With just 68 days to go, the organisers still don’t know when to release the plethora of Commonwealth Games 2010-branded merchandise in the market to help Delhi don the look of a city about to host a global showpiece event.
As per original plans, the Organising Committee (OC) was supposed to release the unique branded items months in advance, giving Delhiites enough time to get them into circulation and build the buzz about the Games.
The sale of merchandising items is one of the major sources of revenue for the cash-strapped Organising Committee.
Sources say the merchandising firm is ready with most of the stuff and is waiting for a green signal from the Committee.
But for reasons unknown, the organisers are sitting on it. “The items were supposed to have reached all the schools and retail markets in Delhi by now. There was a plan to hit the road in vans and go to the people’s doorstep and sell these unique products. But nothing is happening,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
Internally, a section of the OC has been expressing concern about this delay as the items are expected to lose their marketability after October 14, when the Games end.
“As it is we have lost valuable sales time thanks to this delay,” said the official.
The organisers have 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, which are ready.
“We have spoken to a few big schools. We are ready with two vans to carry the items to neighbourhoods. We will launch the moment the OC gives us the go ahead,” said Suresh Kumar, chairman, Premium Brands, the Games merchandising vendor.
Keeping the price-sensitivity of the Indian markets, most of the items have been priced within Rs 300, he said.
“While there are costlier items like ties, the average price is well within every one’s budget,” he said.
Apart from merchandise, multiple agencies also had ideas to erect archways, Shera statues and put up buntings at major intersections.
The OC spokesperson, Lalit Bhanot, said the merchandise would be launched shortly.