Influencers head to Paris Olympics as NBCU looks to draw young sports fans

Jun 5, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Former Louisiana State University gymnast Olivia Dunne (left) signs autographs after the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park. Pittsburgh won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports/ File Photo

(Reuters) - Social media influencers will descend on Paris next month to give their followers an exclusive look at the Summer Olympics, including the athletes, the competition and celebrations, NBCUniversal said on Friday.

The Comcast-owned media company, which holds the rights to air the Olympics in the U.S., is seeking to draw more younger viewers to the premier global sporting event, but who are less likely to watch the games on traditional live television.

Olivia Dunne, a Louisiana State University gymnast, Haley Kalil, who often films humorous skits and Daniel Mac, who is known for videos in which he approaches owners of high-end cars and asks what they do for a living, will be among the 27 content creators who will film Olympics content in Paris for platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok.

Facebook and Instagram-owner Meta Platforms and Overtime, a sports media company geared toward Gen-Z, will also bring creators to the games in partnership with NBCU.

Advertisers will be able to work with NBCU and the influencers to create sponsored posts, the company said.

"From the athletes to the food to the celebration, creators will offer their communities of fans a truly unique, engaging look at this summer’s global gathering in Paris," said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics, in a statement.

During certain U.S. Olympic team trials this month and once the opening ceremony kicks off on July 26, the creators will be interviewing Team USA athletes, appearing at NBC's studios with behind-the-scenes footage and showcasing Paris culture and food.

NBCU's partnerships with the social media platforms are key to drawing more viewers to the games after the pandemic delayed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and forced organizers to restrict attendance for the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

The media company said in April that it had sold $1.2 billion in advertising for Paris and was on track to hit a new Olympic sales record.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by David Gregorio)

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