Tag Archives: Sports

Get out the Spirit Accessories, It’s Time Again for the NCAA Basketball Tournament

The D34nWith the preliminary round of the 2010 NCAA Championships only two days away, school allegiances and rivalries are at an all-time high. Will the Jayhawks stay at number one in the Midwest? Will they square off against Duke in the semi-finals? I sure hope so. Both teams, who enter the tournament holding the top spots in their conferences, proudly hold three championship titles. But that is nothing compared to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, a team with a very respectable seven wins under their belt.

I’ll be watching to see if the Wildcats come out on top again this year but even if you aren’t a basketball fan or your team just didn’t make it this year (Ohio State’s 69-68 victory last week over Michigan in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big Ten Conference Tournament was heartbreaking to many in the Midwest), there are plenty of other reasons to tune into the NCAA basketball tournament. The tournament- more commonly referred to as the Final Four or March Madness- isn’t just about basketball.

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Bandanas, Yawns and Logo Apparel: Athletes’ Pre-Game Rituals


The Olympics ended Sunday, but for avid speed skating fans a few questions still remain to be answered. For one, why did Apolo Anton Ohno keep yawning before races? Was the most decorated American Winter Olympian in history tired? Bored?

No. After watching a post-race interview with Ohno, I can confidently say the American short track speed skater was neither tired nor bored. The yawns relax his facial muscles and help him prepare for competition, Ohno explained. Also helping him prepare for his outstanding performances were his music, headphones and signature bandanas, which he wore fervently for each event. As most sports fanatics know, Ohno is certainly not alone in his pre-game rituals. The question remains as to whether or not these superstitions actually influence an athlete’s performance.

“It’s very helpful for players to have consistent rituals, both for pregame preparation and during competition,” said Mary Fry, an associate professor at University of Kansas, Lawrence in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences. “Rituals help athletes maximize their performance under pressure. Without rituals many athletes have a tendency to speed up or slow down their regular play, making them more susceptible to making errors.”*

As Fry explains, rituals help athletes to get into their zone. And this theory doesn’t just apply to Olympic-level or professional athletes. Despite my lack of coordination, I have been playing in an adult dodgeball league for the past two months. Every Saturday at 1 o’clock, my teammates and I faithfully arrive at the local gym, ready to dodge, duck, dip, dive and…. Dodge. This weekend, we took third place in the championships and I think our success was due in part to the logo apparel we wore routinely for every game. Our pink shirts, imprinted with the league name and company sponsors, helped the team look unified, feel more confident and thus perform better.

We might not be ready for the Olympics, but we’ll take logo apparel and a bronze medal any day!

Sarah

Marketing Coordinator

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*as quoted in an article by Nicolas Roesler in the Daily Kansan

The Next Big Olympic Fad Since Promotional Lapel Pins

For some strange reason, back during the summer Olympics hosted in Atlanta in 1996, an extraordinary collecting frenzy broke out, and people everywhere were buying promotional lapel pins like they were going out of style – not that they were ever actually in style. I too fell victim to this craze and now have a drawer full of Olympic pins that I am crossing my fingers will one day be worth more money than I paid for them. An estimated 63 million pins were sold in Atlanta during its games – yes, 63 million –  an insane number that even prompted the running joke that pin collecting should be included as a 29th event.

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Promo Product Paparazzi

from Perez Hilton

from Perez Hilton

Of course we all know the current controversy surrounding Tiger Woods and his Supermodel wife, Elin Nordegren.  What really went on that night of the crash may forever remain speculation. Tiger has since been dropped by many of his endorsers and it has even been rumored that he may be leaving golf forever.  Just because he has been affected negatively by this situation, that doesn’t mean his mistresses have been hurting during all of this.  All 7 (no, 8…wait, is it 9? 10? Shoot, who can keep up!?) of them have been earning their fair share by selling their stories to the tabloids and various media outlets.

Just when we all thought that it was only the lady friends that were reaping all of the benefits, along came John Gribbin.  This may be the first time you have ever heard of this man — believe me, I had never heard of him until about a week ago!  Gribbin wrote a book named Get a Grip on Physics.  Sound exciting?  Eh, not really. So just how does this correlate with the Tiger Woods scandal?

