The Upolu to Savai’i swim last week was watched by a worldwide audience.
The stats show over 17,000 page views during the eight hours of live tracking of the swim from the early start to the finish at 3pm in the afternoon.
This was represented by an actual audience of 1,163 from all over the world.
Each of the five swimmers and the two teams had family and friends from overseas that kept up with the swim with the live electronic tracking. The tracker was attached to the kayak next to the swimmer.
The swim was also followed by the worldwide ocean swimming community, of which Samoa is fast becoming a proven centre for amazing races. This year, there is 120kms of Open Water racing in Samoa in several swims, Australia Day Swim (January), Upolu-Savaii swim, Five Islands (May), Pacific Open Water Challenge (August), Samoa Swim Series (August) and the Independence Swim (June).
For the Upolu-Savai’i swim last week, the audience was huge. We know that because of Google Analytics. This is where Google Analytics come into its own in breaking down the live viewing audience.
The largest audience was in New Zealand with 840 viewers. Samoa came in next with 115 viewers. Australia provided 107 viewers and the United States and Russia with 32 and 30 viewers each. The rest of the viewers came from the United Kingdom, Canada, Fiji, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.
Each viewer clicked on the live link a combined total of 17,000 page views. The average stay on the live link was 25 minutes.
The audience was two-thirds male and one-third female. The largest representative age group is the 35-44 age group at 30 per cent. The next viewing age group is the 45-54 age group followed by the 55-70 age group. The 18-24 age group also engaged considerably with the swim throughout the day.
Fifty eight percent viewed the swim from their mobile phones, 33 per cent on desktop computers and 19 per cent on tablets.
Perhaps the most interesting group that engaged with the swim was Lisa Wujec’s classroom of students, a total of 25 students. Lisa had the swim up on the whiteboard all day where the students used it as an exercise to plot times and distance to the finish for the five swimmers and the two teams.
What this shows is that a single device such as Lisa’s desktop can have a multiple viewing platform in this case. Taking that into account, Google’s viewing statistics may not be the real audience for the live tracking. That number is considerably higher where an office of people might have viewed the race on one screen.
The figures too are impressive, given there were only five solo swimmers in the race. The expected number for 2017 will be many more. Registrations a year ahead are already coming in on the strength of a successful event last week.
There was an equivalent swim in Auckland a week before. It was the Westpac Chopper 20km swim from Waiheke Island to Auckland City. The viewing statistics for that swim pale in comparison with the Upolu-Savai’i swim audience.
Live tracking is a tool now utilised by Samoa Events on its longer swims, to trace each swimmers progress and to provide useful data for post swim evaluation by the swimmer. In our case and from a Tourism exposure perspective, the audience of 17,000 page views and more, were glued to watching Samoa on their screens from around the world.
Samoa is increasingly becoming an Events destination with smart and innovative ways of managing each event for maximum tourism exposure offshore.
The Upolu-Savai’I Swim date is now set for 4th April, 2017. The swim will again be the opening event of the 2017 Savai’i Games, which includes the Ford 1 Day Challenge Ride Savai’i 180km distance, also the Savai’i Marathon.
Other events will be added to the festival week that will include a Surf Carnival at Aganoa and a Schools’ Multisport competition. Discussion around the Savai’i Games include creating a Cultural Festival around that week, to really give Savai’i Tourism a boost in the first week of the Tourist season.
The other factor for Savai’i in that week, is the positioning of the Games away from Easter weekend, a week later. Easter weekend is a good productive period for tourism on the island, and so April 2017 will kick start with the Savai’i Games influx of sports people then followed by the Easter weekend in mid-April.