BLOG | by Bruce Cook

With a year to go until the Tokyo Olympics, which nations are getting most excited about the Games?

Every day, we ask people around the world for their views on domestic and international sports events and leagues. The Summer Olympic Games is one of the properties we track in each of the 38 countries where our YouGov SportsIndex service operates. So, a year out, we looked at Buzz – one of 16 metrics – to find out where next year’s Olympics are making the biggest noise.

Our Buzz metric is a net score calculated by asking people whether they have heard something positive or negative about an event in the past two weeks and subtracting the number of negative responses from positive ones.

As you might expect, Japan leads the way, with a Buzz score of 33.8. The chart below shows the best of the rest, displaying the Summer Olympic Games’ average score for the past three months in each market. China clocks up by far the biggest marks.

Marketers will want to note that excitement in some countries ramps up earlier than in others – something useful to factor when planning marketing campaigns.

But there is no discernible regional pattern to these results – for example, nothing to indicate greater Buzz in countries nearer the host. Instead, local Buzz will be linked to a range of factors, including qualification competitions, national and world championships and brand campaigns.

We also cross-referenced our Buzz data against our Consideration metric (which asks, if price and geography were no object, would you consider attending an event?) to see if there was a correlation between the two.

As you can see from the chart below, there is no clear relationship. But if we rank Consideration data, it emerges that Europeans are much more likely to have the Summer Olympic Games on their wishlist. Seven of the top ten scores are recorded by European nations – with the other three places being taken up by English-speaking nations (Canada, Australia and the US).

This Western bias is interesting – and is perhaps an effect of sponsor marketing campaigns making the property feel more accessible in these markets, as well as the historic over-performance of Western nations in the Olympic Games.

Finally, it’s worth remarking that the Winter Olympic Games, which China will host in 2022, is top of the rankings for Buzz in China right now – and that may be having a positive impact on the score for the Summer Olympic Games. Nevertheless, if Olympics hosting was awarded on the basis of enthusiasm, on this showing who would bet against Shanghai 2032 …?

BLOG | by Bruce Cook

Director, Consulting

Bruce’s career in sport & marketing spans 20+ years. An experienced sponsorship analyst, Bruce has contributed to several industry publications and conferences. He has forged the development of new evaluation models and is regularly sought for insight on the commercial side of sport.