Olympic “sharing-fest” to be a goldmine for marketers


With less than two weeks to go until the 2016 Olympics in Rio, new research reveals the huge amount of Olympic content people will share and why this is good news for marketers.


The study, from Radium One, suggest that Samsung, Omega and Panasonic the most reliant Olympic partners on “Dark Social” sharing.
The data indicates that 6 in 10 Britons interested in the Olympics will share content online about it.

Over four-in-10 (43%) of these sharers will share Olympic content on a daily basis during the games. One-third of sharers say the Olympics means they’ll share more content then they’d normally do over a two-week period.

Smartphones (42% of sharers) will be the most popular device for sharing Olympic content, followed by laptops (35%) and tablets (25%).

“The sharing-fest that is the Olympics is a goldmine for marketers to tap into consumer interest, particularly as the games are on a non-commercial TV channel,” says Craig Tuck, RadiumOne’s UK managing director. “Sharing content online indicates a strong degree of interest among those sharing plus the additional layer of people they identify as also being interested in that content.”

Most popular content

The most popular Olympic content shared online will be that relating to the sport/event they’re interested in (68% of sharers), followed by world records (64%), news stories (61%) and pictures (59%). Video highlights will be shared by 54%. Tuck illustrates how brands can tap into what’s being shared: “World records, for example, will be heavily shared, so a brand associated with timing, such as watchmaker Seiko, or performance, like car brand Jaguar, can identify people interacting with this content and send them related messaging across the web – whatever sites they may be visiting.” Olympic and Team GB Sponsors most reliant on Dark Social Nearly three-quarters (72%) of sharers will share Olympic content in ‘Dark Social’ – that is, outside of social networks on email, instant messenger and forums – whilst 24% will only share content this way. RadiumOne analysed 20 million instances of Britons sharing online content relating to the official Olympic and Team GB partners. Among Olympic partners, it revealed that Samsung (96%), Omega (92%) and Panasonic (91%) are the most reliant on content being shared in Dark Social. Among Team GB’s official partners, DFS (99%), Adidas (96%) and Muller (86%) are the most reliant on it. Click here for chart showing all GB partners.

“Although all brands have significant audiences they’re missing by ignoring Dark Social, those where it accounts for 70%+ of sharing are borderline negligent in not using it to increase their customer base,” says Tuck. “The Dark Social audience are particularly valuable – being the trusted confidants’ people share content 1-2-1 with, rather than via the blanket ‘share-with-many’ approach on social networks. The best way to unlock Dark Social is via sharing tools such as URL link shorteners and the sharing widgets around articles.”

An analysis of 15.7 million instances of content sharing among Olympic sports revealed that football (85%), cycling (83%), triathlon (78%) and rugby (77%) are the most reliant on Dark Social sharing.


The Dark Social sharing data was based on RadiumOne’s analysis of 35.7 million instances of content shared online in the UK. The questionnaire element of the report was undertaken by research agency Mindmover. The total sample size was 1,000 people aged 16 and over. The survey was conducted online between 2--15th of February 2016. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+).

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