Although it will never overshadow the accomplishments of Olympic athletes, technology is playing a starring role at the 2016 Rio Games.

More than ever before, companies are using both new and established technologies to give fans unprecedented access to Olympians and help the athletes on their path to greatness.

Their executions range from virtual reality experiences that give consumers a new way to immerse themselves in different sports to training tools and products that can help athletes take their performance to the next level.

Below, IEG SR highlights tech-driven and other notable consumer-facing activations for 16 U.S. Olympic Committee sponsors.


24 Hour Fitness
Official Fitness Center

24 Hour Fitness is leveraging “Team 24” athletes with both club members and team members. That includes athlete-inspired workouts, behind-the-scenes insights in 24Life Magazine and “Share the Gold,” a sweepstakes that offered new members—as well as existing members who referred a friend—the opportunity to win a trip to the Rio Games.

24 Hour Fitness also helped design and provide equipment for the Team USA High Performance Training Center in Rio, around which 18 employees serve as fitness ambassadors.

 

AT&T
Official Telecommunications Provider

AT&T is leveraging its long-running USOC partnership with AT&T Fanmates, a program designed to deepen the connection between fans and Team USA athletes. Fans who visit www.ATTFanMate.com can post a photo of themselves with a Team USA brand overlay and stay connected to Jessica Long and other athletes.

AT&T is also leveraging the Games with the Passport Brazil Summer Package, a temporary add-on plan that offers roaming data, access to more than 1,000 WiFi hotspots and 30 minutes of calling within and from Brazil.

 

BMW of North America
Official Mobility Sponsor

Similar to the bobsled it created for the U.S. Olympic team at the 2014 Sochi Games, BMW has created a racing wheelchair for the U.S. Paralympic Track & Field team. The carbon fiber wheelchair features a redesigned chassis and aerodynamic engineering.

BMW also is infusing its technology into other aspects of the Games including a motion-tracking sensor for swimmers and their coaches. The technology was initially designed for BMW’s autonomous driving system.

 

BP
Official Sponsor

BP is activating the Rio Games with a marketing campaign designed to promote the “energy within” that is required to be an Olympian, and how the company helps athletes on their quest for greatness.

Air BP—BP’s international aviation fuel products and services supplier—is offering several Games-specific offers and services at Rio de Janeiro International Airport. That includes a fast-track guarantee that refuelers can attend to a client’s aircraft within twenty minutes of landing and a discounted fuel offer designed to drive general aviation traffic to the less-busy Cabo Frio International Airport.

BP first offered the airport service during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

 

Budweiser
Official Malt Beverage

The “King of Beers” is leveraging Rio 2016 through an extensive marketing campaign that includes a branded editorial content series, limited-edition patriotic packaging and national TV spots that play up the shared values of courage, hard work and inspired stories.

To generate excitement for the Games, Budweiser in April commissioned French artist Malika Favre to create a 225-foot mural featuring Team Budweiser athletes on the side of a building in midtown Manhattan.

 

Chobani
Official Yogurt

Chobani is promoting its Olympics involvement through TV commercials, online videos and social media posts that promote the importance of healthy eating, all-natural ingredients (#NoBadStuff) and how Chobani yogurt can be used as a healthy and nutritious substitute in daily cooking.

To drive home its healthy eating message, Chobani presents the “Working Out With Team USA” video series that gives viewers an inside look at how U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes train for Rio and the role that nutrition plays in their preparation.

The yogurt maker also has released limited-edition flavors inspired by three popular fruits in Brazil: Watermelon, Guava and Mango.

 

Citi
Official Bank

Citi is leveraging Rio 2016 with #StandforProgress, a campaign designed to spark a conversation about how world-class athletes and everyday Americans define progress, set goals and overcome obstacles.

As part of the program, six athletes from Team Citi met students from around the country to explore how they define progress. The college students were selected from Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative designed to prepare 100,000 young people for success.

Citi is promoting #StandForProgress through TV commercials, its dedicated YouTube channel, social media posts, in-branch posters and ATM signage.

The bank also ran a promotion that offered Citi Visa card members the chance to win a trip for two to the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony in exchange for making an online and/or overseas purchase with the card.

 

DeVry University
Official Education Provider

DeVry’s Olympic activation campaign centers on student athletes, including what inspires them and how the school helps them achieve their goals. DeVry shares the stories through TV ads and social media posts.

DeVry gives students on-the-job training through the Student Immersion Experience, around which two information technology students are working with USOC IT professionals at the Rio 2016 Games.

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods
Official Sporting Goods Retailer

Rather than celebrating Team USA athletes, Dick’s highlights its role in helping Olympic hopefuls through the Dick’s Contenders Program, an initiative that provides a source of income and a flexible work schedule during training.

