PYEONGCHANG GAMES RECAP Part 1: Fan engagement through social, digital and broadcast platforms reach new heights during 2018 Games

Two-part series of PyeongChang Games recaps released this week to focus on fan engagement highlights

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Team USA fans around the world engaged with and experienced the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in record numbers, consuming the PyeongChang Games on multiple platforms, interacting with athletes, and setting records for media consumption. Through the platforms of the United States Olympic Committee, National Governing Bodies, NBCUniversal and the athletes themselves, media engagement driven by the 2018 Games set a new standard for the Winter Games.

Team USA social media platforms
Social media consumption on Team USA channels (those managed by the USOC) accounted for nearly 217 million impressions thanks in part to more than 87 posts per day on average during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. This resulted in a significant growth in social engagement, driven by strong content that was shared widely by Team USA fans and influencers.

By the numbers: Team USA social media platforms

  • During the Olympic Winter Games, Team USA ranked No. 12 among the top-221 U.S. sports franchises for digital engagement, following NBC Olympics (No. 2), the Olympic Channel (No. 4), NBC Sports (No. 5) and the Olympics (No. 10). Additionally, Team USA ranked No. 18 among 316 global sports franchises and No. 47 among 891 major consumer brands.
  • Across social and digital platforms during the Olympic Winter Games, Team USA accumulated 16.4 million video views.
  • Throughout the Games, Team USA posted more than 2,000 times across its various social media platforms, an 81 percent increase from the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. In addition, Team USA’s social channels garnered more than 10 million social content engagements, 38 percent higher than the Sochi Games.
  • Team USA surpassed 2 million Twitter followers and added more than 100K new followers on Instagram during the PyeongChang Games. Since January 2016, Team USA’s Twitter has had the second highest percentage follower growth among U.S. sports leagues.
  • The most engaging Team USA social tweet was a TeamUSA.org article link and photo of Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon and the Shibutani siblings for being chosen to close out the figure skating team event, which received over 113K total engagements and more than 1.4 million total impressions.
  • The most engaging Instagram post – with roughly 100K total engagements – was a picture of Shaun White becoming the first snowboarder in Olympic Winter Games history to collect three gold medals.
  • The most engaging Facebook post was a photo link to the TeamUSA.org recap of the women’s ice hockey team capturing gold over Canada. This post netted more than 1.1 million impressions and totaled more than 97K total engagements.
  • The most popular social media posts from the Paralympic Winter Games was the U.S. sled hockey team three-peat gold medal victory over Canada. The post received more than 1 million impressions and roughly 50K total engagements across Team USA’s social media platforms.
  • There were 434 posts published to the U.S. Paralympics social profiles, up 675 percent from the Sochi Paralympic games, which earned 224K total engagements, a 469 percent increase.

Individual social media platforms
The USOC digital team also monitored social feeds from U.S. Olympians, Paralympians, National Governing Bodies, sponsors and influencers across all social platforms. The metrics included mentions, likes, shares, photos and interactions, which were monitored by ListenFirst.

By the numbers: individual social media platforms

  • Several U.S. Olympians experienced immense growth on their individual social platforms, led by Chloe Kim (snowboarding), Shaun White (snowboarding), and Adam Rippon (figure skating) who gained more than 800K followers each. In total, the 2018 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians added more than 6.6 million new followers.
  • Curler Matt Hamilton witnessed a 912 percent increase in his total number of social followers over the course of the Games, the highest percentage growth by any Olympic athlete during the Games. His Instagram and Twitter accounts grew by 708 percent and 660 percent respectively during the PyeongChang Games.
  • Team USA celebrity fans, including Ellen DeGeneres, Leslie Jones, Jimmy Fallon, Nick Offerman, Katy Perry, Aaron Rodgers, Mr. T and Reese Witherspoon, combined for 966 total posts (+339 percent from Rio), which resulted in 3.9 million total engagements throughout the PyeongChang Games.
  • Team USA sponsors added more than 1.5 million new social media followers across their respective platforms.
  • U.S. Paralympians expanded their personal social media followers by 6.5 percent, collecting roughly 25K new followers over the course of the Paralympic Games, led by medalists Brenna Huckaby, Oksana Masters and Amy Purdy.
  • NGBs gained over 560K new social followers across their social platforms. U.S. Ski and Snowboard accounted for 81 percent of that growth with over 456K new followers.

