SBD/August 13, 2012/Olympics

Team GB Gear, Specifically Soccer Uniforms, Boosting Retail Sales

Team GB kits are currently the highest selling licensed clothing in the U.K.
Sales of Team Great Britain’s soccer uniforms have helped to "boost retailers during the second week of the Olympics despite initial fears that the Games were affecting footfall in Britain’s high streets and shopping centres," according to Graham Ruddick of the London TELEGRAPH. Department store group John Lewis said that sales over the past week are up 22.4% "compared to the same period last year thanks to the warm weather and 'feel-good factor'" of Team GB’s Gold Medal performances. adidas, which produces the Great Britain and London Games sportswear, said it is seeing “unprecedented demand.” The company said that the Team GB kit is now "the biggest selling licensed clothing range in the U.K." (London TELEGRAPH, 8/11). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Bryan-Low & Helliker noted if Olympic organizers are going to reach the stated goal of raising US$125.4M "from merchandising royalties, licensees will have to sell” about US$1.6B of gear. The IOC said the goal "was on track,” but officials declined to offer more sales figures until the completion of the Paralympic Games. The Olympic-wear aisles of the Sports Direct store on London’s Oxford Street “were packed Friday evening.” Everything “Team GB” was “marked down and quickly filling" shoppers' bags while a "large selection of Polska Team warm-ups drew no interest despite an 80% markdown.” Also “seemingly unwanted: stakes of Team Australia merchandise” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/11).

OTHER BUSINESS PERKS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Evans & Zekaria noted while the Olympic Games “proved a damp squib for many London businesses, the capital's upmarket retailers have cashed in at the tills.” Retail analysts said that “well-heeled tourists have flocked to expensive shopping districts and big department stores in London's West End between trips to venues.” Lewis said that his retailing company “enjoyed 12% sales growth at its flagship Oxford Street store for the week to Aug. 4 compared with the same week a year earlier.” London’s West End theaters said that they had “reaped some benefits after a downbeat start.” Society of London Theater CEO Julian Bird said, "The week leading up to the Olympics was very quiet, but theaters have bounced back since, as people have realized that the transport system was robust. On-the-day ticket sales have been growing every day." Evans & Zekaria note a “clearer picture will emerge when the Confederation of British Industry releases retail sales data for July on Aug. 16 and for August on Sept. 20” (, 8/12).

SPONSORSHIP ACTIVATION REVIEW: In N.Y., David Segal reviewed the various sponsor pavilions in Olympic Park, and he gave IOC TOP sponsor Coca-Cola "points for architectural originality" in its use of the Coca-Cola Beat Box. Segal wrote, "Coke gets credit for not turning the entire production into one extended ad. But the future flames, and Coke's executives, clearly think this elaborate production is far more fun that it is." At the pavilion built by IOC TOP sponsor Acer, "the line between children's theater and performance art for stoners is explored." But Acer "gets points for effort, which more than can be said for Samsung." Segal wrote of Samsung, "Highly skippable." IOC TOP sponsor Panasonic has the "best of the pavilions," as its show has "the highest Olympics-related content, and the event footage is extraordinary." IOC TOP sponsor BP has the "highest degree of difficulty of the sponors." Segal: "How does a company tied to one of history's most infamous oil spills package itself for the public? With staggering chutzpah. ... It's hard to know what BP should have done with its pavilion. Handed out gulf shrimp? Begged our Pardon? Let's put it this way: Anything would have been better than what it delivered" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/12).
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