Olympic Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

August is upon us, which means we’re only a few days away from one of the biggest events of the year—the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. The Olympics are a great time for countries to come together and cheer on their team in their quest for gold. These games bring a sense of national pride that small business owners can leverage with their marketing. Small businesses can use Olympics-themed marketing ideas to help gain business exposure, increase engagement, and attract new customers. Here are 7 Olympic marketing ideas that can help your business outshine the competition.

7 small business marketing ideas to use for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Olympic Related Discounts

Small businesses can take what’s happening in Rio and turn the games into a promotion that brings customers into their stores. If your business attracts tourists, you can offer a discount to customers from the country with the most gold medals or from a certain country competing in the Olympics. You could also put a map on the wall of your store and encourage customers to add their hometowns to the map.

You can promote these Olympic themed discounts through your email newsletter and social media channels to get your subscribers and followers excited. If you’re a travel agency or tour company, you can influence people to learn the history of the Olympics by providing a discount to people travelling to Rio or places that the Olympics have formerly been. You can make your promotion even more current by offering a reward to customers when a certain athlete or team wins at the games.

Another marketing idea for your small business is to make Olympic brackets for customers to fill out, and you can reward the customer with the best bracket with a gift card to your store. Many businesses such as spas, day cares, schools, tutors, delis, and gyms can gain traffic thanks to a promotion for the Olympics.

Social Media Posts

You can increase social media engagement in more ways than adding a hashtag to your posts. Post about athletes competing in the Olympics and cheer them on in their Olympic journey on social media. In your social media posts, you can post a funny picture of you dressed up like one of the athletes. Increase engagement by encouraging others to show their patriotism and Olympic spirit on social media by tagging you in their posts and reposting the best outfits on your business’s social media accounts.

Social media now plays a critical role in the Olympics, which means you should post about the games on your social media accounts. Talk about your predictions for the Olympics, tag your country’s Olympians in your posts, and wish your favorite Olympic team good luck as they try to bring home the gold. Ask your followers who they’re rooting for in the big events and reply to every message your followers send or tag you in. Letting your followers know that your business is celebrating the Olympics brings attention to your business, adds a personal touch, and shows that your business is modern and staying up to date with trends.

Related: Getting Started on Instagram for Small Business Marketing 

Hashtag Marketing

In order to get more people to stumble onto your business, you can use hashtag marketing to promote your business. You can use popular hashtags regarding the Olympics in your social media posts. The Olympics are one of the most popular events in the world, so create your own custom hashtag for your business in support of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Staying up to date with what’s happening during the Olympics can help your business gain exposure on social media.

For example, businesses can create a scoreboard for the Olympics and encourage customers to post pictures of it using your custom hashtag for a reward. While it’s helpful to use trending hashtags, make sure not to use the United States Olympic Committee’s official hashtags for the Olympics unless you’re an official sponsor. The hashtags #TeamUSA and #Rio2016  are trademarked by the USOC.

Partner with Local Businesses to Host Faux Olympic Games

Want to get in on the action? Partner with a local business and hold your own Olympic games between each other! Partner with a local business in your industry and compete in faux games like wheelbarrow races, dunk tank competitions, and three-legged races. Encourage your customers to come out and participate by offering discounts and coupons to those who attend. By partnering with a business in a related industry, both of your businesses can benefit from meeting potential new customers and increasing your business’s visibility.

Businesses in the city can face off at a local field and sell their products at the event. Restaurants and bakeries can compete in Olympic-themed events while handing out samples of their favorite foods to spectators. Gyms and personal trainers can offer a free month or a free session for signing up for their services at the event. You can promote this event on Facebook and expand your reach even more!  

Olympic Watch Parties

Instead of competing against another business, you could sponsor a local business’s watch party for the Olympics and promote your business there as well. Or, even better, host your own! Encourage your customers to dress up as athletes, while your employees can wear clothes that support their country. Your small business can take advantage of a business partnership to build your presence in the community while having fun!   

Sports Products and Services

While discounts are a good idea, you can take it a step further. Create special Olympic themed packages of services like Bronze, Silver, and Gold, or create limited edition red, white, and blue products.

Does your business work with athletes? Businesses like massage therapists, physical therapists, and personal trainers can enhance their businesses with Olympic and sports decorations or special workouts.

You could even show your patriotism by adding the colors of the American flag into your logo. The Olympics provide a unique opportunity for your business to add sports and competition into your marketing efforts.

Olympic Related Trivia

Test your customers on their Olympic knowledge and ask them about what’s happening in Rio. Hundreds of millions of Americans watch the Olympics, so why not see how much your customers know about Team USA. Restaurants can hold an Olympic-themed trivia night and promote it on their marketing channels, and cafes can ask customers an Olympic-related question for the chance to win a discount on their order. You can spread news about your promotion in-store and online through email and social media.   

The Olympics are a great time for your small business to stay relevant and boost your sales. Have any other Olympic-themed marketing ideas your business is using for the Olympics? Let us know in the comments below!  

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