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Golden opportunity: How publishers can monetize Olympics content around the 2024 Paris Games

Posted 2 weeks ago by Zach Crizer

The world’s best athletes will soon descend upon Paris for the 2024 Olympic Games, and eyeballs will follow. From the competition to the stars to the fashion, the global spectacle can be a boon to publishers who produce smart, relevant commerce content.

Skimlinks’ tools and insights can help publishers capitalize on an avalanche of focused attention that few events can match. The Tokyo Games — the last summer iteration, pushed to 2021 because of COVID-19 — illustrate the potential of the impending extravaganza. Top U.S. publishers’ content around the Games in 2021 produced more clicks and nearly identical revenue to this year’s Super Bowl over matching four-month windows.

With the Games returning to their traditional cadence, the lead-up to this year’s games has significantly outpaced 2021. Articles featuring the term “Olympic” have garnered 387% more traffic in 2024 than they did through the same period in 2021.

That makes the inevitable spike of traffic in the more immediate timeframe of the Games a golden opportunity. Here are three ways publishers can meet the moment and use Skimlinks’ tools to drive revenue.

Opportunity: Watching (and streaming) the Olympics

Before the torch even reaches Paris, there’s a way for publishers to win: Streaming. Across the sports landscape, streaming is a growth area, and it takes on special importance for an occasional event such as the Olympics with no existing watching habits. Readers will be searching for how to watch the Games. That goes for the event as a whole and for individual competitions.

Helpful articles that direct fans to the streaming solution that meets their needs will generate clicks and conversions. In July and August of 2021, a cohort of leading U.S. publishers saw success steering readers to streaming services. Over that span, each of the top 10 Olympics articles by publisher revenue included the terms “how to watch” or “stream.”

While uplift around “how to watch” content begins weeks before the Opening Ceremonies (which will take place on July 26 this year), the 2021 Games showed a more nimble approach can be rewarding. The largest daily traffic spikes around Olympics content in the U.S. market corresponded with key games in the men’s basketball competition, which features stars from the NBA whose profiles transcend the Olympics.

During the 2021 Olympics, traffic spiked around major men's basketball games. Other surges occurred in the lead-up to the Games as readers searched for how to watch, and when a Nike face mask inspired a rush of interest.
During the 2021 Olympics, traffic on the Skimlinks network showed clear spikes around major men’s basketball games.

Publishers in 2021 generated top-performing articles by targeting motivated readers with streaming articles referencing specific matchups in the headline, a feat replicated on a slightly smaller scale with other popular competitions such as gymnastics. 

Go for gold:

Circle these dates on the calendar:

  • The Opening Ceremonies, with novel staging outside on the River Seine, will air on July 26.
  • The U.S. men’s basketball team is scheduled to take the court on July 28, July 31 and Aug. 3. The quarterfinals would be Aug. 6, the semifinals Aug. 8 and the Gold Medal Game Aug. 10. 
  • Team gymnastics finals — July 29 for men, July 30 for women.
  • Individual gymnastics all-around finals — July 31 for men, Aug. 1 for women.

Other highly searched sports in the Games include soccer, track and field, and swimming. The full Olympic schedule is available already, so plan ahead and refresh content ahead of major moments.

Key merchants to know in the streaming space will have ties to NBC or offer a cable-like collection of channel options that allow viewers to find the Olympics across networks. Here are a few to keep in mind: 

  • Peacock
  • Hulu
  • DirecTV
  • Sling TV

Opportunity: Athletic apparel on parade

It’s not just athletes on display at the Games. It’s what they’re wearing, too.

Recognizable brands such as Nike, Adidas and Oakley outfit athletes during their events, while a bevy of other fashion brands make their presence felt in the Opening Ceremonies. Ralph Lauren will reprise its role styling Team USA, while Fanatics offers merchandise for fans getting in the team spirit.

The Tokyo Games saw a spike around special Nike-designed face masks. That specific phenomenon is unlikely to repeat in 2024, but it’s indicative of the power of the Olympic spotlight. When that next item captures the public’s imagination, Skimlinks can help publishers be ready.

Go for gold:

Get in an athletic stance, take a deep breath, and stay on your toes. React to the next big thing with Skimlinks’ tools. 

  • The Trending Products Report will help catch merchandise surging in popularity.
  • The Broken Links Report can serve as a lookout, flagging content missing revenue-generating affiliate links to cut down on gaps during the fast-paced flurry of the Games. 

Keep an eye out for these merchants as they feature in the Games or appeal to fans looking to show team spirit:

  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Fanatics
  • StockX
  • Barefoot Dreams
  • Corkcicle

Opportunity: Big stars create big trends

LeBron James doesn’t need the Olympic spotlight to drive the culture. He’s going to have it anyway. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar will be leading the charge for Team USA men’s basketball, returning to the Games for the first time since 2012.

He’s just one big name in a menagerie of athletes who wield influence across the globe. Host country France has an emerging force with crossover appeal in the U.S. in basketball player Victor Wembanyama, while American stalwarts such as Simone Biles will return to the Olympics with name recognition already established.

Publishers that recognize their trend-setting power will be ahead of the game (or, ahem, Games).

Go for gold:

Scope out featured merchants who have endorsements with the most recognizable athletes — James and Wembanyama both have deals with Nike and Louis Vuitton. And be sure to refresh evergreen content featuring notable products to reflect their relevance to the Olympics. A listing of the best running shoes, for instance, could see a boost from including marathon favorite Eliud Kipchoge’s Nike model.

  • The Real-time Clicks Report monitors which articles, links and featured merchants are drawing the most reader engagement.
  • The Evergreen report can identify articles already seeing ongoing traffic that could benefit from Olympic-related additions.
  • Use the Content Recirculation widget to keep fans clicking on Olympics content — adding related articles with streaming options, merchandise and more.

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