How has the shifting world of sports impacted customers, and what can awards shops do to help?

I’ve seen a change in overall attitude as a result of the shifting world of sports. It positively impacts the more educated, financially well-off families who have more time to get involved while the less-fortunate families may not encourage kids to be active.

Parents among the middle-class families have increasingly recognized the value of exercise, especially for their kids. My concern is for families who are not as well off, cannot afford organized sports, and work long hours, not allowing them to transport kids to sports and participate in the coaching or assisting with the teams.

Organizations such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs who offer after-school programs and activities to these families have both competitive and non-competitive sports programs, and awards shops can support them and give back to the community by donating trophies.

The recognition industry is filled with small local businesses that are connected to their communities and their non-profits. It’s natural for local shops to support causes they hear or read about or relate to in some way. This is good for the reputation of our industry and great for these generous shops. Its important to build a balance between supporting the many causes presented to us and making a living. Non-profits are a major industry customer source, and supporting them is not only important for the people they benefit but for the business as well.

-Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark


Bob Hagel

Bob Hagel and his wife Dana offered a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sandcarving, and full-color UV direct print on products for nearly 20 years. The pair sold their 17-year-business Eagle’s Mark Awards & Signs in September 2020. Bob remains an expert in the awards, recognition, and signage industries while he enjoys retirement.

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