AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Social-Media Strategy for Olympic Athletes

Posted by alprosp on July 23, 2012

Olympic athletes have new standards to abide by when it comes to how they use social medial throughout the games.

Acknowledging that this is the first Social Games, The International Olympic Committee released  a comprehensive list of guidelines for social-media, blogging and internet use that athletes must follow – a large step up from the more simple guidelines athletes were presented with in Vancouver, which only addressed blogging. The IOC is taking a “better safe than sorry” stance, according to Ad Age’s article, as they seek to protect their marketing partners’ investments. The guidelines themselves cover an array of areas, including: “the use of still photos, video, and audio, as well as domain names and URLs.”

Since the guidelines have been in place, two Australian swimmers have been banned from the use of social media for posting photos on Twitter that were seen as inappropriate (they were posed with guns during a U.S. training trip). While the ban is in place only for one month, the question does come to mind as to how well received the new guidelines will be, and how effective the monitoring of social media platforms will be in overseeing that the guidelines are upheld?

Experts say that bans like the ones the Australian swimmers are facing, “likely won’t be an isolated incident, given the inherent difficulties in policing thousands of athletes.” But, with as large of a global event as the 2012 Games, it is clear that some effort must be made to maintain the integrity and the image of the Olympics and the athletes on the digital field. And, while the new guidelines may not be perfect, they are an attempt to dive into the inevitable social movement in a way that will elevate the brand of the Games and the athletes as the Olympic Ambassadors.


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