Whether you’re into hard-core fitness, a friendly game of cornhole or cheering on others from the sidelines, experiencing the great outdoors is key to modern recreational activities. In its Outdoor Recreation Outlook 2018 study, the American Recreation Coalition reports that outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in spending every year in the U.S., with growth expected into 2019.

“It’s all about the experience,” says Lindsey Schultz, marketing coordinator for IMAGEN Brands, parent company of Crown (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197). “Having backyard parties, going to a park or touring a local brewery has become recreational by playing fun outdoor games. It’s a new way to make memories, enjoy the outdoors and take a break
from technology.”

Thanks to the experience economy, camping is enjoying a resurgence, driven primarily by Millennials seeking to unplug. According to KOA, the nation’s largest private campground system, Millennials made up 38 percent of the 75 million camper households in the U.S. in 2017, up from 34 percent in 2016. In addition, the upcoming Generation Z is equally enthusiastic about camping and outdoor activities.

Camping is becoming more of a physical activity, too, with hiking overtaking fishing as the most popular camping activity for the first time. Kayaking and mountain biking are also on the rise as part of the overall movement toward health and wellness. 

“We are experiencing a major uptick in the number of requests we receive for quality outdoor gear that will provide the consumer with many years of memories,” says Eileen Lucky, promotional sales supervisor for Picnic Time Family
of Brands (PPAI 143980). “The retail market is definitely driving the desire for craftsmanship. We see that corporate buyers now understand the value of having a product that will last more than one outing, and they want to provide their employees or client base with a useful item that they are proud to associate with their brand.”



Welcome Wagon

A leading beverage manufacturer used the Adventure Wagon as a display enhancer at a large summer event in Los Angeles. The wagon was branded on both sides, and it was filled with giveaway items for partygoers. At the end of the event, the wagon was raffled off as a door prize.
Source: Picnic Time Family of Brands

Give It A Rest

The U.S. Amateur Open title sponsor was looking for a useful item to offer attendees on the day of the event. TravelChair Company recommended the lightweight Slacker and Ultimate Slacker Stools with the tourna-ment logo imprinted on them.

The stools, which weigh less than two and five pounds respectively, could easily be toted along the course as fans followed the action. Since golf tournament attendance means miles of walking, the portable stools were the perfect accessory, allowing spectators to enjoy a heightened, more comfortable experience.
Source: TravelChair Company


The Ventura Seat is a portable recreational recliner with armrests and adjustable backpack straps, so you can take it just about anywhere. The high-density PU foam provides firmness to prevent aches when seated over time. Six backrest positions offer a range of comfort possibilities, and the armrests are invertible. Available in red, lime green, navy and black, this portable seat is great for the beach, pool, picnics and spectator sports.
Source: Picnic Time Family of Brands / PPAI 143980 / www.picnicpromotions.com


Take outdoor adventures and tailgates to the next level with the KOOZIE® Olympus 24-Can Kooler. The functional design includes a main zippered compartment, front zippered pocket, attached bottle openers, wrapped carry handles and a padded shoulder strap. It’s made of durable, water-resistant tarpaulin material in gray/blue. 
Source: BIC Graphic USA / PPAI 114187 / www.bicgraphic.com


Lightweight, ultra-soft, super absorbent and easy to activate, the Cooling Rally Wrap can be used at concerts, games or any high-energy event. Swing it to show your excitement and support, or wet it and wear it to cool off. Reusable and machine washable, the wrap is available in two convenient sizes.
Source: Toddy Gear / PPAI 516677 / www.toddygear.com


Step out in style with the Puma 25L Backpack featuring padded, adjustable and ventilated shoulder straps, a top carry handle and a ventilated back panel. The main zippered compartment includes a laptop sleeve that fits most 15-inch laptops. This backpack offers a variety of pockets including a front vertical-zipper pocket, a side zippered pocket and a side mesh pocket with compression strap.
Source: Kati Sportcap / PPAI 113758 / www.katisportcap.com


The athleisure-inspired Sports Mesh Sport Pack is made with unique and on-trend sports mesh material, with a front faux-neoprene slip pocket and double drawstring closure.
Source: Vitronic / PPAI 114197 / www.vitronicpromotional.com


Trends In Parks and Rec
In its Top Trends for Parks and Recreation for 2018 report, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) highlights the following developments:

In the search for more green space, unconventional sites for new public parks will arise. For example, the Lowline in New York City will open in 2021. This underground park is being built in an unused trolley terminal on the Lower East side and will be illuminated by solar technology.

Drones will increase in use. Public sector agencies will formalize their utility in monitoring natural resources, visitors and emergency situations. At the same time, the recreational use of drones is expected to soar.

More community health programs will be implemented. The NRPA sponsors a range of evidence-based programs in parks and rec centers across the country, such as programs for sedentary adults and those with arthritis.


A Walk In The Park
The National Park Service ups its game to draw more visitors.

The National Park Service (NPS) is made up of over 400 properties across the country that are visited by over 330 million people every year. The American Recreation Coalition reports that visitation in 2017 increased over seven percent in 2017, spurred on in part by proactive partnerships and initiatives.

One outreach program, “Every Kid in a Park,” has the goal of getting every fourth grader in the country—all four million of them—to a state, national or local park and encouraging repeat visits with free passes. The program is in its third year.

Other efforts to spur domestic and international visits focus on convenience and connectivity. Pre-planned trip itineraries can be found online, and new apps to help visitors buy passes, plan hiking routes and book campsites appeal to younger consumers. In addition, recreation. gov, a trip-planning and information-sharing platform, is the result of an alliance among a number of federal agencies.

In April, HanesBrands and the National Park Foundation (NFP) announced a five-year partnership to encourage exploration and conservation of America’s parks. The new Hanes women’s collection features landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and statement shirts.
A unisex collection with vintage silhouettes of national parks on eco-friendly fabrics is available through Alternative. The partnership is expected to generate $4 million for NPF.

“Working alongside the National Park Foundation to develop these collections has allowed us to create a unique product that encourages people of all backgrounds to get outside and explore the world around them,” says Rachel Newman, vice president of sales, American Casualwear, HanesBrands.


For specific product ideas, please refer to the flipbook.

Terry Ramsay is associate editor of PPB.