Extensive social media engagement by Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games has boosted its follower counts and impressions on the Internet, officials said Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission team wrapped up its three-day visit to the French capital Tuesday, and shortly after they returned to Lausanne, the @Paris2024 Twitter account surpassed 100,000 followers.
Los Angeles, Paris’ rival that hosted the same team last week, currently has about 134,000 followers.
Paris officials point to “high-profile activations” that boosted the follower count including a selfie Tweeted by bid Co-Chair Tony Estanguet featuring the IOC team along with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron after they had breakfast together at Élysée Palace only two days following his inauguration.
Paris 2024 also credited high-profile athletes who promoted the bid including including FIFA World Cup winners Bixente Lizarazu and Lilian Thuram and Olympians Leslie Djohne, Emmeline Ndongue, flag bearer Michaël Jeremiasz and Teddy Riner. NBA superstar Rudy Gobert also took part, as well as the newly-announced French Sports Minister Laura Flessel, a five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic champion.
The bid also leveraged Facebook Live to further its social media presence including the streaming of all of the Paris 2024 and IOC press conferences over the three days. For the first time, Commission Chair Patrick Baumann answered questions from the press each day instead of waiting until the final day, which had been typical in previous years.
Additionally, the bid claims, “Paris 2024 garnered 1 billion impressions” during the visit, though this numbers couldn’t be confirmed by GamesBids.com. The bid said they also presented videos and visuals on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Estanguet said “It is amazing to see such engaged, deep support for our bid through social media.”
“Paris is a bid built on sharing. We want to share our city with the world, but we also want to share our city on social media.
“We want to continue this superb engagement all the way towards Lausanne and Lima, and ride this wave of support. We have a city and a country united behind Paris 2024, and I look forward to building on this.”
Last week Los Angeles leveraged the social media following of 2008 Olympic gymnastics champion and Dancing With the Stars competitor Nastia Liukin to promote @LA2024 and the bid’s venues as she joined the media entourage to explore the Games concept. She was seen striking gymnastic poses at iconic venues that were posted on Twitter, Snapchat and other platforms.
The impact of a social media presence on the Olympic bid race and the 85-or-so eligible IOC voters is unclear, but with the 2024 race as tight as it can get – the two campaigns have pulled out all of the stops.
The IOC will elect a winner September 13 in Lima, Peru.