So, like many of us, I've been watching some of the Winter Olympic Games that started with the opening ceremonies this past Friday in Vancouver, Canada. We just got done with the NFL Super Bowl game and also kicked off Nascar season this past weekend with the Daytona 500, but no other athletic competition comes close to the Olympic Games on a global scale. The games only come around every two years and the last experience we had was the Summer Games held in Beijing. So, this really is the first Olympic games that we will see the full power of social media.
Yes, social media is more than two years old, but this year the games are being held in a free, democratic country. So if you think back to the last winter games in Torino, social media was really just emerging. I didn't have a Facebook or Twitter page back then. In fact I just started blogging three years ago. So we have sort of a history in the making transforming over the next two weeks. It will be interesting to see how the various media is utilized to follow the games.
Just yesterday I registered online at NBColympics.com in order to watch live coverage of some of the events online. My daughter, who is a college student at NYU and doesn't have a TV in her dorm room, wanted to watch the USA vs. Sweden hockey game. In order to watch live though you have to register and be a cable subscriber. So she couldn't register without my help. Once we got it set up it worked great, however, there is a time-delay online so it's not really "live". She was disappointed because she would be behind the tweets and texts of her friends following the game on TV.
This morning I turned the TV on to NBC where the full cast of the Today Show are all in Vancouver for the week. They were interviewing a group of ladies who were moms of some of the athletes. But before the interview started there was a message from P&G (Procter and Gamble) claiming to be the "Official Sponsor of Moms". Now I found this a bit odd. How can a company be the official sponsor of Moms? Did they pay some mom's organization for the rights to say this. So I looked it up online and found P&G's official press release on this. Here's the deal:
P & G is a partner of Team USA and announced last week that they will help Team USA moms get to Vancouver as part of the "P&G Thanks, Mom" program. They have committed to help defray the cost of travel and accommodations so that the "mom" behind each and every Team USA athlete can share their child's Olympic Winter Games experience. For some athletes it may not be their mom; but instead may be their dad, an aunt, a grandparent or another person in their life that supported the day-to-day activities that brought them to the Olympics games. The company is the first to provide this level of support to all the moms of Team USA.
"P&G is in the business of helping moms," said P&G Chief Marketing Officer, Marc Pritchard. "We appreciate that moms make everyday sacrifices for their children, and sometimes they don't get the opportunity to participate in once-in-a-lifetime events like the Games. At P&G, we believe in 'touching lives and improving life,' and this gift is our way to express our thanks for the hard work and dedication of the U.S. Olympic Team moms."
So when you understand what the true meaning behind "proud sponsor of moms" is really all about you realize what a great program it is. They even have this dedicated website that also includes a link to the Thank You Mom blog (but no posts are there yet from Team USA moms). But I still get left a bit cold by the phrase and since they are marketing to women, is it the best way to speak to us? Maybe it's because we are so tired of hearing the term mommy bloggers and reading about all the new research on how moms are using social media and the Internet.
So perhaps using the word family instead of moms would have been a better fit - "proud supporter of Team USA & their families". I'm not sure. Would love to hear what you all think. Hope you're all enjoying the games so far.