Centennial Olympic bricks, engraved with the purchaser's name, are on sale at Home Depot stores for a tax-deductible $35. The engraved bricks will be placed in a commemorative park planned for downtown Atlanta. The brick program is the "latest in a string of seemingly improbable marketing schemes designed to raise money for the cash-hungry Atlanta Games." Olympic planners are "all but certain" they can collect $70M by selling the bricks, which normally would go for less than 50 cents each. With spokespeople like Hank Aaron and Mary Lou Retton, Home Depot will pitch the bricks in a national media campaign (Emory Thomas, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/7). The first $15M in profits from the sale of the bricks will go towards building the park, while all other profits go to ACOG and the USOC (Melissa Turner, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/5).
Orders for Olympics tickets are "already pouring in from folks with Olympic connections." Sponsors, licensees and local hotels were expected to place orders for tickets by October 31 and the 196 national Olympic committees will make their orders by December 1. Other groups with early access to tickets include local universities donating dorm rooms, Olympic venue owners, the ACOG private housing operation, soccer booster clubs and broadcast rights holders. ACOG isn't saying how many early tickets each group gets but says that the tickets are "both high- demand and low-demand." This means that ACOG is "likely low- balling" ticket sales projections, since 60% of the projected 6.7M total will probably be sold before the ticket sales are made public in the spring (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/5).