Living in the downtown hub of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic machine, I can officially report… it’s beyond overwhelming.  There are no words for the excitement, fun and international melting-pot of the mind-numbingly emotional highs and lows that come with celebrating these elite athletes.  But what’s taking it to epic levels is the digital experience.  And it’s being led by the Canadian television network, CTV.

It’s Web 2.0 on steroids… squared.  Seriously.

Live TV is always great, but consider CTVOlympics.ca a value-added appendage to your journey in becoming the ultimate Olympic voyeur… fuelled by Microsoft Silverlight technology.

Where-ever you are in the world, simply go to CTVOlympics.ca and enjoy:

  • Live streaming audio of all events, which you can customize, jump around and view with ease… even if you’re a technical neophyte
  • A live CTVchat-blog, MSN and Facebook feed to “friends” that are online
  • Cool polls, athlete profiles and must-see event footage
  • The latest scores, medal standings, photo-galleries, and an e-store for coveted Olympic garb

Other CTV touch-points:

  • @CTVOlympics on Twitter for sound-bites of up-to-the-minute happenings
  • CTV’s Olympic Facebook Fan Page for expanded news and chit-chat
  • CTV branded videos/music on iTunes
  • FreeiTunes app  with mini-web platform (which I downloaded on my iTouch and prefer over their Blackberry web-link)
  • CTV personalities host the Olympic Medal Ceremonies
  • CTV has aligned with Bell on walk-in Olympic kiosks in all the right places to educate and convert cell-phone users to Bell where you can enjoy live streaming Olympic footage in the palm of your hand (I’m not on the Bell network but you gotta love the exclusive sponsorship advantage/lock-down!)

I’m sure there’s more I haven’t uncovered yet… as a marketer it’s as exhilarating as it is exhausting.  In fact, my real-time experience yesterday included catching Canadian Maelle Ricker win Gold in Snowboard Cross … I watched it on TV and had her qualifying video, winning video, Olympic history and more on my CTV laptop feed inside 60 seconds.

We’re dialled in people… and the Olympic ride is just beginning, so strap in.  I’ll bet my red mittens we haven’t seen anything yet.

HERE’S THE (STANDING O) STICKING POINT:

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics have been hyped as the first true digital Games.  The CTV brand and network is the driving force behind that.  From a marketing “check-list” perspective, they’re off-the-charts on content with amped-up traditional online marketing channels combined with connectivity we’ve never seen before.  You bet I’m a proud Canadian, but fact is CTV has eclipsed every world-wide TV network to the extent that I’ve talked to visiting Americans who prefer CTV’s up-to-the-minute, impartial coverage (yes, they said impartial).

SIDEBAR:  Next up, adventures at Olympic venues including the Molson Canadian Hockey House.  Have to say, the ticket-purchase process through Molson proved to be a highly publicized rough start.  It almost caused a media-frenzied Labatts Blue revolt (which is serious beer warfare in Canada in case you missed that).  Molson’s corporate band-aid was mediocre and mishandled… let’s see how a visit to their Hockey House for the Bronze Medal men’s hockey game plays out for me and my friends.  Could get ugly.