The Winter Olympics Start in Two Months – Who Knew?

BY STEVEN KUBITZA

Based on current media coverage, or lack thereof, it seems that the only major sporting event in February will be Super Bowl XLVIII. However, an event that sees athletes from all over the world taking part will begin just five days after the end of the NFL season.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will begin on February 7th, and will end on the 23rd of the month.

For the casual sports fan, the only real mention of the event has come through commercials on NBC. These have been seen for a few months, but there should be much more.

NBC should be having programming that highlights the athletes that will be seen in the Olympics. This would be ideal for fans, but NBC knows that they will still make their money without having to hype up an event that will get viewers no matter what because of the weight carried in the name.

A likely reason for the lack of attention towards upcoming Winter Olympics is the fact that there are less iconic athletes along with less popular American sports in the winter portion of the Olympics.

The likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps will not be taking part, with the biggest names being Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White. I mention those two because they were the only names advertised on the original commercial released by NBC eight months ago.

Surely, there are other prominent athletes taking place, but these are the only two “big” names taking part, in the eyes of NBC.

The event will be more popular in places like Scandinavia, Canada, and parts of Europe, where the sports are more popular. That means that just because the media here in America isn’t focusing on the event, it doesn’t mean that it is not popular in other countries.

Promotion of the Winter Olympics will hopefully become more prominent in the next month, both on NBC and across the spectrum of sports media. If not, those in charge of the many media outlets here in America will be making mistakes.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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