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.

The cuddly, cartoon-like mascots are big business.

Organizers hope to raise $400 million from branded merchandise. Income from merchandising makes up a big chunk of the $3 billion operating budget. Half of that budget 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 (31)
  • spencerm-Eic
    11/25/2014 - 03:05 p.m.

    Wow that is cool! I love cats.But that is just cool and funny. cant wait till 2016 the Olympic games and see that rich kitty

  • camh-Eic
    11/25/2014 - 03:09 p.m.

    OK how does a yellow mascot cat be worth even one hundred dollars yet alone four hundred million that is just CRAZY! his smile looks creepy from the picture I have

  • ryliek-Eic
    11/25/2014 - 03:10 p.m.

    First off that is a lot of money just for two mascots. Second it is important to have branded objects so then people know where they got the object. The two mascots don't even look like they could even possibly be like a Brazilian animal. That is a lot of money just for two suppose to look like Brazilian animals.

  • Conor12
    11/25/2014 - 03:44 p.m.

    it is important to do so that the money they spent to run the Olympics and to help pay for the event materias so they can run the vents and buy the medals.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    11/25/2014 - 07:41 p.m.

    I think this is very cool because people already made the mascots for the 2016 Olympics and the Para Olympics. Brazil is doing this because they are trying to save up money to set up for the events ahead of time so they can already be ready to go when the Olympics are about to start. Through merchandise, Brazil can sell key chains or wallpaper starring the mascots. I think there is going to be a lot of arguments about the names for the mascots.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why is it important to raise money from branded merchandise?
    Answer: It is important to raise money from branded merchandise because people would buy a lot of it to show that they want the 2016 Olympics to happen.

  • ce2001sparkle
    11/26/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    Its important because its more likely for someone to buy from a familiar brand. They are comfortable with the brand and they already know what to expect from the brand.

  • TE2001lego
    11/26/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    I have to say maybe it's all because of the way it looks it's might be a Japanese cartoon cat shown on to TV who might just happens to come to America to see if he's going to be airing on Americans TV's.

  • ma2000dragonball
    11/26/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    It is important to raise money for these merchandises because if we give money to them, then they give us more stuff as products. That is essential because if we don't give them our money , then these businesses will go out of businssnes and will mean , no products for us.

  • Chelseal-Lam
    11/26/2014 - 11:45 a.m.

    This article was quite interesting. I would have never thought that a mascot would cause so much. Its also crazy that Brazil spent 15 million dollars on the world cup. You could get a really nice car for that price. The head people of the Olympics hope to earn $400 million from all the merchandise... That is a lot of money! Do I spending so much money on a mascot is worth it? Yes because if it is going to make you a lot of money it is definitely worth it. Millions upon millions of people will be going to the Olympics so they should make a great profit on merchandise.

  • dy117-Sch
    11/26/2014 - 12:27 p.m.

    In response to "How can a bright yellow cat be worth $400 million?," I agree that the people there need to spend that much amount of money because they are making toys for children . One reason I agree is that The smiley-faced mascot represents the animal life of Brazil the mascot for the Paralytics is a mopped-headed doll with leafy hair, meant to represent the vast diversity of the flora in Brazil. Another reason is that they do not make citizens pay more for things they earn it by them self's. It says in the article that Organizers hope to raise $400 million from branded merchandise. Income from merchandising makes up a big chunk of the $3 billion operating budget Half of that budget is to come from the sale of local sponsorship's. A third reason ____________________. ____________________ (more details). Even though ______, I think
    _______________________.

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