London 2012 Watch: 50 Days and 50 Ways to Connect with the Olympics


There are 50 days left until the Summer Olympics gets underway in London and organizers are promoting the fact with a hashtag on Twitter (#50DaystoGo) and a list of 50 ways for the public to engage with the Games.[more]

When the party gets started in London, the Opening Ceremonies, which could be watched by about four billion people worldwide, will close out with the performance of man who has already touched more lives than that: Sir Paul McCartney. Who else could more perfectly represent England in probably its biggest PR move on the world stage? 

Panasonic is looking to help people show their national spirit on social media. The company, which happens to be a partner for the Games, has developed a “Flag Tag” app that allows users to place a flag onto their social-media profile images. It’s face-painting without the muss.

Another nod to the ever-increasing strength of digital came in the announcement from the International Olympic Committee that it “will provide live coverage of the London Olympics to 64 countries in Asia and Africa on YouTube.” That means about 2,200 hours will be livestreamed via YouTube. Some of the countries that the content will be aimed at include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand and Singapore in Asia as well as Angola, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Zambia in Africa. 

All that global outreach is important to the corporations that shelled out millions to be partners for the London Games, such as Adidas. Adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer told the Huffington Post that the Olympics and the upcoming Euro 2012 soccer tournament are both important to the company. “Many million people will watch them, which makes them a great platform for our brand,” he said. But the two entities are vastly different for the company. At Euro 2012, adidas will provide the match ball, which could generate millions of ball sales. It is also the outfitter of six of the 16 teams involved so it will see an uptick in sales of jerseys for such teams as Spain, Germany, and Greece. “The Olympic Games allow us to showcase our brand, to show that we’re the Olympic and performance brand and equip many different sports and athletes, but it doesn’t have an immediate commercial impact,” he said. “You don’t sell track & field shirts just because Haile Gebrselassie wins the marathon, whereas in football, if a team wins you sell a lot of shirts.” 

Speaking of megabucks, Wired notes that billions of pounds have already been shelled out to put up state-of-the-art sports facilities. But all through the architects were thinking about what would happen to the buildings after the Games ended. London’s new velodrome with a notably energy-efficient exterior will stick around in its current form and serve the cyclists of England in London’s new Velopark. Meanwhile, the 12,000-seat basketball arena and the 5,000-seat water polo arena have been constructed so that the can be “broken down after the Olympics and reassembled somewhere else or recycled for the raw materials,” Wired reports

In the meantime, London residents, officials and businesses are bracing for the onslaught of tourists — although hotel bookings are unexpectedly down. Remember, only 50 days to go to book accommodations, folks!

Mazzzur /