After the players, fans are arguably the most important part of any team. So, giving passionate fans the logoed spirit apparel and accessory options they want is a critical part of any team’s game plan.

T-shirts, sweatshirts and caps are always traditional game-day favorites, but how can you one-up a rival team’s fan gear? Jamie Allen, marketing director at Head To Toe (PPAI 112077), says she tells her clients sublimation can be a way to make spirit apparel stand out. “With sublimation, customers have the freedom to choose from a basic to a hard-to-find color or they can choose one of our creative patterns using their own color combination.”

As for what current apparel colors are trending, Allen says to think bright—but not to count out grey. “We have seen a lot of bright summer colors coming out. Cyan, lime green, turquoise and greys are definitely the new black.”

Style trends show that, in addition to always-popular crew and V-neck shirts, quarter zips are increasingly popular, adds Allen.

Beyond traditional apparel items, temporary tattoos are a cost-effective, fun, quick way to show team spirit, says Gary Ban, principal and managing partner at Innovative Adhesives, LLC (PPAI 558718). And they’re easier than ever to apply.

“Water-applied temporary tattoos have been around for a long time; that’s why we invented peel-and-stick tattoos,” Ban says. “In today’s ‘immediate use, immediate need’ society, people don’t take the time to apply a water-based tattoo. They prefer an immediate-use, high-quality tattoo that they can just apply and go.”

Ban adds that stick-on tattoos can be used like a regular sticker to extend brands, and they look great on apparel, hats, cell phones, shoes, glass, metal, etc. “Not everyone [who loves tattoos] wants them on their skin,” he says.

When suggesting spirit items to your clients, make sure to consider the end use for the items, says Deryl Fauss, vice president of sales and marketing at Spirit Industries, Inc. (PPAI 113020). “Pick items based on size, shape or style that work the best in that situation,” says Fauss. For example, if the items are for a promotional giveaway you may suggest a compact item that’s more portable and easy to tuck into a pocket, and select larger items if they are sold through a fundraiser or spirit store.

With all the spirit options available today, every team’s fans can make a splash on the sidelines. Read on for product ideas and tips to inspire your fall and winter spirit promotions.

Cheer On The Team With These Standout Spirit Wear Choices

Represent your favorite sports team with this spirit body flag. Measuring three feet by five feet, this eye-catching and cozy product is made from 100D polyester and is finished with a 12.6-inch square sleeve to fit the arm. Ideal for schools, athletic clubs and professional teams, this wow-worthy wearable is a great way to show team pride. Customize it with a full-color digital imprint for maximum logo visibility.

Quinn Flags & Banners / PPAI 360359 /


For personalized and custom spirit wear, choose sublimation on a light-colored polo with custom art for the sport or event. Perfect for large booster clubs or fundraisers, these made-in-the-USA polos have dry-wicking technology to keep the wearer comfortable when temperatures heat up.

AKWA / PPAI 205981 /





When game day is frosty, fans will reach for this 100-percent acrylic knit beanie. Extras include a three-color pom-pom accent and a foldover cuff with stripe detail. Available team colors include black/gold/graphite, black/graphite/white, black/orange/graphite, black/red/graphite, navy/graphite/white, red/graphite/white, royal/graphite/white. One size fits most.

Heritage Sportswear / PPAI 177353 /




Choose from a stock animation augmented reality tattoo or go custom with a custom tattoo design and custom animation for unforgettable 3-D magic. These temporary tattoos spring to life with a free app. Your client’s branding appears as an adjacent logo tattoo, or as a header image on the tattoo sheet or the custom-printed tattoo backing.

California Tattoos / PPAI 111028 /




The EcoSmart® t-shirt is an earth-friendly way to support the team. The 5.2 ounce 50/50 cotton/polyester blend is made with up to five percent recycled polyester from plastic bottles so it dries faster than 100-percent cotton products. Available in adult sizes S-4XL and youth sizes XS-XL.

Hanes / PPAI 191138 /





Show your team spirit—and add a layer of warmth on chilly game days—with these easy on/off cotton/poly/spandex Sport-Tek® arm socks. The arm socks are sold as a pair.

