Pride the lion presented as Team GB mascot

London: London Olympic organisers presented `Pride` the Lion on Monday as a new mascot to join one-eyed Mandeville and Wenlock as merchandising money-spinners for next year`s Games.

With a nod to World Cup Willie, the lion that was mascot at the 1966 tournament hosted and won by England, `Pride` will be the Team GB mascot available as a soft toy and featuring on a range of other merchandise.

"The Team GB and ParalympicsGB range is not only a great way to show your support but it also helps fund the staging of the Games," said London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton in a statement.

Organisers said an estimated 10,000 London 2012 merchandise items would be on sale in Britain by Games` time with the programme expected to generate more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) worth of sales and contribute more than 80 million to the staging of the Olympics.

As part of a solution to a funding row with the British Olympic Association earlier this year, organisers LOCOG have agreed a number of measures including waiving a royalty fee on two `iconic items` of 2012 merchandise with proceeds designated exclusively for Team GB and the BOA.

The official London 2012 mascots Mandeville and Wenlock were unveiled last year, each with one large eye and features borrowed from London`s black taxi cabs.

Bureau Report

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