Awards & Engraving

November '17

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What does this mean for the awards retailer? There are more teams, and more specific sports, that can be sold to, with athletes participating in hockey, basketball, golf, and even bowling. AWARD TRANSFORMATION Perhaps an even bigger change to the winter sports awards market is to the style and type of award products these teams are purchasing. Between shifting opinions on participation awards and the items that teams need that go beyond the traditional awards product, a transformation can be felt on the substrate side. To some degree, buying habits do vary by purchaser. Mark Avenson, R.S. Owens, states that school teams tend to purchase the plastic and resin awards, but that breaks out into even smaller segments based on level. "College level has a larger budget and is more concerned with quality," he states. Further, this can also differ when it comes to club teams. "Club teams and larger college sports want to award achievements with metal that will last not only in their show cases, but for the individual players as well," he adds. Like college athletics, club teams tend to purchase the higher end awards. Garcia attributes this to the dues that many club leagues require, which can be quite high. On top of that, clubs are in tournaments year-round, which means they are constantly in need of tournament trophies. Another factor affecting the winter sports purchasing tendencies is which sport is looking for awards. "Ice hockey may (go for) bigger, more expensive awards as the budget is bigger," Garcia states. "The expec- tation is because the cost of the sport is high that the award is a more expensive award." Garcia is quick to add that club sports generally don't go for participation awards. In addition to tournament trophies, club teams often purchase MVP and place awards (think first, second, and third place). Participation trophies do still have a place with certain winter sports such as basketball and a few other school-tied sports, she finishes. When it comes to cooler weather activi- ties, the SFIA did find one interesting statistic in its 2017 Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report (which presents a detailed look at the participation growth trends for 120 different sports and activities): winter sports saw an increase in spending. SCORE A SALE With so many teams, players, leagues, and other factors influencing the winter sports season, it might be intimidating to sell to this specific market. On the flip side, it also provides huge profit potential to awards retailers willing to do the work. According to Brenna Walsh, JDS Indus- tries Inc., retailers should offer a diverse 24 a-e-mag.com • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 IMAGE COURTESY JDS INDUSTRIES INC

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