We’ve all been waiting the last 5 years for this… and now is the time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to finally begin! The summer of sport is truly underway, and after EURO 2020 the next big event starts already on July 23rd and runs until August 8th.
While almost everyone on Earth must have heard of the Olympic Games, did you know that it’s one of those golden opportunities for affiliate marketers to make money with?
Read on for a comprehensive guide on how to make money with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and give your affiliate campaigns a solid boost of profit during the 2021 summer sport events!
Affiliate marketing guide to sports events
The summer of sport is here, and there are hundreds of sporting events that you can use to promote your offers to the millions of people watching them. That’s why in this article we’ll give you the system to make the most out of each that comes your way so you can apply it to any sport that takes your interest!
We have already seen the positive impact sporting events such as UEFA EURO 2020, Copa America, and the Tour de France have on affiliate marketing.
And while some of us were captivated with Italy’s win over England in the EURO 2020 final, or Lionel Messi lifting the Copa América for Argentina (having triumphed over sports betting favorites Brazil)we also saw that it’s all about how you spin your affiliate marketing products and services to relate them with the sporting events that have got everybody so excited right now.
That’s why the Olympic Games are the next big event you can use to boost your affiliate profits this summer!
Background to the Modern Olympic Games
But let us start with a little history lesson. The Olympics are not a modern thing, they originate in ancient Greece and originally ran from 776 BC to 393 AD (1169 years). The Olympics as we know it today did not exist for another 1503 years until the first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896.
Since the Games were reimagined in 1896, they have evolved from initially being an amateur athlete sporting contest to a global venture hosting a staggering number of 339 medal events in 33 sports categories, held at 42 venues across Japan this year. What’s more, there are new sports added to this year’s games, such as surfing, skateboarding, and baseball taking center stage in Tokyo.
Tokyo 2020 — why is it unlike any other Olympics event ever held?
Tokyo 2020* will go down in history with an asterisk next to it. That’s because it’s the first time the event has ever been postponed. In the history of the modern Olympics, there have been only three times the event has been canceled: in 1916, 1940, and 1944 — all three times were due to the two World Wars. What’s more, there are added restrictions to athletes visiting Tokyo this year.
One major issue for affiliate marketers this year is the fact that the travel vertical has been nearly nonexistent as a result of the pandemic. Well, we’ve got some bad news… that’s continuing at the Olympics, as no spectators are allowed at this year’s games.
This means the Olympics audience will be the biggest tv and online streaming audience in history as the only spectators there will be the teammates and coaches on the sidelines.
Is it Tokyo Olympics 2020 or 2021? [COVID-19 update]
Another frequently asked question this year has been: What do we actually call the Tokyo Olympics this year? Is it Tokyo 2020 or Tokyo 2021?
Well, due to the scale of the branding and the expenditure of the games on such things, the name has been retained as Tokyo 2020. The cost of postponing the games has already been estimated at 3 billion dollars according to Reuters, which brings the total spend on the games to a whopping $15.4 billion so far.
This makes it the most expensive Olympic games the world has ever had. And with no money coming in from spectators it will likely have a negative ROI. Unlike the affiliate marketing campaigns run during the big sporting events like the Olympics which should have a positive ROI!
Keep your campaigns performing in the green, read our advice on how to make money with Tokyo 2020 and affiliate marketing.
Like much of people’s lives these days, the effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been felt in Tokyo, too. In March 2020 it was decided that the Olympic Games would be postponed due to the high risk of spreading the virus. And postponement was chosen, as the cost of cancellation would not only be high financially but to those athletes that train for 4 years for a shot at victory.
As we have said, the games are the most expensive in history, and the only way for Japan to make their money back in from the sizable investment of hosting is well… to host the games.
Through sponsorship from brands and television, there will be some money flowing back to Japan. According to Reuters, more than 60 Japanese companies together paid a record of more than $3 billion to sponsor the Games. However, this is nowhere near the level that would have resulted from international tourism which has been down 87% compared with last year.
So, now Japan must hope the tourists are ready to come when it’s safe to do so (likely long after the games have finished).
How to profit from the media coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?
The modern Olympics have always had sponsorship in some form or another since their conception in 1896, where a number of companies such as Kodak paid for advertising. And Coca-Cola sponsored the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, and every Olympic Games since. This is the longest continuous partnership and proves that it can be a profitable time for companies every time it comes around again.
That’s why this comes as no surprise that with the number of viewers globally growing every year, this event truly is a marketing dream.
And it’s not just the sports kits that have the branding emblazoned on every athlete taking part. There are thousands of brands that sponsor these athletes, so they can spend all of their time in the gym and on the running track in preparation for the next games, which happen every four years.