Dick’s promotes the program, Olympic hopefuls and their personal stories on www.TheContenders.com. The retailer amplifies the program with the #Contenders and #GritBeforeGold hashtags.

Dick’s makes a $1,000 donation to youth sports programs for every medal won by Team USA athletes during Rio 2016.

 

Hershey
Official Confectionery Partner

As one of the USOC’s newest partners, Hershey is leveraging its sponsorship with “Hello from Home,” an ad campaign in which friends and families show their support for three sponsored athletes through notes enclosed in Hershey products. The company promotes the creative in TV commercials and long and short-form videos.

Hershey also touts its Olympic affiliation on special-edition red, white and blue packaging. The packages mark the first time the company has changed the iconic silver letters on Hershey Milk Chocolate packaging in the brand’s 122-year-old history.

 

Kellogg
Official Sponsor

Kellogg is promoting Team USA with the “What Gets You Started” marketing campaign that shows how five Olympic hopefuls incorporate its products into their training rituals. Kellogg promotes the campaign via partnerships with bloggers and other influencers and the #TeamKellogg and #GetMeStarted hashtags.

Kellogg celebrated the 100-day kickoff to Rio 2016 with an event in New York City’s Time Square that gave consumers an opportunity to experience swimming and other sports through virtual reality technology.

 

Liberty Mutual Insurance
Official Property & Casualty and Life Insurance Partner

For Liberty Mutual, it’s all about the medals.

Liberty Mutual insures all medals won by Team USA athletes, a benefit the company promotes in television ads. The ads compare medals won by athletes to cars, houses and other “medals” customers have won in life.

The insurer also presents the Road to Rio Tour, a program designed to bring the spirit of the Games to fans across the country.

 

Milk Life
Official Sponsor

The Milk Processor Education Board uses its USOC partnership to promote milk’s role in building strong bodies and strong athletes. MilkPEP looks to accomplish that goal with the “Built, Not Born” marketing campaign that features Team USA athletes discussing the importance of milk in their diets. The ads show athletes “trying on” different sports while reiterating their reliance on milk as an energy source.

In a separate ad, Caitlin Leverenz is portrayed by young actors. As she grows up, the swimmer fuels her training with milk given to her by her mother. Each time the swimmer takes a drink, the bottle is accompanied by an encouraging note from her mother. At the end of the spot, Leverenz returns the favor and thanks her mom with a note left on a jug of milk.

Milk Life offers consumers a chance to win an experience at a U.S. Olympic training center and more than 1,000 other prizes. After buying any white milk, participants can upload a photo of their receipt to www.MilkLifeChampions.com. The first upload earns each participant $1 off their next milk purchase.

Participants are rewarded based on the number of milk purchases they document on the site; two purchases puts the consumer at the “bronze medalist” level, six purchases at the “silver medalist” level and 12 purchases at the “gold medalist” level, after which they are entered to win the grand prize.

 

Nike
Official Apparel, Footwear and Headwear Partner

Nike has launched a handful of products designed to tap into the energy of the games. Those include shoes that consumers can customize in gold, silver and bronze; the Unlimited Olympic Collection inspired by the colors of Brazilian birds and beetle shells, and the “Then and Now” collection of Olympic-inspired shoes with patriotic themes.

This fall, Nike will launch a sportswear collection that features aerial views of Rio’s city lights.

Nike sells exclusive Olympic gear in the USA House and provides equipment, apparel and training in underserved areas in Rio de Janeiro.

 

TD Ameritrade
Official Online Broker

For TD Ameritrade, “someday” is today.

The online brokerage firm is activating Rio 2016 with a video series that compares young athletes’ goal of “someday” competing in the Olympics to consumers’ goal of “someday” buying a house or sending their children to college.

TD Ameritrade distributes the #LikeYou videos on its dedicated YouTube channel as well as other content, including playful videos of Bob and Mike Bryan (tennis) and David Boudia (diving) using the company’s online brokerage tools with actual customers.

TD Ameritrade demonstrates its support of future Olympic hopefuls with surprise visits by Boudia and other current Olympians. Each athlete received training opportunities and an invitation to the Rio Games to cheer on Team USA.

 

United Airlines
Official Airline

In an effort to support the next generation of Olympic hopefuls, United hosted a virtual baton pass throughout the United States, around which United representatives distributed branded batons to travelers at airports in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Customers helped the company reach its goal of 10 million miles by taking a picture with a baton (or a virtual baton on the United website) and sharing it on Instagram and/or Twitter with the #UABatonDonation hashtag.

United donated 10 miles to Team USA for every post.