Cornered by numerous controversies, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) was dealt another blow after Games merchandising company Premier Brands pulled out. “We have decided to withdraw as the project has got delayed too much,” said Suresh Kumar, Chairman of Premium Brands, a leading sports merchandising firm in India. “I will never come forward for any event organised by the Indian Olympic Association,” he added.
The official merchandising and licensing partner of the Delhi Games, Premium Brands, had been threatening to withdraw as the delay in launching the merchandise was causing it huge losses every day. Kumar said his company got an acceptance letter on May 19 but the contract only after July, after asking for it many times.
“The first lot of merchandise worth Rs. 3 crore has been ready for more than a month and is lying in the store room of the OC headquarters,” he said. The merchandise would have yielded Rs. 100 crore if launched on time, when the Queen’s Baton Relay entered India on June 24. “We have already lost out on 80 percent business,” he said. If the merchandise is launched now, the company will not be able to even earn back its investment.
The OC has copyrighted around 50 design elements unique to ‘Games 2010’. The designs have been used of several items, like scarves, coffee mugs, umbrellas, laptop covers, t-shirts, ties, key-chains, packaging papers, posters, visors and others to build awareness and excitement around the Games.
The project included various initiatives a website for merchandising products, opening outlets across the Games venues and stores across shopping malls, 400 schools in NCR, metro stations and the airport. The OC was expecting to earn Rs. 50 crore from merchandising.