All this means that it is the perfect opportunity to market affiliate products and services, especially that your customers have come to expect it during this time. And they will likely benefit from a reduced-priced TV to watch Tokyo 2020 on, or cheaper sports equipment to name a couple of examples.
As we have already mentioned, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have come a long way from the original modern Olympic Games and includes how many countries now take part. As you can see from the graph from Statista, there were originally only 14 countries taking part. It was only televised to the locals in the host nations until 1956, where it was broadcast internationally for the first time.
With 207 countries taking part in the Olympic games there are more viewers than ever before. And the estimated TV audience for Rio 2016 was 3.2 billion people. Moreover, according to The Independent, sponsorships and broadcasting deals during Rio 2016 combined totaling 1.5 trillion dollars, which means this is one of the biggest marketing opportunities in the world.
This is your opportunity to have a global reach for your affiliate marketing campaigns if there ever was one.
Why is streaming the big opportunity at this year’s Tokyo Games?
As you can see from the viewing figures above, the number of people set to watch the games is likely to be the most in history. And with the ability to watch not only on TV but on desktop or mobile devices, the reach of these games might surpass the 4 billion viewer mark.
So, why does this matter to you and your affiliate marketing business? Well in one word, streaming.
Promoting streaming sites will be one of the easier verticals to promote during the Olympics, due to the huge global interest, and as it is possible to watch on both mobile and desktop devices.
Here’s an example of the viewing figures for one streaming site at the last Olympics held in Rio 2016.
As you can see, there are clear peaks during the opening and closing ceremonies on 5th and 21st August 2016 respectively. In addition, NBC (the biggest Olympic broadcaster in the US) noted that there were daily averages of 27.5 Million viewers per day during the Olympics with the most viewers during the period of 8th-13th August.
So, make sure you have prepared your streaming campaigns ahead of the Tokyo Games because the chance for Olympic victory with your campaigns is within your reach.
Selecting GEOs for your Tokyo Olympics 2020 affiliate marketing campaigns
When it comes to choosing GEOs you’ll not likely go wrong with any country you choose this year, as there will be interested users from all over the world watching the games.
Well… that is maybe apart from Russia which is serving a doping ban from the Olympics for four years. So, maybe reduce your targeting for that particular country this year.
However, it is still one of the most highly scoring countries in the Olympics and some athletes are able to perform there without the Russian flag on their uniform. So, the viewership will still likely be high, just not as high as it might’ve been.
As you can see from the infographic map, there are many GEOs around the world that will have potential customers that are interested in the Olympic Games. So, it is best to take a look at which ones will be your best bet to target with your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Group 1 🥇
The most noteworthy GEOs are RU, UK, US, DE, CN can be viewed as Group 1 in terms of your campaign budget.
Group 2 🥈
Group 2 is based on countries that have lower viewership like NL, FR, IT, HU, KR, AUS, BR, and CA.
Group 3 🥉
And finally, Group 3 countries, which can be considered as those with the smallest viewership and medal table success in the Olympics in recent years. Thus should have the lowest numbers of eligible users, namely, ES, JM, NZ, PL, and others.
However, it is important to note that this is a global event watched by millions. So, as long as you have got your keywords right, you will probably make at least a few conversions wherever you choose to run your campaigns during the Olympics.
But as you know, it is key to test your campaigns, as this is how you will find out whether your GEO experiments will pay off. That’s how you know if a particular GEO is ultimately worth investing more of your time and money in during the Olympics.
Affiliate marketing training zone for Tokyo 2020 Olympics
We have put together a number of helpful hints in this section to get you ready to take your affiliate marketing campaigns to the next level.
Do you have what it takes to run Olympic-level campaigns?
Why do you need to test your affiliate marketing campaigns?
Put simply, testing your campaigns will save you money. You may lose a little in the short term but it’ll save you from burning your entire budget on a campaign that is doomed to fail.
As we said above, the difference between a good campaign with a couple of conversions and a great campaign with a couple of hundred conversions is in the testing. The more you test, the more you learn and the more your campaigns become refined and efficient money-making machines.
So, what are some of the different ways you can test your campaigns ahead of the Olympic Games?
✔︎ Rule-based Optimization
✔︎ A/B testing
✔︎ Conversion Testing
✔︎ Pre-landers and Landing pages
✔︎ Ad tracking
One of the best ways to test your campaigns is… yep, you’ve guessed it, rule-based optimization. It counts as testing, as it helps you test the correct parameters that your campaigns perform best at.
And, if you are wondering how that all works, let us explain it to you.
It’s essentially a set of IF…X THEN…Y rules, that you choose to implement into your campaigns to avoid you overspending, or underspending, on a potentially profitable campaign. Put simply, it protects your ROI. And what’s better is that it does it automatically (once you have set it up to do so, of course).
Moreover, it is actually what helps you to make money while you sleep with affiliate marketing as it looks after your campaigns while you are away from your desk. And the final bonus is that it is available on your Zeropark campaigns.
