What Drives the Consumer Products Business Behind the Olympics

Designed for retail leaders and lovers alike, Retail Refined explores the in-store technology of the future, challenges the industry’s preconceived notions, and brings together retail’s biggest names to understand the brand strategies that will define the next decade in retail.

 

With the highly anticipated Tokyo Olympics and Tokyo Paralympics just around the corner, excitement for the Games has been building. Behind the scenes, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties (USOPP) team has also been hard at work, establishing new partnerships, and finding innovative ways to support its sponsors and licensees, and, ultimately, the athletes who bring the Games to life.

“Our athletes are amazing and truly in it for the love of the sport. They’re ambassadors for us as much as athletes on the world stage” -Peter Zeytoonjian

Melissa Gonzalez, Host of Retail Refined, was joined by Peter Zeytoonjian, Senior Vice President of Commerce and Events, for the USOPP, a veteran consumer marketing executive known for developing global commercial business strategies, to talk about the Games and the opportunities ahead. In 2018, Zeytoonjian was tasked with developing a ten-year consumer products business that will support and enhance Team USA—which is comprised of athletes who compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others—and LA28. “Our athletes are amazing and truly in it for the love of the sport. They’re ambassadors for us as much as athletes on the world stage,” he said.

The USOPP offers Team USA product lines to a wide variety of major retailers, from Macy’s and Old Navy, to Target, creating a level of exclusivity specific to those channels. For the Tokyo Games, USOPP formed a unique partnership with Sanrio, known for its Hello Kitty line. And it signed a deal with NBCUniversal, too. “Everyone is looking for something different. How do we bring different product lines, a different aesthetic, that still ties to a brand, but gives everyone a niche product, something unique in market share?” he said.  It’s a challenge that Zeytoonjian welcomes. The LA28 products, for example, will take hold in LA commercially before going national. “We’re different from other sports properties, different from other Olympics associations or committees,” he explained. “Every dollar we raise goes back to the team. When you put something on that’s Team USA, you’re supporting a national athlete.”

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