer Olympics;
  • Total streaming of the 2020 Olympic Games eclipsed 4.4 billion minutes;
  • The Olympic Games are regarded by global viewers as the world’s “most appealing” sports and entertainment event.

Because of the diverse audience it draws—including consumers who don’t usually watch sports or identify as sports fans—the Summer Olympics can be an effective advertising opportunity even for businesses that don’t typically cater to a sports-viewing customer base.

Who Will Be Watching Next Year’s Summer Olympics?

If the 2020 Summer Olympics are any indication, next year’s Olympic Games should feature a diverse audience no matter how you slice it.

Data from the 2020 Games suggests that female viewers slightly outnumbered male viewers, by a margin of 51 to 49 percent. Viewership is also high across all age demographics, although the highest rate of engagement is among the 50-to-64 crowd, followed close behind by viewers 65 and over.

While millennials and Gen Z audiences turn out in lower numbers for Olympic events, both of these younger audiences have demonstrated a much greater appetite for women’s sports than their older counterparts. Given the significant audience many women’s competitions have in the Olympics, this viewing interest could lead to higher-than-expected ratings among younger audiences.

Meanwhile, Olympics broadcasts have demonstrated an ability to attract consumers of all household income levels, and 69 percent of U.S. viewers have at least some college education.

As for viewing platforms, 97 percent of audiences watch at least some of the Olympics on TV, followed by smartphones and tablets at 57 percent and desktop computers at 40 percent. With the increased adoption in streaming—as well as the maturation of NBC’s Peacock streaming platform—it’s possible the share of streaming views will move higher in 2024.

The Brand Boost of Connecting With an Olympics Audience

The Olympics are known for inspiring high levels of audience engagement and emotional investment. That’s great news for advertisers, because research shows that this heightened investment has a direct impact on ad performance.

Brands that advertise during the Olympics are likely to see a boost in performance when comparing campaign results to similar campaigns run outside of Olympics programming. According to NBCUniversal, these brands benefit from the following audience trends:

  • 49 percent higher customer loyalty for brands that advertise during the Olympics;
  • 54 percent greater differentiation from brand competitors;
  • 39 percent greater ad relevance when compared to competitors.

If these trends hold true in 2024, brands will essentially get more value out of their advertising based on the improved brand impact offered by these campaigns.

The 2024 Summer Olympics may be a year away, but now is the time to plan your ad campaigns and start exploring your media buy options around this in-demand TV event. Between live broadcasts and replays, cable and streaming programming and other campaign options, local businesses have no shortage of options to plan out Olympics advertising that supports their business goals.

With so many options and variables to consider, a digital advertising partner can be your brand’s secret weapon when planning your media buys and maximizing your ad campaign’s return on investment. Contact us today to find out how Cox Media can help elevate your business during next summer’s Olympic Games.


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Jessica Sloan

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