Written by James Scherer
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30 Gold Medal-Winning Olympic Contest Ideas & Tips

Every two years your business gets an opportunity to tap into something special.

It's one of the only times where the whole world is focusing on, and thinking about, the same thing.

  • The Super Bowl is massive - in the US
  • The Champion's cup final is hugely popular - in the UK
  • The Tour de France is a big deal - in Europe

The Olympics?

The Olympics are an opportunity for your business to tap into exactly what your target market is thinking about, no matter where they're from or what they're interested in.

And they run for four weeks (with the Paralympic Games), meaning your business has all the time in the world to get involved and drive social media engagement, lead generation and sales.

This article will give you 30 Olympics contest ideas and tips for both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Let's get started!

Olympic Contest Example

Here's an example of a photo contest run a couple years ago by Panasonic, in which they prompted people to share their Olympic passion for a chance to win a new product. Contests like this one are a great way to promote a new product or service:

olympic contest

To create an Olympic contest just like this one, try Wishpond's contest builder with a 14-day free trial.

20 Olympic Contest Ideas


Summer Olympics Contest Ideas

  1. Photo Contest: "Show us how you'll be supporting your country!"
  2. Photo Contest: "Show your patriotic spirit this Olympic season!"
  3. Photo Contest: "Share the Olympian in your neighborhood!"
  4. Essay Contest: "Share your favorite Olympic moment!"
  5. Vote Contest: "Vote for your favorite Olympic moment!"
  6. Vote Contest: "Does your team have Olympic qualities? Enter for a chance to win sponsorship!"
  7. Sweepstakes: "Enter for a chance to win your own Olympic Games viewing party!"
  8. Bonus Entry Contest: "Share with friends to win a trip to Tokyo for the 2020 summer Olympics!"
  9. Sweepstakes: "Enter for a chance to win a summer sports prize package!"
  10. Instagram Hashtag Contest: "Submit your Olympic photos by using the hashtag #AcmePlumbingOlympics for a chance to win!"

Winter Olympics Contest Ideas

  1. Photo Contest: "Create your own unique Olympic medal design!"
  2. Photo Contest: "Share your family's sledding photos for a chance to win a winter Olympic prize!"
  3. Photo Contest: "How did you watch the Gold Medal game this year?"
  4. Vote Contest: "Which winter Olympic sport is your favorite? Vote for a chance to win!"
  5. Sweepstakes: "Enter for a chance to win our winter Olympics prize package: Includes skis or a snowboard!"
  6. Bonus Entry Contest: "Share with friends to win a chance at a $300 winter Olympics shopping spree at Acme Sporting Goods!"
  7. Sweepstakes: "This winter Olympics, enter for a chance to win a sledding experience at Whistler Mountain!"
  8. Instagram Hashtag Contest: "Use the hashtag #FrescoFashionOlympics to share your patriotic outfit and win!"
  9. Sweepstakes: "Enter to win three nights at Whistler Mountain Resort to watch the Winter Olympics in style!"
  10. Photo Contest: "Show us your winter Olympic spirit and win winter sweaters, socks, beanies and scarves for the whole family!"

olympic contest

Olympic Contest Best Practices

  1. Start strong with a mailout: While the focus of any good online contest is new contacts, mailing your contest out to your existing contacts gets you off to a good start. New people feel comforted by seeing that someone's engaged before them.
  2. Use Facebook Advertising to drive traffic: Nobody's searching for your Olympic contest, so Google Ads aren't going to work to drive traffic. Facebook however, is a great platform to target your specific audience and drive them to your contest page for pennies.
  3. Encourage sharing: Even if you don't use a bonus entry contest, you can still encourage your entrants to share with their friends and family to organically increase your contest's virality and engagement. Add referral links and campaign-specific share URLs in your contest's "Thank You for Entering" page.
  4. Use website-optimization tools to get the word out: Your website traffic has already shown they're interested in what you sell. Add a welcome mat or other type of website popup to encourage your site's visitors to check out and enter your Olympic contest.
  5. Give away a product or gift card: There's no point in giving away cash or a product which you don't normally sell. Sure, you'll get entrants, but none of them will buy from you down the line (as they're not really interested in you, just your prize.
  6. Focus on a great image: Communicate the value of your prize clearly by using a high-quality, high-resolution image of that product. Even better, put it in the hands of a model who looks similar to your target market.
  7. Cross-promote on different social media platforms: You might be hosting your Olympics contest on your website or Facebook, but that doesn't mean you can only promote on those platforms. Tell your Instagram followers to go to Facebook to enter. Tell your Twitter followers to go to your website. Spread the word everywhere!
  8. Make sure your contest is mobile-optimized: Although most contest tools will have templates already optimized for mobile viewing, make sure you check before you launch. This is especially true if you want to promote your Olympic contest on social media, as the majority of social media users are on mobile.
  9. Follow up with entrants: Send a promotional email after your contest is over which gives an exclusive discount on the product that entrants wanted to win.
  10. Segment your entrants: Tap into a marketing automation tool which allows you to segment your list of Olympic contest entrants into their own list. This will make your future emails more applicable and personalized (and make them more likely to buy).

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article has given you a bit of inspiration for how to run a successful Olympic contest.

A few things to remember:

  • Your business doesn't have to be directly related to sports to find success with an Olympic contest. Everybody's interested in the Olympics, and with a bit of creativity you can find a way in which makes sense.
  • Focus on value and a good image. It goes a long way in getting people to convert on your page.
  • Don't be afraid to use your existing users and website visitors to get the ball rolling with your campaign. Existing entrants will drive future entrants.
  • Integrate sharing into your contest. Use a bonus entry or referral contest. Or just include social share icons and a sentence which says "be sure to share with your friends!"

And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out in the comment section below!

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Written by James Scherer

James Scherer is the content editor at Wishpond. When he's not writing or designing for Wishpond he's risking his life biking around the city. Reach out to him on Twitter @JDScherer.