Rio 2016 – the summer of tech and digital record breaking?

Rio 2016 – the summer of tech and digital record breaking?


Olympics games and digital

Every Olympic Game is special and unique. Hosted by a different country and taking place in rapidly changing political, societal and economic circumstances. This special event is widely spoken about and broadcasted all over the world. And no doubt tech progress influences sports games communications. Today it’s hard to believe that only 3 olympiads before in Athens, there were no smartphones, social media or even mobile apps. How did people share the news and spread the excitement then? And what were the last few games known for?

Beijing 2008 first to be produced and broadcast entirely in high definition

  • According to Nielsen Media Research, 4.7 billion viewers worldwide tuned into some of the television coverage

London 2012 most digital games in history and first social media Olympics

  • LOCOG website had 60% of visits coming from mobile devices
  • The official Olympics app was downloaded 15m times
  • The games were followed by 4.7m fans and followers across Foursquare, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Rio 2016 the summer of tech record breaking?

Today, we’re waiting impatiently not only to watch no doubt very colourful and dynamic opening ceremony filled with samba dance, but we cannot wait for the technological showcase…

Most social ever

With digital native generations of spectators: millennials and Gen Z, many predict that Rio 2016 will be the most social ever. Don’t expect Facebook and Twitter to be the leading platforms amongst the youngest sport fans though. It’s believed that Snapchat will take the lead filling the Olympic period with fun digital moments. Memes and snaps will be taking over in terms of hierarchy of media habits surrounding the games.

Source: The Drum

Video coverage of every second of games

The US TV station NBC prepares the biggest and most digital broadcast ever. They will have roughly 6,755 hours of coverage across 19 days and they’re planning an impressive live online stream. Sports fans can expect whooping 4,500 hours worth of content accessible on desktop, mobile, tablet and connected TVs.


Key moment for Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and wearables

Setting the precedence, some of the games and events including opening and closing ceremonies will be available for viewers in 360 degrees. Will this be a defining moment for how people might view sport and entertainment in the future? Excitement and fear accompany this tech innovation – spectators for the first time ever won’t need to empty their pockets to pay for this incredible viewing experience whilst security experts prepare vast contingency plans for lost data and connectivity.

And what about improvements for competitors?

Some of the disciplines and sportsmen will be supported by tech:

  • The digital lap counters have been installed to help keep track of number of laps for long distance swimmers
  • Weightlifting will be enhanced by a camera dolly that will follow a competitor’s every movement on the platform
  • The Paralympic Games will feature a new wheelchair developed by BMW that tracks miles traveled and frequency of arm strokes
  • Diving and gymnastics will be enhanced by tracking performance metrics

Non stop connectivity and clever mobile apps

Mobile operators and fans are also getting ready for unlimited data usage. One of the leading mobile players T-Mobile will be launching Brazil Unleashed with access to unlimited high-speed data across the country for the whole month. Armed with never-ending connectivity and data access, what are the must have apps helping to make the most out of the Olympics experience?

  • Toilet Finder – top position takes a practical but extremely useful location-based mobile resource available on iOS and Android
  • BBC Sports App – always reliable for coverage, expertes comments, results and games highlights
  • Trip Advisor – it’s an oldie but goodie and best to enjoy Brazil and finding top places to visit with over 225 million of travellers reviews  
  • NBC Sports Live Extra – great help for anybody suffering from insomnia during Olympics with its 24/7 sports coverage
  • Rio 2016 Social Hub – any sport fans ‘stalkers’ out there? This is the app for you! Social hub is a mobile social media aggregator of all athletes social media channels not doubt best for finding all the behind the scenes gossip

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A few mind blowing stats about digital world in Brazil

  1. Nearly 100 million Brazilians are online
  2. 3 out of 4 Brazilian internet users use the internet every day
  3. 92% of Brazilian internet users are active on social media
  4. Social networking is a regular habit for 90% of Brazilian millennials (ages 15-32)
  5. Social media is the #2 most trusted source of information, behind the press

Source: (2015)

And what do Brazilians think?

Just a few days before the fireworks of the opening ceremony, we spoke to our Brazilian friends to understand insiders’ view on the Games. Excitement seems to be mixed with political circumstances. Millions are waiting impatiently shivering with excitement but also nervousness.

Arcos Comunicação, communications agency based in Recife, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília

“We all know that this is going to be the most social and digital games in the history of Olympics. The world is about to experience a new way of living and participating in the games, not only through the social networks but also with digital and tech innovations expected in Rio 2016. And, of course, this also is going to be a great opportunity for brands. At the end of the day, the brands that can see this as a chance to improve their relationships with their customers will be the real winners. When it comes to digital innovations I have no doubt the world will see a new record in this Olympics.”

Carlos Renato Rocha, Director de Criação, Arcos

NextPage, Aquafadas partner, digital content management specialists

“At the moment I was writing these lines, it was only 9 days, 9 hours and a few minutes remaining to Rio 2016 Olympics.

According to IBOPE´s survey via Estadão (, one of the main newspaper here, Brazilians are more concerned with the general organization of Rio 2016 than they were with the World Soccer Cup in 2014.  59%, despite of being worried, want Rio 2016 to be a success. And their confidence is mainly based on the technology field.

19% of the IOC budget for Rio 2016 (R$ 1,4 billion) was invested in technology and ID (interaction design) allowing the use of multiple “screens”, mainly mobile devices. “Nosso projeto é baseado para ser consumido em dispositivos móveis.” (Our project is based on mobile devices consumption), explains Adriana Garcia, Communications Director of the Olympics Comitee.  

In fact, the expected audience on TVs is 5 billion worldwide, a big number, but, potentially small if compared to what might happen on social media. For example, the Rio 2016 Fan Page on Facebook already has more than 2,6 million followers and the competition hasn’t even started. Brazilians spend 25% of their browsing time on Facebook according to ComScore.”

Fabio Yoshioka, founder, NextPage