Nearly every region in the country can lay claim to a host of summer-related events. Whether it’s a local team that makes it to the finals, a state fair or company picnic, a blockbuster movie screening or one in the assortment of days-long summer music festivals, entertainment events kick into high gear once the summer season does the same. And, the more entertainment events there are, the more promotional tie-ins—like CD cases and MP3 players—have the potential to capture the attention of targeted end-users. As a result, new supply opportunities for apparel, banners, tickets, wristbands, loyalty cards and an array of entertainment-related products are as plentiful as pollen and sunscreen.
Overall, attendance at summer entertainment events is high. For instance, Nash Information Services reported seven of 2006’s top 10 grossing movies were released between May and June, with the lowest grossing of those seven earning $148,213,379. And, 1.4 billion movie tickets are sold annually, according to the National Association of Theater Owners and Plunkett Research.
The 2006 numbers provided by Major League Baseball are powerful proof of summer’s opportunity for brand presence, as well: total attendance last year—76,043,902 for the United States and Canada—was up 1.5 percent from 2005. Combine that with a Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) study released in 2004 which reported 76.1 percent of survey participants were able to remember the names of companies emblazoned on promotional products they received during the preceding twelve months.
But, baseball games and movies are a mere sampling of the events attended by end-users each summer, and no promotional product moves as quickly or provides repeated client visibility quite like apparel does. In fact, PPAI measured wearables as capturing the largest share of 2005’s promotional product sales at 29.16 percent.
American Apparel, a popular Los Angeles-based clothing line founded by Dov Charney, is a leader in both wholesale and retail sales. Ray Hughes, American Apparel’s manager of wholesale sales and distribution, said the most successful of its styles remains the “basic, crew neck short-sleeve” T-shirt. While hooded sweatshirts are popular, too, they’re often cost-prohibitive as promotional items. Regardless of the style, Hughes contended a heavier investment in quality will pay off as end-users will be more inclined to incorporate the products into their wardrobes.