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Digital innovation and audience engagement at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

6 August, 2014

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Over 6.5 million people tuned in on Sunday night for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, marking the end of an incredible two weeks of exciting international sport.

With the #BringItOn hashtag and “People Make Glasgow” tagline, the Glasgow games were as much about people and audience engagement as they were about the sports. (I hear from those who went that the Glasgow welcome was amazing!)

But how did the organisers ensure that as many people as possible could get involved?

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Digital and Social Media campaign

Digital communications were well integrated into all aspects of the games.

Regular posts before and during the event through the @Glasgow2014 Twitter page provided a running commentary with successes and highlights.

Large screens in each of the venues encouraged audiences to post their Commonwealth Games selfies through Twitter and Instagram by displaying a live feed that shared selected photos and tweets, using individual event hashtags like #2014gymnastics.

Event sponsors such as Virgin Media, Ford and SSE also ran a number of experiential and social media-focused campaigns throughout the event.

Ford of Britain Sponsorship of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Although Ford UK vehicle production ended last year, the Commonwealth Games sponsorship deal allowed the company to promote its design and innovation work still taking place here.

Using the hashtag #playyourpart, Ford activated its sponsorship throughout Glasgow and Scotland with a combination of outdoor, experiential, digital and social media marketing.

Twenty home nations athletes, including Scottish swimming gold medallist Hannah Miley and English gymnast Kristian Thomas, appeared in Ford’s tweets and Vines.

Ford of Britain managing director Mark Ovenden said. “In the spirit of [Ford’s global strapline] ‘Go Further’, the Commonwealth Games fitted with that ethos.” He explained that as well as the obvious British positioning, the games sponsorship “allowed us to showcase the range and breadth of our products, and technology such as our EcoBoost engine.”

Clearly technology and innovation were a big part of these games, and showed what an exciting time it is for new technology and digital innovation in the UK.

Digital Innovation at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

In addition to the digital and social media campaigns, the organisers ran a number of digital innovation projects to encourage participation and promote innovation.

(1) Glasgow 2014 Digital Game Competition (Winner: Your Moment)

Budding computer games designers were given a unique opportunity to design a digital game for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Students studying in Scotland were encouraged to enter a competition, which saw both the winner and runner up take home a cash prize of £2014.

The winner then worked with Dundee games development firm 4J Studios to transform their concept into a working game. The free-to-play game then appeared on the official Glasgow 2014 website.

The winning design, called “Your Moment”, is by Abertay student William Rountree, aged 21.

The competition aimed to boost links between Higher Education Institutions and Scotland’s world-renowned creative digital media industry.

(2) Glasgow 2014 Digital Sprint #DigitalSprint

In addition to the student digital innovation competition, Glasgow 2014 launched “The Glasgow 2014 Digital Sprint”- an invitation for the digital business community to develop new ways to engage with the biggest sporting and cultural event in Scotland’s history.

According to the organisers, “Scotland’s digital talent is being challenged to develop an innovative idea to enhance the overall experience for people during or after this year’s Games.

In partnership with Scottish Enterprise, this competition encourages companies to raise their growth ambitions and create new, exciting, interactive digital products for the Games and beyond.”

Glasgow 2014 Digital Media Manager, Paul Giblin, said: “Digital has already played a huge role in the build up to the Games and helped us engage with key communities across Scotland. We hope this provides an opportunity for some of the smaller, more innovative companies, start-ups and individuals to benefit from an involvement in the biggest sporting and cultural event in Scotland’s history.”

Glasgow 2014 Digital Sprint

The winner was an app (developed by IC Mobile Lab Ltd) that can activate hidden content by using a smartphone camera to take pictures of Games LOOK banners, which were on display across Scotland during the games.

Linda Murray, director of Scottish Enterprise’s 2014 team, said: “This year we have an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Scotland’s business strengths to a global audience and build a long-term business legacy for our economy. We’re known around the world for our rich heritage of innovation and creativity, as well as our growing reputation for digital media. Scotland is home to a wealth of creative digital companies who are making a global impact, including Skyscanner, Axis Animation and Rockstar North, creators of Grand Theft Auto. This competition encourages our smaller companies to raise their growth ambitions and create new, exciting, interactive digital products for the Games and beyond.”

From Twitter:

“Congratulations to #digitalsprint winners @printarapp whose #CommonwealthGames app is now live! http://ow.ly/zEDhz  #CatchClyde

@printarapp Jul 28

@scotent our Glasgow 2014 #DigitalSprint winning augmented reality game is now live! http://smarturl.it/catch-clyde  pic.twitter.com/3WnLkNfcvI

The Glasgow 2014 augmented reality game ‘Catch Clyde’ is available to download for free on iPhone and Android.

 

Can’t see this video? Watch it on YouTube here.

 

Was this the most digitally innovative and engaging Commonwealth Games ever?

Did you get involved yourself?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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