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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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Rebel Events Brasil Ltd (REBL) have been appointed to take charge of the merchandise and retail programme at this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in conjunction with Venue Retail Ltd (VRL), the company that led operations at the London 2012/

insidethegames understands that Rebel is a company created specifically for Rio 2016 as a subsidery of British-based VRL, whose registered address is in Northampton.

They were appointed late last year and have begun undertaking a more direct role in recent weeks.

They are responsible for distributing and organsing all merchandise sold during the Olympics and Paralympics.

"The name of the Brazilian company providing this operation for Rio 2016 is Rebel," a Rio 2016 spokesperson confirmed.

"They have a partnership with Venue Retail."

VRL operated the biggest in-venue merchandise programme in Olympic history at London, and subsequently took control of selling 1,500 types of commemorative items at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years later.

They were also responsible for the retail programme at last year#s Pan American Games in Toronto.

It is hoped around 8,000 official Rio 2016 products will be available by the time of the Games, with the expectation that these items will generate around BRL1 billion (£175 million/$256.8 million/€228 million) in Brazilian retail sales.

Around 150 official Rio 2016 stores will be open and there will be more than 40,000 sales points across Brazil, including at all airports to be used during the Games.

Games-related merchandise is a major way to raise the profile of the Olympics held i South America, particularly at a time when organisers are keen to boost popularity among the national population due to concerns over high spending given Brazil is currently experiencing its worst recession for more than 20 years.

insidethegames was told last August how merchandise revenue was then at a lower level than at an equivalent time ahead of both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.

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