Sochi plans to cash in on merchandise licensing

The first official merchandise of the Sochi 2014 Olympics will be on the shelves by the end of 2010, and is expected to bring $35 million to the local Olympic organizing committee.

The organizing committee is offering license agreements covering over 500 items carrying the games logo, which will become an important source of funds for the event.

According to the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee’s estimates, sales of licensed goods will amount to $500 million, with $35 million to be earned by the Committee from allocations, which is expected to set a record in the history of Winter Olympic Games, leaving behind the Games in Salt-Lake-City with its $25 million and the Turin Games, that brought $22 million, Vedomosti reports on Friday.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, also says the program will allow the games to be conducted without turning to other sources of funding.

“Licensing of the program will launch today and has the forecast of attracting about $500 million, which will in turn allow us, the organizers, to avoid attracting additional subsidies from the government, and organize the games on our own expenses.”

A tender will be held to determine companies according to criteria of investment volumes they are ready to pay to the committee in percentage from their sales.

Among the companies that said they would wish to take part in the tender for Olympic licenses on advantageous terms are the X5 Retail Group and Spar. “Our goods are for consumers at large, and we will do our best to obtain the license,” said David Yakobashvili, chairman of the board at Vimm-Bill-Dan.

Aleksandr Yeremenko, BrandLab’s partner, believes that it would be more reasonable to obtain Olympics-related licenses for manufacturers of souvenirs, stationery and goods for leisure.

“The Olympic rings will hardly affect the sales of consumer goods, but they will slightly raise the prestige and quality perception.”

Besides, Yeremenko said, sales of goods marked with Olympic symbols will not result in a significant growth of visitors.

“Selling goods with Olympic symbols is good business for shops situated in centers of big cities, near historical monuments or at airports. Shops situated elsewhere will hardly gain more customers from that.”