In Sport: London 2012 Plans Social Media, ESPN Mulls Premiership Bid

Here’s the latest in a long line of “Brand X launching social network” stories – with a twist. The London 2012 Olympics organising committee is planning to launch social media features, but with the very concrete aim of getting people to socially take up sport in real life. New media head Alex Balfour (via NMA) says the upcoming games will “have a presence on all major social networks by the end of 2009″…

Balfour: “We’re working with some of our sponsors, specifically Adidas, on a series of social mass-participation activities and are building a programme around sports participation. We want to influence and inspire kids to change their lives and choose sport. Clearly social networks are one of the most effective ways of reaching young people.” Whether the games will let other social media users post pictures and videos from Olympic venues is another matter, but it’s clear the committee is aiming for an online operation that mimics its real-world social-participation bent.

Meanwhile in sport, this Bloomberg story gives ESPN (NYSE: DIS) the opportunity to repeat its internet in bidding for Premier League rights. Its interest was already on record, first stated in 2007 and repeated at our EconSports conference. ESPN could be interested in bidding for one or two of six rights packages by the February 4 deadline if it can figure out what a fair price might be.