Your supplier will also sometimes have to sign an agreement. "The supplier occasionally has to sign an agreement with the licensing agency, saying that the distributor has a contract stating we are only acting as the manufacturer and will not reprint the licensed logo," said Taylor. Joe Durand, MAS, senior vice president of LarLu/Display-Tec, Winona, Minn., pointed out as well that some suppliers (such as LarLu) will have whole licensing departments devoted to making sure your artwork follows a team's decoration standards, which can be quite strict at times.
6. Consider Cross-Promotion
Fan and spirit promotions held at events offer plenty of opportunity to weave items together into a connected marketing effort. Durand gave one example, using a decorated flag or banner by the venue entrance to not only promote the event but also a related concessions or fundraising item, such as a promotional seat cushion.
7. Don't Forget Mechanical Testing
Chemical safety and compliance testing is always important, but for hard items with moving parts such as noisemakers, physical risk and breakage are also issues. "In most cases, the ASTM F963 mechanical testing will test the item under regular use-and-abuse scenarios to see if the item is safe for children," said Teresa Fang, director of purchasing at Jetline, Gaffney, S.C. "Also, the distributor would want to make sure that the item has the appropriate tracking label so that it can be easily identified and recalled should there be any issue with the product after it's been introduced to the market."
8. Longevity Can Make a Difference
"Many promotional items for stadium events don't have a use outside of the few hours they're used to rally the crowd," said Dana Zezzo, CAS, chief marketing officer at Jetline. "Glow sticks and noisemakers are fun short-term ways to rally the crowd, but a user rarely takes it home and continues to use it ... An effective promotional item can be used long after the event, reminding the user of the event and sponsors," explained Zezzo. He cited several examples of useful take-home fan promotions, such as can-coolers and themed drawstring backpacks decorated specifically to resemble a given sport, as items that would be used long after an event's end.