Olympics fans are more likely to consider Airbnb

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
December 17, 2020, 9:42 PM UTC

As Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee celebrate the first anniversary of their nine-year blockbuster partnership, YouGov data suggests fans of the Games are more likely to use the online accommodations marketplace. 

The partnership is Airbnb’s first foray into sports sponsorship with the goal of elevating the brand’s profile among the general public as well as sports fans, and it appears to be working. 

Olympics fans in future host-countries – France, the United States, Italy, China, and Japan – are more likely to consider booking on Airbnb compared to the general populations of their respective nations.  

Large-scale events like the Olympics fit well with Airbnb’s business model, which offers flexible accommodations where demand in a specific location suddenly surges for a limited time, outpacing supply.  

The deal’s environmental sustainability was front and center when it was first announced. “This innovative partnership underpins our strategy to ensure that the efficient staging of the Olympic Games is sustainable and leaves a legacy for the host community,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. 

YouGov data reveals more positive news as the partnership progresses. More American consumers who consider themselves environmentalists have a positive impression of the Airbnb brand compared to a year ago (21% have a positive impression vs. 16% in December 2019). 

The magnitude and breadth of the deal between the legacy brand and a rising startup has garnered significant attention. The organizations were given the Deal of the Year award by Sport Industry Group. “What stood out for this one was this wasn’t just for the individual financial gain for either party,” said Barney Francis, Former Sky Sports Managing Director and judge. “It was a true alignment of goals – and seemed to be a meeting of two organizations with a very forward-thinking view. You would imagine this would stimulate a new wave of innovation in how you’re going to pull two things together.” 

Methodology: Airbnb consideration is based on the question: “When you are in the market to stay at a hotel or accommodation service, with which of the following would you consider staying? The audience of Olympics fans is based on the question: "If there were no obstructions with price or geography, which of the following sporting events/leagues would you consider most going to?" Sample sizes were 20,468 adults and 1,704 Olympic fans in the US; 4,186 adults and 371 fans in Italy; 5,129 adults and 408 fans in Japan; 11,294 adults in France and 720 fans; 16632 adults and 766 fans in China.