If you fail to prepare, you’ve prepared to fail. – Mark Spitz, American swimmer, and 9-time Olympic medalist.
A/B testing can simply be defined as testing one element of your campaign and with two or more versions of one element being changed to be measured against conversion rate.
The test which has the highest number of conversions is the winner of the test and should be implemented in future similar campaigns.
What elements of your campaigns can you A/B test?
- Call to action (CTA) button — The position of this can make all the difference to your click-through rate so test out what performs best.
- Colors and design — Of course, this is the most subjective part of your campaign and will require testing if you have a particularly bold color scheme.
- Header — As this is the first thing your reader sees and is the deciding factor on whether they read the rest of what you have to offer or not, you should test to see exactly what your visitors are looking for
- Product photo — Pictures with real people trying out your affiliate product or service tend to do better, as the audience can see themselves in that scenario. NOTE: Also, it is important to note that copyright is something you should bear in mind when trying to use a brand logo like the Olympic rings in your campaign. You’re just not allowed to do it.
- Form — This is entirely your choice whether you work best with pop, push, domain, search or even email marketing, or social media advertising. On one hand, you can A/B test which of these works best for your target audience, and on the other, you can test the message and see if one USP performs better than another.
However, the process is not over after you find the perfect formula from all of these elements being in the best way for your audience’s eyes. It needs to be updated regularly to avoid your customers becoming disinterested in your ad from seeing it too frequently.
I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match. – Mia Hamm, American soccer player, and two-time gold medalist.
This can be applied to you and your campaigns. As long as you are learning from every affiliate marketing campaign, and every A/B test you run, then you will be building towards more successful ones in the future.
Conversion testing should also be part of any medal-worthy affiliate marketing campaign.
This is as it will save you money, and the more money you save, the more you can put back into your winning campaigns. Now that’s just good business.
So, what exactly is conversion testing?
Well, Zeropark provides you with an easy solution to test your campaign setup. This conversion testing feature allows you to go further than you would go with manually activating your campaign URL.
This is achieved by running this test click-through within Zeropark’s system. This means that an actual click ID value will be assigned, along with the values in place of tokens. This allows you to test conversion tracking in Zeropark.
Allowing you to test your campaigns as if they were already live. So that you can make any necessary changes before you release them to your audience.
Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before. – Bonnie Blair, American speed skater, and five-time gold medalist.
Every campaign is another chance to succeed more than you ever have before.
Are you ready to give it your all!?
Pre-landers and Landing pages
You don’t want your campaigns to fall at the last hurdle. So, another part of your campaign testing strategy should be optimizing your landing pages, and don’t forget your pre-landers too. These can make the difference between an ad that gets clicked on or not. And we all know, the higher the click-through rate, the higher the chance for those conversions.
So, why wouldn’t you optimize your landing pages, so that they are at their peak performance before you show them to your customers?
You do already? Ok good, then you can skip this section.
But, if you want your landing pages to get more clicks, then have a look below at our quick guide to what to include in your landing pages.
✔︎ Use an ad tracker and note the most important metrics and make adjustments based on the data.
✔︎ Your lander should be consistent with the product page (products, descriptions, colors, images, etc.).
✔︎ Ensure your CTA button is always visible.
✔︎ Start with a/b testing and reject the poor-performing landers as it’ll increase your PPC/PPV campaign conversion rate.
✔︎ Do a/b testing another round of a/b testing on your winning landing page.
✔︎ Having testimonials will add legitimacy to your sites as people trust customer reviews.
✔︎ Adding a work email or phone number may help you look more professional.
✔︎ Be transparent about the product you’re promoting and why.
Affiliate Ad tracking
Any athlete will tell you tracking performance is key to success. So, ad tracking should be an integral part of every one of your affiliate marketing campaigns. That’s because it saves you money by showing you exactly when and with which campaigns you are achieving your best results.
Some examples of the top affiliate ad trackers on the market are;
- Landing Track,
- & Voluum.
And if you are looking for exclusive offers on affiliate ad trackers, don’t forget to check out the Zeropark Deals section. This can be found under the Deals Tab after you have topped up your account. And there are not just trackers but the affiliate marketing industry’s best networks, advertisers, affiliate programs, top offers. Not to mention, tools such as landing page builders, and spy tools as well.
And if you’re only after affiliate offers, head to the Offer Wall under the Deals tab to see what’s waiting for you.
Which affiliate marketing niche should you target during Tokyo 2020?
We have rounded up the most popular, and by that we mean profitable, affiliate marketing niches to run during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. These ones have made the list as they have been particularly successful niches during the summer sports events that we have witnessed so far. So, they will likely be the best fit for the Olympics, too.
