By Duncan Mackay

Team GB merchandiseApril 10 - IMG Licensing have been given the job of cashing in on the success of Team GB at London 2012, where Britain produced their best Olympic performance for 104 years by finishing third overall in the medals table with 29 gold medals.

The company, a division of  IMG Worldwide, arguably the world's best-known sports marketing firm, have been appointed as the Official Licensing Partner by the British Olympic Association (BOA), it was announced today. 

The firm, who have offices in London as well as Los Angeles and Tokyo, will work with the BOA to create a comprehensive licensing programme that offers a full range of official Team GB products and apparel.

The first items are expected to be available to buy in the high street and on-line this autumn as the build-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year begins to gather pace. 

IMG Licensing was selected following a tender process and review of many of Britain's leading licensing agencies and add the BOA to a portfolio of rightsholders which also includes Wimbledon, the PGA Tour, the X Games, ESPN and 24 Heures du Mans.

Demand for officially-licensed Team GB merchandise and apparel reached an all-time high in 2012, with over 10,000 individually licensed items bearing the Team GB and ParalympicGB marks available to consumers, it is claimed.

The products and apparel were available nationwide, with a dedicated "Our Greatest Team" store in the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre adjacent to the Olympic Park. 

Our Greatest Team shop 2Our Greatest Team store at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre helped Team GB kit become the best-selling collection of London 2012

According to officials figures from London 2012, Team GB kit was the best-selling collection of the licensing programme.

"Driven by the success of Team GB at London 2012, interest and support for the Team GB brand has never been greater," said Leah Walsh, marketing manager for the BOA.

"Post-Games, research indicated that awareness of the Team GB brand throughout the UK was at a 99 per cent level, which illustrates the strength of the Team GB brand and its potential for the future.

"For millions of fans throughout the United Kingdom, licensed products provide an opportunity to connect with, and show their support for, Team GB. 

"In IMG Licensing, we are delighted to be working with a licensing partner that is recognised globally for its innovation and unparalleled record of success."

But the BOA failed to find an iconic item of clothing to match the success of the red mittens at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for Team GB fans to show their loyalty during London 2012 after the public were unenthusiastic about the supporters scarf manufactured by Next.

Team GB scarf modelled by Duchess of CambridgeSales of Team GB supporters scarves proved slow despite the Duchess of Cambridge wearing one

But there were plenty of tee-shirts and sweat tops on display as Team GB powered to third in the overall medals table, behind only the United States and China, with a total of 65 medals, their highest total since the 1908 Olympics in London.

"We are honoured and privileged to work with the BOA and represent Team GB as a unique brand in British sport," said Simon Gresswell, vice-president of Licensing, Europe for IMG. 

"We believe the brand and the ongoing achievements of Team GB offer exciting opportunities for creative thinking and innovative approaches to product development and retail activation, built around marketing calendars that stretch beyond the Games' build-up and event periods.

"We look forward to working with agile licensees who share our and Team GB's vision for a diverse range of products, from the celebratory and patriotic, to the seasonal, iconic and uniquely opportunistic items that each Olympic Games provides."

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February 2012: London 2012 "iconic" scarves launched in bid to rival Vancouver red mittens