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Volume 24 No. 156
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Olympic Notes

The AP’s Cassandra Vinograd notes bloggers and other commentators “have been skewering” London Games official mascots Wenlock and Mandeville “for scaring children and projecting a creepy surveillance-state image of the Olympic games.” Organizers would not provide a breakdown of sales so far, but said that Wenlock and Mandeville items “make up around 20 percent of the total London 2012 licensed merchandise, which is expected to generate more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) worth of sales” (AP, 7/23).

ON THE CATWALK: The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Carola Long examined numerous NGBs' Opening Ceremony uniforms under a Style section subhead, “Which Designers Have Struck Gold? And Which Have Fallen Flat?” Team USA’s Ralph Lauren uniform “harks back to a more gentlemanly era of sportsmanship, although the berets add a military touch.” The “most considerate touch by the Ralph Lauren designers, however, is the size of their logo.” Long: “No one should have any concerns that they won’t be able see it, because the ‘Big Pony’ insignia is huge.” Meanwhile, Spain’s uniforms are “aiming to make rival competitors laugh so hard they can’t focus” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/21).

Octagon's Dudley carries Olympic torch
through streets on London
NOTES: Octagon CEO & President Rick Dudley today participated in the Olympic Torch Relay, carrying the torch through the streets of London (Octagon)....In London, Cahal Milmo notes ad agency WPP CEO Martin Sorrell yesterday “joined the list of corporate grandees who have held aloft the Olympic flame” (London INDEPENDENT, 7/23)….REUTERS’ Karolos Grohmann reported the governing bodies of baseball and softball "are to merge in a bid to regain their Olympic status at the 2020 Games.” The new federation will “provisionally be called the International Baseball and Softball Federation.” Baseball and softball last appeared in the ’08 Beijing Games (REUTERS, 7/22)….In London, Jacquelin Magnay notes President Obama “has yet to commit to the trip across the Atlantic and insiders have suggested if he does arrive for the Olympics it will be short and sudden.” Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney “will arrive in London in time for Friday's Opening Ceremony before heading to Israel and Poland” (London INDEPENDENT, 7/23).