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How to kill a brand

The main licensee of the Commonwealth Games merchandise is considering withdrawing from the contract after the launch of the Games-branded items was postponed indefinitely for the fourth time on Monday.

delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2010 00:30 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The main licensee of the Commonwealth Games merchandise is considering withdrawing from the contract after the launch of the Games-branded items was postponed indefinitely for the fourth time on Monday.

"We will wait for two more days after which we will withdraw. This has been too much,"said Suresh Kumar, chairman of Premium Brands, the company in charge of manufacturing and marketing the unique 'CWGDelhi2010' items whose designs have been copyrighted by the Organising Committee (OC).

"This is the fourth time (that the launch has been postponed). Everything has been ready for months.”

After scheduling the launch for 4 pm, Monday, the organisers called up the company around lunch-time to inform about the cancellation.

The Games-branded merchandise was supposed to hit the markets a couple of months ago and as per the planned estimates, the OC expected to make Rs 50 crore in revenue from the deal.

Thanks to the controversies and delays in practically every work related to the Games, the organisers and the merchandising company have lost out on the time it takes for these items to gain momentum in the markets.

"Now, we do not expect to earn any profit or break even,"said Kumar. Barely 54 days are remaining for the CWG-branded items to get a shot at buyers. Once the Games get over, the items will be of no use.

While Lalit Bhanot, the OC spokesman was not available for comment, officially the OC cited the unavailability of OC chairperson Suresh Kalmadi, who was in Parliament attending a special debate on the Games, as the reason for the postponement of the launch.

Earlier this year the organisers had been waiting for the FIFA World Cup to get over for the Games buzz to take effect.

Sources said the store room at the OC headquarters is filled with the items ready to launch for weeks now.

The OC has copyrighted around 50 design elements unique to 'Games 2010'. The designs have been applied to a variety of items, from scarves, coffee mugs, umbrellas, laptop covers, t-shirts, ties, key-chains, packaging papers, posters, visors and others to build the buzz about the Games.

Unlike Beijing, whose public places like coffee shops, theatres, stations, public transport etc wore the 'Olympics' look months in advance with the help of the uniquely branded merchandise, Delhi is yet to don the appearance of a city about to host the Games in just two months.