2024 Paris Olympics Preview: How Potential Local Stars Will be a Massive Draw

11.02.2023 Jessica Sloan4 min

Among the biggest draws of watching the Olympics is the opportunity to root for your home country. According to a 2021 audience survey, 48 percent of men and 34 percent of women are motivated to watch because they want to support American athletes.

But Olympics storylines dive far deeper than these national team affiliations. For communities and regions across the country, the Olympics is an opportunity for local athletes to become national heroes, shining a spotlight on their origins and the communities that have supported them in their pursuit of their dreams.

As local businesses plan out their Olympics advertising campaigns, the interests of these local audiences need to be accounted for. Local stars could become an outsized draw in the communities they represent, and proactive advertisers could score big by locking down these inventories months before the flame is lit in Paris next summer.

To demonstrate the power of local interest in certain events, here’s a look at a few Cox Media markets where star athletes from these communities could draw a big spotlight—both locally and nationally—throughout NBCUniversal’s coverage of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Gainesville, Florida May Shine as USA Swimming’s Epicenter

In recent years, the Gainesville community has seen itself take on a major role in supporting men’s and women’s swim teams. One of the most notable changes occurred when seven-time gold medalist Katie Ledecky relocated to Gainesville to continue her training for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Ledecky’s move was motivated by her desire to train under swimming coach Anthony Nesty, the head coach for both the men’s and women’s swim teams at the University of Florida. Ledecky also joined the swim program as a coach. Nesty was recently named as the new head coach for Olympic swimming.

With Nesty and Ledecky both calling Gainesville home, the college town’s rooting interest in swimming will be higher than ever. Gainesville can expect to get a lot of mentions during swim coverage—and locals will be tuning in to savor every moment.

Audiences in Omaha, Nebraska Ready to Root on Former Husker Stars

Few parts of the world can claim a passion for volleyball as intense as residents of the state of Nebraska. Earlier this year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball program filled a football stadium with more than 92,000 fans as part of its inaugural “Volleyball Day in Nebraska” event.

The volleyball match featured at that event set the world record for largest attendance at a women’s sporting event. Now, three former alums of the Husker volleyball program have been added to the roster of the U.S. national volleyball team.

Included on that team is former Nebraska star Jordan Larson, who was named the 2020 Tokyo Olympics MVP for her starring role on America’s gold medal-winning team. As this team looks to defend its gold, Larson and her fellow ex-Huskers will be a massive draw for fans in Omaha.

Elite Athletes in Phoenix and Tucson Aim for Gold

With mild winters and world-class training infrastructure for numerous sports, the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas lay claim to a number of Olympics hopefuls expected to appear on the global stage.

At least two members of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, stars Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, have committed to play as they seek the country’s fifth straight gold medal in women’s basketball. Both players bring important leadership to the national team: Taurasi has won five medals, while Griner has won two.

Other star athletes from the area are chasing success in individual competitions. Twenty-four year-old Delaney Schnell is looking to build upon her silver-medal performance in 10-meter diving at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while Tucson native Andrew Vera-Jackson is hoping to make his debut wrestling for the Bolivian National Team. Both stories have Tucson in the spotlight and are sure to be major local storylines as the 2024 Paris Olympics draws near.

As America assembles its final roster of more than 500 American athletes, small businesses should be on the hunt for advertising opportunities that leverage local interest in Olympics events to shine a bigger spotlight on their local brand.

From local cable TV campaigns to digital ads delivered to your target audience, Cox Media can help you plan campaigns around the 2024 Paris Olympics and other important events on the local calendar.

Seize these opportunities now before inventories are claimed and the cost of advertising goes up. Contact us today to get started.

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Jessica Sloan

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