How collecting Olympic Pins

Organizing an Olympic pin Collection

As for any collection where there is a large amount of items produced and available, it is sometimes necessary to choose a theme making it possible to put together a collection of quality and not only quantity. There are several possibilities to collect olympic pin: all the Olympics, all the Olympic Summer Games, all the Olympic Winter Games, or a specific Olympics (Albertville for example!) and including one or more categories of pins described below.

“Bid City” Pins

The competition starts well before the Olympic Games with the selection of a city among several candidates.

To promote itself, each city usually releases one or more pins with its bid logo. For the Olympic Winter Games of 1992, 7 cities were candidates :

  • Albertville (France)
  • Anchorage (Alaska USA)
  • Berchtesgaden (Germany)
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy)
  • Falun (Sweden)
  • Lillehammer (Norway)
  • Sofia (Bulgaria)

Several of them issued pins on this occasion.

1992 Albertville bid cities pins

“Official or souvenir” Pins

These are manufactured under licence by the manufacturers appointed by the organizing Olympic Committee and use the Official Logo in various variations of color and designs, the Official Mascot, the Olympic Venues, or the pictograms of each sport. These pins, mainly intended for the sale to the general public, are easy to get and are of little value in to the eyes of collectors.
They can be different years of release for the same pin. For the Albertville Olympics, the different years of production are easily identifiable by the backstamps: “©” 01/89 to 04/90, “© COJO 1990” 05/90 to 12/90, “© COJO 1991” 01/91 to 12/91 and “© COJO 1992” 01/92 to the end of 92.

Source: Stadium, Official Licensee for Albertville Olympic Pins

1992 Albertville official pins

“Sponsor” Pins

This category of pins is produced for the sponsors who take part in the financing of the Olympic Games. For Albertville, the list of the sponsors having had the right to use the official logo and the mascot on various supports is the following one:

  • Sponsors TOP Club

Coke, Kodak, Philips, Brother, 3M, Mars, Panasonic, Bausch & Lomb, Visa, Time-Sports Illustrated, Ricoh, U.S. Postal Service.

1992 Albertville 1992 TOP Club pins
  • Sponsors Coubertin Club

AGF, SNCF, Evian, Alcatel, Renault, Candia-Yoplait, Credit Lyonnais, IBM, France Telecom, La Poste, Thomson.

1992 Albertville Coubertin Club pins
  • Official Suppliers

Air France, Arjo Wiggins, Andersen Consulting, Bose, Le Bois Avance, Elis, France Equipement, Gaspard, Generale Sucriere-Eurosucre, Gestetner, Jean Lefebvre, Kanterbrau tourtel, K-Way, Lyonnaise des eaux-Dumez, M2S, Merlin Gerin, Michelin, Mondial Assistance, polymedias, Securipost, Sonacotra, Stadium/Starpin’s Paris, TMG, Vicat, Vinco.

1992 Albertville national sponsors pins

Obtaining these pins is possible in various ways :

  • Those of large distribution can either be sold by the companies in their outlets (Renault, La Poste…) or distributed to those making the request (Credit Lyonnais, Le Bois Avance), or given during promotions or contest (Kodak, Candia…).
  • Those with very limited distribution are generally intended to honour the company’s best customers or to reward their personnel.

“Media” Pins

This category represents the whole of the distribution of information by television, radio, written or phtographic means.

The media pins are used by the various media members and are difficult to obtain for the majority because of the restricted press areas, but can be acquired by exchanging with the journalists or more rarely given for the purchase of a newspaper (Dauphine Libere).

1992 Albertville media pins

National Olympic Committee” Pins (NOC)

They can be generic, without a specific date or dated and generally using the logo and/or the name of the host city. They are given to the athletes and staff to support the bringing together of nations by exchanging. As it is the athletes who usually have them, it is usually necessary to approach the athletes to acquire them, which is not always easy. They can sometimes be acquired directly from the National Committees, usually for a donation payment.

1992 Albertville NOC pins

“Security” Pins

They include the gendarmerie, the police force, the firemen and the military. They are generally produced in small quantities and of restricted distribution reserved mainly for these elite corps by strict rules.

1992 Albertville security pins

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