Enter to Win iHeartRadio’s Power 99 Powerhouse 2016 Design Contest

Powerhouse design contest

iHeartRadio and Power 99’s Powerhouse 2016 will take place on October 28 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. To prep for the show, Rush Order Tees and iHeartMedia have teamed up to bring you the hottest design contest of the year–and the chance to see your design worn all over the Wells Fargo Center at the show. From October 3 to October 14, enter your design for the chance to get your work featured on Powerhouse 2016 official merchandise!

Why are we doing this? Because we know there’s a lot of talent out there. Do you dream of becoming the next streetwear fashion mogul? Well here’s your chance to start–an opportunity to showcase that talent and start something bigger than you ever imagined.

Since 1982, Power 99—then known as The New POWER 99FM—has been bringing the sounds of the streets to all of Philadelphia. Now in it’s 34th year, this year’s event will bring together the best artists in hip hop all under one roof. The fun and festivities will be centered around performances from some of the world’s biggest hip hop artists, including Trey Songz, Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Desiigner, Young M.A., and Philly’s own Meek Mill.

Aside from getting featured on the official Powerhouse 2016 merchandise, the winner will also receive a PowerRush Prize Pack that includes 5 of your winning t-shirts for free to give away to friends and family, two VIP tickets for the Powerhouse 2016 show, and credit for 25 free custom t-shirts from Rush Order Tees.

To help you win the contest, you’ll have to promote your design all over social media. Ask as many friends and family to share your design as possible. The more buzz you can get going with it, the better. When the contest ends on October 14, the winning design will be the one that causes the most hype.

Entering to win is simple:

  • Create your best Powerhouse 2016 t-shirt design
  • Upload your design into Rush Order Tees Design Studio
  • Name your design “Powerhouse 2016”
  • Enter your email so that we can send you contest updates and let you know if you’re our winner!
  • Share your design with your friends and loved ones, and have them share it, too. The design that gets the most hype going wins!

Stay tuned for more contest details and start drafting up YOUR winning design now! Consider this your first limited run.

You have nothing to lose. Look out for Rush Order Tees and Power 99’s Powerhouse 2016 design contest on October 3rd through October 14th!

T-Shirt Design Challenge

 

enter-to-win

Welcome to the RushOrderTees t-shirt design challenge!  Please upload your design to be entered for the art department contest.  The winner’s design will be printed for the happy hour on Oct 7th.  They’ll also receive a $25 gift card, bragging rights and instant stardom.  Please enter only one design.  If you have any questions about your entry see John Waeltz for assistance.

Enter Your Design By 3:11pm on Tuesday Oct. 4th

  • 3 color max
  • Full Front
  • Must include RushOrderTees logo (in some variation)
  • Max 800×600, min 400×300 px, 4:3 aspect
  • PNG, JPG, or GIF files only

*be sure to enter your name in “Name” section below, not name of image, friend or pet.

Submission time has expired!

We’ll be sending a link to the official* voting page on Tuesday, shortly after the deadline for submission

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Sign Up Teams for Your 5K

5k teams

Planning a 5k can be a full time job for one or many people, and there are so many different things to consider throughout race preparation: promoting the event, taking care of logistics, and of course making sure participants get awesome t-shirts.

To continue our on-going discussion about 5k planning, today we’re diving in why it’s important to focus on signing up teams for your race–not just individuals. With their powers combined, teams can take your 5k from ‘okay’ to totally awesome.

Let’s take a deeper look at the importance of signing up teams for your 5k.

It’s More Fun than Running Alone!

happy running team
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If you want people to have a good experience, you need to get them thinking about how they can have the most fun on race day. Running with a friend (or a group!) really is so much more fun than running alone. Once the race is over, a team is there to celebrate, and relax after the accomplishments of the day. Plus, they’ll keep people going and motivate them to finish strong if they’re starting to feel sluggish mid-race. Teams get bonus points if they wear matching team t-shirts!

Built-in Training Support System

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Before the race even starts, a team is a built-in training support system. A dedicated team will spend some time running together before the race starts, getting to know each member’s quirks and pace. An individual can push off or ignore scheduled training runs, but a team won’t let them get away with skipping them! Besides support, team members also make for great accountability partners, and will help members to be completely prepared come race day.

