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“There is a desire for Team GB product”

We chat to Team GB’s Paul Ellis about the ambitious licensing and retail plans and working with The Point.1888.

“The Olympic Games continues to be a huge proposition. The largest sporting spectacle in the world. It really has no rival,” admits head of licensing and retail at Team GB, Paul Ellis.

“Recent research shows that we are the most popular sports team in the country and the most loved entity behind only the NHS and that’s something we’re incredibly proud of.”

Attention is firmly set on Tokyo 2020. Team GB expects to be one of the biggest teams and, having finished second at Rio 2016 behind only Team USA, expectations will undoubtedly be high. “The ability for us to continue competing as part of the world’s elite means we have to have a commercial programme to match and that includes our licensing and retail programme,” continues Paul.

Team GB is a privately funded organisation and all the money earned is reinvested to take teams to Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games. Paul adds: “As such, our partners play a critical role in our journey to a Games and without them we would simply not to be able to deliver the same quality to the athletes.”


At the heart of the success are the fans who follow Team GB. Research shows a very even split of male/female, across all four home nations and ages, too, which gives a great audience to talk to.

“This matches the diverse array of athletes that represent Team GB but we also want to ensure from a licensing/retail point of view, we have offering that matches our demographic,” says Paul. “This audience is undoubtedly an appeal to our partners and you find that we share a philosophy of what we hope to deliver to our customers: more choice and more opportunities to engage with us.” Fans want to engage with and Team GB want to respond, have a dialogue. “Not just during peak times, but all year round and our ambitious licensing programme allows us to do this.”

Paul continues: “What Games time always does show is that there is a desire for Team GB product, but we also see that this doesn’t diminish outside Games time and if the product is there people remain interested.”

An important step in building this offer was the re-launch of the Team GB shop. “Categories such as sports equipment, FMCG, gifting and health and fitness present good examples of new opportunities, as well as opportunities to grow areas such as character development with Pride the Lion remaining a firm favourite.”

Team GB is working closely with The Point.1888, using its knowledge and brand extension skills to push onto the next level in terms of the licensing offer. “As an organisation, we always strive to be innovative and at the forefront of whatever we do, and that shared ambition was certainly something that appealed to us about The Point 1888 team,” explains Paul.

“As we look ahead to Tokyo 2020, we know the excitement and anticipation is going to start growing among fans, and that’s certainly replicated among us as a team as we look to deliver an exciting vision for our new Team GB licensing range.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2019 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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