On the night of November 27th, when good ‘ol Tiger wrecked his vehicle, it just so happened that Gribbin’s book was on the floor board of his 2009 Cadillac Escalade.  With what some people would call pure luck, the book ended up in hundreds of paparazzi photographs.  Since then, the book has risen significantly in sales and went from 396,224 on Amazon’s sales rank to 2,268! How about that for product placement!  Just think how amazing it would have been if one of YOUR company’s promo products had made a cameo that night!

Katie McCormick
Account Coordinator

Hit a Homerun with Promotional Products

jbcurio-World's-Largest-Baseball-BatSince regular baseball season is over and the postseason schedule begins tomorrow, I thought now would be a great time to write about utilizing promotional baseball products to hit a home run for your marketing campaign. After all, from stadium sponsorships to game day giveaways, baseball and promotional products have always gone hand-in-hand. And, it just so happens that today, October 6, is an important day in the history of Major League Baseball.

The New York Yankees won three World Series on this day in history, beating the Dodgers twice. On October 6, 1919, White Sox catcher Ray Schalk was the 2nd man ejected from a World Series. And, in 1959, a single game World Series attendance record was set with 92,706 people attending the Dodgers-White Sox game in Los Angeles.

October 6 has marked an important day in baseball history since 1882, when the first World Series was played between Cincinnati and Chicago. Cincinnati beat Chicago 4-0, starting Chicago’s long history with baseball. In fact, the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in over a hundred years, perhaps due to a curse cast on the team on October 6, 1945. Tavern owner “Billy Goat” Sianis cast the curse after being escorted out of Chicago’s Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the World Series for buying a seat and bringing his goat.

Despite this long losing streak, fans still love going to Wrigley Field to enjoy the ambiance, including beers, hot dogs, and of course a pre-game promotional product giveaway. From custom imprinted towels to key chains to baseball hats, promotional products are traditionally handed out to the first 10,000 attendants, guaranteeing wide brand exposure for corporate sponsors.

But promotional products can also be great assets to a marketing campaign without breaking the bank. You can personalize company T shirts or jerseys to promote unity throughout the office, and even imprint or your company’s name and logo on a coach’s jacket to honor a top executive. Or, give clients and employees promotional baseball player stress balls and Hacki Sacks to alleviate office tension. No matter which item you choose, you clients and employees alike will surely have a ball!

Sarah
Creative Writing Intern
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Warning: Shameless Promotional Ideas to Follow

promotional apparelSince September is nationally designated as “shameless promotion month” and last week was my first week here at Pinnacle Promotions, I figured doing my first blog post about promotional items and strategies would be more than fitting. After all, who doesn’t love talking about themselves?

Before joining the Pinnacle team, I did a little research about the promotional products industry and learned a few fun facts. For example, the education industry spends the most money on promotional products, while restaurants and bars round out the top ten. But then I started thinking more about promotional material, and realized it truly is everywhere you look.

Using celebrities to promote corporate interests is nothing new and I’m sure you can think of a million celebrity endorsements just off the top of your head. Tiger Woods and Nike. Michael Jordan and Gatorade. Even Oprah’s Book Club promotes certain authors over others. Get your book on her list, and you are as good as gold!

But for companies who can’t afford the sky-high prices of celebrity spokespeople, just turn to the people you have access too. After all, your employees are the face of your company and their hard work is your best asset. Promotional products are a great way to thank them for everything they do while also increasing your marketing efforts.

To create a look like Tiger’s, choose from our wide range of customizable caps, polo shirts or even golf accessories to help employees record their golf scores. And, with our great selection of promotional sports bottles, you can emphasize the importance of hydration and promote internal teamwork without spending a fortune to hire Michael Jordan. Even though shameless promotion month is almost over, it’s never too late to get your name out there and strengthen your brand!

