Meanings and Functions in Olympic Consumption: A Study of the Athens 2004 Olympic Licensed Products


This is an exploratory study of the meanings and functions of one aspect of Olympic consumption, the purchase of Olympic licensed products. More specifically, the present study attempted to examine the value Olympic licensed items hold for their owners by uncovering the meanings attached to those items. Using the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games as the setting, 280 consumers responded to questions regarding their reasons for purchasing Olympic licensed products as well as how they intended to use those products. Furthermore, an effort was made to assess what those products meant for their owners. The findings of this study point to the highly symbolic meanings embedded in the consumption of Olympic licensed products. The symbolic meanings revealed centred around three main themes: the Olympic Movement, national identity, and national political history and achievement. To a lesser extent, experiential and functional meanings attached to Olympic licensed items were also identified.


Artemisia Apostolopoulou
Dimitra Papadimitriou
Vasia Damtsiou
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