Non-sponsors win social Olympics- Nike takes gold ahead of Adidas


Nike was the most engaging brand on social media during the Olympics despite the fact that it was not an Olympic sponsor, according to new data. The findings, from Socialbakers ‘cheermeter’ tool, indicate that it’s not the Olympic sponsors who are winning the race for brand engagement. From the 27th of July to the 2nd of August, Nike’s Facebook fan base grew by 166,718 - more than double the growth of its sporting rival, Adidas, who despite core sponsorship deals, netted just 80,761 new fans over the same period.


Nike dominated in the Twittersphere too, with over 16,020 tweets associating the brand with the word Olympic - 6,725 more tweets than Adidas, who were part of just 9,295 Olympic-themed tweets.

In fact, in the first week alone, Nike’s Facebook fan growth was three times that of a normal week.

By comparison, Adidas netted just 4,129 new fans. Nike wasn’t the only non-sponsor causing a social buzz around the Games either, Mars generated over 29,740 Olympic-themed tweets, compared to Cadbury who attracted just 2,232.


Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers commented on the trend: “There was a time when primetime slots around major sporting events were essential for maintaining position as a household name; but social media has levelled the playing field. Through its savvy social strategy, Nike demonstrated that you no longer need prime time to create brand buzz.”


In addition to its brand insights, Socialbakers also revealed wider social trends from the Games.

Swimmers led the pack as most talked about athletes, with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in first and second place respectively and Missy Franklin in 7th place. Meanwhile, British diver Tom Daley just missed the Twitter social podium as 4th most discussed athlete.


English-language speakers around the world were the loudest twitter cheerers, with 90% of tweets around the games in English and the most tweeted about day was the Saturday of the opening weekend.


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