New analysis by Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) indicates that while Americans are quite interested in the the 2016 Rio Olympic games, many are going to be watching from home this time around, partly because of trepidation about the Zika virus.
As part of its analysis, ADI looked at global flights booked to Rio and surrounding airports for the first six months of 2016. Not only are flights to Rio down overall, but flights booked are also lagging the major growth in bookings seen for the 2014 World Cup—despite the fact that the Rio Olympics offers twice as many tickets.
“We’re dubbing Rio Olympics 2016 the ‘stay-at-home Olympics,’” said Becky Tasker, managing analyst at ADI. “We think Zika could be driving some of this. We looked at social mentions surrounding Olympics and the Zika virus, and we found that the U.S. is exponentially talking about it compared with other countries. We think that could be affecting travel to Brazil.”
“Our prediction is that this Olympics will be very mobile-centric in that people will be watching it from their mobile devices,” Tasker added. “The UEFA report the team produced a couple of months ago predicted that the event was going be the most mobile event ever. Based on the fact that booked flights to Rio are down, we should see more mobile consumption for the Rio Olympics. It will be interesting to see if marketers have shifted their strategies in terms of advertising to communicate with this audience that is trending toward being stay-at-home.”
ADI is also betting that Rio will boost some product category sales around 80%. “We typically see that major sporting events drive the desire to gear up,” Tasker explained. As an example, during the Sochi Olympics, sales for winter sports gear (figure skates, hockey equipment, ski equipment, and snowboard equipment) grew 82%. “Expect similar trends for the Rio Olympics,” Tasker said.
In terms of social buzz, the Rio Olympics is lagging behind other events. It’s possible that nonrelated events are taking away from the Olympics’ social media thunder, ADI said. According to the analysis, daily pregame social buzz is lagging the World Cup and Sochi Olympics a month prior to opening ceremonies.
When looking at social buzz across the world, the U.S. takes home the gold for Olympics-related fan engagement in social media. Great Britain is in second place and Canada is in third.
Additionally, U.S. athletes are seeing the most social mentions, ADI found. U.S. tennis champion Serena Williams is generating the most global buzz on social channels heading into the Rio Olympics. She has five times more social buzz than any other Team USA athlete.
See the infographic, below, for Rio Olympics trends, or click here to view it on SlideShare.
About Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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