Locog to beam tweets to boost Games participation

Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) is to beam what fans are saying on social media on big screens at Olympic Games venues, one of several digital and mobile initiatives unveiled as this summer’s event nears.


Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit in London, Locog’s head of new media Alex Balfour said the committee is looking to visualise what people are saying about the event through infographics and tables, which will be displayed on the big screens at official venues.

He said the ideas, which are still subject to approval, will help show support for the athletes and boost crowd participation.

The committee also has a partnership with FourSquare, which is currently active, allowing people to check in to the ongoing torch relay. At Games time this will be extended to allow people to check-in to different parks and venues to receive information.

For those not attending the Games, Locog is looking to tap into the growing trend of second-screening by encouraging viewers at home to submit to the Twitter hashtag #supportyourteam.

Participants can vote for the team they are supporting via the hashtag and percentage league tables could be shown in venues and on the official Olympic Games website.

Viewers can also download a companion results app from June, which Balfour expects will be download by “single digit million, if not double digit millions” of fans.

He added: “Scale has been a problem and a massive challenge for our apps. It’s difficult getting everything into an app and there’s the challenge of making it far bigger than the [ideal less than]25MB of data…I don’t think the platforms are as sophisticated as the amount of information we need to deliver to meet demand.”

A mobile, social and a new mini video game are also all due to be launched in the coming weeks.

For the Paralympics, Locog is looking at working with a sponsor to give 50 leading Paralympians a dedicated app to which they can upload videos and photos.

IOC rules during the Olympic Games dictate that only official broadcasters such as the BBC can use video from the event, but these rules do not apply for the Paralympics, giving sponsor brands more opportunities for digital content as part of their activation activity.

Balfour said he hopes the entire sum of digital and mobile activity will leave a legacy beyond the Games, as registered users consent to passing their information to sports organisations, who can encourage them to attend more events or participate in their communities themselves.

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