SanMar / PPAI 110788 /






The perfect accessory for watching a favorite team on a sunny day, these slap sunglasses are reintroducing the retro slap bracelet design in a whole new way. Slap onto your arm, bike handlebar, backpack or anything else it can hold on to. The frames feature a unique folding design that makes these glasses compact and easy to store. Available in five stylish colors, these fun sunglasses are also ideal for hiking, riding, travel or anyone in need of a fun outdoor promotion that gets people talking. 

Fields Manufacturing / PPAI 111951 /



Sitting in the bleachers can be brutally hot. Cooling Towels are customizable, full-color branding tools that work instantly to provide a cooling effect that lasts for hours and can be used again and again. Cooling Towels are available in two sizes to fit any budget.

Koolgator / PPAI 387542 /






Five Tips For Pitching Spirit Wear To PTOs And PTAs

Parent-teacher organizations and associations at local schools are often looking to raise funds and promote events by selling spirit items. Since the leadership of these organizations changes from year to year and consists of busy volunteer parents, your ability to make their job easier means you’ll stand a much better chance of winning repeat orders. Here are some tips to take note of when reaching out to local parent teacher groups.

1 Consult the calendar. Find the school calendar online or call the school to find out what special events are coming up that could benefit from spirit wear. Possible events include school orientation, school plays, graduation, sports seasons or special competitions, school auctions, book fairs, teacher appreciation week, new clubs, field trips, homecoming, prom, art shows, talent show, field day, etc.

2    Keep it simple. Use your expertise to bring/suggest a small selection of popular items for parents to choose from, because busy parents are often already overwhelmed with too much information.

3    Design differently. Busy parents can be inclined to choose previous designs for ease, and for fear of veering from what worked in the past. But great new design or decoration angles can invigorate sales. Do your research and bring your creative ideas to the meeting.

4    Encourage pre-ordering with payment. The last thing any PTO/PTA wants to deal with is a lot of leftover items they have to try to sell year after year. Suggesting they take pre-orders with payment ahead of time ensures that they don’t have to deal with any unsold inventory.

5    Give bids in writing. Even in small towns where you know people personally, make sure to keep your bid professional and spell out all charges, including design charges, fees to make changes, etc. You don’t want inexperienced parent volunteers to have any unpleasant surprises that could damage your future relationship.

Source: PTO Today

Score Fan Approval With Accessories That Perform

Ask for players’ autographs with this colorful new Carico pen. You’re sure to find your team’s colors represented by nine hot, bright colors and cool-hued favorites as well. Take your message to the next level with a two-color imprint. Available colors include: lime green, yellow, true blue, red, black, kelly green, orange, sky blue and rose pink.

Hub Pen Company / PPAI 110772 /





Wrap up any long-neck bottle in this bottle jersey. It’s made using high-density SCUBA foam and comes in a wide variety of color choices to complement the imprint of a team’s name, logo and advertising message.

Makana Line, LLC / PPAI 649053 /








Fans’ hands and lips will cheer for this fun lip balm/ hand sanitizer duo, which lets wearers fight off germs and dry lips in one easy reach. The secret is the 65-percent ethanol content in the sanitizer and broad spectrum protection in the lip balm. The silicone attachment that keeps the two products together is great for hooking on a purse, bag or backpack to make your client’s name visible everywhere fans and team members go. Available silicone attachment colors include black, blue and translucent.

Raining Rose / PPAI 232508 /



Show the team members just how much you believe in them by wearing the original foam #1 Spirit Hand. It has a slit in the bottom so it can be worn as a mitt. It’s available in red, blue, green, navy, orange, maroon, purple, yellow, charcoal, teal, white and pink. Choose to add a customized imprint in 14 color options.

Spirit Industries, Inc. / PPAI 113020 /





Case Study: Spirit Socks

Distributor American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656) strives toward a strong team approach to everything they do. After seeing these fun, PMS-match socks at an industry trade show, they worked with their friends at Pop! Promos to distribute custom-designed socks to all ASB sales associates. “It’s a playful approach that shows you don’t always have to take your branding so seriously. Your promotions should reflect your team approach—fun, creative and collaborative,” says Taylor Smith, promotional product specialist.