Skip to main content
IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Small Business Marketing Tips for the Summer Olympics

By Ijeoma S. Nwatu, U.S. Small Business Blog . . .

Every four years the world is fixated for a two-week period on the grandest international stage, the Summer Olympics. This August, Brazil’s second most populous city, Rio de Janeiro, will host over 10,000 athletes in dozens of sporting competitions. Not all small businesses can leverage a large-scale event like the Olympics to push products, promotions and services; but there are different ways to get creative depending on your industry.

Here are a few ways to strategize and be proactive ahead of one of the biggest events of the year:

Speak the language. Or at least try! Though Brazil is in South America, the official and national language is Portuguese. If your business services a Portuguese-speaking community or would like to engage one, find opportunities to update your content so that it includes the Portuguese language. Boa sorte!

Provide incentives. Since the Olympics are an international event that only occurs every few years, the patriotism showcased is hard to miss–why not celebrate that? Encourage patrons and customers to wear their country’s colors and offer discounts on retail, food and beverages, etc. Take it a step further and have them take photos to share via social media to enter into a contest for a giveaway prize or other branded merchandise.

Get social. It is almost guaranteed that the Rio Summer Olympics will be a trending topic on multiple social media platforms. Have a strategy in place, follow the official Twitter handles like @Rio2016_en for updates and utilize correct hashtags like #Rio2016. Use high quality imagery including photos and videos, particularly on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Have a conversation with your online audience and push for your customers to engage with you.

Curate unique experiences. Summertime is perfect for vacations and excursions. If your business caters to hospitality, travel or leisure try delighting your customers by creating an authentic Rio or Portuguese trip­–without the cost of being in Brazil. For a restaurant, this may mean customizing a limited food and drink menu. For an online or brick-and-mortar fashion shop, experiment by highlighting Brazilian designers and artists with a special limited-run of items or even organizing a gallery event.

Host a watch party. There will be dozens of games each day, all day. Throw a party at your place of business or partner with another business to cross-promote. Create a fun atmosphere, deliver great service, and discount items where appropriate.

Think beyond the day-to-day marketing and operations and jumpstart your marketing this season by leveraging the Summer Olympics. Collaborate with staff, customers and other businesses and organizations to experiment with ideas and develop new business opportunities.

For more information about the Team USA Olympics (including the use of trademark, policies and marketing) click here.

May the best teams win!

Author Ijeoma S. Nwatu is a digital strategy and communications consultant. She is the Communications Manager for ColorComm, an organization that aims to uplift women of color in the communications field. When not working with clients, Ijeoma can be found speaking about career transitioning and social media marketing. Follow her on Twitter: @ijeomasnwatu.

Source: US Small Business Administration Blog — Managing a Business