In two days time, many in the world will be watching the Opening Ceremonies and the Olympic sporting events in Rio. There are some folks who basically take the time off to sit on the couch and watch, and there are some who leave their (host) country to get out of the way of it. Broadcasters dedicate much time and resources to it. Some athletes dedicate a good portion of their career to it. Why do we feel the way we do about this event?
The Olympic movement is something many do not think about in their interest and spectatorship of the Games. The movement blends sport with culture to create a standard of friendship, solidarity and fair play. But what you see and hear right now about doping, lawsuits, financial imbalances, etc misses the point of competing. It is a special moment where you come together with others for the joy of a sport you love and the will to do the best you can with others striving for the same.
In my own life, I have experienced it in several ways. My sister was a volunteer in the Games in Los Angeles when we were younger. I had the pleasure of competing nine years after the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the same venue for the World Masters Games. And I was in the audience for the weightlifting in the last Summer Games in London 2012 with several friends competing and several friends working as volunteers for that Games as well. For the athletes, it can be an overwhelming experience with more people watching you compete than ever before in your life. And it is life changing, and athletes use it as stepping stones to their next phase of their careers, regardless of the outcome.
I love watching it as an athlete, knowing how hard they have worked to get there and knowing it is more than about the medals (although damn it, everybody wants one!) but about getting there and showing your stuff. I love it as a spectator, for sports that only see once every four years, that get me motivated to try it. And as a marketer, I see many opportunities from it.
Are you going to watch? Why do you watch? Think about it, you might be surprised what your motivation is……