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The Digital Olympics…Where To Follow

London 2012 has already been billed as the digital Olympics, with brand partners using every aspect of digital and social media to engage fans, raise funds and give athletes a voice and point of engagement like never before. While the International Olympic Committee has set some strong rules for athlete engagement during The Games, there will be no shortage of ways for fans of any sport to interact in the mobile and digital space with others who are interested in everything from the Decathlon to Synchronized Swimming.

“It is not going to be a question of how you engage with the Olympics, but how much, and what will be white noise for brands and which platforms will really make a difference,” said Chris Lencheski, CEO of Front Row Marketing, one of the companies that will be closely measuring brand effectiveness and fan engagement. “The Olympics go on for quite a while, so to draw viewers you need to have something special.”

That something special will not be lost on the people at NBC, who have created a whole series of way for fans to use the second screen and the mobile space to follow along and enhance the experience.

The summer Olympics are rolling around again, and this time it is London’s turn to take center stage. For nineteen days from July 27 to August 12, the capital of England will be bubbling with sports excitement, while the world tunes in to watch the competing athletes vie for medals. Whether you plan on attending the Olympics in person, or are tuning in from home, these apps will keep you updated on your favorite events.

Cable subscribers who get CNBC and MSNBC will have access to live streaming of all events and can download NBC Olympics Live Extra.  There they will find customized content, additional interviews, special branded content and special exclusive looks inside and around all the goings-on in London from hundreds of reporters and thousands of angles that viewers will not usually see by just watching the broadcast. Twitter will also be partnering with NBC Sports to gather the best Olympics-related tweets in one place at twitter.com/#olympics.

In addition to the NBC effort, there are a number of other ways to engage and enjoy.

Here is a look at some:

The Official Olympic Apps: Join In and Results.  Join In works with Apple, Android and BlackBerry and will let you follow events live as they occur. It will also give you the opportunity to follow along with other fans and stay engaged as events are going on. If you just want results highlights, the IOC’s Results app will give you everything you want to know about who finished where and when, and is compatible with Apple, Android and Windows 7.

There is also the London 2012 app for those attending The Games to keep you up-to-date on events in and around the city.

For those looking to be more interactive and engaged, maybe not as much with athletes but with fans, here are some new options.

The Around the Rings - Olympic News  app ($1.99 for iPhone, $0.99 for Android) has been created by ATR, which year-round is the go-to source for Olympic news.  Around The Rings can give fan’s an insider’s view of all the goings-on at the Games and will have real time results, interviews and special features for fans looking for a little extra from those who know the Olympic business very well.

Fanatix- This free app pulls in tweets relating to all the events, as well as highlighting key streams from top journalists and athletes, the app has been updated to add competitive point-scoring check-in system for those attending the games, photo streams from the games and a new interactive map so that you can feel part of the global Olympic community.

PlayUp- The Australian based company with strong ties in the U.S. launched a free  app for Android and IPhone this week that will give you real time results for every event and combines that with rooms that can be customized to interact with fans from around the world on any sport of your choosing during the games. Play Up has done a good job since their U.S. launch a year ago in aggregating fans around sporting events and brining in special commentators to talk about big time events like The Final Four, and the ability to interact with your friends and with fans of your most passionate Olympic events is a very unique feature to enhance watching The Games as they are going on.

Regardless of your platform choice, London 2012 appears to be the most engaged Olympics ever for fans, with the battle for attention already heating up as the Opening ceremonies dawn later this week.

 

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