E-retailers go for the Summer Olympics gold

August 4, 2016 10:33 AM

The countdown to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is on— literally—for athletes and online retailers alike.

At least two e-retailers in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, including online apparel retailer Fanatics Inc. (No. 38) and swimming products retailer (No. 211) are promoting apparel on their sites using the “countdown” term, with the latter actually having a countdown clock at the top of its home page. The opening ceremony for this year’s Summer Olympics is Friday.

Rob Penner, vice president of sports marketing, says the company began its Olympics promotional push in January by featuring six Olympic athletes as part of a content marketing push.

“By integrating athletes into our content marketing platforms we made a connection early on in 2016 with our swim customer about the importance of supporting and following these athletes and their Olympic dreams all year,” he says.

Penner declined to provide sales figures, but did say the company increased its email newsletter database by 25%, “the biggest growth we've seen like that annually in several years.”

Fanatic’s sales of Olympic apparel are up more than 50% compared to the runup to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, a company spokesman says, though he declines to specify a dollar figure.

“Promotion for the Olympics has been a slow build, kicking off around Memorial Day, reaching fans across our network of sites through on-site messages/graphics, targeted emails and social engagement,” he says. “At the beginning of July we started a more steady effort and put some extra emphasis around July 4th for Team USA products.”

Meanwhile, Nike Inc. (No. 47) is promoting its line of Olympics apparel on its website with a button on its home page that encourages shoppers to “Shop Team USA.” A Nike spokesman declined to provide traffic or sales figures.

Nike Olympic merchandise is proving to be popular on online auction site eBay Inc. An eBay spokeswoman says three of the top five most-viewed items during the past week are Nike products, including the Nike Air Foamposite One PRM USA “Olympics” shoes and the men’s Nike Air Presto GPX USA Olympics shoes. She declined to provide sales and traffic figures.

Search giant Google is promoting the Games by giving those who use its mobile app for Android and iOS the opportunity to receive automatic updates on the games on their smartphones. NBC, the network television home of the Olympics, is working with Facebook to share content featuring athletes and commentators across Facebook and Instagram. 




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