Make Some Noise with Thundersticks

 
Thunder Sticks

Thundersticks

I recently attended a football game at one of our local area schools and although there were moments that the crowd was excited, it was very short lived. Overall, the crowd was subdued and very quiet. Then looking around, I noticed that there were very few spirit items. I did see a few megaphones filled with popcorn that were sold at the concession stand, but nothing else. The other thing I noticed was how hard the metal bleachers were and yet the booster club was not selling stadium seat cushions.

Without school spirit items, the crowd is less likely to scream and yell for extended periods of time. It’s almost as if the fans come out of their shell when hiding behind pom poms or thundersticks. Stadium noisemakers is what that school needed to really get the crowd involved. Thundersticks are some of the most popular noise makers of modern-day football. Additionally, they are great for fundraising because there is a huge imprint area to advertise sponsors who have donated money to buy the thundersticks. Then, the items can be sold for $2-$3 per pair. After the sticks are inflated, you simply bang them together to produce a loud noise. When you get a stadium filled with hundreds of thundersticks, it can get very loud. Stadium horns are also a popular noisemaker for the stadium and are also another great spirit item for fundraising.

Football Shaped Stadium Seat Cushions

The biggest fundraiser of all for spirit items, though, is the stadium seat cushion. You can print up 16-20 different sponsor names and logos on one side of the stadium seat cushions and the school mascot and name on the other side, after charging each business a set amount of money for the sponsorship. Overall, the budget should work out so the school pays nothing for the seat cushions, but then turns around and sells the cushions for $5-$10 each making 100% profit. I can promise you that after sitting on those cold, hard, and sometimes wet bleachers for one game, $10 for a stadium seat cushions sounds like a bargain.

Be sure your school is equipped with plenty of options for school spirit items for not only fundraising, but also to keep the crowd happy and comfortable.

Top 5 Classic Spirit Items for Football Season

 

Spirit items are a vital part of all football games. Never will you go to a football game and NOT see any school spirit items around the stadium. These fun inexpensive products help keep the crowd cheering, yelling, screaming, and supporting their team. You will see typically “shy” people who are yelling and screaming when they are hiding behind a pom pom or behind a pair of thunder sticks. It’s like they are hiding behind the spirit items, which helps the shy fans come ALIVE!

Over the years, there have definitely been quite a few new spirit items introduced; however, there are several classic items that will likely never die. Below is a list of those classic spirit items.

Top 5 Spirit Items for Football Season

  1. Mini Footballs – There is no denying that fans love to catch mini footballs thrown by the cheerleaders. Or do they just like interacting with the cheerleaders?
  2. Pom Poms – The crowd loves to shake their pom poms and cheer for their team with each great play and score! It’s cool to see a big stadium full of cheering pom poms.
  3. Stadium Seat Cushions – Fans love to keep their back-end off of cold bleachers. I’m not sure what it says when they want to put their butt on their team mascot, but it must be all about comfort.
  4. Thunder Sticks – There is no noise like the deafening boom of thundersticks when being used by hundreds or thousands of fans. These are a relatively new spirit items, but have quickly become a fan favorite.
  5. Foam Fingers – Waving an oversized foam finger when cheering is a great spirit items and they are fun. Foam fingers come in a many different sizes, shapes, and colors.

Now there are many more spirit items that have been around for years, but these are the five most common items that are used at football games. And my guess is that you will continue to see these spirit items for years to come.

Comparison of Stadium Seat Cushions

 

Before buying stadium seat cushions for your next sporting event or booster club fundraising event, make sure you know and understand the different kinds and sizes of seat cushions. Some sizes are suitable for selling in a school booster club store whiles others aren’t and are strictly meant for giveaways. If you buy the sizes and thicknesses better suited for giveaways, and try to sell them your sales will suffer.

SIZE: Most vinyl covered stadium seat cushions come in either a 12 inch square size or a 14 inch square size. I think we can all agree that butts in America are getting larger and larger; therefore, the 14 inch size is most suitable. Even narrow butts like a little wiggle room on their cushions, so the 14″ size works best. The 12″ size is only recommended as a free giveaway when budget is a big factor. You can get the 12 inch size seat cushions for much less; however, these are terrible for selling due to the smaller size.

