Nielsen WINS GOLD In Rio… Are They The Game Changer?

The Olympics are about competition, champions, achievement and national pride. But they are also about big business and statistics. This is where Nielsen WINS gold in Rio!


Australian’s swimmers win GOLD in Rio on Day 1, Daily Telegraph, 2016.


Host cities invest deeply in the Games, for example, the Sochi Winter Olympics cost over $50 billion and the London Olympics cost over $11 billion both these cities had the hope of reaping sizable gains for the local and national communities & economy through tourism and various other means.

Cities want to be able to measure the overall impact pre and post-Games. They want to know if the consumer was satisfied with their product/service? Will they return? Wil they tell others about their experience? Was it a positive experience? Did it meet their expectations? What were they expecting? What is the expectation? And so on…

These somewhat “simple” questions are difficult to access with the forever changing world we live in. These is where Marketing Research comes into play.

With the rapid changes in technology, social media platforms, fads, economy, terrorism etc it is essential marketers find a way in which fact based assumptions can be formed.

This is where marketing research plays a pivotal role, especially in this case for the Rio Olympic Committee to “reap in these sizable gains”.

So what is marketing research? Ultimately, it is the function that links the consumer to the marketer through information or, as described by Hruschka, “It’s the process of gathering, analysing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service…”


For the London Games, Nielsen provided the organising Olympic committees with excellent knowledge this was however based largely on a combination of secondary research.

Secondary research is fine. It’s often a cost- effective, efficient and suitable form of marketing research to rely on. There can be some concerns with the validity, reliability and compatibility but if used in the right context it often supplies a combination of answers and statistics marketers are after.

The London organising Olympic committee & Nielsen agreed that listening to the society was an important style of informal marketing research. Combining this with various other available sources of secondary research & statistics the successful organisation of the London Olympic Games could occur.

Whilst Nielsen were the official Marketing company for the London Games gaps in their implementation and research was evident.

In 2012, the Rio Organising Committee signed a partnership with Nielsen confirming them as the official market research supplier for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. This Organising Committee confirmed Nielsen will be responsible for providing information on public opinion and expectations in relation to the Games. This was a WIN for all involved!



Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman and Eduardo Ragasol, President of Nielsen Brazil, sign the contract at th Rio 2016 headquarters (Rio 2016/Alex Ferro)


Creating hype and “Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a historical moment, that changes a country,” said Eduardo Ragasol, President of Nielsen Brazil. “Organising these events is the most important showcase that a country can have. Our mission is to help the Olympic Movement take decisions and support Brazil in delivering the best Games in history. We are totally committed to his goal.”

Nielsen &  information gathered will be crucial to any decision-making process and will become of the great legacies for Brazil. This is primary research gathered will be critical to the successful implementation and expectations for the Games?

So how successful was Nielsen at doing this? What type of marketing research data did they collect? Where the consumer’s expectation met? How did the incorporate the consumer decision-making into their primary research?

With this huge task of systematically gathering, analysing and interpreting relevant data to multiple target audiences and markets, Nielsen marketing research team partnered up with Repucom and implemented a unique methodology know as FAN DNA.



This “FAN DNA” approach allowed the marketing research team to identify different types of consumers and what types of marketing research would need to be conducted to achieve the greatest possible outcome. This FAN DNA introduced a new tactic of Big Data analysis into the picture.

With the Olympics coming to an end, the question of Nielsen WINNING GOLD at Rio maybe under some scrutiny. Did the produce the accurate and required marketing research? Are they the game changer going forwarded?


Chloe McIntosh (Student #: 210671252)


2016 Summer Olympics: Market Research Supplier Named | Newslines. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Conducting Informal Market Research By Asking The Right People. Growthink. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Fan DNA | Repucom. Nielsen Sports. N.p., 2014. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Gold Rush! Aussies Dominate In The Pool. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

How Brands Can Target Sports Fans Ahead Of The Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Marketing Week. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Rio 2016 Announces Nielsen As Official Market Research Supplier For The Olympic And Paralympic Games. Rio 2016. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

International Journal of Research in MarketingVolume 3, Issue 21986Pages 117-134
H. Hruschka (Marketing Research), viewed August 18, 2016.

Rio 2016 Announces Nielsen As Official Market Research Supplier For The Olympic And Paralympic Games. Rio 2016. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Rogers, Simon. London Olympics 2012: Where Does The Money Come From – And Where’s It Being Spent?. the Guardian. N.p., 2012. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

What People Watch, Listen To And Buy | Nielsen. N.p., 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.


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