I'd mentioned that pin trading is a hit in Beijing and that Coke's "Pin of the Day" was first introduced at the Lillehammer Games in 1994.
At the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, the Pin of the Day was huge -- as was pin trading overall.
The Coca-Cola Olympic Pin Trading Center was packed with pin enthusiasts throughout the Nagano Games. More than 450,000 people visited the center. That's a lot for a Winter Games!
With that popularity, though, it still took a few days for the Coca-Cola Pin of the Day idea to catch on in Nagano. I wasn't at those Games, but one of my colleagues told me that on Day 4, the center still had left-over pins from Days 1 through 3. But -- all of a sudden -- the Pin of the Day series caught on like wild fire.
People lined up down the street and around the corner waiting for that day's pin to be released. For the last day of the Games (for the final Pin of the Day), people started lining up 1 a.m. That's amazing enough, but the pin wasn't going to be released until 11 a.m.!
There were approximately 2,000 of that last day's pin, but there were more people than that waiting in line! Workers from the Pin Trading Center told the people at the back of the line that they would not get a Pin of the Day, but the people stayed in line anyway!
By the close of the Games, the center was completely sold out of pins.
I've often said that pin trading is something that can just consume you "in the moment" -- in the midst of the Olympic Games. This story proves it!
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