Which Sponsors Captured the Most Social Engagement During Rio 2016?

Which Sponsors Captured the Most Social Engagement During Rio 2016? Tripti Shrivastava Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

The Olympic Games reach over half of the world’s population in over 207 countries, making it one of the most effective international marketing platforms. The Games receive official sponsorships from the world’s biggest brands like Samsung, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s, and give us an opportunity to witness the evolution of marketing.

This year’s Games were the most social games ever. The Games themselves boasted a strong social media presence to connect with fans in other ways as Olympics ratings on traditional TV continue to dwindle.

At Simply Measured, we tracked all eleven Olympics Worldwide Sponsors across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the Games to understand which brand’s posts resonated most with their social media audience. Here’s what we found.

Samsung Was the Most Engaging Brand on Facebook and Twitter

Samsung’s timely and motivating posts with the #dowhatyoucant hashtag resonated highly with the audience. Their motto for this year’s Games showcased how the company’s service and products can help to break down geographic barriers and unite the world through deep, borderless connections.

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Their posts truly reflected both these ideas, from the inspiring post about Derek Redmond overcoming his injury to congratulating countries who won their first gold medal, to singling India out on their proud attempt at artistic gymnastics.

Omega Was the Most Engaging Olympics Sponsor on Instagram

Omega won on overall engagement on Instagram with their hashtag #recordingdreams, although the most engaging Instagram post came from Samsung on the closing day of the Games.Shift_SamsungEngagement-INSTA

Samsung’s Winning Tactics

So what did Samsung do right on social to generate over 2 million in engagement in just 2 weeks of the Rio Olympics?

Understanding the Audience and the Platforms They Prefer

With just 149 pieces of content posted on the three platforms, the brand was able to generate a huge amount of engagement (over 13K engagement/post). The brand showed an in-depth understanding of its audience on different platforms and posted content that was relevant to them — using the right messaging, images, and hashtags.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.48.06 AM

Creating Relevant and Timely Content

The brand was monitoring the Games and posting relevant content at the right moment, capturing what was happening at the Games in order to seize the moment and engage with their audience. Their timely posts on August 20th about Tom Daley’s participation in 10m platform diving and Brazil winning the football game against Germany were highly engaging.Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.22.24 PM

Addressing Human Emotions Like Inspiration and Motivation

With their hashtag #dowhatyoucant for the Games (over 66K mentions on Twitter between Aug 5th – Aug 21st), Samsung touched upon all those people who go beyond the norm, strive for perfection, and do what is otherwise impossible. This inspirational messaging connected with consumers really well, as we all aspire daily to reach for bigger goals, despite roadblocks. 

Posting With Photos

Samsung is in total control of its social media messaging. They understand that posts with photos and videos resonate more with their social media audience and are more likely to be shared across channels. The brand has not posted any plain text posts in these two weeks. Instead, they have strengthened their posts with images and videos, and made very strategic use of links (to Twitter Cards) in Tweets to drive engagement.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.59.01 PMExperimenting with Different Types of Content to Understand What Works on Which Platform

Samsung created a wide variety of content to appeal to a wide audience, including videos, images, and GIF’s, along with an anthem for their TV spot.


London’s 2012 Summer Olympic Games had an official social media following of 4.7 million users across all platforms, as reported by Time Magazine.

Four years later, Rio 2016 had over 5.6 million audience members across Facebook, Twitterand Instagram pages alone, with the Games receiving over 3.7 billion active media engagement, according to a report from the BBC.

We can only guess what Tokyo 2020 will mean for marketing, what new platforms will emerge, and what new tactics brands will adopt. In the meantime, if there is any platform or brand on social media that interests you, give us a shoutout on Twitter! We are always excited to talk about social.

Tripti Shrivastava

Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!