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Olympic Merchandise to Net US$70 Million
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Olympic merchandise is likely to net China at least US$70 million, said Games organizers yesterday.


Yuan Bin, director of the Marketing Department at the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) said she was "very optimistic" about reaching, or even exceeding, the target.


"We achieved our sales goal last year," Yuan said, although she declined to reveal how much money had been made by the Olympic licensing program.


"Our marketing program is going well. We are trying to balance expenses and income and I think revenue generated from the program will cover the Games' expenses.


"I am optimistic that marketing income will surpass that of previous Games."


The Marketing Department recruited eight manufacturers and 34 distributors in 2006, meaning there is now a total of 130 enterprises licensed to produce goods for the 2008 Games.


So far, more than 4,000 licensed products have gone on sale in about 500 franchise stores in 70 cities across the country.


With new franchise stores opening this year, the total number of stores is expected to rise to 2,000 by 2008, covering all provincial capitals and major cities.


In Beijing flagship Olympic franchise stores will be opened in main business districts.


China Post will launch its third set of Olympic commemorative stamps and the Bank of China will begin selling a second set of Olympic coins.


BOCOG also aims to produce more low-cost licensed merchandise, meeting the demand from Chinese people from all walks of life.


Meanwhile the licensing program also includes overseas sales.


Yuan said the overseas licensing program was jointly designed by the International Olympic Committee, BOCOG and the National Olympic Committee (NOC).


BOCOG has been working with the US Olympic Committee to sell Beijing Olympics licensed products, and is cooperating with Southeast Asian countries.


Organizers have also been in touch with the organizers of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and the 2012 London Games.


"This year through the torch relay we are going to start promoting our overseas licensing program in international cities," said Yuan.


(China Daily March 8, 2007)

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