For a quarter century, Philadelphians have gathered for a boozy, salacious, gluttonous event called the Wing Bowl: a promo-filled, chicken-wing-eating competition hosted by WIP Sports Talk Radio.
Pro wrestling legend Ric Flair (sporting a Flyers jersey), rapper Coolio, and Catching Kelce runner-up Veronica Harwood were among the sold-out crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center. With what started 25 years ago as just two men gorging in a hotel lobby the Friday before the Super Bowl, the spectacle has now grown to an estimated 20,000 spectators cheering on more than 30 competitors.
Last year’s champion, the 120-pound Molly Schuyler, defeated five-time champion Bill “El Wingador” Simmonds in a $5,000 legends’ matchup, devouring 95 wings in five minutes. Then she ate five and a half pounds of steak in three minutes and 17 seconds, breaking her own world record. “You’ve never seen anything like it,” Schuyler said. “You’re in a massive stadium with 20,000 people yelling at you to eat chicken wings. I love it.”
Competitors with names like The Chuggernaught and Blonde Mamba donned white promotional T-shirts and drank from sponsor-emblazoned water bottles. The competitors’ personal cheerleaders, referred to as Wingettes, tossed logoed products of Mardi Gras-style beads, rally towels and can coolers to the crowd.
Participants made grand entrances with colorful costumes (several dressed as Flair) and circled the stage on elaborate floats followed by their entourages. In between the gnawing and showboating, a tender moment emerged as three-time competitor Charles “Eggman” Rifici proposed to his girlfriend, Debbie White, after he was ejected from the first round.
Bob “Notorious B.O.B.” Shoudt took home the championship, eating 409 wings over the two 12-minute rounds and two-minute final sprint to the finish. The 50-year-old Royersford, PA, native became the oldest Wing Bowl champion, receiving a grand prize of $10,000, a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and a championship ring from Steven Singer Jewelers.
Watch as Product Editor Joe Haley presents a variety of fun and unique promotional products, with ideas for how these items can be used to help you increase sales, raise awareness, promote an event, draw attendees to your booth at a trade show and much more.
Tees Help Commemorate National Parks
A U.S. milestone was reached on August 25, 2016. That date marked 100 years since President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act, which established the National Parks Service as an agency of the government’s Department of the Interior, in order to preserve the country’s natural landscapes for posterity.
To celebrate, the Service launched a massive #FindYourPark campaign on social media, with special events held at parks across the country all year round. The National Parks was also the official theme of the Philadelphia Flower Show, the world’s oldest and largest indoor event of its kind.
Of course, celebrations wouldn’t be complete without giving the parks’ millions of annual visitors the opportunity to take home souvenirs commemorating the anniversary.
“The primary objective for the America’s National Parks Collection was to put the art we developed on American-made products only,” said the distributor partner that designed artwork for 25 locations in the National Parks system, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan, Hamilton Grange National Memorial in Manhattan and Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. “Our artists’ work is simply stunning. We’re very proud of them and their commitment to making this ongoing program a huge success.”
The reigning champ of the “walking billboard” products, T-shirts continue to be a strong promotional item. That’s why everyone from rock bands and schools to sports organizations and charity groups loves to give them away. Contact your distributor for more information on the items shown here.
Varsity Team The Varsity solid-body poly/spandex shirt is perfect for school stores and booster clubs. asi/51831
On the Run Charity run volunteers and participants would appreciate this custom tee. asi/30287
Top Memento Gift shop owners will want to keep plenty of tops on hand like this Sarek V-Neck short-sleeve T-shirt. asi/92121
Namaste The X-Temp Tri-blend with FreshIQ tee would make a great giveaway for spa customers. asi/59528
National Military Appreciation Month
Businesses can run special promotions for military members, veterans and their families this month. Promo items to consider include carabiners, caps, camo-patterned mugs, coolers and keychain flashlights.
May 6-12 National Nurses Week
Hospitals, health networks, doctors’ offices, nursing homes – all aim to show appreciation for their dedicated nurses. Potential logoed gift items run the gamut from stainless-steel tumblers and power banks to silicone card sleeves for smartphones.
. May 25 National Wine Day
Wineries, bars and wine brands can celebrate the elixir of the grape with branded merchandise for special events to run in relation to this day of imbibing. For example, wine tote bags would be ideal gifts for wine bars and wineries to give to people who buy tickets for exclusive tastings.