Olympics and Party Pieces

The value of Olympics as a brand and to the British nation continues to ruffle feathers.  In this case, the feathers ruffled are those of Party Pieces, a company owned by the royal in-laws, the Middleton family.  The company has been cleared of any infringements by LOCOG after being asked to make a couple of changes to their website.  Their current "Celebrate the Games" page offers a benign collection of mostly London and British themed items.

However, with the two strong brands of the Middleton Family and the Olympics combined in one story, the press coverage has been ferocious.  There are over 2,500 hits on Google news at the time of writing. The Daily Mail's article on the topic has generated a lot of comments which, unfortunately, do not all focus on IP aspects of the Olympics.

In addition to the branded merchandise sold in shops, LOCOG also offers an e-Bay style official auction site where you can bid for a variety of official merchandise including signed torches.  Members of the public can also sell via the site but, presumably to avoid fakes, must first enter a serial number found on holograms on official merchandise. 

As a final thought, some numbers on the games branding:
There will be 250 Olympic "brand police" on patrol during the games and the Olympic brand is estimated to be worth £30.8 billion. From this press release, 90% of Olympic licensees are British [Merpel assumes this includes multi-national corporations with British offices], and, "It is estimated that the London 2012 merchandise programme will generate more than £1 billion worth of sales, contributing more than £80m to the staging of the Games. By Games time an estimated 10,000 merchandise items will be on sale in the UK."

Game on!
Olympics and Party Pieces Olympics and Party Pieces Reviewed by Nicola Searle on Saturday, July 21, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Incidentally, today's Guardian has a Modern Toss on LOCOG's IP rights.

  2. Games branding isn't confined to the Olympics: it's already well under way in relation to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Some good comments here from Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland's business editor - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-18947289.


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