Interestingly, officials within the OC are worried about the delay in making Games merchandise available. ‘‘The Asian Games are in November, after the CWG 2010, yet its merchandise has been available for some months now. The sale of merchandise is the best way to advertise the Games as well as build a connection with the common man,’’ says a senior official.
That’s not all. Revenue is bound to get affected by the continuing delay, admit officials. The OC believes revenue generated from the Games products will help it pay back the staggering Rs 1,620 crore loans it has taken from the central government. Yet, with delays dogging the launch of the merchandise, revenues are going to be affected, say sources. ‘‘The revenue (from product sale) is going to go down by at least 20%,’’ says a senior OC official. ‘‘Early availability translates into not only a wider publicity but also better sale,’’ adds the official.
Earlier in July, OC took out an advertisement regarding its copyrights over Commonwealth Games logo and threatened legal prosecution against those found selling Games merchandise. The advertisement came in after raids revealed that several merchants were selling products with Shera printed on them. Said a senior OC official, ‘‘Presence of fake merchandise shows there is a demand for Games memorabilia. But due to delays we have failed to take advantage of this interest.’’
It is a sentiment shared by shopkeepers. They say they are getting queries from customers but have no products to sell. Meanwhile, sources in Premier Brands, which won the bid to manufacture the products for the OC, say they are waiting for word from OC before they can make the products available. The Games merchandise was originally supposed to be sold from June onwards.