There is no doubt that sporting events are America’s favorite pastime. And with them being such an integral part of our culture and economy, it is safe to say that the huge role sports play in our lives isn’t going away anytime soon. We are pleased to share this guest post from Jessica Onions, from Prime Line, that dives into trending sports merchandise and how to use them to turn customers into fanatics for your brand.
Did you know that over 40 million viewers tuned in to watch the Cubs’ victory in the 2016 World Series, or that a whopping 111 million fans watched the Super Bowl? Sports are a huge part of our culture; we eat hot dogs, watch our favorite athletes perform and unite to cheer on our home teams. Sometimes watching on a screen doesn’t cut it, so increasingly, fans are heading to the stadium to see the action up close.
Along with a sense of community, fans are heading to stadiums for another reason: giveaways. From throwback jerseys to bobble heads, and even lawn gnomes, sports fans love receiving limited edition collectibles. Is there a better example of Brand Love than the fierce loyalty fans feel towards their favorite sports teams? Whether you work in the sports industry, or you have an opportunity to co-brand with a local or professional sports team, the huge demand for branded memorabilia is an opportunity for your brand.
Professional, minor league, and college teams are constantly looking for new giveaway ideas and partnership/ sponsoring opportunities. So before you start up a sports campaign, read up on some classic products, and discover some of our picks for up-and-coming fan favorites.
Just like peanuts and Cracker Jacks, there are several classic sports promotions sure to top every fan’s wish list. Surprisingly, it is custom bobbleheads that top the list of favorite sports memorabilia, followed closely by apparel. Spectators want to sport their favorite team’s logo and colors while at the game, which is what makes apparel such a fan favorite. And apparel is great for you too! Wearable promotions are pretty much like walking billboards for your brand. And if you’re looking to step into a higher spending bracket, throwback jerseys are a top promotion because fans will wear them again and again. Along with apparel, hats, rally towels, sunglasses and koozies are also a great way to connect with fans. These promotions come in a wide range of price points and have proven to be classic giveaways in the sports world.
Recently, sports teams have been betting big on retro and throwback giveaways. For example, the Chicago Cubs gave fans branded, vintage toys like an Etch A Sketch and a Rubik’s® Cube as game giveaways. Additionally, there is a rising trend that centers on looking back at a team’s glory days. Multiple MLB teams have given fans replica championship rings so that they can share in the team’s winning moments. Nostalgia is a great tool in your marketing toolbox, so look for retro products to make a comeback in a big way.
Another force driving trends in sports marketing is the weather. Because the typical sports season runs the gamut of cold and warm weather, seasonal items like blankets and water bottles have also been gaining traction. This way, fans will have team-branded items to use no matter the season, and you can align your brand with a useful product.
While the bobblehead remains the No. 1 game day promotional item, marketers are getting creative by incorporating outside-of-the-box promotions that are useful and memorable for fans. The brand connection sports enthusiasts feel with their teams runs deep, so don’t miss out on co-branding opportunities with these passionate fans!
Author: Jessica Onions