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“Who Still Watches the Olympics Anyway?” An Exploratory Study of Generation Z and Their Digital Olympic Brand Experience

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posted on 2022-01-27, 19:55 authored by Maha Waseem
Despite being the most watched sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games have struggled to maintain relevancy amongst younger audiences (Pentony, 2016). The purpose of this study was to explore Generation Z’s Olympic brand experience. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as a theoretical lens, this research employed a focus group methodology to uncover what the Olympic brand means to a sample Generation Z population and gain valuable insight relative to the influence of TPB variables on this generation’s brand perception, brand awareness, and brand engagement with the Olympics. Notably, 59% of participants were unaware that 2020 was a planned Olympic year. Findings suggest this age cohort has fond memories of the Olympic brand from their youth, but have largely disengaged with the brand as young adults. This sample reported largely negative brand associations, a declining interest in long-form sport, and a disconnect with current digital branding strategies.