18 October 2014
In November the Rio 2016 mascot will be unveiled
Rio 2016 is set to unveil its mascot next month, it has been revealed, the most important moment so far of a merchandise programme that is aiming to raise BRL1 billion ($420 million).
The official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Fuleco the Armadillo, failed to generate much interest and was even burned by demonstrators in protest against the championship, according to the Insidethegames portal.
However, Sylmara Multini, licensing director of Rio 2016, expects lessons to be learned and people to be more receptive before and during South America’s first Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There has been a long-running campaign by environmentalists to try to persuade Rio 2016 to choose as its mascot the endangered golden lion tamarin, native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, but Multini refused to give anything away about its identity.
According Multini, their strategy is based around “transforming the mascots into characters, which will live in the hearts of the fans. To become relevant with the young target audience, we will develop apps, games and other digital assets which will operate on tablets and smart phones. The mascot will also be included across the full range of licensed products and we expect it to be a very visible presence throughout the Games.”
Currently Rio 2016 is halfway through completing 65 agreements with companies that will produce and sell Games-related souvenirs.
Multini has predicted that the the mascot will be the best seller among the items produced as souvenirs, that are also set to include flip-flops and beach towels, which she believes are a perfect tie-in with Copacabana, arguably Rio de Janeiro’s best known landmark.
According to preliminary calculations, the mascot, could raise as much as $67.2 million in sales revenue.