Coca-Cola is counting down the days to the Vancouver games with special promotions, licensed merchandise and a bigger presence at retail.Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's largest retailer, houses a 20,000-square-foot Olympic superstore on its main floor with

April 6, 2018

3 Min Read

Coca-Cola is counting down the days to the Vancouver games with special promotions, licensed merchandise and a bigger presence at retail.

Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's largest retailer, houses a 20,000-square-foot Olympic superstore on its main floor with more than 1,000 pieces of licensed merchandise. This is the first time that Olympic merchandise has been housed in a permanent brick and mortar store.

Within that superstore is a pin trading center that opened on Jan. 2. Pin trading has been a part of Coca-Cola's Olympic efforts since 1988.

Among the highlights of the 600-square-foot center is a map of the world where collectors can leave their pin and in return get a Coca-Cola Olympic pin. The map has pins from places as far away as Japan and Russia and once the games are over the map will be displayed at Coca-Cola's headquarters.

"It's always one of those litmus tests when you open a pin trading center, how many people are going to come out, how long will they stay and when we opened the one on Jan. 2 we had a full crowd in the pin trading center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and that was a strong statement. I am very excited about what it is going to look like when we get to games time," says Pete Canalichio, vice president of business development for Licensing Brands Inc. based in Atlanta.

Canadian TV covered the opening at Hudson's Bay and the network will also have a kiosk in its atrium that will open Feb. 11. A 1,000-square-foot Olympic store will open in the retail alley of the Vancouver Airport on Feb. 8. And remain open until March 2 to catch fans heading home from the games.

There are about 130 pins retailing for between $10 and $12. The more exclusive pins are released closest to the games culminating in a pin of the day set which is the shape of the contoured Coca-Cola bottle that breaks down into mini piece that form the Vancouver Olympic logo. The logo features an inukshuk, a traditional stone sculpture used by Canada's Inuit people.

"The great thing about pin collecting is that you can bring home a souvenir that is very intricate, you know a lot of energy and effort went into making it and you can keep it forever and it cost you $10," says Canalichio.

There are about 200 SKUs of licensed product including Artiss Aminco for lapel pins and accessories; Elevate for apparel; Kingsky for plush; Mustang for beverageware; Natural Color for magnets and playing cards; RC Products for key chains and lanyards; and Sunbelt for commemorative bottles.

Product is sold at the trading centers, www.vancouver2010.com, Walmart and Zellers.

A portion of the proceeds from pins and licensed merchandise goes to the World Wildlife Fund and the Aboriginal Youth Legacy Fund. And the majority of the products are made with recycled materials.

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