Team USA celebrating #100Days to Sochi

Friday, 1 November 2013

The world is gearing up for the #RoadToSochi, and Team USA (@USOlympic) is no exception. The athletes came together to mark the 100-day countdown to the start of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. taking place in Sochi, Russia.

The U.S. Olympians used Twitter to build excitement and stir conversation around the #100Days event on October 29. Team USA went on the @TODAYshow and appeared in Times Square, tweeting throughout the day with updates, photos and a special giveaway contest.

Building anticipation

One day earlier, @USOlympic, the official Twitter account of the U.S. Olympic Committee, tweeted an announcement of the celebration. @TODAYshow was in on the event too, and helped spread the word by informing its account followers about the next day’s action.

The athletes also helped promote the conversation and build excitement in advance. World champion bobsledder Steven Langton tweeted his photo wearing Team USA mittens, which fit neatly into the next day’s events:

Using hashtags

@USOlympic used the hashtags #100Days and #RoadToSochi to make it easier for fans to find and join the conversation surrounding the event.They also encouraged individual sports and athletes to use these hashtags.

For instance, @USFigureSkating captured the enthusiasm of skaters Sarah and Emily Hughes in this Vine video and tweeted it using the #RoadToSochi hashtag.

Various sport demonstrations were set up throughout Times Square, and @USOlympic tweeted a picture of @TorinWallace showing off some tricks he’s learned on the #RoadToSochi.

Bobsled pilot @JazmineFenlator used Twitter to publicly thank @TODAYshow for having them on the show that morning, and ended the Tweet with the #RoadToSochi hashtag.

The celebration also included the distinct hashtag #RaiseYourHands, which has become @USOlympic’s cheer leading into the games and references the special “Go USA” mittens for the games. @USOlympic tweeted a Vine video of gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi giving an introduction to #RaiseYourHands:

During the #100Days event, athletes and celebrities, including @CarsonDaly, tweeted photos with the mittens and hashtag, encouraging people to raise their hands and buy a pair of mittens to support the team.

#RaiseYourHands and #RoadToSochi were also featured in a Twitter contest to win VIP bracelets for a @GavinDeGraw performance later that day. DeGraw, whose appearance was announced on Twitter, had a pair of Team USA mittens, and @USOlympic raised awareness for his performance and the mittens by tweeting a photo to #RaiseYourHands.

To enter the Twitter contest, people had to take a picture of themselves in front of the Olympic window display in a retail store in Times Square and tweet it with the message “@USOlympic 100 days on the #RoadToSochi. #RaiseYourHands #100DaysOutGiveaway”.

Although @USOlympic employed several hashtags in its promotion of the day’s events, one in particular took the gold on Twitter:

Team USA’s #RoadToSochi will continue to be promoted and presented on Twitter. @USOlympic will have a series of Twitter Q&As with Olympians at the end of November and will also ramp up coverage of the Olympic Trials, including live streaming on Twitter.

Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to [email protected].