Following a successful trial run over the past six months, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics organizing committee launched its official licensing program on Tuesday to help streamline preparations for the event.
Starting from Tuesday, official Beijing 2022 merchandise manufacturers and retailers will enter mass production and sales of products bearing official emblems of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 16 merchandise categories, including badges, clothing, ceramics and stationary, as the licensing program gets into full swing.
The licensing projects concern marketing activities authorized by Beijing organizers to design, produce and sell merchandise containing logos, mascots and relevant intellectual property rights of the Games.
Olympic merchandise reflecting host-city characteristics are highly sought-after commodities, and Beijing is committed to making its own collection commemorating the 2022 Games even more popular, with expectations boosted by strong sales of the first batch of products in an earlier trial run.
"The impressive market response to our products during the trial run represents the strong demand for licensed Beijing 2022 souvenirs, and lays a solid foundation for sales to expand in scale," Piao Xuedong, marketing director of the committee, said at the launch on Tuesday.
Sales of a limited range of Beijing 2022 licensed products generated more than 100 million yuan ($14.7 million) in revenue since the pilot run began at 16 outlet stores and online platforms in December after the organizing committee unveiled the official Beijing 2022 emblems.
Some of the most popular items are 2022 commemorative badges displaying the Olympics and Paralympics logos, which were sold out within two hours on the opening day of the trial phase, Piao said.
"The licensing project will surely boost the preparation and organization of the 2022 Olympics with strong financial backing, but we expect it to also promote the Olympic spirit, traditional Chinese culture and Beijing's vibrant image," he said.
The launch on Tuesday comes three years after Beijing won the bid to host the upcoming Winter Olympics, becoming the only city to ever host both the Summer and Winter Games.
As part of a national ambition to involve 300 million people in winter sports activities leading up to 2022, the Beijing organizing committee announced on Tuesday the opening of a design competition for licensed products featuring Beijing 2022 logos.
Interested individuals and companies can submit their designs to the organizing committee through its official website (http://www.beijing2022.cn/en) before Sept 15. Qualified bids approved by a panel will be demonstrated online for public review from October to December. Winning bids, voted on by the public, will be manufactured into licensed products available at Beijing 2022's retail shops beginning January 2019.
"It's an effective way to get more people involved in the celebration of the Olympic spirit, and it will mobilize the whole nation to support the 2022 Olympics," said Han Zirong, secretary-general of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.