How can a bright yellow cat be worth $400 million? The mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympics, left, and Paralympic Games make their first official appearance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The smiley-faced mascot represents the animal life of Brazil while the mascot for the Paralympics is a mopped-headed doll with leafy hair, meant to represent the vast diversity of the plant life in Brazil (AP photos)
How can a bright yellow cat be worth $400 million?
Lexile

A bright yellow cat-like figure is the mascot of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The smiley-faced mascot represents the animal life of Brazil. The mascot for the Paralympics is a mopped-headed doll with leafy hair, meant to represent the vast diversity of the flora in Brazil.

A public poll will be conducted to name the two mascots from a shortlist of possibilities.

Organizers hope to raise $400 million from branded merchandise. Income from merchandising makes up a big chunk of the $3 billion operating budget, of which half is to come from the sale of local sponsorships.

The Olympic merchandising campaign will comprise about 12,000 products aimed mostly at children.

"Our expectation is that the mascots will represent 25 percent of our (merchandising) business," Slymara Mutini, head of licensing, told The Associated Press.

"We are all very, very excited about the mascots, and we truly believe that's an achievable goal. And we might even surpass it."

The mascot for this year's World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil an armadillo named Fuleco generated little interest. Some blamed this on pre-World Cup protests, and repeated delays and distractions in preparing venues.

In addition to the operating budget, Rio is spending about $20 billion in a mix of private and public money to prepare sports venues and urban infrastructure. Brazil spent about $15 billion on the World Cup.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is it important to raise money from branded merchandise?

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COMMENTS (24)
  • cp2000nirvana
    12/01/2014 - 08:40 a.m.

    I think it was a good way to raise money with merchandise it would be a great way to raise money so they can give it to run the Olympics

  • Jocekyngomezsd
    12/01/2014 - 01:59 p.m.

    i think the mascot is really good and it fits the whole theme of the Olympics, the color and the whole mascot is a great idea.

  • MatthewL-Cal
    12/01/2014 - 09:24 p.m.

    "Mommy, mommy I want this Hello Kitty knockoff"
    "But child, it's expensive"
    "I don't care! It's for the OLYMPICS!!!!!!!!"

    I believe the main idea is copyright merchandising because of the simalarities between this thing and Hello Kitty.

  • stownsend-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 01:27 p.m.

    I find the mascot to be adorable. Being a follower of the World Cup, I agree that the mascot generated little interest. Although, for the 2016 Olympic games, I feel that it will be exciting and amazing.

  • JuvenileJellyfish
    12/03/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    It's about time the Olympics (see how i didn't spell it "Olipmic") have a cool mascot. It's in Brazil in 2016 and the mascot is awesome, it's better than no mascot.

  • KiraWvA-4
    12/03/2014 - 06:44 p.m.

    A yellow cat-person and a doll with a plant on its head are the mascots for the Olympics and the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro 2016. The designers plan to generate 400 million dollars, to help fund their 15 billion embarkment of hosting the Olympics, by selling merchandise aimed mainly at children. The mascots represent the fauna and flora life in Brazil, respectively. Reading about the vast amounts of tax money spent on the Olympics (and pocketed by most leaders) makes me quite annoyed, since there are already stadiums in other countries and those aren't being used. I like the cartoonish nature of the mascots, though.

  • tyresel-Orv
    12/10/2014 - 01:07 p.m.

    That's really stupid to me because why would anybody pay 400Mill on a bright yellow cat that's just merchandise. That's like me buying a stuffed animal that's worth up to 100 thousand dollars. It's just not worth it to me even if it's brazils symbol.

  • MDeonarine-Cas
    12/13/2014 - 11:27 p.m.

    That is crazy how the cat is worth the amount it is. Its probably because of the world cup. The cat was also expected to bring more money then they had expected it to. In conclusion it awesome to see a mascot of a cat get so much attention.

  • 12058801
    1/07/2015 - 01:56 p.m.

    At 1st I thought it was weird that a cat cost 400 million but now I under stand. I`m surprised that the world cup and other sports cost so much.

  • AllisonLogan1
    1/27/2015 - 07:23 p.m.

    A bright yellow cat that cost so much money! A good thing about this mascot is that it represents the vast diversity of flora in Brazil. The bad thing is that organizers was to raise up to 400 million dollars from brand merchandise. A interesting thing is that income from the merchandise will make up the 3 billion operating budget.

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