BEIJING, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Contributing to the growing enthusiasm over the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games (the "2012 Games"), Youku Inc., China's leading Internet television company (NYSE: YOKU) ("Youku") yesterday aired "The 727 Cycling Team," the fourth in a hit series of five micro-movies telling the stories of "Ordinary Olympians" -- ordinary people whose extraordinary experiences reflect the Olympic spirit. "Ordinary Olympians" debuted on April 15 as part of Youku's "Our Olympics" campaign, and has since been viewed a total of more than 24 million times. More than 93,000 comments to date have been left by viewers with whom the short, heartwarming movies struck an unexpected chord.
Drawing on its tradition of grassroots engagement, Youku and the sponsor Yili chose to highlight unconventional athletes for "Ordinary Olympians." The first of the micro-movies, "Happy Backpackers," introduces Zhang Guangzhu and Wang Zhongjin, an elderly couple who have backpacked their way through 46 countries on seven continents since they first set out from home in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics.
The penultimate episode of the series, "The 727 Cycling Team," tells the story of seven Chinese people traveling to London by bicycle from Kunming in southwestern China. None of the amateur cyclists, with ages ranging from 20 to 60, had ever left China before. If all goes well, they will arrive in London on July 27, in time for the opening of the 2012 Games. The episode debuted to 1.9 million views within a day of its online premiere.Continuing with the theme of grassroots participation and leveraging its powerful media platform, Youku is also calling on its 300 million viewers to share their own sports-related stories for "Our Olympics" ( http://sports.youku.com/together/), an overarching campaign challenging viewers to bring Olympic values to their everyday lives. The campaign (of which "Ordinary Olympians" is a part) has spread rapidly across Chinese social media, and offers weekly prize drawings as incentives for the week's most-retweeted videos. "'Our Olympics' is a textbook example of the kind of branding communications that Youku excels at," said Dong Yawei, Youku's senior VP of Sales. "By combining emotionally gripping stories, professionally produced content and engaging online presence, Youku continues to win the hearts of its viewers."