5 Easy Ways to use the Olympics to Promote Your Business

Sure, you might not be able to get Lebron James to try out your company’s line of sneakers while he’s out on the court, but athlete branding by sporting goods companies isn’t the only way you can use the Olympics to promote your business. We know the Olympics in Beijing are huge, and that millions of Americans are watching. Why not leverage that interest for your own business? Here are five simple things you can do to promote or increase goodwill towards your small business while the Olympics are running. 

Give customers the Olympics event schedule.
Odds are, your customers in the store right now are going to go home tonight and turn on the Olympics. Odds also are that they don’t really know who’s going on at what time. Why not talk to your customers, and ask them which events they’re looking forward to watching? If they don’t know, you can create value for them by giving them a free schedule of the night’s events. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it should have your company name and logo on it.Your recipient will remember your considerate gesture, and will see your name and logo while checking the listings, which is great brand priming.I found an easy-to-manage list of the Olympic events here, and you can re-write and simplify the schedule to suit your needs. 

Keep track of the medals won.

Everyone watching the Olympics is interested in knowing where the US stands in the medal race. So, keep an up-to-date list posted in your storefront or lobby.Now, your customers have a cool fact to go home and report to their friends. In doing so they’ll think of you when they’re showing off their knowledge, and maybe some of their friends will ask where they heard about it.

Give out Olympics merchandise. 

We all like free stuff—especially when it’s plastered with American flags during Olympic season. You can get pens, buttons, fridge magnets, cups and other little trinkets very cheaply, and can put your name or logo right opposite the American flag. Your customers now have one more useful reminder of your company in their homes. 

Give discounts if Team USA wins a given event.

Consumers love sales, and really love tie-in sales. When they see your promotion, psychology dictates that they’ll associate the positive feelings of last night’s victory with your promotion. The downside, of course, is that with athletes like Michael Phelps on board you’re bound to be giving out lots of discounts.But in the end, is converting more sales really such a bad thing? 

Put the Olympics on!

This might be tricky if you don’t have access to a TV or to cable.But see if you can set a television up around the sales floor, in the lobby, or facing out of the front window.  Customers in your store can enjoy the games while shopping or waiting, and customers outside just might notice the TV and get drawn in.Heck, you could even put it in the break room and give your employees a spirit booster during their breaks.If you don’t have cable access, here’s another idea: record the matches from the night before for everyone in the store to watch.Who wouldn’t want to see team USA’s dramatic victory over Team France in the Men’s 400m swimming relay over and over again? 

Hopefully you’ll be able to use these tips to give your business a quick sales boost. But more importantly, you should walk away with an even bigger overarching message: You should always be on the lookout to capitalize on popular events and culture, and use the already-established massive public interest to the benefit of your business. Have you thought about giving out custom #2 pencils to parents with kids going back to school?  It’s the small, personal touches like these that help separate your small business from the big-box competitor, and keep your customers coming back for more.

Enjoy the games!