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What Are the Different Types of Promotional Clothing?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Many companies use different types of promotional clothing in order to increase awareness of their brand, drive customer purchases, and develop goodwill. In some cases, promotional clothing is given away as part of a company's sponsorship of a charitable community or athletic event. In other cases, promotional items may be sold at a reduced price or given away as a premium to customers who buy a certain amount of products or who demonstrate loyalty over a long period of time. Many companies provide their employees with clothing items that are printed or embroidered with the company logo in order to increase awareness of the company's presence at a special event or even within the community at large. A variety of clothing items may be used for promotional purposes, and in some cases may be matched to the event at which a company is engaged in promotional activity.

The significance of promotional clothing can vary according to the context in which it is distributed. Many charities rely on local businesses to provide some type of tangible goods to donors and participants in charitable events. For some people, an item of clothing has significant value and may be particularly appreciated when provided by a charity. In such cases, both the charity and the business that donates the clothing benefit from an increase in public goodwill. A company may also use promotional clothing for its own benefit, such as offering a particularly attractive piece for free to a customer who purchases a certain amount of goods or services as an incentive to get customers to make larger purchases.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Perhaps one of the best-known types of promotional clothing is the logo T-shirt, which is popular in many areas and is worn by men, women, and children alike. One advantage to T-shirts as an advertising medium is that they typically have a large amount of space on which the company can print its logo, advertising message, and contact information. It is not unusual for companies to provide promotional T-shirts for free to local athletic teams or staff members of community service organizations that receive sponsorship money from the company. On the other hand, some bars and restaurants do brisk business selling T-shirts to tourists and visitors, particularly if the establishment enjoys a great deal of popularity. Other common types of promotional clothing include hats, jackets, and sweat pants and sweat shirts.

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Discussion Comments


@croydon - I've often thought that some of these problems could be overcome with a voucher system rather than just throwing clothing at people. Give them a code that allows them to get one item from an online store, and just stock the store with promotional items.

That would actually be better promotion, because it would get them going to the website and store, and the items could be made on demand, which means there wouldn't be any waste.


@pleonasm - I've heard of people using that kind of promotional clothing in creative ways, like making quilts out of them, or bags or whatever.

I don't really like them because they are usually mass produced and not that great quality, which would be ironic at a sporting event where many of the contestants would be the kind of people who wear specially-made sweat-wicking, high-tech clothes. They aren't going to want a cheap shirt even if it does have the logo of a sports event on it.

I guess the problem is that the more promotional products you make the greater the risk that you will have a lot left over and waste money on them. And it's not exactly going to be cost-effective to give out expensive clothing items.


My sister has a whole stack of promotional shirts from the races she does almost every weekend. I actually think in some cases it's a good idea to give people a choice of what kind of promotional clothing they want rather than just giving out the same t-shirt to everyone, otherwise a lot of people aren't going to ever use the shirt.

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