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USOC Unveils Logo for 2004 Olympic Games

May 13, 2003

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Spurred by the success of its brand at the Salt Lake City Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee unveiled a new logo Monday that will be used for the Athens Games.

The logo, which features a blue, green and red olive wreath, will be the first for U.S. athletes in a summer Olympics. The logo will be printed on USOC merchandise and marketing materials leading up to and during the 2004 Games.

The popularity of the 2002 logo in Salt Lake City _ a snowflake _ led USOC officials to develop the new design, which is based on the Athens Olympic Committee’s logo.

Keith Allo, USOC chief of entertainment properties, said the logo will give people a chance to identify with the U.S. team, much like fans do when they buy the jerseys of their favorite NFL and NBA players.

``By rolling it out this early, it gives us a chance for the American public to get behind it,″ Allo said. ``This lets people get out and about and know that they are representing the U.S. team, realize what they are wearing and why they are wearing it.″

Allo also said that by presenting the logo now, USOC sponsors will be able to attach the U.S. brand to their merchandise.

The logo idea was spurred by a beret that wound up being the biggest hit of the Salt Lake City Games.

U.S. athletes wore dark blue berets during the opening ceremonies and throughout the games, and storekeepers couldn’t keep the lids on the shelves.

USOC officials expected to sell less than 50,000 during the games, but wound up going over the million mark. People stood in lines for up to seven hours to buy the berets and the shopping network QVC sold 20,000 in three minutes during the games.

``The beret was a symbol for the overall success we had with our merchandising,″ Allo said. ``It was such a unique item and I think what really drove its success was that it gave people an identity with the team.″

The new logo was inspired by the ancient Greek wreath that was given to the Olympic champions in the first modern Olympics.

The colors reflect the warmth of summer and the Mediterranean region. ``USA″ will be printed on the logo in block letters in keeping with traditional Greek typography.