Sochi’s record-breaking Winter Olympics

UntitledAs I stood in Starbucks the other day, hovering in that staggered way we do when we are waiting for our version of a latte to make it’s appearance, I overheard two women talking.  “Are you watching the Olympics?” the woman asked her friend. “No,” came the reply.

Is anyone watching? I thought to myself.  Since the RTDO (Ring That Didn’t Open) drama died down and NBC finally let Bob Costas go to the doctor for eye medicine, I am quite content to get my Olympic updates by reading the daily medal count on various new sites.  The perception, by most, is that the Sochi Olympics have been a bit of a letdown.  Considering that Sochi is now the most expensive Olympics in history, with costs for hosting at $51 billion and counting, the seemingly unpopular Winter games signals many questions.  Why aren’t more people watching?  Why don’t they have more buzz?  Even now, on the Yahoo! homepage, Thermometers are trending higher than the Sochi Olympics.

As the games came to a close this week, I considered whether my perception is reality.  While it seems the answer is a loud and clear yes in the US, the reality from a global viewpoint is far from it.  As it turns out everyone is watching.  Reports out of Sochi say that global broadcasting and digital channels is nearly double that of the last Winter Olympics held in Vancouver in 2010.  As well, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also reported that Russia has received $1.3 billion in sponsorships, a record-breaking number for any Summer or Winter Olympic games.

Come to find out I wasn’t the only one distracted by Starbucks while the rest of the world was watching the Olympics.  NBC/Sochi Latte, anyone?