Wearables

Off-the-Field Play

Don't get stuck thinking that a baseball cap is only for baseball. Consider it for just about anything, from outdoor events to team programs to personalized giveaways. Here are a number of markets that can give you a head start.

Athletes Of All Kinds: Lisa Maloney, senior account manager for Headsweats casts a wide net for its Headsweats Race Hat from alphabroder (asi/34063). "Our top customers are those in the athletic community, and this hat is the best performance hat for athletics of all kinds, including running, triathlon, golf, rowing, tennis, crossfit and team sports," she says. "In addition to athletic events, these hats are exceptional for fitness institutions, corporate events, restaurant employees, landscapers and company branding."

Corporations: A good corporate idea for most any industry is to build employee camaraderie. Rally an organizational team to "hit more home runs" (whether the goal is increased sales, improved productivity or a spotless safety record) by creating a season-long incentive program based on the concept of baseball's traditional scorecard. Pitch a cap for the initial announcement. Employees from differing departments are grouped into teams, easily identified as teammates with their respective caps.

Event Wear: Caps can also go well into the evening as a useful promotional accessory. Consider versions that light up. "The LED baseball caps are great for sporting events as well as teams and stores selling athletic equipment," says Heidi Swanstrom, PR/marketing manager of AlightPromos.com (asi/34194). "They block the sun during the day but look cool at night, too, because the rim lights up and you can choose from flashing lights or a steady glow."

The Great Outdoors: Outdoor enthusiasts and hunters present a whole other genre of cap promotions that can be coordinated for the environment in which the cap will be worn. "Licensed camouflage continues to be our best-selling item," says Danny Spier, owner of Kati Sportcap & Bag (asi/64140). "Whether the customer prefers Mossy Oak, Realtree, Game Guard or Oilfield camouflage, we have many styles and plenty of color/pattern combinations to choose from."

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Lighten up the traditional baseball cap with the light-up LED cap (11056) from AlightPromos.com (asi/34194; circle 114 on Free Info Card). The hat can be decorated on the bill with pad printing.

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Camo caps remain very popular, such as this made-in-the-USA cotton twill cap (USALC) available in multiple camo patterns. Available from Kati Sportcap & Bag (asi/64140; circle 113 on Free Info Card).

Term Coverage

Here are the key features of a cap and what they mean, as demonstrated on the performance cap (FP282) from Fersten Worldwide Inc. (asi/53974; circle 112 on Free Info Card).

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  1. Visor: Also known as bill or brim, it keeps the sun out of the wearer's eyes. Pre-curved styles are common but flat bills are currently very popular.
  2. Closure: How the hat is adjusted on the back for different head sizes. Various closures include Velcro, plastic snaps, metal buckles and more. Fitted hats don't have an adjustable closure.
  3. Profile: The front of the cap above the brim. Low-profile caps sit close to the head while high-profile caps have more pronounced height.
  4. Panels: The number of sewn fabric pieces that make up a cap. Six is the most common.
  5. Buckram: Inside liner that gives the cap structure and stiffness. Unstructured caps have little or no buckram and are more flexible.