All this talk of Jordan makes me think of Chicago, my hometown. And, since it is the end of the month and therefore my last chance to talk a little about myself, I leave you with a video of my favorite moment in Chicago Bulls history:

Sarah
Creative Writing Intern
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Serving Up Promotional Products – and Tennis Champs – in Norcross

Destination-Europe-Kim-ClijstersBelgian tennis player Kim Clijsters won her second United States Open title this weekend, defeating challenger Caroline Wozniack of Denmark in the woman’s singles finals on the 24,000 seat Arthur Ashe stadium, not having even played there since her first victory in 2005. But one of the other most notable achievements of the tournament this year was the success of 17-year-old Melanie Oudin, who trained at the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross, Georgia – which happens to be less than 5 miles away from the Pinnacle Promotions office! Only her second time to play in the US Open, Oudin defeated top seated players Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova, and Nadia Petrova, to become the youngest American tennis player to compete in the quarter-finals since Serena Williams in 1999. Though she lost in the quarter-finals to Caroline Wozniacki, her overall performance in the tournament and her fighting determination that enabled her to advance each round after being down after the first set in three straight matches has made her an overnight tennis sensation with the talent and will to become a champion.

In honor of Miss Oudin of Norcross, today’s blog is going to feature – you guessed it – promotional tennis items. At Pinnacle Promotions we have more products relating to tennis than you could imagine! From custom imprinted tennis balls and jersey tennis polo shirts, to tennis can koozies and tennis ball stress relievers, tennis players and fans can choose from an assortment of tennis items for any marketing campaign.

Jaime
Creative Writing Intern
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Promotional Products to Fit Your Brand to a “Tee”!

promotional gold merchandiseAhhh the feel of the short blades of the green, the momentum of the swing of the club and the satisfaction you get when you sink the ball in the hole…well, for me, its more like the momentum of the golf cart as it speeds down the cart path and the satisfaction I get when I swing the club and it actually makes contact with the ball. But what girl wouldn’t like a game where the men are required to wear slacks and a collared shirt while following etiquette guidelines and skillfully swinging a big club?! What game am I talking about? That’s right – the game of golf, of course! And the month of August just happens to be National Golf Month!

Now I’m not sure about the origins of National Golf Month, but the origins of the game of golf can be traced back to the 15th century off the eastern coast of Scotland. Players would hit a pebble instead of a ball around the sand dunes using a stick or primitive sort of club. Today, golf has developed into a very civilized game with sophisticated equipment such as the dimpled golf ball and portable golf tees. And while golf most likely began as a sport of leisure, today the golf course is considered a venue for business. Many companies take advantage of the relaxed and fun environment while they do some serious negotiating.  If you plan on using this strategy, remember to come prepared with promotional golf merchandise customized with your company name and logo.  Offer your golfing partner promotional gifts such as imprinted golf balls or even an engraved metal ball marker before you tee off!

Jaime
Creative Writing Intern
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“Saved by the Bell”: The Pinnacle Years (Continued)

vauvau-high-school-lockersAnd now for Part Two of Friday’s blog tribute to “Saved by the Bell”… What better way to discuss promotional products than by relating them to a television series that impacted so many lives throughout its time on the air?

Kelly: Kelly Kapowski’s peppy personality, natural beauty, and adoration for her large family quickly made her America’s Sweetheart. When her father lost his job, she insisted on giving back the money he had given her to buy her dream prom dress to help with family expenses. For employees or clients who, like Kelly, possess the admirable qualities of selflessness and generosity, why not encourage them to pamper themselves for once, instead of only looking out for the well-being of others? Products featured in our “Pamper Yourself (Spa)” category can provide valued customers and staff with the necessary tools to relax and treat themselves to some “me” time.

Lisa: Lisa Turtle was always sassy, strong-willed, and most of all, stylish! For fashionistas like Lisa, our selection of Fashion Totes or Women’s Apparel will help them set the trends, as well as promoting your brand as hip and cutting-edge. In multiple episodes, Lisa’s friends often walked into her bedroom unannounced to find her doing aerobics along with a videotape. The popularity of Aerobics is undeniable, and items related to the fitness craze are great options to promote healthy exercise habits. Some of the newest (and in my opinion, coolest!) workout accessories to hit the market are balance boards. These pieces of equipment challenge the user’s coordination, core strength, and flexibility. And now, you can customize them with your brand logo and marketing message! Both men and women can utilize this innovative fitness tool, as it can definitely spice up an otherwise repetitive workout regimen.

