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Fax: (301) 230-0489
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Coffee Mug Is Popular Promo for News Station

Los Angeles Tribune TV station’s KTLA 5 will be celebrating a milestone anniversary with an iconic item that appeals to a wide target audience.

The “Anchor Desk” drinkware, which is placed prominently on the studio desk during broadcasts, is a 15-oz. coffee mug. When the station worked with its distributor partner to develop a giveaway program celebrating 70 years of broadcasting, a special anniversary edition of this mug was the logical item. The mugs have been a coveted giveaway among viewers over the years.

Beginning on KTLA’s 70th anniversary date, the “Watch and Win” promotion gives viewers in the Los Angeles area the opportunity to text the station with a specific code word during its daily broadcast. KTLA then chooses winning viewers to receive a special-edition anniversary branded mug that matches the official Anchor Desk drinkware. The station was provided with 2,500 of the double-sided mugs. The promotion will run all year, and if the anchor mugs’ popularity is any indicator, they’ll continue to drive many viewers to enter the contest.

WrestleMania Promos Take Over Orlando

A week of magic and mayhem has ended as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) presented WrestleMania 33 – professional wrestling’s annual promo-filled Super Bowl inside Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. And, Counselor was on the scene to see all of the promotions that sponsors and hosts were running.

An all-time Orlando Citrus Bowl attendance record of 75,245 fans from 50 states and 62 countries made the pilgrimage to witness their favorite athletes clash at the nearly seven-hour event. WrestleMania 33 gained a record 18 million social media fan engagements, up 66% from last year. Digital and social media video views reached 133 million, skyrocketing 105% from 2016. For the first time, WrestleMania was made available in China on a pay-per-view basis via PPTV’s digital platform.

“WrestleMania made a triumphant return to Orlando and again broke multiple records,” said WWE Executive Vice President of Special Events John Saboor in a press release. “This success would not have been possible without the tireless support of Mayor Dyer, the Local Organizing Committee and all of the public and private sector partners throughout Central Florida.”

WrestleMania 33 grossed $14.5 million in revenue, down from the company’s record $17.3 million for last year’s event. It also generated an estimated $125 million in economic impact for the Central Florida area. That’s why each year cities bid on hosting the pop culture extravaganza – New Orleans has been chosen over Philadelphia and Minneapolis to hold WrestleMania 34 next year as part of the city’s tricentennial celebration.

"WrestleMania Week was a tremendous success for the city of Orlando and it was an honor to host WWE and their fans back in our community," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "This is a testament to the investments we've made in our community venues that continue to attract these showcase events and solidify Orlando as the nation's leading sports and entertainment destination." Orlando is home to many WWE operations including its developmental brand NXT and its training facility the WWE Performance Center.

As soon as fans arrived at Orlando International Airport, they were greeted by WrestleMania signs at baggage claim and rental car stations. The streets of downtown Orlando were plastered in WrestleMania banners showcasing top stars such as Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. There was even a 30-foot-wide, 12-foot-high championship belt replica on display at Lake Eola.

Throughout the week, fans mobbed the Orange County Convention Centerin Orlando for WrestleMania Axxess, an annual fan fest with autograph signings, exhibits and merchandise. Attendees scooped up hats, shirts, wrist bands, posters, foam hands, and inflatable Bailey buddies, all emblazoned with the WrestleMania and WWE logos. Snickers sponsored the event for the second straight year, giving out free candy bars and sharing clips through social media and YouTube. During the WrestleMania broadcast, an ad featured WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair and WWE Superstars Charlotte and James Ellsworth as part of the “You’re Not You When You're Hungry" campaign.

Surfs Up

Luxury swimwear brand Basta Surf’s identity is built on a line of conscientiously-produced beach apparel aimed at discriminating customers. Shoring up that brand identity means that even the hang tags on Basta’s products must reflect values of quality, subtlety and an environmentally conscious worldview.

So, when Basta approached its distributor partner with an idea for a seeded hangtag, the rep knew just the right product. She suggested the seeded paper hang tag, an idea that became a resounding success. “They wanted to elevate their brand,” the rep says. “They thought that this would be effective in showing their earth consciousness and organic materials.”

Basta donates a part of its profits to causes that promote clean water. The company promoted this eco-conscious initiative on the back of the letter-pressed tags. Beyond complementing Basta’s environmental efforts, the wildflower-seeded tags promote a free-and-fruitful attitude that is in keeping with Basta’s worldview. The rep adds: “It allows the business to show the customer they are thinking of them in other ways than just selling swimwear.”

Plan the Perfect Golf Outing

Hosting a company or charity golf tournament? Remember: Gifts and prizes are key to golf events, and in fact, are the reason many people play in events and return again the following year. However, experts say it’s important not to skimp on promotional items and giveaways.

