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Olympic goods win licensing go-ahead
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-03 05:48

With the launch of the Beijing 2008 Licensing Programme, official Beijing 2008 Olympic merchandise will soon be available in every major city across China, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) revealed yesterday.

"With the official kick-off of the programme, the sales network of the merchandise will be made as large as possible to cover all the provinces, cities and autonomous regions in China," said Yuan Bin, director of BOCOG Marketing Department. "More kinds of merchandise will be designed to help promote the brand image of the Games."

In order to test public reaction and learn more about marketing requirements, the Licensing Programme was operated on a trial basis starting from August 2004.

By the end of this August, about 600 kinds of licensed goods in seven categories, such as leisure clothes, pins, stationery and bags, were available in 27 newly-established stores in seven cities Beijing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Nanjing, Chengdu and Shenzhen. According to BOCOG statistics, the sales volume has reached 600 million yuan (US$4.86 million).

"Through the trial stage of the programme, we have found some weaknesses in the sales of licensed merchandise, so we will improve the programme," said Yuan.

Stores will be set up in more cities, and other categories of goods, such as jewellery, toys and food, will be designed.

"The licensed stores will be set up in scenic spots, and also in western cities," said Yuan. "We hope that by 2008, nearly 10,000 licensed stores will be open throughout China."

In order to satisfy the public's desire for officially licensed merchandise, more manufacturing and distribution licensees will be selected by BOCOG.

"Licensees will be selected on the basis of market research, qualification assessment, and first-hand investigation," said Yuan. "We are aiming to raise the quality of the merchandise and involve more Chinese enterprises in the Olympics."

Yuan also revealed that an international programme is also included in the Licensing Programme, so that Beijing 2008 merchandise will be sold around the world.

(China Daily 11/03/2005 page2)

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