Teams Drive (Fundraising) Competition

One of the biggest benefits of signing up teams for your 5k is that they get competitive with fundraising. When you challenge teams to out-fundraise each other, as well as other teams, they respond in kind. Individuals on their own may not have the network or funds to raise a lot of cash, but teams can leverage the power of their connections together, and work off of competitive energy to push the limits and become top fundraisers. If you’ve planned a 5k before, compare the average of team member’s fundraising efforts versus individuals–it’s likely to be significantly higher!

Teams Have a Greater Combined Network

5k team network
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A large network is an asset, and a team has a larger combined network than an individual on their own. Teams will likely share lots of online and offline updates with their network throughout their preparation and participation in your 5k. By tagging or mentioning each other in conversations, team members create a bigger impact for the organization they represent/the run they’re participating in.

How to Find and Create Teams

Are you convinced of the importance of signing up teams for your 5k? Great. Where can you find already existing teams? A few ideas:

  • Local gyms and fitness studios
  • Local run clubs
  • After-work sports teams
  • Local businesses
  • Event sponsors

Focus on getting teams from rival organizations to compete with each other. Tell organization members about the benefit of getting involved, and the cause you represent. Chances are, they can’t wait to show off how awesome of a team they are, and how good they are at working together.

How is your 5k planning going? Have any tips for signing up teams for your 5k? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Do you need custom running t-shirts? We can help you design the best gear for your team. Visit us at RushOrderTees.com or call (800) 620-1233.

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

The 7 Best Ways to Promote Your 5k Event

Ways to Promote a 5k

You’ve picked out a theme for your 5k, planned for all the unexpected things that come with planning a 5k, secured a sponsor, and have even planned activities for kids to stay busy on the day of the event. But you know what? You’re not even close to being done.

One of the most important things to do when planning a 5k is making sure that people know about it! Marketing an event can get very expensive, very fast. But savvy race planners can find success–here are the best ways to promote your 5k event.

Online, for free

There are many paid event submission sites, and some you may want to consider paying for due to their reach and relevance (like Active.com), but don’t spend all your pennies and effort on this aspect of promoting your 5k.

Instead, look for free event listing websites and tools that allow you to cross-publish across multiple event websites with just one listing input. Mequoda has a great list of free event listing websites to get you started.

Local Gyms

Local gym
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Go straight to the source: local gyms and fitness studios. These people are already working on their fitness, and represent a perfect demographic for your run! Approach the management team and ask if you can leave flyers and if they’re willing to give your event a shoutout on their promotional channels (email newsletters, social media, etc.). If you’re sensing a good connection, challenge the gym to create a team and participate in a fundraising challenge! Gyms and their members can get pretty competitive–you may as well use this fact to your advantage.

Flyer… Everywhere You Go

Event flyers
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Make flyers and make an effort to bring them with you anywhere you go (and get other planning committee members to do likewise!). Leave them at local cafes, events, and with your sponsor. In order to be really effective with flyering, offer some sort of signup incentive/promotional code to encourage interested people to take immediate action.

Your Existing Network

String and Can
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Don’t underestimate the power of your existing network. Make sure to be sharing your event on your own social media (and event-specific accounts), and privately connect with people who have a large influence in your local community. Ask for help and you may be surprised by how much you’ll actually receive, especially if it benefits a good cause.

Local Run Clubs and Other Sport Teams

Running club
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Like gyms, run clubs/seasonal sport teams are the perfect demographic to seek runners for your 5k. They’re already interested in fitness, and have a built-in support network. These places are a great place to get personally involved, and spread the word about your event. Encourage local run clubs and sport teams to create groups for your event so that they’ll have someone (or many someones) to run with!

Event Partnerships

Are there other major fitness events/5Ks in your community? Why not work together? By creating a mutually beneficial partnership, both events will reach a larger audience. Create an effective pitch on why it’s worth it for them to get involved with you, and nail down expectations before agreeing to a partnership for best results.

Pitch the Local Media

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There’s no publicity better than free publicity! Create a pitch about what makes your event unique and why it’s worthy of press coverage. Then, create a list of local publications you’d love to be featured in and contact relevant editors.

Have you used any of the ways to promote your own 5k? Are there any other promotional mediums that have helped your 5k receive a significant amount of runners? Let us know in the comments!

Do you need custom running t-shirts? We can help you design the best gear for your team. Visit us at RushOrderTees.com or call (800) 620-1233.