Jessie: Jessie Spano’s determination, intellect, and competitive nature were admirable qualities that made her successful in any endeavor she undertook at Bayside. Whether she was advocating for women’s rights by criticizing Slater’s chauvinistic ways or attending protests related to preserving the environment, Jessie certainly spoke up for what she believed in. If you are looking for promotional gifts to please recipients dedicated to protecting the environment, consider items from our EarthSmart™ category. These selections are made from recycled materials, recyclable, and/or help conserve energy. In addition, Pinnacle donates a portion of the proceeds from sales of these items to 1% for the Planet so that the money can be put to good use by non-profit environmental groups. If the audience you intend to target with your promotional products is associated with philanthropic organizations, take a look at our Non-Profit/Associations category to find the perfect gifts or giveaways.

I hope you enjoyed these blast-from-the-past blog posts inspired by one of TV’s most memorable sitcoms as much as I enjoyed writing them! Next time you purchase promotional products, draw from the world around you (including the fictional world housed in your television screen!) for ideas, and take the characteristics of your intended recipient(s) into account when selecting ideal custom imprinted gifts.

Dana
Marketing Coordinator
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“Saved by the Bell”: The Pinnacle Years

Custom SunglassesWhile going about my morning routine before work, I typically roll out of bed, grab breakfast from the kitchen, and switch on the TV to get my daily dose of “Saved by the Bell.” Growing up, 5:05-5:35 PM was a very important time of day, dedicated exclusively to watching SBTB. Starting my workdays with Zack Morris, A.C. Slater, and the rest of the Bayside posse has inspired me to write a SBTB-themed blog entry about a few of the fictional characters, which real-life market segments they most resemble, and suggestions for promotional products that would best fit with their hobbies and interests.

Zack Morris: I think “Preppy” would most appreciate items that would enhance his fun-loving, laidback California attitude. Promotional Beach Items like coolers, sunscreen, and sports balls are great options, but Zack’s social butterfly persona could also make use of networking tools like business card cases or daily planners. His entrepreneurial spirit often landed him in trouble with authority, such as when he attempted to sell Lisa’s clothes for a profit so she could pay off her credit card debt. When Mr. Belding inquired as to what was going on, Zack accidentally offered to donate Lisa’s clothes to Bayside’s charity clothing drive! The moral of the story is that entrepreneurs, like Zack, who engage in frequent client meetings or are constantly on the road can benefit from promotional products that can help them stay organized on-the-go. Travel Accessories or office accessories may be ideal gifts for associates or customers similar to Zack.

A.C. Slater: Slater’s athleticism, sense of humor, and willingness to take part in his friends’ crazy schemes made him an unforgettable character. Whether your intended recipients are already fitness-conscious or you are trying to encourage them to become more physically active, promotional fitness accessories are the right promotional products for you! Slater would have appreciated any sports-related giveaways to accompany his healthy lifestyle.
His love of sports occasionally made him come across to the show’s audience as a “dumb jock,” but in actuality he often displayed a sensitive side, too. In one episode, his touching class presentation about his best friend, his pet lizard Artie, portrayed him as a caring animal-lover. For clients that demonstrate an affinity for four-legged friends, opt for promotional products from our pets category. Your company’s thoughtful, considerate gifts will make a positive impression and show leads or existing clientele that you pay close attention to their needs.

Screech Powers: Where can I even begin to discuss this goofy guy? Screech’s klutzy, awkward presence played a key role in making SBTB a success. One of my favorite episodes was when he was competing in a chess tournament against Valley’s Russian exchange student. For clients who love board games like Chess or Checkers, consider promotional items from our “Puzzles and Games” section. They will be able to perfect their strategies, while viewing your company’s name and logo every time they play the game.

Get ready for more “Saved by the Bell” fun in Monday’s blog post, this time with an emphasis on Bayside’s leading ladies. Goooo Tigers!

Dana
Marketing Coordinator
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