NBC will leverage its recent merger with Universal to promote its coverage of the Summer Olympics, staging events at Universal’s theme parks to entice viewers.
“It’s a great way for us to bring our around-the-clock coverage to our theme parks and strengthen out Olympic brand within the theme parks,” said Mike McCarley, director of marketing and communications for NBC Olympics, in a telephone interview from Athens, where the Summer Games kick off next week.
At Universal parks in Orlando and Hollywood, the NBC Summer Olympics Experience is giving attendees a look at the high level of performance that can be seen during the Games, and offering ways that non-Olympic athletes can relate.
For example, a bowling alley replica will showcase the length an average shot putter can toss that regulation weight. A three-story scaffold illustrates the platform dive, with a dummy affixed at the height from which Olympic high divers must plunge. Signage will support each display area.
“We wanted to make the Olympic feats awe-inspiring, but at the same time make them relative to the average viewer,” said McCarley. “Everyone may swim, but not as fast as Michael Phelps. Everyone has lifted weights, or something heavy, but not the way Shane Hammond can.”
At Universal Orlando Resort, contest-winners will attempt to break the world record for consecutive hours of television watching. The contest, which partners NBC Olympics and Guinness World Records, starts at 8 p.m. EDT with the coverage of the Opening Ceremonies.
The final viewer remaining and the lone holder of the new Guinness World Record will receive a trip for two to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and a high-definition home theater system.
The current Guinness World Record for consecutive television watching was recently set in Germany at 50 hours and 5 minutes, or just over two days. Kevin Keaveney was the last American to hold this world record; his record of 46 hours, 30 minutes and 50 seconds, still the best record by any American viewer, was set in 2001 in New York City. He will participate in the NBC Olympics/Guinness World Records event.
Olympic viewing parties will also be held at various times throughout the theme parks, McCarley said. Sport for the Games have been airing on video screens throughout the parks.
Los Angeles-based Norm Marshall Associates handles the world-record contest, while Mr. Youth, New York, handles the Olympic Experience.