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

T-Shirts: The Best Word-of-Mouth Advertising for Your Dentist Office

Dental advertising word of mouth

Going to the dentist isn’t always the most enjoyable experience for patients.  It’s often met with anxiety, sweaty palms, and long forms to fill out–and that’s all before you even get to see your doctor.  Except for the rare flossing champions of the world, most people fear that their checkup will involve some pain, or worse, the promise of another appointment in the near future that will certainly involve pain.

For a service that is so often regarded as a negative experience, how do dentists get a positive message about their practice out to the public?  After all, cavities are never a dentist’s fault, but what are the chances that someone who spent two hours having their teeth drilled into is going straight home to compose a 4 star Yelp review? You can hardly count on it. 

Good Word of Mouth

Dentist t-shirt design
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The truth is that for a service like dentistry, one-way advertisements don’t always cut it.  Television ads, billboards, and even direct mailings only offer an opinion from the dentist’s point of view.  That won’t convince someone who is terrified to “open wide” that a particular practice is the right place for them.  Dentists need to advertise in a way that invites prospective patients to ask questions and get real answers from someone who has lived to tell the tale. That method of advertising is simple: word of mouth.  The question that remains then, is how do you get people to naturally discuss your particular dental practice?

Luckily, you don’t need to come up with a ground-breaking idea to publicize your dentistry’s patients to the rest of the local community, because we’ve already come up with one for you. That’s right–t-shirts!

Let Your Message Be Worn

Dentist office t-shirt design
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The cost of advertising alone is enough to highlight the advantage of client t-shirts over other methods.  Think about it.  Billboards can cost up to $3,000 a month in areas that aren’t even heavily trafficked.  Commercials cost hundreds each time they run, depending on what time slot you want to be featured in. And the riskiest part of all of this?  You don’t even know who will see them.

Tees, on the other hand, get exposure all around the town that your practice is based in, and that your patients live in.  It works in a simple, beautiful way: someone pulls on your tee in the morning, and acts as your walking billboard, advertising your practice to everyone they encounter that day–at the grocery store, the gym, walking their dog around the neighborhood, and even at the local bar. 

Good Press

Dentists know the drill t-shirt
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Now, we aren’t delusional.  Not everyone will strike up a conversation with someone just because they are wearing a tee from their dentist.  However, simply getting one person to wear it can get the exposure of dozens of locals, if not more, and will most likely earn at least a few conversations and good reviews.

Perhaps the biggest win you’ll achieve by giving your patients tees is that you are practically promised good press.  After all, no one is going to wear your shirt if they didn’t have an overall positive experience at your office.

Problem Solved

Dentist cavity t-shirts
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So what’s to lose with a method of advertising that is essentially risk free?  Start using t-shirts to gain more exposure for your dental practice and bring in some new clients.  Be strategic about what shirts you use and how often you give them out.  You don’t want something people’s eyes are going to quickly gloss over–design your shirts to be engaging and catch attention.  To avoid giving people the same shirt multiple times, switch up the message of the tees every 6 months or so, and be sure to make it easy for anyone who sees it to know your name and how to contact your office.

After spending hours working on your patients’ pearly whites, take advantage of the opportunity for some positive word of mouth advertising. For design ideas and inspiration, check out our post on dentist t-shirt designs!

Tracy is an unwavering fan of all things travel, music, or feline-related. She grew up in New Jersey, and will forever be a sucker for Wawa and the Phillies. Check out more of her writing on her blog.

Hershey’s Brand: Master Merchandiser and Chocolatier

Hershey's brand Merchandise

With the Halloween approaching quickly, a lot of people have one thing on their mind: CANDY. Most stores that sell the sweet stuff have gotten additional stock by the truckload in preparation for October 31st.

Among all the infamous candy brands out there, one of them is pretty recognizable: Hershey’s. Whether your munching on a Hershey bar or unwrapping Hershey’s kiss after Hershey’s kiss, the odds are if you have a sweet tooth, then some form of Hershey’s candy has been in your (literal) system. Reese’s, Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers–pick your poison.

Hershey’s History

Hershey candy was developed by Milton S. Hershey in the early 1900s. A factory devoted to ushering out the popular Hershey food was built in 1905, and the founding of Hershey, Pennsylvania followed soon after. In 1927, the Hershey Hotel and Amusement Parks came to be, delighting people from all over the world with undeniable sweetness and fun!

Today, the company is a hallmark of almost any holiday. Customers can order Hershey’s chocolate bars with customized labels for any occasion, and they even offer customizable gift packages. This is all aside from their exclusive offerings, such as 1 lb Hershey’s kisses and 5 lb Hershey’s chocolate bars.

