Bobblehead Day backfires on Yankees

This is the prized bobblehead doll whose late arrival irritated Yankee fansby Larry Triplett

Earlier this month we were talking about what a powerful promotion a bobblehead day could be for major league baseball teams. They’ve been proven to drive sales in a big way. The NY Yankees planned one for Sept. 24, 2013, honoring retiring pitcher Mariano Rivera. But everything turned sour for thousands of New York Yankees’ fans who waited for hours when the figurines arrived late. “Although a perfect storm of circumstances beyond our control led to the delay in the distribution of last night’s promotional item, the fact remains that our fans were inconvenienced,” said Yankees’ COO Lonn Trost, in a statement. “It matters little why – only that they were.” The New Tork Daily News described the scene as chaotic.


The Yankees were scheduled to give away Mariano Rivera bobbleheads to the first 18,000 fans in attendance at Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium. But the bobbleheads were delayed twice, including once when a truck broke down in New Jersey on the day of the game. The team postponed the opening of the stadium gates by an hour as fans lined up to enter. As the delays continued, the team printed up vouchers for fans to claim the bobblehead during and after the game. As a result, thousands of fans missed much of the game, instead waiting in long lines to get the bobbleheads once they had arrived after 6:00 p.m. “It was total chaos, people were standing on line and missing the game. They were yelling and screaming,” a police source told the New York Post.


To make up for the snafu, the Yankees apologized to the fans and offered a complimentary 2014 regular season ticket to all ticket holders from Tuesday’s game. Deborah Tymon, the Yankees’ senior VP of marketing, told the New York Daily News the team typically receives promotional shipments on the day of the game because of storage restrictions at the stadium. The company handling the promotion for the Yankees has undoubtedly learned some lessons about contingency planning from this episode.

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The T-shirt Turns 100

by Larry Triplett

In 1913, the T-shirt as we now know it made its appearance as standard-issue gear for the US Navy. Lightweight and cool, they were easy to care for and popular with sailors. It didn’t take long for the Army to follow suite, and before long they became commercially available. But who could have guessed at that time what an impact the T-shirt would have? Nobody would have predicted that it would be an essential part of the American wardrobe a century later. The simple construction of the T-shirt has made it ideal for displaying a message. Advertisers quickly recognized that a person wearing a T-shirt becomes a walking billboard. They learned that consumers would happily wear their shirts, delivering that advertising for free. Even better, they discovered that shirts with attractive designs could be sold, not just given away. Talk about a win-win!

The famous "I'm with stupid" design has been popular for T-shirts

The retail marketplace is loaded with iconic designs that celebrate cultural trends and milestones. Fundraisers have learned that they can earn a lot of money by selling decorated shirts that they hope will become equally popular. Speaking of decoration, while screen printing is the most common method, there are many other techniques used to create eye-catching designs. Check out our review in a recent newsletter. Meanwhile, let’s see if we can blow out those 100 candles!

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California fails to pass single-use bag ban

Reusable tote bags provide a responsible alternative to disposable plastic shopping bagsby Larry Triplett

California could be considered the epicenter of the fight to ban single-use bags from grocery stores and other retailers. More than 75 cities and counties in California, including Malibu, San Francisco and Los Angeles County, have some form of ordinance on disposable bags. This covers about 20% of the population of the state. The problem is that while such bags are intended to be recycled, only a tiny fraction really are. We wrote about this last month in aptcoweb news. Even when consumers make the attempt, municipal recycling and disposal facilities have great difficulty handling them properly. Thus a widespread move is afoot to ban them, and replace them with reusable bags. Attention to the problem over recent years has led to a reduction to 14 billion bags, from a high of 21 billion in 2005.

Last week, a new version of a bag-banning bill reached the California Senate. This was the third time the issue came up. Once again, it fell short, though this time by only 3 votes. Opponents contended that the bill would have eliminated jobs in plastics manufacturing. Proponents saw those jobs shifting to reusable bags since the overall need for bags would not go away. As we reported earlier, many retailers are voluntarily going the route of reusable bags, seeing them as an economical advertising opportunity, along with enhancing their image as a ecologically responsible business.

