Rio 2016 has broken the Olympic licensing record ©Getty Images

With reports of disused venues and allegedly suspicious payments being added in recent weeks to the catalogue of bad news stories relating to Rio 2016, you could be forgiven for thinking at times that last year's Summer Olympics and Paralympics were an unmitigated disaster.

But it looks like the Brazilian organisers got at least one thing right: the merchandising of licensed Rio 2016 products.

Figures in the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s recently-published Rio 2016 marketing report indicate that the South American city may have smashed the record for Games-related licensing revenue, generating nearly twice as much as Beijing 2008 and not far off triple London 2012's merchandising total.

The marketing report states that the Rio 2016 programme, comprising more than 5,000 licensed products sold through more than 40,000 outlets around the country, generated "over BRL1 billion (£261 million/$321 million/€302 million) in retail sales to help support and promote the Olympic Games".

Previously, according to the IOC’s Olympic Marketing Fact FileBeijing 2008 and London 2012 were the only Games, Summer or Winter, to have produced in excess of $100 million (£81 million/€94 million) for their respective Organising Committees, with the Chinese capital's $163 million (£133 million/€153 million) tally until now the highest.

Rio 2016 flip-flops were said to be among the biggest sellers ©Getty Images
Rio 2016 flip-flops were said to be among the biggest sellers ©Getty Images

London 2012 managed $119 million (£97 million/€112 million), while the best Winter Olympics to date is Vancouver 2010, whose famous red mittens helped propel licensing income to $51 million (£41 million/€48 million).

The total from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics was $35 million (£28 million/€33 million). 

The new marketing report also discloses that, despite apparently sparse attendances for many events, Rio 2016 ticketing sales raised BRL1.235 billion (£323 million/$396 million/€373 million) for the Games operating budget, with 6.2 million tickets sold.

This is more than double the sum produced by ticket sales for Beijing 2008, but is far below London 2012, which came within an ace of being the first Olympic Games to exceed $1 billion (£813 million/€941 million) from ticket sales, and is below even Atlanta 1996, which raised $425 million (£345 million/€400 million).

Rio 2016 flip-flops were said to be among the biggest sellers on last year's programme.