Official Vancouver 2010 apparel a hit with Canadians and Olympic fans the
world over

    
    -   One million pairs of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold; more on their
        way
    -   One in 34 Canadians now wearing their heart on their hands
    -   More than 500,000 hoodies, toques and scarves of official 2010
        Canadian Olympic Team apparel sold
    

VANCOUVER, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - Somewhere in Canada this week, an unsuspecting shopper picked up the one millionth pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold since the "it" souvenir of the 2010 Winter Games appeared on store shelves across the country on October 1. The sale of mittens and Vancouver 2010 official merchandise has arguably become the most visible example of excitement surrounding the upcoming Games.

The affordable mittens, which retail for $10, have been so successful they have been hard to keep in stock. Stores have reported selling out before the red-hot mitts even hit shelves. In response, another 300,000 pairs of Red Mittens will be shipped this week to Hudson's Bay Company stores, including Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations, across the country.

Several hundred thousand more pairs will be available after the holiday season rush as the country counts down the final days to the official start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010. This will be the optimum time for Red Mitten wearing as Canadians show the world they know how to wear their hearts on their hands as they cheer on their athletes going for gold on home soil.

"With only 58 days to go to the start of the Games, already one in 34 Canadians owns a pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens. That's a staggering statistic given that we expected sales to peak in January and February," said Dennis Kim, director of licensing and merchandising for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

"Coupled with our merchandise sales, we can clearly see how deeply Canadians want to support Canada's Games and our athletes by purchasing official Vancouver 2010 gear designed and produced by our partners and licensees using quality materials and sourced in an ethical, social and environmental manner. We thank everyone and know Canadian athletes are grateful for their support and passion."

At the same time they purchased their Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens, Canadians and Olympic fans from the world over have purchased more than half a million hoodies, toques and scarves of official 2010 Canadian Olympic Team apparel, designed and manufactured by the Hudson's Bay Company.

In one single Hudson's Bay Company store location alone - the flagship Olympic Superstore site in downtown Vancouver - an estimated 70,000 pieces of Vancouver 2010 merchandise have flown off store shelves. The official Team Canada hockey jersey for the 2010 Winter Games, designed and manufactured by Nike Canada in collaboration with Hockey Canada and VANOC, is projected to significantly outsell the sweaters produced for the gold medal-winning teams in Salt Lake City.

"The phenomenal runaway success of the Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sales of official Games gear at Hudson's Bay Company store locations across the country and we're replenishing our stores as fast as we can to meet the demand," said Mark Kinnin, vice president, Olympics and global sourcing, of the Hudson's Bay Company. "We've also seen remarkable sales of our official 2010 Canadian Olympic Team apparel. It's wonderful to see Canadians excited about the Games, our athletes and showing pride in their country."

The Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's largest retailer and General Retail Merchant of the 2010 Winter Games, is playing a vital role in manufacturing and retailing the mittens at its Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations across the country. The mittens are also available at www.vancouver2010.com/store.

The official Red Mittens feature a white Maple Leaf in the heart of each palm (perfect for cheering and waving!) and the Olympic Rings and Vancouver 2010 stitched on the outside. They are a unifying element that knit together Olympic torchbearers, Canadian athletes, Canadian fans and Olympic supporters around the world.

Net proceeds from every pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold are helping complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provides Canadian athletes with top equipment and training for the 2010 Games. Any additional funds raised through the Red Mittens campaign will support a variety of Vancouver 2010 Winter Games' athlete- and sport-based initiatives. For more information, visit www.vancouver2010.com/redmittens.

    
    Buy real and support Canada's Games and athletes
    ------------------------------------------------
    

By purchasing only official Vancouver 2010 merchandise, customers are supporting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

To ensure their money is going directly to the Games and athletes, consumers should note that all official Vancouver 2010 merchandise is:

    
    -   Produced using strict quality assurance standards
    -   Made of quality materials and is manufactured to last
    -   Produced according to a high level of ethical sourcing and social
        responsibility
    -   Created to support the visual identity of Vancouver 2010 and the core
        values upon which the Olympic and Paralympic Movements are based
    

Consumers are encouraged to look for the unique hologram affixed to each item of official Vancouver 2010 merchandise. A symbol of the product's authenticity, these holograms feature Vancouver 2010 emblems along with several layers of security and have been designed to prevent unauthorized copying, protect consumers and assist customs officers. For more information, visit www.vancouver2010.com/buy-real.

Note to Photo Editors:

Images of Canadians and notables wearing Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens are available as high resolution downloads from the media centre image gallery at www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/media-centre/image-gallery/red-mittens-photos.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Darlene Small, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-3535, darlene_small@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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VANOC

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