Along with a little background to each niche, we have provided some creatives and copy that might work best with your push campaigns. But these can be adjusted to fit your pop, domain redirect, or even search ads. They are there to help you get those creative juices flowing and make your life easier when it comes to creating campaigns that convert.
This does come with an important disclaimer, the Olympic rings are owned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and cannot be used without paying them. So, avoid using them in your creatives.
The niches that will likely perform best during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Sports betting
Let’s dive in!
Now, this is an obvious choice for any sporting event, as there are always peaks in sports betting whenever a big fixture is put on. But the reach of the Olympics is truly global so the opportunity to make money through sports betting is much higher than with the other sports events (like the Tour de France) this summer. You can bet on a peak in the sports betting market.
So, now is the time to get your campaigns and creatives ready. Look below for some sports betting examples.
Sports betting sites like the ones mentioned above have also diversified of late. E-sports has grown as a popular form of entertainment in recent times. Not only to those actually playing, but also to those watching, and even now, to those betting on the outcome of the tournaments being played. So, now is your chance to get in on the e-sports action. This is because there is a bigger focus on sports games (like FIFA 2021) being played this summer.
As you can see in the example below, you need to think about which are the hottest products and services during the Olympics and present those to your target audience. Get that right and you’ll be looking at some solid gold commission.
While sports betting usually takes center stage during sporting events there is always a correlation between increased activity in sports betting and gambling verticals. So, don’t neglect this niche during the Olympics, as there will likely be sports-themed slots and online gambling games that can gain you an affiliate commission, over the next month.
If you are looking for examples of what copy to use or what imagery might convert, but don’t have access to a spy tool, then just take a look below.
No doubt you will understand the importance of the streaming vertical at this year’s Olympics, as there are no spectators allowed in Tokyo. So, this is the biggest opportunity for the streaming vertical than there has ever been possibly ever. Make sure you’ve got your campaigns set up to advertise streaming sites that are hosting sports events over the next month. There is a lot of commission to be made!
Take a look below at the copy and creative examples that might help you get some more customers and conversions during Tokyo 2020.
Where there are people watching streaming sites, there are often downloads that can help them out, too. This is the case on movie streaming sites just as it is with sports streaming sites (like Stream2Watch, Live Soccer TV, StreamSports) that are hosting the Olympics and other sporting events this summer. This means you need to prepare ad copy that suggests the downloads you are offering will help them stay safe or add value to their sporting experience. Examples of downloads that might help with this are Antivirus, VPN, as well as sports games, or companion apps.
Have a look underneath to get some ideas of the best examples of copy and creatives that will get your customers to ‘Download now!’
Antivirus is one of the more profitable verticals within the affiliate marketing industry because it has some of the highest payouts per customer. This always makes it a good time to run Antivirus campaigns, especially at the Olympics. What needs to be communicated to the customer is that their computers or other devices need to be protected at a time where they are likely to be using them to watch the Olympics. This is powerful, as it uses the fear of missing out (FOMO), which can motivate customers to purchase the Antivirus software. It’s a win-win as you can earn your commission, while your customers can watch the games with peace of mind that their devices are protected.
See examples of what kind of copy and imagery you can use below, for the best Antivirus push ads during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
E-commerce is always an evergreen niche for affiliate marketers since it benefits from the seasonal peaks such as Christmas, Black Friday, and of course sporting events such as the Super Bowl, UEFA EURO 2020, or Tokyo 2020 Olympics. At each of these seasonal peaks, you need to be clever as an affiliate marketer, to spin the need for various affiliate marketing products, and services, to be related to your seasonal event of choice. So, below you will see how to do this for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but you can apply this same method to any of the other sporting or seasonal events to make higher conversions.
Here’s an example of some e-commerce push ads for you to get an idea of what might work for your affiliate campaigns.
As we have mentioned previously in this article, the opportunity for international spectators to travel to the Olympics has ruled out travel offers to Tokyo being popular this summer. However, that doesn’t mean the travel vertical as a whole is dead. On the contrary, this summer is seeing a boost in new travel offers as some parts of the world move out of lockdowns and start accepting tourists. And hey, you could always suggest your customers book a Tokyo 2022 trip when hopefully the world will be back to normal, whatever that means now.
Have a look at the copy we have suggested as a guide on how to spin the travel vertical to your customers in this post-covid summer of sport via push ads.
The Olympics are happening from 23rd July to 8th August, so, put it in your diary and don’t miss this window of opportunity. Remember to test everything, so that your campaigns perform their best on race day. This includes landing pages, ad trackers rule-based optimization, and of course, a/b testing.
We also have highlighted which GEOs are hot right now and which verticals to consider for your campaigns during the Olympics, so you should be prepared. This article was your training… and now you are ready to take on the Olympics and win conversion gold with your affiliate marketing campaigns!