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5 Ways To Promote Fitness

Pedometers and sports bottles encourage fitness
by Larry Triplett
Did you know that May was Fitness Month? Human Resource Directors probably do. A healthy staff is an important objective for any company. It reduces absenteeism and keeps insurance costs under control. Productivity is improved. Here are a few ideas for encouraging your employees to get fit.
  1. Create a lunchtime walking club. Some companies have a designated area, while others let their staff find their way. Consider launching the program with appropriate promotional items, like mileage journals, imprinted pedometers, and the like.
  2. Provide “bike to work” incentives. Make sure employees have a good place to store and lock their bikes at work. Use cycling-related products like clip-on safety lights, bicycle seat covers and imprinted sports bottles to encourage participation.
  3. Partner with a local gym to offer employees a discount on membership. Offer a promotional gym bag as a gift for enrollment.
  4. Provide portable fitness equipment in the company break room – items like hand weights, stretch bands and yoga mats. These should all be imprinted to remind employees of the fitness program.
  5. Establish “get fit” awards and recognition, with various levels of incentives for achievement of goals throughout the year.
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How are you going to print that?

by Larry Triplett

What are we talking about? There are many different ways to print promotional products. The size, shape, and type of product, as well as the number of colors in the imprint, will suggest the best method for a particular situation. Figuring all that out is what we’re here for. But in case you’re curious, here’s a quick primer.

Common Printing Terminology:

There are many methods to decorate a T-shirtScreen Printing: an image is transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed through a stenciled screen and treated with a light-sensitive emulsion. Film positives are put in contact with the screens and exposed to light, hardening the emulsion not covered by film and leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to press ink through. (Also called silk screening)
Pad Printing: a recessed surface is covered with ink. The plate is wiped clean, leaving ink in the recessed areas. A silicone pad is then pressed against the plate, pulling the ink out of the recesses, and pressing it directly onto the product.
Etching: using a process in which an image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid, then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.
Die-casting: injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved die (a mold)
Die-striking: producing emblems and other flat promotional products by striking a blank metal sheet with a hammer that holds the die
Engraving: cutting an image into metal, wood or glass by one of three methods–computerized engraving, hand tracing, or hand engraving.
Debossing: depressing an image into a material’s surface so that the image sits below the product surface
Embossing: impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface
Hot Stamp: setting a design on a relief die, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface
Laser or Foil Stamp: applying metallic or colored foil imprints to vinyl, leather or paper surfaces
Colorfill: screen printing an image and then debossing it onto the vinyl’s surface
Embroidery: stitching a design into fabric through the use of high-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines. Artwork must first be “digitized,” which is the specialized process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread. A particular format of art such as a jpeg, tif, eps, or bmp, cannot be converted automatically into an embroidery tape. The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. Then it programs the sewing machine to sew a specific design, in a specific color, with a specific type of stitch. This is the process known as digitizing. The most common type of digitized file is dst. There are other formats, such as emb. Special software is needed to read embroidery files.
Personalization: imprinting an item with a person’s name using one of several methods such as mechanical engraving, laser engraving, hot stamping, debossing, sublimation, or screen printing, to name a few.
Camera-ready: artwork that is black and white and has very clean, crisp lines that make it easy to scan and suitable for photographic reproduction. This is the traditional definition, but in today’s world of digital art, a better term is Production-ready art, generally a vector file created in Adobe Illustrator and saved in ai or eps format.
Pantone Matching System (PMS):
a book of standardized color in a fan format used to identify, match and communicate colors in order to produce accurate color matches in printing. Each color has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve that color.
4-color Process:
a system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images, that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, and black, reproduces the original color image. These four colors can be combined to create thousands of colors.
Bleeds: printers cannot print right to the edge of a paper sheet. To create that effect, the printer must use a sheet, which is larger than the document size. Then the printer prints beyond the edge of the document size (usually 1/8″), then cuts the paper down to the document size.
Imprint Area: the area on a product, with specific dimensions, in which the imprint is placed.
Paper proof: Impression of type or artwork on paper so the correctness and quality of the image can be checked. The term has come to also mean a computer image of the artwork, typically sent by email.
Virtual Proof: A photographic image of the product with the logo/imprint added.
Pre-production Proof:
an actual physical sample of the product itself produced and sent for approval before an order goes into production.

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