SHAPE: The typical vinyl covered stadium cushions come in either Square, Round, Rectangle or Football shapes. The square is the most popular shape for football, while the round stadium seat cushions are often used for basketball and baseball since the cushion can be made to look like either a basketball or a baseball. The football shaped cushions are used almost exclusively for football since those can be printed with the seams to look like a football. The rectangle shaped cushions are typically used for any events where kneeling is involved.

THICKNESS: Stadium seat cushions range in thickness from 3/4″ thick to 2 1/2″ thick. Obviously from a buyer standpoint, the thicker the better. Going back to the smaller 12″ square cushions, they typically only measure between 3/4″ to 1″. The best seller is the 2″ thick option, with the 2 1/2″ option being a little more premium. Typical thicknesses are 1″, 1 1/4″, 1 1/2″, 2″, and 2 1/2″. Not all thicknesses are available in each size or shape.

CUSHION COLOR: Of course, color does vary depending on the manufacturer. In most cases, you can get two-tone cushion colors at no additional charge. The two-tone colors are a great way to get all of your school colors on the cushion without paying additional money to print in mult-icolor. The stock colors of the stadium cushions we sell most often cover most school colors whether college or high school. Here are the stock colors available: Bright Gold (PMS 123C), Orange (PMS 165C), Red (PMS 711C), Royal Blue (PMS 654C), Navy Blue (PMS 532C), Kelly Green (PMS 555C), Forest Green (PMS 627C), Maroon (PMS 209C), Purple (PMS 268C), Silver (PMS 877C), Metallic Gold (PMS 872C), Black, and White. The PMS number is the reference to the approximate color of the vinyl color and can be viewed from a PMS color chart.

IMPRINT COLOR: Ideally you want an imprint color that will compliment your school colors. Some schools have 2 official colors, while others have 3 official colors. Use the cushion color to meet one of your colors and the imprint color to meet the other color. The cushions that we most commonly sell allow for you specify and exact PMS color, FREE of charge, so we can match your official school color. The last thing that you want to do is use a color that ends up looking like your arch rival’s color. That can sometimes, inadvertently, happen if you have to settle for a stock color.

Cushion Style:There are many different types of stadium seat cushions. Due to cost factors, the most popular style is the vinyl covered foam insert, which work great for most events. There are other premium type stadium seat cushions. Some have backs, some are made of polyester, and some have premium padding side. These premium version, of course, all go for a premium price and typically start around $8 upwards to $30-$40 each, which is why these don’t typically go over very well for most fundraisers.

Top 10 Spirit Items for Booster Club Fundraising

 

It’s no secret that school budgets are getting cut every year. One of the first things to get cut are the athletic programs. In fact, many schools have opted to completely do away with sports, which is a horrible idea. Sports programs act as a binding agent to help keep school spirit alive. Without football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and soccer teams, why would the students have a reason to have school pride? With the start of the football season upon us, here are some of the top spirit items purchased by booster clubs for fundraising for their football program.

