NBCUniversal struck a deal with TikTok for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing next month that will give advertisers the ability to pilot a new, creative ad experience on the social platform.
The media behemoth chose TikTok as its Olympics partner following a request for proposals that it put out to social media companies late last year.
The deal comes as NBCUniversal, which has retained the rights to air the Olympics in the U.S. since the 1980s, reckons with an increasing number of viewers favoring streaming and digital video versus linear TV as their preferred venue to watch the games.
NBCU also faces a Winter Games filled with obstacles, including COVID-19, calls for boycotts of the host nation, and weary advertisers scaling back their once-reliable Olympic presences.
“Looking back at insights from the Tokyo 2020 Games, it was fascinating to see how much audience interest there was in perhaps ‘non-traditional’ Olympics content,” said Harish Sarma, TikTok’s global head of content business development, pointing to the popularity of behind-the-scenes videos and the many athletes whose look inside the Olympic Village proved to be a hit with viewers.
This time around, NBCU will lean in to TikTok, with plans to produce 30 new TikTok posts a day during the games across the handles it controls, as well as a three-episode livestream show hosted by a yet-to-be-announced TikTok creator. The verified NBC Olympics TikTok page currently boasts 1.5 million followers and nearly 40 million collective “likes” on its videos.