Small Gifts With Big Impact

While most of the products we imprint are typically done in larger quantities, it is possible to produce a gift that is very special, and inexpensive, for just a few…or, yes, even one piece!

I’m referring to etched glassware. In addition to pint glasses and ashtrays, there are other items made of glass that are perfect for etching as well. A few years back, one of my cousins was getting married and for a gift I etched a glass cookie jar. Our artist prepared a nice rendering of the families last name in kind of an 1800s style, which fit perfectly with the families values. On the bottom of the jar, I etched the name of the couple and their wedding date.Ad-America Etched Jar Wedding Gift

The etching on the bottom of the jar was done in such a way so you would actually read the text through the empty cookie jar.

The etching is reversed and on the outside of the bottom of the cookie jar.

The etching is reversed and on the outside of the bottom of the cookie jar.

The completed jar was wrapped and presented with a note that read, “When you get to the bottom of the cookie jar, you’ll always have each other.” Do you need a kleenex? See, it really is the thought that counts…that…and the cookies!

What do you give the guy that already has everything? Last year my mom was battling cancer and things weren’t going so well for her. My parents live in a small town outside Columbus, Ohio, and I live in West Michigan. It’s a five to six hour drive each way.

A friend of mine is a corporate pilot. As luck would have it, his company was in the process of opening a new office in this same town. After a few emails with the president of the company, I was given permission to hop along on a flight that allowed me to visit my mother, and be back home in the same day. What a treat!

How do you say thank you for something that special! I learned from the pilot that the company president had invited a group of friends and business associates to a rather exclusive golf resort. They would be flying to this resort in the same plane I had just returned on. That information helped me with my thank you gift.

I realized there just might be adult beverages involved at some point on their trip. So, for my thank you gift for my trip to Ohio, I decided to give the company president eight scotch glasses that he in turn could give to his friends and associates while on their golf outing.

We etched the logo of the resort on the side of eight scotch glasses. One glass for each person going on the trip. On the bottom of each glass, we etched the tail number and nickname of this particular plane, the date of their trip, and the first and last name of every guy who was invited. Yes, there were eight names on the bottom of each glass! What a souvenir!

The glasses were then shrink wrapped and dropped off at the hangar where the plane is kept, along with a big thank you from me.

You can imagine what it would be like to be invited on such a golf trip, and then while sipping your scotch, you happen to look through the bottom of your glass and see all the details of this very special excursion! I’d love to show you how the etching turned out, because frankly, it does look very cool. But, I want to respect the privacy of the people on the trip, so you’ll just have to imagine this one!

High School Sports Fight Breast Cancer

Don’t be surprised if you see one of your local high school football teams all decked out in pink for a big game! From Lowell, Michigan to Russell, Kentucky and further south to Orlando, Florida…high school football teams are joining in the fight against breast cancer. Even a few colleges, like the Michigan State Spartans are using the opportunity that a stadium/arena full of people provides to promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds for cancer research. Judging by the results, it’s a big hit in the communities that have tried it.

If you want to run a promotion like this with your school, you’ll want to start with the school’s athletic office. Many states have rules governing the color of uniforms that are worn on game day. While a minor point, I haven’t heard of any state association refusing the request, you’ll want to check with the school just to be sure. Either you or the Athletic Director will most likely need to get approval from the Athletic Association that governs your school. In Michigan, it’s the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Once you’ve got the go ahead from the school and the coaching staff, and chosen a chairperson to run the event, it’s really just a matter of lining up what you want to do, and asking some parents if they’d be willing to help out. As far as publicity goes, that should be easy.   Radio, TV, and the local paper all like a good story, and they don’t get much better than this. Your event will no doubt make the evening news and land on the front page of your paper! Regardless of who wins the game, everybody wins as you raise funds for a worthy cause and help keep the focus on cancer awareness and education.

