Build school spirit with promotional products

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cheering students
Building spirit in your school is easier than you think
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Boost school spirit with the shirt on their back

When it comes to building school spirit in your high school, boarding school or college, sometimes the little things can make a big difference. Things like a school fight song, annual festivals or the big game can create a sense of belonging. But those things take time.

When you're trying to boost camaraderie now, did you know that something as simple as school spirit promotional gifts featuring the school mascot, name, class year or group affiliations can make a big difference? 

If better school spirit is your goal, here are four kinds of school spirit promotional gifts and fundraisers that work.

What they're wearing

One of the most popular choices for school spirit items is clothing. From t-shirts, jackets and caps to sweatshirts and shorts, clothing imprinted with school logos and mascots really helps build school identity among the students.

No sure if shirts and jackets are a good choice? Just look at the amount of floor space devoted to school shirts and other clothes at any college bookstore. The space allotted is a reflection of the sales ... what sells, gets the space.

Consider offering school mascot or emblem shirts to all incoming Freshmen to welcome them into the fold. Offer school caps as prizes for contents on campus, and encourage teams and clubs to offer shirts or jackets to their members, too.

When winter comes, add school logo gloves, ski caps, scarves and warm socks to your offerings. In summer, bathing suit cover-ups, visors, sunglasses and beach bags are great choices.

What they're using

Another popular category for school spirit imprinting is the things students use. Everything from notebooks to pencils, umbrellas to coffee mugs can be decorated with school colors, names and pictures.

Still not inspired? What about activity or club-specific promotional magnets for their lockers, home message boards or even their parents' refrigerators?  Team logo imprinted water bottles are a great way to encourage young athletes to stay hydrated and feel like they belong.

When it's game time, consider selling stadium cushions and mini pom-poms. Give parents of the team members, band members and cheer squads the opportunity to buy special buttons or ribbons honoring their kids.

Offer kids logo or mascot imprinted versions of the items they already need for school, like calculators and USB drives.

Catch up with the digital age by offering school logo customized cell phone cases,tablet and laptop skins, or Mp3 players. Then go virtual by having the techies in your school design a screen saver or app.

What's in the car

Accessories for the car are another popular category of school spirit promotional gifts.

If students are older, and can drive, offering bumper stickers featuring the school name, club, cheer squad or team memberships, or year of planned graduation is a good spirit-building choice. For younger kids, giving parents stickers with the school name and honors are a popular choice...and really do help build a sense of spirit and commitment.

Other car accessories like travel mugs, license plate holders and key chains are wonderful choices.

What's on the wall

Even when kids aren't at school, you can use promotional items to help build and maintain school spirit. The classic felt school pendant is still a popular choice for many colleges and high schools. 

But why stop there?  Consider creating posters from key events like Homecoming, graduation, the school musical or a big sports or academic win, then offer the posters to participants (or the whole school.)

Or what about picture frames with the school name, colors, mascot or team name on the frame or mat, so students and parents can frame school pictures?

It's all about the spirit, so keep an eye on costs

There are probably thousands of choice in promotional items.  But when it comes to school spirit choices, make sure the items you select are affordable for the majority of the student body. 

To keep spirit high, and everyone involved, consider setting up a way for kids who can't buy that shirt or magnet or notebook to receive them at a lower cost or even free.  Or use a fundraiser, grant or gift to pay for an item for every child, so cost never gets in the way of belonging.

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