Marketing and Sponsorship

NBCU partners with TikTok on new ad platform for Beijing Games

NBCUniversal struck a deal with TikTok for next month's Beijing Games that will "give advertisers the ability to pilot a new, creative ad experience on the social platform," according to Ethan Craft of AD AGE. NBCU chose TikTok as its Olympics partner following a "request for proposals that it put out to social media companies late last year." Plans are in place 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. NBC’s Olympic advertisers be the "first to be offered the chance to pilot new ad experiences" on the TikTok platform that "harness proprietary Olympic content." Those experiences will be featured on the app's "For You Page," which is curated "based on a TikTok user's specific interests." While the partnership will be "tailored to the Beijing Games," NBCU is "hoping -- and went into the RFP process expecting -- that the chosen social media partner would remain during subsequent Olympics such as Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and beyond." NBCU will "continue to partner with platforms like Twitter," which it struck an extended deal with last year. That agreement also includes a "live show for Twitter and real-time highlights" (, 1/24).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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