3. Plan Around the Playoffs
Since some teams don't know if or how far they'll make it into the playoffs until they get there, they may be left in a promotional lurch if they go farther than anticipated. "It's a game-day driven thing," said Denny. "They don't know what they need until they make the playoffs." This uncertainty can create sales opportunities if you're able to source product fast enough. Know which suppliers either keep large stocks domestically or manufacture stateside and can deliver items on a quick turnaround.
One example of an item you can get made quickly is foam products. "With the foam, we always have it in stock because it's all made to order," said Denny. "We have the raw material, we make it right here in the building, we slice it, so if you want a foam #1 finger, we cut out #1 one fingers. If you want a paw or a claw, or a hammer or a five-finger thing or a spoon or a hockey stick, it doesn't matter, it's the same material," he explained. "It's really made to order, so you can knock out the quantity you need. It's easy to do 10,000 of something in five days because you can make it and don't have to get it from somebody outside."
4. The Two Sides of Flags
Taylor cautioned distributors to inspect how a flag looks from both sides. "Most flag material is thin and the printing is seen through both sides," he said. "The reverse side of the flag is a mirror opposite of the front side."
5. Get Your Licensing Straight
College and professional sports teams will often require a license to use their logos. Besides making sure you have the correct permissions and paperwork to use said logos, you also want to make sure that your client has the same allowances. Sometimes clients, such as a college fraternity or an NFL fan club, will request merchandise with a school or team's logo on it, not realizing they have no authority over the use of a team's logo. The last thing a promotion needs is trademark or other licensing issues, so always follow up with official sources.