Interview with Andrea Chiarvesio

Marketing & Sales Manager from Trofé Italy
Torino 15/06/2006

English - Italiano - Français - Español

In 2002, with the experience of the Norwegian parent company (already producers of pins for various editions of the Olympic Games),  Trofé Italy was born and begun to take care  of  pins for Turin 2006 winter olympics. The company accepted the difficult challenge to launch in Italy the pins collecting, that was unknow in our country  (apart from a small nucleus of historical pins collectors). We can strike the balance of these 4 years with Andrea Chiarvesio, Marketing & Sales Manager at Trofé Italy. Can you consider gained this challenge?

Let's call it a draw. Inside the Olympic area, thanks to nearly four hundred points of sale and our constant support, a strong community of new collectors was created. Unfortunately, the insufficient attention from mass media and a lesser interest from retailers and wholesaler in the rest of Italy, have prevented us to bring the world of pins to the attention of beyond 50 million Italians. . 

From 2002 to today the series of pins are come out by dozens: initially with a slow rhythm, then speeding up till the  weeks of the games in which  people could find new dozens of pins to add to their collections every day. Can we have some number? How many series came out? How many pins  have  you produced?

We have produced the following 16 different series in the retail range: Institutions, Paralympics pins, Flags, Olympic sites, Monuments, Countdown, Holidays, Sport Equipments, Pictograms, Mascottes, Days of the Games, Exclusive pins for the Olympic Stores, Sport Mascots and the Coca-Cola line, for a total of 317 different models. The print run obviously ranged from a minimum of 500 pieces to more than 20.000. Right now I can't say the total amount of produced pins, but if we consider a medium print run of 3.000 pieces for each model, we have probably made around one million pieces. And still we haven't added the pins custom made for Toroc, sponsors, official partners and institutions.

The collectors who are in contact with this web site  have appreciated the graphic work and also  the quality of yours pins. From your experience, which have been the more loved and in demands pins from the collectors?

The most loved pins are surely those with Neve and Gliz (without forgetting Aster), the lovely mascots. They sold like hot cakes in every stores, and now they continue to be popular also after the end of the Olympic Games! The most in demands pins are surely those customized for sponsors...

Has it been a difference between the demands and the tastes of the new Italian collectors and those of the international collectors who collect pins from a long time and  participate to all editions of the games?

Sure. International collectors always pay a lot of attention to limited editions, (pins of the day, as an example, or countdown pins). They don't bother acquiring even incomplete series, and often they buy more copies of the same one pin, so they have some to trade. The new Italian collectors have a more "taxonomic" mind, therefore they try to find entire series and are less oriented to trading.

At Turin 2006 it has been the pintrading, that is the meeting and the exchange of the pins between collectors, athletes and spectators at the games. Can you tell who has not lived it, something about the pintrading and the climate of festivities that was created among all the participants?

To explain the Games and their special atmosphere is almost impossible. The pintrading is really something pervading the whole city, anytime and anywhere. Although an "official point of encounter of the collectors" had been organized in the Coca-Cola stand inside the Village Sponsor, the complexity of security procedures made a really though job to get into the Sponsor Village. Instead, I've been witness (and sometimes protagonist) of pin trading at every street corner, in the venues, even in restaurants and taxis (some taxi drivers are now passionate collectors!).

Trofé has not only produced the commemorative  pins  that were found on sale at the olympic stores , but  has produced also a lot of pins  not destined to the sale, for the organizing Committee of the games of Torino, for the sponsors, the suppliers and the volunteers. Now that the games are ended, these pins are often becoming the most pins in demands because they were made in limited edition and so they are very hard to find. Can you can make an outline about these series and give some suggestions to the collectors who are searching these precious pins?  

For Toroc we made 56 different models of pins, for the sponsors a hundred approximately. Once again, the only valid suggestion is to ask pins directly to the sponsors! Trofè by contract delivers the whole production directly to the sponsor that asks for them, only withholding a few archive samples. During the games it was not that difficult to get one or more free pins directly at the sponsor village, now it can be harder, for sure. Perhaps the better thing is to try to exchange them with the lucky people that were in Turin if they managed to get more than one copy. A lot of Toroc pins made have been gifted to volunteers, and not all volunteers are also pins collectors, so you could try to get in touch with volunteers and to convince them to give you some of their pins... Not that this will be such an easy task, either!

The Olympic Games of Turin 2006 are already placed in the archives, but the activity of Trofé Italy already has moved to other  sport events. Can you give us some advance informations about your future plans and the novelties that expect the pins collectors  in the next  months?

Right now we're distributing the Fifa World Cup Germany 2006 pins. Unfortunately, the majority of our retailers are in Piedmont, so it's not easy for us to distribute outside of such area. If some collector is interested or had the contacts of structures or retailers potentially interested, he can contact us freely! In future we'll be making pins-souvenir for tourists, and naturally we follow always with interest the most important sport events. As an example, we are currently producing (but won't sell at retail level) the pins for the Fencing World Championship of that will be hosted here in Turin in September.

I thank  Andrea Chiarvesio for this interview and I wish him a a good work for the next appointments of Trofé Italy. For the traders and  the collectors whom  want to contact him for ulterior informations, I leave the addresses of Trofé Italy . 

Andrea Chiarvesio
Marketing & Sales Manager

Trofè Srl Matteotti 32/a 10121 Torino
Tel. +39 (0)11 5119179
Fax +39 (0)11 539216