Because of the popularity of Hershey, Inc., t-shirts both advertising and advocating the candy brand are really far and wide. Let’s take a look at some of the delectable tees that will no doubt bring a chocolatey grin to those that wear them!

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Reese's shirt
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Ah, peanut butter and chocolate. Two great things separately, one amazing thing combined. It may seem like blasphemy to start this list off with a non-Hershey-specific shirt, but there’s no denying that Reese’s PB cups, pieces, and whatever else under the banner have had staying power for several decades.

While several other companies have gotten into the PB and chocolate game, there’s no doubt that Reese’s remains king. You can’t deny two (or four) perfect peanut butter cups melting in your mouth. That’s why this shirt is a must–it says it all about why Reese’s are so perfect.

Milk it for all it’s worth.

Hershey's chocolate shirt
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Okay, so back to Hershey proper. As stated earlier, the chocolate bar has been a Halloween staple for as long as time can remember. It’s name is plastered on one of the most fun and beautiful theme parks in the U.S.. The Hershey company has taken their ownership of the chocolate bar far and wide.

A Kiss You Shouldn’t Miss

Hershey's Kiss shirt
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For those who like Hershey’s chocolate in its smaller form, look no further than the Hershey’s Kiss. A perfect little morsel of sweetness, the Hershey’s Kiss is normally found in candy dishes in a lot of homes. They come in several different flavors so there’s something for everyone! The shirt showcased above dedicates itself to saying, “Hey, have a kiss.” So go for it!

Fo’ Twizzle

Twizzlers t-shirt
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Not a chocolate fan? It’s okay–Hershey’s has got you covered. Another popular name in the candy aisle, Twizzlers are pretty much a solid go to if you don’t want to overdo it on chocolate. Just like Hershey’s Kisses, Twizzlers have expanded to a multitude of flavors, but most people stick with the plain red twisted “ropes.” Whatever makes your mouth happy.

Jolly ol’ Soul

Jolly Rancher t-shirt
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Love Jolly Ranchers? Do you love them, like…a lot? Well then, this is the shirt for you. The colorful candies that have everyone battling over which flavor is best (Green apple? Watermelon? It’s certainly not grape!) place their importance on the mother of all t-shirts supporting Hershey’s little wrapped treats. Only a true Jolly Rancher fan would sport this tee. Are you up to the challenge?

How to Encourage Customers to Leave Online Reviews

Online customer reviews

Business owners recognize how important online customer reviews are for maintaining a positive reputation and reaching new customers. After all, what people say about your business has a strong impact on prospective customers. A recent Zendesk survey reported that 90% of participants’ buying decisions were influenced by positive online reviews, and 86% said that they were influenced by negative online reviews. Additionally, social media expert Brian Solis states that those with hands-on experience with your brand are the ones who truly define your business.

Here are simple ways to encourage customers to leave online reviews.

Ask Questions

Customer reviews
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The best and simplest way to get reviews is to simply ask your customers directly. On your website, having too many call-to-action buttons asking for reviews is not advisable, so keep it simple and limit your ask to the most important review sites for your business. If you receive positive feedback from customers through email, or on social media, you should take advantage of the situation, and politely ask them to leave feedback on online review websites like Yelp or Google+.

Make It Easy

Customer reviews
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Customers won’t normally go looking for ways to leave reviews about your business. This leaves unless they feel inclined to share an especially great or terrible experience. As such, it’s important for a company to make the task of leaving a review as easy as possible.

Try sharing instructions on social media, with a direct link to review profiles on different review sites. Don’t forget a call to action on your newsletter and your website in a permanent and visible spot.

If you’re looking to get more reviews on your company’s website, don’t make it too easy. Removing any possible barriers (like a captcha) is not advisable, as spammers and trolls will take advantage of this. A social media login is a good way to manage spammers. When you ask customers to login, their synced social media profiles validate their identities. 

Another easy method for getting reviews is through star rating. There are several website that do this without requiring a detailed written analysis (like Amazon).

Give Incentives

Customer reviews
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Incentives are a great way to get customers to take action. You can set up a contest or giveaway where people who leave reviews about your company are entered into a monthly drawing with a random winner. Or offer to donate a certain amount to charity for every review.

Make sure that you’re not asking them to write a good review, but an honest review. Do not require your customers to buy anything to enter, but focus on targeting existing customers who haven’t given their feedback yet. Our previous article about How to Run a Successful Social Media contest has more guidelines and rules to keep in mind when running a contest online.