  1. Stadium Seat Cushions – These are huge money makers for football teams. Everyone has experience that cold, hard metal bleacher seat for a four hour game. It’s even worse if the seat is wet. This is why fans will gladly fork over between $5-$10 for a stadium seat cushion. What’s better is that you can get multiple local businesses to sponsor and actually pay for the cushions and then the booster club can sell them for 100% profit. Stadium seat cushions can easily hold up to 16 sponsors and still allowing for the school info to be printed on the front of the seat cushions.
  2. Stadium Blankets – Blankets for the stadium are a great asset once we get into the winter months. Football season is one that begins hot and ends up bitter cold, so fans will buy a blanket if they don’t come to the game dressed properly. Because blankets can be used at other times besides the football game, the value is much higher. The fleece blankets are soft and warm and loved by fans. The great feature about stadium blankets is that they roll up neatly and can be secured with the Velcro straps with a convenient handle for carrying.
  3. Thundersticks – Thunder sticks are noisemakers which consist of two inflatable sticks whichthunder-sticksare approximately 2 feet long that you bang together to make a loud boom. They are a fun spirit items that fans love to use to make noise. These spirit items spread like a virus once others see them being used and fans will flock to the booster club booth to buy these. These like the stadium seat cushions have a large imprint area to have business sponsor logos to pay for them. Then they easily sell for $2-$3 per pair allowing for 100% profit for the club. We have many schools order an initial or of 100-200 pair and report back saying they sold out before the first half was over. Thundersticks are definitely one of the fan favorites.
  4. Mini Footballs – Mini footballs are most popularly thrown out into the crowd by the cheerleaders after the team scores a touchdown. Typically the footballs have a business sponsor logo on one side with the school mascot printed on the other side and are a donation to the team from that business. However, what happens is that kids in the crowd will catch the mini footballs and their brother or friend doesn’t catch one and they want one too, so they have to buy them. This is why it’s a great idea to also sell these at the booster club booth. They would typically sell for around $2.00, which is great if you have a local business sponsor printed on the footballs, since that, too, would equate to 100% profit.
  5. Stadium Horns – The best way you can help your football team to make a lot of noise forstadium-hornsthem,including while their opponent is on offense. If you are loud enough, you can mess up the communication for the competitor. In addition, making lots of noise helps to excite your team and give them an adrenaline rush and play better. Stadium horns are great spirit items to accomplish this. They are compact, easy to use, and extremely loud. These also are great sellers in school booster club stores. The horns pictured have a break-away lanyard attached to them so they can rest around your neck for easy reach when you need the horn and the break-away lanyard feature makes it safer to put around your neck.
  6. Pom Poms – Poms are one of the classic spirit items for cheering on your team. The are many different options of pom poms including a long handle, ring tab handle, Klicker handle (makes noise), and a fatter handle. In addition you can choose up to 4 different streamer colors as well as other options such as glitter added to the streamers. The handles can be imprinted with a business sponsor name or the school or team name. These easily sell for $1-$2 each in the school store. Since the price point is so low, you can easily expect to sell hundreds of pom poms per game.
  7. Foam Fingers – How could you have a football game without foam fingers? These have been around since around 1978 with the original #1 foam hand; however, now there are hundreds of different designs including paws, talons, mascot shapes, and many different finger shapes, including the controversial foam middle finger. It is very likely that no matter what your mascot may be, there is already a shape or design that will fit perfectly for your team. If not, you can easily get custom shapes available that will be completely unique just for your team.
  8. Megaphones – These are also classic spirit items used for yelling and amplifying your voice to cheer for your team and also to show your displeasure with a bad call. Megaphone are cheap to buy; therefore, the selling price to fans can be cheap which will allow for more sales.
  9. Stadium Cups – These are most commonly used in the concession stand when drinks are purchased so the fans have a souvenir cup to take home. These tend to stick around at the house for years afterwards, and I speak from experience. I have at least a dozen stadium cups from various events, restaurants, and sporting events. You can get stadium cups for around 50 cents and just bump the price of the soft drink up to cover the cup costs and make it easier to sell drinks since the fans are also getting a useful item to take home with them with the team mascot printed on it.
  10. Signature Footballs – These footballs are great to sell if you can work out autograph sessions at the end of football games, so the players can sign balls for the kids. These footballs have a white panel on the ball specifically for autographs. Kids love autographs from the team and these balls are just another item that can generate some revenue for your club.

There are many items available for fundraising which also generate team spirit with the fans. In order to be successful with your booster club, you must have a wide variety of spirit items available for purchase and get your local businesses involved. Local businesses are often very eager to sponsor their local teams and support their community. All you have to do is just ask them. Don’t let dwindling athletic budgets hurt your football team. With thriving school spirit stores, your team will be on it’s way to new uniforms and equipment in no time with the flow of money coming in from spirit items. Even small schools can sell a lot of merchandise, so don’t let size stop you from offering spirit items through a booster club store.

College Football Preseason Poll 2011

 

There are so many preseason college football polls out there from various sources and like any preseason polls they are all just speculation based on returning players, strength of schedule, coaches, injuries, and many other factories. Some of the polls have Alabama on top. Some have Oklahoma or LSU on top. I don’t put too much stock into preseason polls, but they do get me excited for the start of College football. It’s time to go ahead and get your football spirit items such as mini footballs, thundersticks, or stadium seat cushions. For you booster clubs out there, start gathering your sponsors to buy your spirit items so your booster club fundraising will be even more successful. Some of the most common sponsors include car dealerships, clinics, and all different kinds of small business.