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Volume 24 No. 156
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Olympic Marketing Notes: Visa Cardholders Have Spent Almost $700M At Games

International visitors to the London Games have spent almost $700M through Visa since July 23. The company yesterday said that travelers from the U.S. spent $85.5M, more than any other country. Japan ($50.9M) and France ($41.5M) spent the second and third most, respectively. Visa also was tracking money spent by its cardholders by sector. There has been $133.7M spent on services ranging from shoe repair to spa treatments, $95.5M on entertainment, like theater tickets, $82.9M on airlines and $71.8M with retailers ranging from antique shops to drug stores (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

Country USD Percent
U.S. $85.5M 12%
Japan $50.9M 7%
France $41.5M 6%
Italy $39.5M 6%
Australia $35.3M 5%
Ireland $32.4M 5%
Spain $31.1M 4%
Germany $30.9M 4%
Canada $24.1M 3%
Sweden $23.4M 3%

SOUVENIR SHOPPING: The GUARDIAN's Sam Jones wrote if the line to "get into the main gift centre -- a snaking, seven-lane and five-minute-long affair -- is anything to go by, London 2012 is doing a brisk trade on the merchandising front." Almost "anything that the Olympic-inflamed mind can conceive of is offered inside the store, which has the same generous proportions as a luxury car showroom, if not quite prices to match" (GUARDIAN, 8/1). Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Doug Lesmerises writes the Wimbledon golf shop was “taken over by Olympics gear, and there was not a single item -- T-shirt, towel, keychain, pin, potholder -- that had both the words Olympics and Wimbledon on it” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/2).

MAKING A SPLASH: Speedo USA President Jim Gerson said the company has "seen a rise" in sales during the Games, but the big "bump will come afterwards, because the fact is it raises the awareness of swimming." Speedo's Lazr swimsuits are being worn by several U.S. swimmers, including Gold Medal-winner Ryan Lochte. Gerson said, "Not everybody is going to be the fastest in the pool. I'm not going to be an Olympic athlete and race in the pool, but the fact is we also create products for fitness and also active recreation. We take some of these same technologies and bring it right into our fitness areas" ("Countdown to the Closing Bell," Fox Business, 7/31).

OPEN DOOR POLICY: The AP's Jill Lawless notes national hospitality houses "offer a base for a country's athletes, officials and occasional celebrities." Some are "open to the public, showing a festive side to tourists from around the world," while others are "strictly invitation only, like the American pavilion at the Royal College of Art." Lawless gives her "eclectic, unscientific" reviews of a few of the countries' houses (AP, 8/2).