Who’s the best? What’s the most iconic Olympic moment? Which sport are you scared to try? The list goes on and on as sports fans (and athletes) love having their opinions heard over-friendly debates. Understanding this and wanting to be no different than the debates you have with your friends, the Olympic Channel wanted to come up with an idea to push our strongest asset – exclusive footage from the IOC’s Olympic Games Archive – to the front and center of our audience’s eyes.
In efforts to bring these topics directly to our target audience via Instagram Stories, the Olympic Channel global media platform created “The Face-Off”. With no shortage of hot topics up for discussion and focusing on utilizing the Olympic archive in a new way, we are educating and engaging with our followers through a piece of weekly thematic content.
With so many sports and topics to choose from, our team set out to find a simple way to launch the new video project by strategically building sport-specific communities on our Instagram handle before into other topics and more sports. Launching 10 weeks before the Basketball FIBA World Cup, The Face-Off content focused on Basketball-specific topics by using highlights as a key factor driving the sport’s social presence and virality. This first video ended with a “face-off” FIBA World Cup prediction campaign where our audience had to guess the winners and who would qualify for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
To drive fan engagement and drive awareness for The Face-Off content, custom-made graphics were created and posted across Olympic Channel handles on both Twitter and Instagram pushing users to the content with the end goal of voting on Instagram stories. After several months of building a basketball audience while retaining current users, we expanded the topics which are relevant on a weekly basis while also to driving traffic to our global media platform’s main website ( featuring news, live events, original programming, etc.) whenever possible.
With two in-house talent hosting the face-off debates, our graphics team created an Instagram story template that allows the viewer to see the topic, hear the argument, watch the footage and then vote for who they agree with. As our content continues to evolve, The Face-Off will expand to a four-way debate with more voting template options providing increased options to bring the Olympic Archive to our audience while also keeping them engaged on a regular, weekly basis.
In addition to bringing relevant conversational topics about sport to our global audience, we have also experienced increased regular engagement from the greater Olympic Family - from athletes to sport federations to National Olympic Committees.
The Face-Off is consistently one of our top-performing Instagram Stories features in terms of engagement. Since the first Face-Off launched under a year ago, we have achieved more than 4 million impressions, and more than 25k Instagram video views in a total of 312 Instagram stories.
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