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Technology & Your Social Network – New Game Changer in London Olympic 2012

Take a look around. Almost everything you see is touched by technology today, sports included. Imagine a spray-on clothing within a couple of decades that repels water or Triathletes could enter a “spray chamber” to change their clothes between events and 3D printing to build kit such as running shoes to suit the weather on the day or compensate for injury before a runner goes out on the track. All this and more will surely work up adrenaline to technology savvy sport lovers.

Technology is the new game changer in Olympic sport. And all sport fans would agree that technology is as much a part of an athlete’s armory today as nutrition, training and coaching. As human pro-thletics advance, science and technology will not only make possible the disabled to compete, but the able-bodied to do better. Do you know, Tiger Woods had eye surgery to improve his (normal) vision. Well, sounds fine to me. But consider this.

In 2009, the swimming regulatory body, Fina, banned high-tech swimsuits after 94% of races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics were won by competitors wearing the LZR racer suit. The suit is said to cut an elite swimmer’s time by around 2%. Michael Phelps himself said, “When I hit the water [in the LZR swimsuit], I feel like a rocket.” Within a week of its launch, three world records were broken by swimmers wearing the suit. (Source:

Seems to me it’s less likely that poorer countries with less sports budgets can keep up. Is it not surprising that poorer countries compete less in sports involving a lot of technology, such as cycling, sailing and rowing. And lets not forget the amount of investment that goes into training elite athletes is phenomenal.

Dr Emily Ryall, senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Gloucester and vice-chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, says “The Olympics is never going to be a fair competition. So much high-performance sport is driven by technology now, from sports nutrition to psychology to clothing and footwear.”

But enough on technology impacting players…that’s one side of the story. What about technology impacting the fans, the audience themselves and how. One big shift is clearly social media. But why? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.

 Game Changer for Players


Not just the , the entire web universe has evolved from 1.5 billion users in 2008 to 2.3 billion users in 2012.



2008: Facebook hit the 100 million-user threshold mark in 2008 passing MySpace in popularity.


2012: Facebook claims more than 835+ million users, is fast becoming a portal to the web at large for many and is a publicly traded company. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg is a global celebrity today. (Source:


2008: 2008 saw explosive growth for Twitter (Source:  and it still finished the year with about 6 million registered users who sent about 300,000 tweets per day.

2012: On March 21, 2012, Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday while also announcing that it has 140 million users and sees 340 million tweets per day. The number of users is up 40% from their September 2011 number, which was said to have been at 100 million at the time. (source:


2008: In July 2006, Youtube declared more than 65,000 new videos uploaded every day with 100 million video views per day. By fall of 2008, YouTube users were uploading 10 hours of video to the site per minute. (Source:

2012: London Olympic moments are sure to go viral and become immortalized on YouTube seemingly as they happen this summer, and it’s easy to see why. Youtube says it receives over 800 million unique visits per month watching more than 3 billion hours of video per month and upload 72 hours of new video content per minute.

Just looking at the staggering numbers of these three social networks reveals a sporting scene and world at large that have been transformed by social media since the last Summer Olympics.

And did I miss to add that I have’nt taken into account services like Pinterest, Foursquare and Google+ — none of which even existed in 2008. This summer, expect news to break, social sharing records to fall and moments to live on as never possible before, all thanks to social media!

One wonders to think — will all this pale in comparison to what 2016 has in store? One can only imagine.

How innovatively did you leverage social media during the 2012 London Olympics?



Please note: “The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cisco.”


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How Legendary Leagues: NHL and MLB Embrace Social Media in Sports

We came to know some interesting stories of players embracing social media in my last blog post: Courage in Sports: Titanss of Social Media. We also learned that some leagues are not embracing the use of Social Media during live events. Did the National Football League (NFL) take things too seriously or were they only taking precautionary steps to check team room discussions going open or even trivial field issues between players getting nasty behind wary eyes of the coach, management and sponsors.

So, not only can NFL players not tweet during the game, they also can’t post updates for the 90 minutes before and after a game or (presumably) during halftime. And it’s not just players; coaches, officials, and even press must stay away from their phones, too. Incidentally, fans who are watching the game are not prohibited from using Facebook, tweeting, or texting during the game, thank goodness. Read More »

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Courage in Sports: Titans of Social Media

One of the most anticipated and distinctive features separating the Beijing Olympics from the London Olympics is the explosion in the world of Social media. In fact, news has already labeled the London Olympics as the first Social games. And they are not wrong in saying so.

Times have really changed now, and it’s no longer just about the live soccer updates or any other sporting news. It’s all about a well-framed syndication of social media and sports bridging a two-way dialogue between the social media tools available and the sports fans.

With the latest apps and gadgets now in the hands of the social media buff, whether a team wins or loses a match, all of the happening is witnessed on the screen of a mobile device, making sports fans addicted to social media with a chance to be closer to their idols. More and more people are subscribing to RSS feeds, sending instant replies thru tweets and all the sports titans have raised their own virtual army of followers, fans, members and viewers. Read More »

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8 Lessons Social Media Practitioners Can Learn from Gymnasts #CSL2012 #CiscoEmp

As a former gymnast, I am an Olympics nut. I’m pretty much going to turn into a couch potato for the next 2+ weeks. I wholeheartedly admire the athletes that represent any country and I believe in the spirit of the Games. Those of you who have competed in or committed to a sport in some shape or form know the discipline, persistence, sacrifices and hard work it takes to perfect a skill or improve your speed.

As I think about gymnastics, inevitably my mind starts drawing parallels between this graceful yet challenging sport and social media. Here are 8 lessons social media practitioners can learn from gymnasts.  Read More »

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The NHL® Experience, Powered by Cisco

Hockey fans are some of the most passionate and tech-savvy fans in the sports world, and the NHL® has partnered with Cisco technology to empower them with the information they crave.  Fans can follow their favorite NHL® team in real-time through streaming video, interviews, recaps, highlights, real-time statistics, and more.  Cisco content delivery offerings are helping the NHL® serve up fan experiences no matter where they are watching—in the arena, through the Internet, or on the television.

Hockey fans are embracing all of these new features, and the NHL® is advancing as quickly as the technology.  For the seventh consecutive season, the NHL® posted record revenue and growth across multiple business platforms.

The infographic below shows how the Cisco-NHL® partnership expands the reach of the game for fans by surrounding them with the information they want, how they want it, when they want it.

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