The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Are Coming…to Your Hometown

If you thought that late October was too early to be snow skiing in Times Square, you’d be right…but it happened anyway, thanks to the United States Olympic Committee (PR AOR M&C Saatchi), Liberty MutualThe Today Show and a bunch of superhuman athletes. Get ready for the guitars:

Pretty impressive setup complete with artificial snow, acrobatics and Matt Lauer learning to ski on wheels:

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The event generated hundreds of millions of media impressions, and we can see why: it was far cooler than the costume Lauer used to horrify the free world two days later.

The USOC will be touring well beyond New York City this fall: it’s currently in Fargo, North Dakota but will travel as far south as Dallas.

This seems like a safe bet for major brand sponsors like Coca-Cola, P&G, Target, Chobani and Kellogg’s, but there are some risks. The payoff could be limited if NBC’s ratings are less than outstanding, and then there’s the controversy over both the anti-gay policies of the Games’ Russian hosts and the confusion over social media restrictions (official word now holds that journalists can take pictures but can’t record or share audio or video).

We’ll be watching to see how the many, many brands involved try to make the most of the Games with social and traditional media. Which ones do you expect to come out on top?

Oh, and go Team U.S.A.!

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