Bracelet, Sydney 2000 Olympics Bid, and case, enamel / metal / plastic / foam, maker unknown, made for Australasian Events Marketing, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1992
This girl's bracelet was made in around 1992 as part of the official range of merchandise that promoted Sydney's bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games. Its enamel setting represents the logo of Sydney Olympics Bid Limited (SOBL) - the government organisation that ran the bid until October 1993. Sydney company, Australasian Events Marketing (AEM), developed and distributed this bid merchandise as part of an exclusive agreement with SOBL.
On 1 March 1991, the New South Wales Government and the Sydney City Council announced that Sydney would enter the bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games. This announcement set in motion a range of contracts and alliances between Sydney Olympics Bid Limited (SOBL) - the government body that would run the bid - and the business sector, unions, ethnic communities, Indigenous groups and the media. In particular, it generated enormous commercial activity in the form of planning, design, manufacture and construction.
In 1992, SOBL selected a corporate slogan, 'Share the Spirit', and held a protracted competition for a corporate logo and graphic theme. Australian designer, Michael Bryce, won this competition with his multicoloured flash, which echoed the roofline of the Opera House, and random dots that referenced Aboriginal dot painting. However, in a controversial act, the design was modified slightly by ISIS/FHA Design Company, the in-house designers for SOBL. This new design would appear on all official documentation, street decorations, advertisements and merchandise.
Following the development of its graphic design package, SOBL appointed AEM the official licensee of all bid merchandise for the next eighteen months, when the International Olympic Committee would announce the winning bid. AEM established 42 licensing agreements with companies in Australia, China and the United States, supplying them with style guides, and presenting prototypes or images of their merchandise to SOBL for approval. SOBL not only ensured that these products were tasteful and capable of covering the cost of royalties, but also reviewed the contracts between AEM and the merchandising manufacturers.
Bid merchandise was generally inexpensive and ephemeral, and was available at souvenir shops, sports stores, an exclusive tent at Darling Harbour and in the members' stand at the Sydney races. SOBL received 70 per cent of the merchandising revenue to help fund the bid, while AEM collected the final 30 per cent, diverting some of these funds to cover the wholesale price of the merchandise and the royalties for use of the logo. In 1994, the partnership between SOBL and AEM dissolved and a new company, Sports Marketing and Management, assumed the new licensing rights. The ensuing period would prove to be the most lucrative in the entire merchandising program.
The maker of the bracelet and case are unknown. The girl's bracelet was made in around 1992 as part of the official range of merchandise that promoted Sydney's bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games. Its enamel setting represents the logo of Sydney Olympics Bid Limited (SOBL) - the government organisation that ran the bid until October 1993. Sydney company, Australasian Events Marketing (AEM), developed and distributed this bid merchandise as part of an exclusive agreement with SOBL.
SOBL defined its image in 1992 when it selected a corporate theme, 'Share the Spirit', and held a protracted competition for a corporate logo. Eight local designers, including well-known artists like Ken Done, Ken Cato and Michael Bryce, submitted a total of almost sixty logo designs. Seemingly lacking a sense of energy and Indigenous references, these designs were rejected by all five judges: Rod McGeoch, Leo Schofield, Greg Daniel, Andrew Anderson and David Churches.
A second round of submissions saw the selection of Michael Bryce's new design - a multicoloured flash echoing the roofline of the Opera House, and random dots referencing Aboriginal dot painting. By this time, Bryce was already recognised for his work on sporting logos, having designed the logo for the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Soon after the selection, ISIS/FHA Design Company, in-house designers for SOBL, made some minor adjustments to Bryce's design.
In 1992, Bryce explained the informality of his logo, saying that he wanted to create an image that could be drawn simply in the sand - "no slide rule, no set square, no computer. If it can't be drawn by your fingers in the sand, then it's no good". Rod McGeoch also warmed to this informality, explaining that the logo "set the creative tone of what the Sydney bid was all about colourful, vibrant, youthful and energetic". Moreover, the resulting merchandise "gave the impression that everyone associated with the bid was a bright, upbeat person with a youthful outlook". This image would permeate preparations for the Games and the Games themselves.
In 1992, Australasian Events Marketing (AEM) was appointed the exclusive licensee of all merchandise for the Sydney Olympics bid . It held this position until 1994 when a new company, Sports Marketing Management, assumed these licensing rights following the announcement that Sydney had won the bid to host the Games. The former owner and operator of AEM offered this sample of bid merchandise to the Museum in August 2000.