Rio 2016: A Digital Perspective


The pools stand still and no one is “Bolt-ing” around Rio these days, but the digital legacy of the Rio Olympics lives on. As an agency that lives and breathes digital, we wanted to explore how the world’s biggest sporting event kept the world engaged on all our various devices.


For those that couldn’t personally make it to the event, rio2016.com was the place to go, providing schedule & results on a sport by sport basis, medal counts, athlete profiles, pictures of the venues, tickets, and the latest news. The site UX offered a colorful and responsive experience that was intuitive to navigate for the most part. Users were able to easily access useful information such as maps, transportation, services and facilities at each event and more.


From a video and news point of view, nbcolympics.com was a great experience. According to Nielsen, the first 10 days of the 2016 Olympics produced more than 33 million hours of online viewership, more than the last 2 Olympics combined. With that incredible traffic demand, the site had be to be fast and scalable.

The developers chose wisely by using Drupal for their CMS. In fact, some of the biggest sporting leagues around the globe run their websites off of Drupal, including NASCAR, NBA, NFL, MLS, and NCAA. Massive events like the Super Bowl, and the Kentucky Derby also run on Drupal, making it the chosen platform for global athletic organizations. The flexibility and endless possibilities of the platform many reason why we love using Drupal to build our best sites.

Rio 2016 Mobile App

The 2016 Olympics also marked the year the mobile audience was embraced. The official Rio 2016 mobile app was available on all major platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows Phones. The app used the Ionic framework, a newcomer to the hybrid app space. Ionic has seen widespread adoption, with over 1.9 million apps built by everyone from individual developers to small startups to large enterprise businesses from around the world.

The framework allowed for fast and feature-full delivery of information and interactions, including interactive maps, visitor information, and more. It was definitely a must have for attendees and those outside of Brazil to stay informed on the go.

As a globally unifying sporting event, this summer’s Olympics offered a digital experience that won gold. While the athletes were busy doing what they do best, the entire world was watching from every kind of device. It was easy to follow favorite athletes and events, and throughout the two-week span, engagement was high. When it comes to digital, it was exactly the kind of outcome we aim for here at WebEnertia.

Thanks for the inspiration, Rio!

Also published on Medium.

Let’s Work Together

From web design, CMS websites, applications, ecommerce, motion graphics and multimedia, graphic design, and print, to Internet marketing solutions, we’ve got you covered.