TeamUSA.org
TeamUSA.org had record-setting viewership over the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, highlighted by a 15 percent increase in page views (13 million) and a 93 percent spike in unique visitors (4.5 million) over the Sochi Games.

By the numbers: TeamUSA.org

  • During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, TeamUSA.org received over 1.95 million editorial page views, a 495 percent increase from Olympic and Paralympic Games Sochi 2014.
  • Top editorial content included a recap of Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins winning Team USA’s first women’s Olympic cross-country skiing medal and first gold medal (men or women) for the U.S., and a recap of the women’s ice hockey team winning gold against Canada. Together, they combined for more than 100K page views.
  • Visitors to the TeamUSA.org website reached about 950K during the Paralympic Games, a 34 percent increase from the Sochi Paralympic Games. Meanwhile top editorial content during the Paralympic Games included a preview of the Pyeongchang Paralympic Games and a recap of the U.S. Sled hockey team winning in the gold medal game over Canada in overtime.
  • Athlete bios on TeamUSA.org received 3.5 million page views, a 108 percent increase from Sochi. The three top-searched Olympic athletes on TeamUSA.org were:
    1. Olympic slopestyle snowboarding gold medalist Red Gerard
    2. Three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White
    3. Olympic curling gold medalist Matt Hamilton
  • With more than 500K downloads to date, the Team USA Mobile App and NGB apps had more than 73K total downloads during the Games, a 25 percent increase from the Sochi Games.

NBCUniversal platforms
The USOC’s media partner, NBCUniversal, tabbed the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as the most robust Winter Games presentation in history thanks to numerous records and milestones, and unprecedented hours of programming across NBCU TV and digital platforms.

NBCUniversal’s 2,400+ hours of coverage of the Olympic Winter Games helped solidify NBC as the most-watched network in primetime for the first time since 2002. The total audience delivery for the 18 competition nights averaged 19.8 million viewers (broadcast, cable and digital), while the NBC-only primetime viewership average topped the combined broadcast networks by 82 percent, making PyeongChang the most dominant Winter Olympics on record. Additionally, NBC Olympics’ Prime Plus late-night show averaged a total audience delivery of 8.4 million viewers to become the most-watched Winter Games late-night show in 30 years.

NBCSN had its most watched month ever in primetime (averaging 1.27 million viewers) and total day (753,000) and ranked as the No. 1 sports cable network in both metrics in February. Ratings and viewership also increased for NBC News and affiliate news programming during the Games, including TODAY and NBC Nightly News, which were the No. 1 ranked morning show and evening news program during both weeks of the Games.

NBC Sports Digital live streamed 1.85 billion minutes of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, which was more than four times the 420 million minutes from the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. In total, NBC Sports Digital streamed 2.17 billion minutes of the PyeongChang Games, more than tripling its total from Sochi. NBC Olympics’ media partners also reached millions. Snap’s content reached more than 40 million unique users in the U.S., while the NBC-Vox Media podcast, The Podium, reached nearly 500,000 downloads and peaked as the No. 1 sports podcast on iTunes.

Providing record-setting coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, NBC Olympics featured more than 250 hours of comprehensive coverage, including 94 hours of television spanning NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. NBCSN reached more than 3.9 million viewers during the 10 days, which is up 15 percent compared to the Sochi Paralympic Games in 2014.

NOTE: This is the first of two PyeongChang Games recap releases to be issued by the USOC. Look for part 2 tomorrow, which will focus on fan-facing activation and programming.