Twitter and NBC in Olympics partnership
With a lot of talk recently that Twitter is increasingly positioning itself as a media company it is expected today to announce a major Olympics partnership with NBCUniversal to cover the London 2012 games.
Working out of an office in Boulder Colorado, a team of Twitter staff will curate Olympic tweets from athletes and fans and NBC television presenters into a single page on Twitter.com.
It echoes what Twitter did recently with Nascar where it took ownership of the hashtag and built a page around the content.
The Olympic deal will see Twitter again curate and manage what appears on screen, but on a much larger stage that is tied to NBC’s on screen Olympic coverage.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter will effectively “serve as an official narrator for a live event” and NBC will promote the Twitter page and hashtag with on-air promotions and links to athlete interviews or video clips”.
The stage will be a huge one for Twitter and the results could deliver it a massive Olympics bonus as millions of new users take a look at it for the first time.
While no money is changing hands between NBC and Twitter, it could also mean big exposure for advertisers Twitter signs up for the Olympics with brand such as General Electric and Procter & Gamble among those thought to be on board.
Twitter will benefit from the exposure that will come from so many stars using social media with top stars such as Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps), Usain Bolt (@usainbolt) and Jessica Ennis (@J_Ennis) all busily tweeting away among many others.
In preparation for London 2012 Twitter has been hosting sessions with athletes and working with national sports bodies. In all the International Olympic Committee says more than 1,000 current and former Olympians will be using Twitter or Facebook during the Games.
Advertisers said Twitter has pushed itself to them as an effective marketing vehicle. Athletes and Olympics organizations said that ever since the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, there has been an explosion of athletes embracing Twitter to talk to fans and occasionally trash talk to rivals.
During the Games, Twitter will use its Olympics events page to highlight insiders’ views, and to encourage people to watch NBC’s on-air and online coverage. Twitter will embed its own staffer with NBC’s social media team in London to ensure fresh news, interviews and links to TV highlights will show up on Twitter. The Olympics “hashtag”—a way for Twitter to organize tweets about a single topic—will pop up on screen during television coverage, NBC told the WSJ.