How Google Remembers Top 2012 Olympians

The 2012 Summer Olympics are in the past now, after a dazzling two-plus weeks in London. Iconic moments and inspiring stories vaulted a number of athletes into sporting immortality, and their lives will never be the same. But what will casual fans find after searching Google to learn more about some of the Games’ biggest stars?

The online reputation management company BrandYourself explored just that question for three of the United States Olympic team’s hottest names: swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, and gymnast Gabby Douglas. What did BrandYourself find? Phelps is Google gold, Lochte’s online reputation could use some work and Douglas’ otherwise sterling credentials are slightly dinged by some seemingly irrelevant controversy.

After the Beijing Games in 2008, Phelps caught a fair amount of online flak for drug use and perceived laziness after photos surfaced of him smoking from a bong. But becoming the most decorated Olympian in history during this summer’s Games pushed most of those mentions far enough down Google Search results to render past criticism irrelevant. Articles mentioning pot and laziness are now buried after the first results page — which, according to BrandYourself, only 6% of Phelps searchers click past.

Lochte’s first page of search results, however, delivers content referring to him as a “douchebag” and poking fun at his bro-tastic personality. This, says BrandYourself, damages his reputation by partially overshadowing his accomplishments in the pool. And Douglas? In Google’s search results, her historic achievement of becoming the first African-American gymnast to win the all-around gymnastics gold is unfortunately mixed with criticism about her hairstyle.

Check out the infographic below for BrandYourself’s full report.

How Google Remembers Top 2012 Olympians [INFOGRAPHIC]

[Source: Mashable]

Which Olympic Event is Winning on Social Media?

Buzz surrounding the Olympics continues as fans gear up for the most social and digital game ever — but what exactly are they talking about?

Your Twitter feeds have likely been filled with common terms like “London,” “gold,” “torch,” or “athletes,” among other sporty words. According to Networked Insights, who created the infographic below, most of the chatter is coming from the greater New York City area.

Out of all the sports in the summer Olympics, basketball received the gold medal for being the most discussed online.

Do any of these stats surprise you? What sport are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below.

Which Olympic Event is Winning on Social Media? [INFOGRAPHIC]

[Source: Mashable]

2012 Olympic performance: PwC Report and Infographic

As we get closer to the start of the 2012 Olympic Games in London at the end of July, so interest is rising in the likely medal tallies of different countries.

As a contribution to this debate, PwC has conducted an analysis of the key factors of past Olympic performance and used this to produce some benchmarks against which performance at the 2012 Olympics can be judged.

This updates similar analysis we produced around the time of the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

So what factors are statistically significant in explaining how the medals are shared out by the competing countries at the Olympic Games? We believe there are four:

  • Population
  • Average income levels
  • Whether the country was previously part of the former Soviet/communist bloc (including Cuba and China), and
  • Whether the country is the host nation.

In general, the number of medals won increases with the population and economic wealth of the country, but less than proportionately: David can sometimes beat Goliath in the Olympic arena, although superpowers like the US, China and Russia continue to dominate at the top of the medal table.

And could ‘home advantage’ – enjoyed in the past by both China in Beijing and Australia in Sydney –provide a competitive edge for hosts Great Britain?

Take a look at the full report to get some fascinating insights into how the medals could be shared out this year.

[Source: PwC]

The Evolution of Olympic Communication

We recently took a look at how the exponential growth of social media since the last Summer Olympics in 2008 will reshape this year’s Games in profound ways. But tracing the evolution of Olympic communication back more than 2,000 years proves just as fascinating.

Forget livestreams, score alerts and Twitter — back in the day, Olympic results were delivered by homing pigeon. Then the advent of the “modern” Games in 1896 came during the same year as the introduction of the wireless telegraph. The first Olympic radio broadcast came more than a quarter century later, in 1924, and 1936 saw (get it?) the first live telecast. In 1960, the Games were broadcast worldwide for the first time ever. Finally, the 1996 Games in Atlanta were billed as the “Internet Olympics” — offering the first real sign of what was to come in 2012.

The network solutions company Acme Packet recently dug up all these stats and more from a variety of sources from around the web to produce the infographic below.

Among Acme Packet’s other notable findings: a billion people will receive updates, get results and watch events via digital devices this summer; mobile traffic worldwide is expected to increase by 211% during the London Games; and the Olympics’ estimated operating cost this year would be enough to cover more than 10.5 billion hours of international Skype calls.

Even more impressive though? By the time Rio 2016 rolls around, there will be more mobile devices than people in the world, and this summer’s “first social Olympics” will seem antiquated by comparison.

Check out the infographic below for the full picture, then share with us in the comments — how will you communicate with friends during this summer’s Olympics?

Pigeons to Present: The Evolution of Olympic Communication [INFOGRAPHIC]

[Source: Mashable]