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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.

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