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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.
Olympic Mascots to Help Firms Cash In

"They are selling extremely well," said Xie Hong, a press officer from Coca-Cola (China) Beverages Ltd, who was talking about how 4,800 special Beijing Olympics mascot cans placed in Xidan Grandpacific Department Store sold out in just one hour.

Coca-Cola unveiled the special cans immediately after Beijing announced its five cartoon mascots for the 2008 Olympic games. More than 1.6 million special Coca-Cola cans are being sold in 21 cities across China.

The scene was the same for other products bearing the special Olympic mascot. In many big shopping centres people crowded into shops selling Olympic products, with some shelves empty after only one day of business.

There are more than 100 mascot-related products, including pens, toys, hats, bags and other souvenirs. These are on sale at 188 authorized venues across the country.

Prices vary, with fluorescent pens on sale for 8 yuan (US$1) and souvenir badges, some made of gold, going for more than 100,000 yuan (US$1,233).

Huang Wei, an expert on the Olympic economy, estimated the revenue from selling mascot-related products could reach 4 billion yuan (US$493 million).

"I have looked at the markets from the Sydney and Barcelona Olympic games, but I have never seen such enthusiasm as with Chinese people," Huang said.

And as Beijing has five mascots, the revenue is expected to be bigger, Huang added.

David Brooks, Olympic project manager at Coca Cola, thinks that five mascots is a good marketing ploy.

"The mascot product market for the Beijing Games should be much bigger than previous Olympic games as China has a much larger population," he said.

Brooks said the company will have more mascot-related activities in the future.

By August this year nearly 600 Beijing Olympic licensed products had gone on sale, with sales totalling more than 600 million yuan (US$74 million).

(China Daily November 15, 2005)

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