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Date: February 29, 2016

Author: TR Maloney

The Finishing Touch

Would you put a hat or visor around your ankle and walk out the door? Of course not; it’s out of place. Now, let me ask you this: Are you putting your promotional headwear products in a goody bag to be picked up at the expo before an event? Isn’t it out of place in there with a number, flyers, lip balm and gels? You can do better!

I began slinging visors and hats at triathlons back in 2002 while at all3sports.com. Performance headwear is my passion. Stuffing promotional headwear into goody bags is old hat – yes, I went there. Think about it: you found the sponsor(s), designed the hat, invested in the product and now you’re going to throw it in a bag with an eclectic mix of athlete swag? You’re missing an opportunity to make a memorable moment for your athlete.

In my conversations with race organizers, athletes and vendors, I’ve learned a few things. The most visible promotional piece is the hat or visor. Tech tees get worn, put in the hamper and then put in the closet. Headwear, on the other hand, gets worn, worn again, taken into the shower and is dry and ready to go the next morning! More use = more exposure for your event (the reason you made the item). 

I’ve found that a finisher or qualifier visor is a great treat at the end of a race. Racers are expecting a medal. When they get handed that medal and then a finisher or qualifier visor, hat or performance trucker they light up. They see the actual word “FINISHER” or “BOSTON QUALIFIED” and a special moment from your event is made for them to remember for years to come.

I saved the best for last! In this silly world of LOL, LMAO, BTW and FYI I bring you my favorite acronym: OSFA – ONE SIZE FITS ALL. The act of buying five different sizes for men and five sizes for women with two different fits and trying to make 100% of your racers happy is a study in insanity. Whether it’s a man, woman or child crossing the line, it’s so easy to just hand them one visor or hat and congratulate them. Job done!

Get ahead of the competition and start providing “FINISHER” or “QUALIFIER” hats or visors. The “FINISHER” and “BOSTON QUALIFIER” hats and visors I’ve collected mean the most to me. They bring back the emotion of the accomplishment of finishing the event and separate that event from the others that didn’t make the effort. There’s a difference and the athletes know it!

TR Maloney is a Product Designer at Headsweats and is a 2-time IRONMAN finisher, Leadville 100 Run finisher and volunteer firefighter. He put on his first Headsweats hat in June of 2002 (yes, he remembers). His writings have appeared on multiple websites including Endurance Corner, RecoFit, Trail and Ultra Running and Headsweats.   


If you have a comment about TR's blog, please write us at feedback@triathlonbusinessintl.com

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