Thursday, 12 July 2012

12/7: Top Pin Trading Locations in London (9)

This time we stay in the Olympic Park and focus on...

Village / Press and Media

There are three huge and vastly important non-competition venues at any Olympic Games.

The Main Press Centre hosts the worlds press journalists, photographers and non-rights holding broadcasters. The larger press agencies will create their own private press rooms, whereas the freelance journalists or smaller newspapers may rely on the vast shared working spaces available.

The International Broadcast Centre is usually an enormous building, which plays host to the temporary studio and production facilities for the companies which have paid millions (sometimes billions) to broadcast the Olympics.

The Olympics Village is of course the home away from home for the athletes of the world. It is made up of a vast collection of residential buildings as well as shared facilities such as a post office, bank, gyms, stores and dining facilities.

Of course while these three venues have their own specific purposes they are interesting to us for another reason - pins!!

When the journalists, broadcasters and athletes arrive at the Games they very often bring with them pins - but of course as with the Partner pins we have seen so far, some will be harder to get than others.

Most companies or teams will bring one type of pin with them, a more select bunch (generally the larger broadcasters or teams) may have a number of different designs. Some will give out their pins generously to employees for them to give on as gifts or to trade with. Others (some of the smaller teams for instance) will only have a few of their pins and may give only one to each person in their team. These will be much harder to get hold of.

Broadcast pins tend to include Olympics logos, Press pins do not tend to have rings or logos, and team pins fall into two camps: The "Generic" pin and the "Games-specific" pin. A generic pin will include only the countries flag/team logo and the rings. A Games specific pin will include London 2012 imagery, logos and wording. Not all countries will bring a pin, and certainly not all countries will bring a Games specific pin. The fun of collecting team pins is to try to find them all!

Broadcast pins can be fun to find, particularly the rare ones. For instance, NBC often has some made only for their President who will give them out sparingly to whoever he meets during the Games.

Journalists, Broadcasters and Teams are now arriving here in London, and some of these pins are already being found - so keep your eyes open for these rarer pins!

Of course, getting into these three venues for most people is not possible. Understandably, security is tight so you won't be able to get into them without the appropriate accreditation.

However, from past Games experience situating yourself near one of these venues can be a fruitful experience. In Vancouver the Broadcast and Press Centres were situated next to a main road on the Harbour front. Sitting on the pavement outside you could usually find between 10-30 pin traders with their wares on offer.

Of course, even if you can't get near these venues, you can always find team, broadcast and press pins by keeping your eyes open wherever you are. Journalists, broadcasters and team members will be seen out and about at all the venues, and across London so you never know when you might pick up a not-seen-before pin!