London 2012: NBC, Twitter Strike Olympic Partnership

22 REP Olympics Illustration
Logo: NBC

The micro-blogging site hopes to use the collaboration to position itself for future business growth.

Twitter and NBCUniversal are announcing a partnership for the upcoming Olympic Games.

The popular social media website will serve as an "official narrator" for the games, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The deal doesn't include any exchange of money, but there will be plenty of cross-promotion. Twitter will focus on getting the message out from insiders including Olympic athletes and NBC personalities as well as encouraging people to watch live televised coverage. NBC will continually tout Twitter during its two weeks of on-air coverage.

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Twitter hopes to use what's expected to be boisterous social media activity during the Olympics to launch itself into a path towards enduring revenue. Twitter will take in $260 million in revenue this year, according to eMarketer Inc.

The six-year-old site doesn't command nearly as much ad dollars as Facebook, but the move could signal its interest in becoming the prime marketing platform behind big, live events. 

Twitter has already sold ads to Olympic sponsors GE and Proctor & Gamble, which will tout their own associations with the games to the website's 140 million monthly users.

"This is a way for new users to sample Twitter," Chloe Sladden, Twitter's vice president of media, told the Journal. "Twitter is really where the party is."

As for NBCU, the network is looking to capture the social conversation and the new deal with Twitter is hardly the only one the media company has forged online. Earlier this month, it came to a similar agreement with Facebook. As part of that deal, both companies pledged to work together to get Facebook users to share what they were watching. The on-air telecasts will also include data culled from Facebook that measures sentiment and what people are buzzing about online.

This isn't the first time either that NBCU has turned to Twitter during Olympics coverage. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, NBC used something called the "Twitter Tracker" to visualize which sports people were having conversations about on the service.