You’ll probably find that many of the kids on the football team have someone in their family, or know of a friend that has been affected by cancer, and they’ll get pretty fired up about the idea. One team can wear “pink jerseys”, either purchased, or you can dye white jerseys pink for this special game. The other team can wear their normal school colors, though you might have them sport a pink ribbon on their helmets.

In place of the players name on the back of the jersey, you could allow the jerseys to be sponsored with the name of someone who has battled cancer. Prior to the game, the field announcer could read off the players’ numbers, and the name of their sponsor. “…and number 76 on the Whitmore Tigers is playing for Mary Craddeck.”

The Cheer Squad will likely want to sport pink colors as well. They’re a little easier to outfit in pink! Promotional products to consider for the girls include pink sox, headbands, tops, shorts, and naturally real pink ribbons for their hair.
It always helps to have a name for the “Big Game”. Here are a few that have been used:
“Fill The Gym For A Cure”
“The Cancer Classic”
“Think Pink”
“Pink and Blue Classic” Breast/Prostate cancer awareness
“Football For A Cure”
At some point, you’ll want to determine who gets the money you raise. Organizations that are typically the recipient include the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, or perhaps the Cancer Institute at your local hospital. You can always split your proceeds as well.

Now that you’ve got the sports team dressed in pink, and your cheer squad all decked out, what about the fans? Some schools encourage fans to wear pink, but most opt to have a special t-shirt designed and printed just for the event. Yes, it’s usually a pink shirt! This also doubles as a fundraiser. If you allow folks in the community to buy the shirts ahead of time, you can always offer “Free Entry” to the game when they wear their shirt. Be sure to have more shirts available at the game for sale as well.

A natural place to consider selling your shirts pregame would be the school’s spirit store, a sporting goods or department store, that is, a business that normally sells clothing. Don’t rule out other venues that might not be as obvious, like a credit union or bank. As they say, that’s where the money is.

Sponsorships. Yes, you can consider sponsorships for all of these items individually, or have one large sponsor. Either way, you can add the sponsors logo to the back of your t-shirts, or incorporate their logo in to the design. You can also allow them to hang banners in the stadium or arena, and print flyers to promote the game.

This should be enough to get your mind working. Here’s a checklist of promotional items that can reinforce your event, provide a commemoration, and help raise money. You may not want, or choose to use all these items, but the list is here for your convenience. I’m sure you’ll want most of these in pink for breast cancer awareness, or perhaps blue for prostate awareness.

[ ] Pink Jerseys for the team members and coaching staff
[ ] Pink T-shirts for fans(really makes a statement when the stadium is full!)
[ ] Pink goal post pads. Or just add a big pink ribbon cut out of vinyl.
[ ] Pink ribbon at the 50-Yard line on the field
[ ] Rally towels. These can be pink, or white with a pink imprint
[ ] Pink caps
[ ] Pink water bottles
[ ] Snow cones! Yes, a popular concession item are pink snow cones.
[ ] Plastic cups imprinted for the game
[ ] Special helmet decal
[ ] Wristbands
[ ] Headbands
[ ] Pink basketball net (Obviously, this is for basketball promotions!)
[ ] Pink and white basketball
[ ] Special shorts and tops for the Cheer Squad
[ ] Pink ribbons for the girls on the female sports teams or cheer squad.

Other things that need to be taken care of:

[ ] School’s permission
[ ] Coaching staff and players buy-in on the idea
[ ] Athletic Association permission to wear pink uniforms
[ ] Contact the media…all of them! Radio, TV, newspaper, the school’s website, blogs, etc.
[ ] Get your promotional items designed and ordered
[ ] Line up sponsors
[ ] Decide on a charity
[ ] There will be plenty of other things that pop up. Be sure to get volunteers to assist you. They’ll be happy to help!

If you need help with your promotional items, t-shirt design, or have any other questions, you can call our office at 616-247-3797 or 1-800-266-8534 and ask for either Ingrid, Kyra, (Kee-rah), or Kelly.

Thank you for sharing this post with others, and your effort to fight cancer!