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  • Rio 2016 Mascots to Help Generate One Billion Reais


    Meet the new mascots for the 2016 Olympics. (Rio 2016)
    (ATR) Memorabilia from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic mascots are expected to help generate $394 million in sales.

    A spokesperson from the organizing committee confirmed the figure at a conference call between reporters and Beth Lula, Rio 2016 brand director.

    At the time of the launch four products are available for purchase: t-shirts, pins, plush toys and hats.

    Around 3,000 products will be made for the mascots in the Rio 2016 merchandising program according to a Rio 206 spokesperson.

    “There will be a whole line of mascot products, and they represent 25% of licensing revenue stream,” Lula said to reporters.

    The $394 million figure is the estimated total from merchandise sales, of which 25% will come from the mascots.

    “The mascots are the ambassadors of the game. They spread our message. They are very important to engage with the public especially so of course we took into account the revenue aspects.”

    Most of the mascot memorability will be made in Brazil, but Honav, a Chinese-based company, will produce the plush toys for the mascots. Rio 2016 said they expect 30 different plush toys will be produced, 15 for the Olympic mascot and 15 for the Paralympic mascot.

    The mascots for the 2016 Olympics came from a national tender contest, where 24 companies applied to design the mascots. Eventually, three companies were chosen as finalists with Birdo Produções’ design winning out.

    Lula emphasized the mascots were designed with children in mind, and that the backstory provided with each design was just important as the design. The full mascot backstories can be found here.

    Social media will play a very important with the 2016 mascots, with both having their own websites, along with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

    “We did a whole research from mascots in previous games, and we learned a lot,” Lula added.

    “The mascots must represent their own culture because the people need to be proud of them. The way the companies did something was to represent the diversity of our culture, the diversity of Brazil.”

    The organizing committee said they had 400 names originally, with 70 names that were submitted to be registered globally. Of those 70 names, three pairs made the final list to be voted on.

    According to Lula, Oba and Eba represent Brazilian words for “feelings of joy.”

    The next set, Tiba Tuque and Esquindim, comes from a combination of the words for “a lot of joy” in the indigenous Tupi language, Tiba, and the feeling of joy and Samba with Tuqe and Esquindim.

    Finally, Vinicius and Tom, are named in honor of musicians that were pioneers of the Bossa Nova movement.

    Fans will have until December 14 to vote in a poll to choose the names of the mascots. A link to the poll can be found here

    Written by Aaron Bauer

    Homepage photo: Rio 2016

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