Promotional Products Play Important Role in 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games

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PPAI Says Olympic Promotional Products Will Be as Popular as Ever in 2010

From rare souvenirs of Olympics past to collectable items from modern games, Olympic promotional products have a long tradition of being rewarding for both sponsors and spectators, alike.

According to Promotional Products Association International(PPAI), the non-profit, international trade association for the promotional products industry, pins, shirts, hats and other promotional products will be as popular as ever as they are purchased, collected or traded in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

“As a spectator, whether you are viewing the games at home or in person, promotional products are among the first things you notice,” said Sherri Lennarson, MAS, PPAI board chair. “Apparel and souvenirs with the iconic rings, host city logos and designs from participating countries help create the sense of team spirit and unity associated with the Olympic Games.”

In addition to building excitement, promotional products are a key medium of brand marketing. “Some of the world’s leading corporations invest millions of dollars in Olympic sponsorships for the widespread brand exposure and association with such a historic event,” said Lennarson. “These Olympic marketing programs typically incorporate a variety of promotional products. For the Winter Games, products will include t-shirts, key chains, buttons and drink ware, among others, all branded with official Olympic or sponsoring company logos.”

Many sponsoring companies and official licensees are turning to eco-friendly products to highlight their brands. Suppliers such as Vancouver-based Boardroom Eco Apparel, a PPAI member, provide branded apparel to Olympic apparel licensees like the Hudson Bay Company, which is created under strict eco-friendly guidelines. “Promotional products have an undeniable impact when used during the Olympics, especially when they are eco-friendly” said Mark Trotzuk, president of Boardroom Eco Apparel. “These branded products are a key tool for promoting both leading brands and environmental protection worldwide.”

Collecting promotional products from Olympic Games has become a sport in itself. The frenzy over Olympic promotional items began at the first modern Olympics and has grown ever since. “Mascots, pins and stamps have become highly-sought after items, allowing spectators to have ownership of a part of history,” said Lennarson. “An Olympic pin from the 1960 Olympic Games can sell for nearly $300 today.”

Coca Cola is known to be the longest, continuous corporate partner of the Olympic Games and has helped drive the phenomenon of pin trading. The company creates anticipation with a new pin design for each Olympiad to be worn by residents, spectators, Olympic officials and athletes.

Promotional products don’t have to be all about business. Stuffed animal mascots are usually among the most popular Olympic memorabilia purchased and traded among spectators. The 2010 mascots, Miga, Quatchi and Sumi can be found on a variety of products designed to appeal to both kids and adults.

Items that are difficult to acquire are in high demand, such as the Olympic torches used in the around-the-world relays leading up to the opening ceremony. “Worn jerseys are coveted items and serious collectors often attempt to purchase these products directly from athletes,” said Lennarson. “From rare souvenirs of Olympics past to collectable items from modern games, Olympic promotional products have a long tradition of being rewarding for both sponsors and spectators, alike.”

About PPAI
PPAI—the promotional products industry’s only international not-for-profit trade association—offers education, tradeshows, business products and services, mentoring, technology and legislative support to its more than 7,500 global members. Promotional products are an $18.1 billion industry and include wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drink ware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. PPAI created and maintains the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry’s only free identification system and universal company database.

For more information about Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) or to learn more about the proven power of promotional products (including research and case studies), visit the PPAI website at or contact PPAI at 972-258-3040 or PR(at)ppai(dot)org.

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