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At the Rio Olympics, It’s All About That Swag

Team USA gear created by Ralph Lauren for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Team USA gear created by Ralph Lauren for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Have you been watching the Olympic Games in Rio this week, cheering on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team and chuckling at #PhelpsFace memes? If so, you’ve no doubt noticed some of the interesting branding stories coming out of Rio too. The Olympics are an incredibly high-profile sporting competition, playing out on just about the biggest stage there is, and the IOC is guarding its branding very carefully. It’s been notoriously strict about use of official Rio 2016 logos and even GIFs (yes, believe it or not, you’re officially not allowed to share animated GIFs of the Olympic Games on social media… though that didn’t stop clips of #PhelpsFace from going viral). Not surprisingly, the IOC has also taken a dim view of unauthorized swag being peddled during the two-week athletic event.

Still, there have been some really interesting and even surprising branding stories coming out of Rio, along with some pretty covetable swag we can all appreciate whether we’re into sports or not. Here are some of the most intriguing types of Olympic branded products—or stories about Olympic swag—that have gotten our attention as the Games have gotten underway:

  • Custom Nike swag for Olympic athletes. Preparing for the Games takes many years, as Olympic observers know. Tokyo 2020 organizers are already deep into planning for their turn in the Olympic spotlight. Brands are no different. Nike spent three years preparing custom swag for Team USA and Team Brazil, designing individualized gifts tailored to each athlete’s specific schedule and needs. That incredible attention to detail no doubt left a strong impression on the athletes, and it’s smart Olympic branding. When giving promotional branded gifts, it’s always a pro move to make sure that your gifts are useful, helpful, and relevant to the people receiving them.
  • The IOC is making its own knockoffs. This is fascinating! While actively going after unauthorized vendors for churning out counterfeit merchandise, the IOC itself is getting in on the act, selling cheaper versions of its official Olympic branded goods in downtown Rio. One good aspect of this development is that it makes Olympic gear accessible to Brazilians who might not otherwise be able to afford it, but it’s also an impressive display of chutzpah and branding control at the same time.
  • Fashion-forward team gear. Swag and high fashion have been converging in an interesting way lately—Justin Bieber’s new line of tour-inspired merchandise is just one example. Not to be outdone, the Olympics are featuring some attention-getting team gear created by famous fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Christian Louboutin. If there’s a particular look you like or a team you want to support, you can buy the same swag online and rock a cool Olympic pose yourself.

We’ve got just over a week to go, with more intriguing examples of Olympic swag and interesting branding stories sure to come out of Rio as the Games continue. They’ll be worth keeping an eye on as you cheer your favorite athletes to victory!

Are you looking for branded promotional items to help your company stand out from the competition? There are a lot of ways branded goods can draw attention for your business. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

August Holidays, Events, and Awareness Dates to Keep on Your Radar

August is almost here, and with it, the height of summer. A lot of folks are enjoying well-deserved vacations, and many of us are also beginning planning for back to school. The much-anticipated Rio Olympics are also about to kick off as well, sure to thrill sports and athletics observers alike. As we enjoy the remaining weeks of these long, lazy summer days before Labor Day and the beginning of fall, here are some great opportunities to keep your business or organization top of mind with clients and business partners all month long. These are some upcoming holidays, events, and awareness dates coming up that you might want to have on your radar for promotional campaigns and giveaways—from quirky, fun occasions to more serious, meaningful remembrances.


Holidays, Events, and Awareness Days

August 5-21 – Rio Olympics 2016

The 2016 Summer Games are about to kick off in Rio, bringing thrilling athletic events to our Internet feeds and TVs. No doubt, sports fans will be excited to watch their favorite athletes compete on the world stage. Planning on following the Games? Get into the spirit with some Olympic style medals of your own or even a USOC Olympic car flag.

August 7 – Purple Heart Day

First created by General George Washington to recognize soldiers for exceptional military valor, and also considered the first military combat badge of the United States, the Purple Heart is still awarded to those who have served our country with great distinction and honor. If you know someone who has received a Purple Heart, it’s a fitting occasion to thank them for their service.

August 9 – National Book Lovers Day

Making progress on your summer reading list? Know someone who’s a bookworm? This annual observance day gives you carte blanche to find a cozy nook or a comfortable spot under a tree and while away the hours immersed in a good book. Treat the book lovers you know with some thoughtful book accessories including book lights, bookmarks, and bookends.

August 19 – World Humanitarian Day

First created by the United Nations in recognition of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to recognize the bravery of those who put themselves at risk in order to help others. It’s also a fitting occasion to note the importance and transformative impact of humanitarian work across the globe.

August 21 – Senior Citizens Day

Each year on August 21, Senior Citizens Day creates awareness about the importance of supporting America’s senior citizens and recognizing their achievements. Created by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, it is also intended to raise awareness about the social, health, and economic issues affecting senior citizens.

August 26 – Women’s Equality Day

We’ve all heard of International Women’s Day, but Women’s Equality Day is likely less well-known. Created in 1971, it commemorates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enfranchising women with the right to vote. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the strides women have made in participating in public life.

Awareness Weeks August 2016

August 1-7: Simplify Your Life Week. Have you been getting into the KonMari method of reducing clutter, originally popularized by Marie Kondo? Well then you might be interested in Simplify Your Life Week. Not only is it about eliminating clutter from your life, but in removing the obstacles that keep you from fully enjoying each day.

August 25-31: Be Kind to Humankind Week. These days, we all could use a little kindness in our lives. Be Kind to Humankind Week is an annual global celebration of kindness during which we can take steps to create a kinder world together. Here are our tips on how you can practice kindness and make small contributions of your own.

Awareness Months August 2016

– Family Fun Month

As a lot of families get ready to go on vacation or just spend some quality time together, Family Fun Month is a great occasion to celebrate the fun of being with family and creating some lasting memories—whether that’s exploring the outdoors, hanging out at home, or taking a trip.

Wondering if there are promotional products that might be a good fit for the season or a particular project or campaign you might have on your radar? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for advice. If you have an idea in mind that might benefit from some creative brainstorming, we’d be happy to share some recommendations. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on custom branded promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.