Here are four popular areas for gift-giving:

  1. Tee Gifts: These are participation gifts that are given to each golfer at registration. The gift should encourage the participant to want to come back the next year. The higher the entry fee, the better the gift should be.
  2. Winner’s Gifts: In charity events, most play in teams of four. Gifts are presented to first-place, second-place and third-place finishers. For higher-end tournaments, a nice crystal gift, like a clock or trophy that will be kept and displayed is recommended. These awards help bring people back – they’re motivation to participate.
  3. Sponsor Awards: These may be the most important items. They can be crystal or utilitarian, and they don’t have to be golf-themed. For example, branded Sherpa blankets for individual sponsors. If the sponsor is corporate, a plaque or award that can be displayed on the walls of the office to demonstrate its commitment to charity.
  4. Volunteer Gifts: The volunteers work hard, and you want them to come back too. T-shirts are common choices, but food or wine could also be a good choice.

In addition to the gifts above, you’ll also need contest prizes for Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin and Hole-in-One. Items to consider for these contests include a branded bicycle and a messenger bag.

No matter the use, be sure all items have high perceived value to match the exclusive feel of the tournaments. Also, consider non-golf items like can coolers, tumblers, stainless-steel bottles, sunglasses, sun screen, folding chairs, umbrellas, sport packs and even tech products. With the amount of time spent on the golf course – minimum four hours – attendees will appreciate power banks for their cellphones.

Contact your promotional products distributor for more golf outing solutions and product ideas.

Customized NFL Cleats Raise Money For Charity

The NFL was a little more colorful this past weekend, as hundreds of players wore logoed customized cleats to raise awareness and money for charity.

Players this season have been expressing their personality and fashion tastes with colorful custom cleats – shoes that would also violate the NFL dress code and draw a fine. For Week 13 of the football season, the NFL called a détente on the shoe wars and concocted “My Cause My Cleats,” a campaign designed to raise awareness for different social causes. More than a third of the league – over 500 players – donned cleats with custom designs representing a charity or cause of their choice.

“While there has always been interest and adoption at the youth level in sports, customized footwear has now taken the main stage in many verticals such as sports with the NFL’s Week 13 efforts or fashion with UGG stores offering the opportunity on their famous boots,” Josh Ellsworth, general manager of Stahls’(asi/88984) CAD-CUT Direct division, tells Counselor. Ellsworth noted the increasing demand for personalization and advances in a number of decoration techniques, including heat printing, direct-to-garment, UV printing and embroidery. “They are helping to drive quality products and, therefore, profitable new sales opportunities for businesses.”

Traditionally, NFL players must wear shoes without brand names and logos (beyond that of the shoe manufacturer) – it’s a fine of $6,076 for first-time infractions and $12,154 for subsequent ones. But the cleats sported by players last week featured all sorts of colorful logos, graphics and designs to raise awareness about issues such as domestic abuse, animal cruelty and rare diseases. NFL Auction has also allowed bidding on the shoes with 100% of the proceeds benefiting respective charities.

Ellsworth says customized footwear meshes well with the promotional product industry because it centers on memorability. “Custom branded shoes can be the next great thing that aligns with a campaign’s goals,” Ellsworth says. “Consider the following opportunities: customized footwear that supports a special cause for a charity run/walk, promotional footwear with a ‘Kick Cancer’ mantra that allows on-demand customization, promotional sneakers for a company’s event staff that will be on their feet all day or even custom shoes with a player’s name, number, or hashtag.”

However, Ellsworth warns that there are challenges to consider. “Footwear does bring in an element of sizing, so inventory risk for print on demand or in advance promotional opportunities can be costly,” he says. “The shoe fits when you have a good understanding of exactly who your customer is and what size they want.”

Here’s a look at several of the cleat designs that were worn by the players.

Promo Items for Pilgrims

In the months leading up to the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day 2016, preparations were as globe-spanning as the millions of expected attendees. First instituted in 1986 by Pope Saint John Paul II, World Youth Days (WYD) are hosted every three years by the Vatican and the incumbent Pope, and welcome droves of young people to a week-long faith celebration in a different city. The July 2016 event was held in Krakow, Poland.

Vatican representatives had a good idea of what they wanted for the attendees, known as “pilgrims,” who would eventually converge on Krakow from all over the world. For example, organizers wanted to include ponchos that could also double as ground blankets. So the organizers teamed up with their distributor partner and came up with an item made of a special fabric that not only protected wearers from the rain, but was both soft and durable enough to sit on. In addition, a dye-sublimated scarf was constructed of absorbent microfiber so that it doubled as a towel. 


Each item was color-matched, and the items came in red, blue and yellow. In addition to the ponchos and scarves, other WYD-branded items included backpacks, neck gaiters and silicone bracelets. The finished items were flown to the Polish port city of Gdansk, then trucked more than 350 miles to a warehouse in the Krakow area specially built for WYD, which also housed food and water for 2.5 million pilgrims that attended the successful event.
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