Sochi Recap: U.S. Olympic Committee’s U.S. Programming Brings Spirit And Excitement Of Team USA And 2014 Games To More Americans Than Ever
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee executed a number of domestic-based programs across the country leading up to and during the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The activation elevated the Team USA brand while making the Sochi Games, winter sport and Team USA athletes accessible to more Americans than ever before.
And to continue the momentum of the 2014 Games in the United States, the USOC is presenting the first-ever Team USA formal awards program, the Best of U.S. supported by USG, which will air April 7 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The Best of U.S. will recognize outstanding U.S. performances in 10 categories from the Sochi Games, as determined by fan vote, allowing fans to relive the magic of the Sochi Games.
Road to Sochi Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance
A 13-stop interactive sports tour, the Road to Sochi Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance kicked off Oct. 29 with a larger than life 100 Day Countdown event to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in New York City’s Times Square. From there, the tour circled the country through the Games, bringing the spirit and excitement of Sochi 2014 to Team USA fans with athlete demonstrations, meet-and-greet athlete autograph sessions, interactive sport experiences, Team USA giveaways and sponsor engagement.
While the USOC first introduced the concept of a traveling “Road to” tour ahead of the London 2012 Games, the Road to Sochi Tour marked the first time the tour continued until the Closing Ceremony, allowing American fans to celebrate Team USA in their hometowns during the Games.
Road to Sochi Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance by the numbers
Free and open to the public for 23 total days (122 hours) the tour made 13 stops in 12 different U.S. cities, including Minneapolis, Minn.; Fargo, N.D.; Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah; Boston, Mass.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Vail, Colo.; Chicago, Ill.; and two stops in New York, N.Y.
From start to finish, the tour logged more than 14,600 miles, which resulted in more than 10.4 million branded vehicle impressions throughout its 118-day cross-country road trip (Oct. 29-Feb. 23).
More than 280,000 total people attended the tour.
Nearly 54,000 total public interactions were logged at the 10 winter sport stations. The most popular stations were the curling strip, figure skating memorabilia tent, speedskating slide board and street luge ramp.
More than 100 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians took part by signing autographs and helping with the interactive sport stations throughout the tour.
Five total live performers entertained crowds at various tour stops, including Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling musician, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw, who threw a surprise concert at the 100 Day Countdown tour stop.
12 prominent Team USA sponsors activated around the Road to Sochi Tour and 100 Day Countdown, including presenting sponsor Liberty Mutual Insurance, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Budweiser, Chobani, Folgers, The Hartford, Hilton, Jif, Kellogg's, United and Smucker’s jams.
More than 250,000 total sponsor samples and/or premiums were distributed.
Sesame Street characters appeared at five stops and Mario and Sonic appeared at four.
Roughly 400 total journalists representing local and national broadcasters as well as print and online media outlets attended Road to Sochi Tour stops, resulting in 322 total placements and 9
75.5 million media impressions. A record 328 journalists were credentialed to cover the 100 Day Countdown – up 58 percent from the 100 Day Countdown in 2012.
Team USA Clubs
While the USOC has hosted a Games-time hospitality center – USA House – in the host country of each Olympic Games since Salt Lake City 2002, a domestic version, dubbed Team USA Clubs, was introduced for the first time for Sochi 2014. Like the Road to Sochi Tour, Team USA Clubs made stops throughout the country in order to further spread the spirit and excitement of Team USA and the 2014 Games. These celebration events were open to sponsors, donors and VIPs as an exclusive opportunity to support Team USA, watch exciting Olympic competition on the networks of NBCUniversal, mingle with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic legends, and celebrate the 2014 Games in the United States.
Team USA Clubs by the numbers
There were five Team USA Clubs, combining for 22 hours that took place across the country in conjunction with the public-facing Road to Sochi Tour stops, including Los Angeles, Vail, Chicago and New York City. All the events were hel
d as one-night only experiences, except Chicago, which was held on back-to-back evenings.
Nearly 1,400 guests attended, including 129 donors and representatives from 12 USOC sponsors.
40 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians representing 12 summer and 10 winter sport disciplines attended, including 23 gold medalists and five 2014 Olympic medalists.
200 artifacts from the USOC archive, LA84 Foundation, and private collection of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation Trustee Gordon Crawford were on display, including items like complete medal sets from all U.S.-based Olympic Games, 1980 Miracle on Ice legend Mike Eruzione’s signed jersey, and speedskater Bonnie Blair’s skates and speed suit.
Other Team USA celebrations
In addition to the Road to Sochi Tour stops and Team USA Clubs, the USOC was involved in a handful of additional events to engage fans across the country during the Sochi Games, including an Olympic Downtown Celebration in Colorado Springs, Colo., home of USOC headquarters, as well as Olympic and Paralympic viewing parties for fans to cheer on Team USA alongside Olympic and Paralympic legends.
The Olympic Downtown Celebration in Colorado Springs took place Feb. 7 in conjunction with the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which was broadcast on a 17-foot screen on Tejon Street. Free and open to the public, thousands of fans took part in a ceremonial torch lighting by Colorado resident and 2008 Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Randi Miller; a family fun run; various Olympic and Paralympic sport booths; a Budweiser beer garden; live music; and much more.
A group of 50 Team USA donors and community members gathered Feb. 13 in New York City with Olympic soccer champion Brandi Chastain and Olympic figure skating silver medalist Sasha Cohen to watch the debut of men’s slopestyle skiing, which resulted in a U.S. podium sweep.
To celebrate the first-ever live U.S. television broadcast of the Paralympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony, the USOC held a watch party for nearly 100 guests. The March 7 event was hosted by Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir at the Aspen Social Club in New York City. The Lakeshore Foundation, a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site and Paralympic Sport Club, also hosted a Paralympic Opening Ceremony viewing. This “Spirit of Sochi” event in Birmingham, Ala., was attended by hundreds of guests who participated in Paralympic sport stations and met U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.
Best of U.S. Awards Show
A first-of-its-kind Olympic and Paralympic awards show, the Best of U.S. supported by USG allows fans to relive the action of the Sochi Winter Games by encouraging individuals to vote for the winners on the US Olympic Team and U.S. Paralympics Facebook pages through Friday, March 21. Categories include the Best Male/Female Olympian, Best Male/Female Paralympian, Team of the Olympic/Paralympic Games, Moment of the Olympic/Paralympic Games, Fan of the Games, and the USG Building Dreams award, which honors an individual who has gone above and beyond in his/her support of Team USA athletes.
The winners will be announced during the Best of U.S. Awards Show, which will host the nominees and hundreds of 2014 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians during the taping at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The Best of U.S. will air nationally April 7 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.