Thanks so much for checking back on this series of BBQ Swag posts! If you’re just joining in, this series is all about the Promotional Items that I have made for my professional KCBS BBQ team You Need a BBQ. We compete across Alberta and Western Canada and down into the states every year and we are easily recognizable because of our promo. The first thing people notice is our team uniforms.
The first uniform we ever did was the second most common promotional item after bags: t-shirts. We did a silk screened t-shirt for our first BBQ contest. The 2 team captains got “PITMASTER” on their backs while everyone else got “PITCREW”, going on 4 years I still see these shirts pop up amongst my fans and helpers at contests even though I outgrew mine 2 years ago I still have it! I guess that proves the staying power of promotional items if I still have a 4 year old shirt that doesn’t fit.
Shortly after our shirts we got an order of embroidered hats, but I learned a lot that day because we tried to cram too much information on the front of the cap and so the logo ended up too small, it was a good learning lesson for me and has definitely taught me how to sell hats better and use the space provided. This leads me to the second hats we ever did which we actually re-did the same design this year because I loved it so much. We put just our wording brand mark on the front with our phoenix subtly on the temple. The best part about this type of decoration is that it’s cheap! You only pay for 1 setup on the embroidery because the front and side can both be embroidered at once because of how our machine can turn the hat as it embroiders. When you are making your own promotional hats make sure to ask us how to take advantage of that and spread out your information to maximize the space and limit your costs.
In year 3 we landed a couple of sponsors that wanted us to upgrade our shirts from t-shirts to Dickie’s brand pitmaster shirts. These shirts are great because they are mechanics shirts, so they have natural soil releasing technology built into them and are surprisingly cool plus if I do say so myself we look pretty cool. We did embroidered logo patches on the chest and personalization on the opposite side along with sponsor logos and a huge tone on tone phoenix on the back in a cool black on black gel print, so once again super subtle for a giant phoenix rising from the ashes of a BBQ.
Now that we are in year 4 I am itching for a bit of a rebrand, not in our name or overall feel, but I want a logo that has a little more depth. Modern day printing techniques allow us to print a lot more digitally while keeping our costs and minimums down, so don’t be surprised to see a phoenix later this year or early next that looks a little more robust than what we currently have.
So next time you see us at a BBQ contest because of our spiffy uniforms make sure to swing by and say hi. Sometimes we give our uniform pieces away to people that help us at contests or other teams that we trade with, it’s a great way to build camaraderie amongst the other teams.