Unless you’ve been living on the dark side of the moon for the past couple of months you will in all likelihood be aware that the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games is nearing. From the end of May 2012, bricks and clicks businesses all over the UK will be gearing up for a sixteen day commercial marathon involving Olympic merchandising and equally themed promotional campaigns.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics commanded an estimated global audience of 4.7 billion, which is expected to increase for this year’s games. The Olympic Games will provide clear commercial benefits for businesses in the UK. The ongoing nationwide torch bearer events will pull in extra revenue for shops in and around the route. Similarly themed events will provide great exposure for the businesses taking part. The Olympic Torch is coming to Edinburgh and the Scottish capital is gearing up for what will be a busy day on the streets.
One example of businesses grasping this opportunity is the sponsored concert at Edinburgh Castle, with the headlining act Emile Sandi likely to pull in a large audience. The main question businesses should be asking themselves this week is “using technology are we make the most of it?”
There are obvious benefits the torch will bring to the local retailers and amenities in Edinburgh. The route that will go through Edinburgh will pass many shops resulting in a vastly increased presence on the streets. Companies should use this opportunity to make themselves stick out on these two days where a TV presence is likely.
Businesses should make the most of FREE location based check-in services such as Foursquare, Google Places and Facebook Places to get as much online exposure as possible. These services can be used to get customers involved in the promotion of a business. Businesses can set up a place that represents their business on these services and advertise various deals and promotions based on a rewards scheme. These rewards are collected in some cases by users who check in at these places regularly. For example this month, special Olympic promotions to customers who show loyalty via said check in services can gain rewards for their actions. Users can check-in and recommend businesses where they have had a positive experience to friends who are also present on these services. With potential customers likely to be travelling in groups, deals that involve bringing new customers along to your place of business would likely boost the chance of new and repeat business. The fact the two day event is being hosted on the streets of Edinburgh makes it vitally important that businesses are getting exposure to potential customers who are involved in said online check-in services.
Although Princes Street will be closed due to tram works popular shopping streets like Lothian Road and the Royal Mile will bear a large proportion of the crowds whose intention is to get a good view of the Olympic torch. This increase in number of potential customers will undoubtedly bring the chance of an increase in revenue for the two day event. Equally the congestion on the streets may cause supply chain issues for local businesses if they are not properly prepared.
There is just a week to go until the first day of the Edinburgh Olympic torch route. There is still time for businesses to prepare for what should be an enjoyable day for the people of Edinburgh and the local businesses.