No one really expected Team Great Britain to not only equal but surpass their medal haul from London 2012. But they astoundingly did, beating their medal goal by over 20 at Rio 2016 – aiming for 40, they won 67. A country of about 60 million people beat out China and Russia in medal count to secure a (distant) second place behind Team USA. This team became the most successful Team GB ever to compete in the Olympics and also became the first host country to beat out their home medal count in the following games and will surely look to Tokyo 2020 for even more incredible feats.
And in the airline world, British Airways won, they won big.
British Airways has been a long time sponsor of TeamGB, but for the first time it seems as though their sponsorship of their home country’s Olympians has paid off – BA received massive media attention by sending out a chartered 747 to Rio to pick the United Kingdom’s heroes up and bring them back home – and even colored their aircraft’s nose gold to signify the massive success of the team at the games.
#greattobeBAck and #victoRIOus stickers were applied on the special 747 (and was trending on twitter for a few hours) in what ended up being a PR coup for British Airways, with many of their successful athletes tweeting, posting online and spreading word of BA and their part in bringing back TeamGB to Lodnon. Many of these BA photos went viral and were shared thousands of times, highlighting the importance of social media in this day and age.
This is especially pertinent for an airline like British Airways, one that is perceived as ‘stuffy’ or ‘formal’ especially in the eyes of their very media savvy rival Virgin Atlantic. They definitely one upped them on this one, getting valuable TV minutes and social media attention flying the UK’s heroes back home to London.
There’s even a video of BA cabin crew singing ‘God Save The Queen’ along with Team GB athletes as the plane took off from Rio making rounds on the internet.
BA 1 – VS 0.