With 100 days left before the Games begin in London, theInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) launched an online athletes’ headquarters designed to serve as a social media platform enhancing the digital connection between fans and competitors.
The Olympic Athletes’ Hub aggregates the verified social media feeds of more than 1,000 current and former Olympians. It will post content directly from their Facebookand Twitter accounts and incorporate a gamification layer incentivizing fans to interact with the site. Users will be able to access exclusive training-tips videos and gain virtual and real-world prizes according to how many athletes they like and follow online.
“Another interesting thing that might come out of the hub is that Olympic Athletes will be able to connect not only with their fans but with each other before, during and after the Games are over, if they so desire,” IOC social media head Alex Huot told Mashable in an email. “If we take a step back we have a pretty cool scenario of fans connecting with athletes, athletes connecting with athletes and the IOC becomes a platform of sorts connecting everybody together.”
During the Games themselves in July and August, real-time social updates from competitors will be incorporated into the site, which will also host exclusive chat sessions with athletes. The London Games are being branded as the world’s “first social Olympics,” although some have expressed surprise at regulationsrestricting social media use in some cases.
Nonetheless, Huot believes the social media portal should be a powerful tool for bridging the gap between athlete and fan.
“The Olympic Games have at its heart the athletes,” he says. “The hub also has the athletes at its heart. We want the hub to be a platform which can inspire athletes and fans to share the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence through their everyday stories.”
Check out the Olympic Athletes’ Hub for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.