The “everyone gets a trophy” approach to youth sports may have its detractors, but for promo distributors, it’s a welcome opportunity. Here are three key takeaways:
1. Teams often don’t plan ahead – they’re likely to think of awards a week before they need them and then face rush shipping charges, says George Atkinson, vice president of sales at Source One Digital (asi/88255). Reach out a month or two ahead of time. “If they plan ahead,” Atkinson says, “teams can use the full budget for a more custom look rather than incurring upcharges for a rushed order. We can do a custom product for a similar price to a stock award.”
2. Classic-style trophies and plaques remain popular, but don’t hesitate to explore trendy new variations. For example, fabric achievement banners for individuals and teams can be hung in a bedroom or the school gym, similar to banners that hang in professional stadiums and arenas. Also look at digitally printed plaques that greatly expand the variety of colors and looks.
3. The obvious sports aren’t the only options for awards. Among youth sports, competitive cheerleading teams are Source One’s biggest purchaser of trophies. “It’s a bigger business than I would have thought,” says Atkinson.