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Long before an Olympic Games begins, the official licensing programme is pivotal in helping to build excitement in the host country, and around the world, by releasing merchandise and souvenirs that feature the Olympic marks and the Games emblem, which project the host city's message onto the world stage and promote the Olympic brand.
Official licensed products carry the emblems and mascots of the Olympic Games or Olympic teams and are designed to commemorate the Olympic Games and Olympic teams.
Organisations participating in Olympic licensing programmes produce officially licensed products from the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
There are three tiers of licensing within the Olympic Movement:
License to companies to create souvenirs related to the Games
License to companies to create team-specific souvenirs for their own country
Operates a worldwide licensing programme in certain categories, such as films and video games
IOC Marketing: Media Guide London 2012