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The person responsible for the products that will boast the Rio 2016™ emblems speaks about challenges and strategies
Rio 2016™ will not only be in the hearts and minds of Brazilians. It will be everywhere, on clothes, cars, bed linen and table accessories, on the walls of homes, workplaces, schools and wherever your imagination takes you. To spread the Rio 2016™ Olympic and Paralympic Games brand across Brazil and to make the experience of the greatest sports event on Earth tangible is the challenge of Sylmara Multini, General Manager of Licensing, Retail and Concessions of theRio 2016™ Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the next four years.
Sylmara is in charge of overseeing the development and distribution of over 12,000 products for all ages and income brackets, working closely with licensees. This is no news to somebody who has headed similar tasks with corporate giants such as Disney, Mattel and Warner. Contributing to increasing the popularity of some of the world's most famous characters and brands accredited her to something unprecedented in her career.
“We have two brands existing together. One ends at the end of 2016. The other, the rings (on the Olympic emblem) and the “agitos” (on the paralympic emblem) will be delivered the IOC even better than when we received them. I had never worked with two brands together, for the same product, and with such distinctive ways. It is quite a challenge”, Sylmara said.
As well as the brands, the pictograms, to be launched in 2013, and the mascots, to be unveiled in 2014, will also be displayed on official products. The first category of products to be licensed will be collectibles. Coins and stamps will be launched in honour of London’s handover of the Olympic flag to Rio de Janeiro in August. The traditional pins, the real Olympic Movement craze, are also under way. London 2012 has designed 2012 types of pins. This order of magnitude will be similar for Rio 2016™.
The year 2013 awaits clothing products, accessories, footwear, bed linen, table and bathroom accessories, called “softline”, which account for half of the revenues from licensing. The hardline category, comprising stationery, toys and home products, will be launched in the second semester of 2014. The sale of official products is expected to turn over R$ 1 billion in the Brazilian market.
Keeping an eye on youth
A total of 6,000 points of sale are expected to be used for the distribution of over 12,000 products. Between 2014 and 2016, over 150 official shops will be opened at airports, kiosks, shopping centres, hotels, the Olympic and Paralympic Village and all Games venues. A Megastore is also expected to be installed on Copacabana Beach. The beach is not only one of the symbols of the city but also of youth, also included in Sylmara’s scope.
“In the world of licensing, 70% of sales are targeted at 4-8 year olds. The Games traditionally reach an older audience, though”, the General Manager says.
The strategy is to keep fans interested in the Rio 2016™ symbols for the next four years and make these symbols a milestone in the memory of the Games.
“We are currently working to launch our brand at a major fashion show. Then, we would launch it to the top target. With time we will make the products more popular. The key is to maintain brand sustainability. Our objective is to make our products take the market by storm. We will be able to see Rio 2016™ being sold everywhere”, Sylmara said and reminded that previous experiences show that 80% of sales do not occur before the year of the Games.
The Olympic and Paralympic relics, part of the identity and history of sport, are priceless for the fans, who are scattered across the globe and whose needs will be met even if they cannot watch the Games in the Wonderful City. All over the place, on bed linen, table accessories, at home, school or work, Rio 2016™ will be remembered with good memories, much of which is thanks to Sylmara Multini.