Deliver Good Customer Service

Customer reviews
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Sometimes, even if you don’t ask the customer to write a review for your product or service, they act on their own accord because they are very satisfied with the experience your company provided. If you always provide outstanding service for all of your customers, positive reviews will happen on their own!

Publish Both Positive and Negative Reviews

Customer reviews
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This might seem counterintuitive, but you should publish both positive and negative reviews. People expect negative/so-so feedback, because it feels unnatural and untrustworthy if all reviews are glowing and positive. If you suspect, however, that someone is spamming you, it’s okay to get rid of those unhelpful reviews.

Posting both negative and positive feedback can reassure buyers about their purchasing decision. Aside from that, your customers will feel more confident that their review will be published if they decide to write one.

Once you receive a fair amount of feedback, you can make use of it to encourage more incoming reviews by:

  • Featuring good reviews on your website/social media accounts
  • Politely asking these existing reviewers to publish their reviews on more review sites

If you get negative reviews, instead of removing them, take action. Solve whatever the customer issue is, and try to improve their experience. Ultimately, the most important thing your company can do is to always deliver the best possible customer service so that glowing reviews will come to you automatically.

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

Theme Ideas for Your 5k

5k Theme ideas

Whether you’re a first time planner or an old pro, planning a 5k run is hard work. It’s no task to be taken lightly! Besides all of the particulars that revolve around making sure your event is safe and abides by all the rules, you also have to create something that people are truly excited to attend. Before you launch into the finer details of 5k planning, you first need to decide on a theme that speaks to your target runners.

Here are a few theme ideas for your 5k that will be hard to ignore by your target runners.

Holiday

Holiday 5k theme
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A lot of 5k runs find success by planning their event around a holiday theme. This could be a lesser-known holiday/event (like Oktoberfest), or a widely celebrated event like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It may seem counterintuitive to try and gather participants when they’ll likely have a lot of other holiday plans, but these races tend to attract families and friends who are interested in doing something together after a long separation.

Lesser-known holidays/events are fun, too, because they often go uncelebrated. When you find and take advantage of a lesser-known holiday, you could use it as an opportunity to associate yourself with it in your community – a priceless branding method. If your organization has a natural connection to a holiday, you should definitely consider using it as a theme idea for your 5k!

Food-related

Hot Chocolate 5k theme
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It’s hard for runners to ignore the allure of a 5k run that offers the chance to exercise, and the chance to indulge on delicious food and drink immediately afterwards. The best part of these 5k runs is that you really feel like you’ve earned whatever delicious treat you snack on at the end of the race!

The Hot Chocolate Run is a cold weather run that finds success by appealing to America’s love of chocolate. You may opt to focus instead on beer, donuts, candy, or other indulgences, depending on your audience.

Dress Up

Superhero 5k theme
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There are some truly outrageous dress up runs if you look hard enough, but the key to planning a successful 5k run with a dress up theme is to keep things as simple as possible.

Make it possible for anyone to join in and have fun – don’t require an expensive costume. Instead, offer a prop as a sign up incentive, and encourage people to build their own costumes. These 5k runs tend to result in the best pictures, which will make advertising for the next year easy as pie!

Paint Yourself

Color Run 5k Theme
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You’ve probably seen advertising for (or participated in) a color run of some sort. Some take place during the day, others feature an ethereal course with glow in the dark lights and course markers. Either way, the visuals will be stunning.

This theme idea for your 5k also tends to result in pretty amazing photography for participants and for you, the race organizer.

Obstacles

Obstacle 5k theme
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This theme idea for your 5k is not for the faint of heart. By adding obstacles, or additional liabilities as your lawyer may remind you, you’re asking for a lot more paperwork and more expenses to insure the event and build obstacles.

However, mud runs and other events with obstacles tend to be the most fun 5k events. These events are some of the most talked about and widely attended. It’s worth considering if your organization has the funds and willpower!

There are so many different ways to organize a 5k and choose a compelling theme. Which of these fits the purpose and demographic of the runners you’re trying to target? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the past when picking theme ideas for your 5k!

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

6 Activities to Keep the Kids Busy at Your 5K This Fall

Kids 5k Activities

If you’ve read our previous 5k and charity event posts in the process of planning your event, you’ve undoubtably nailed down the essentials, such as nailing down your sponsors, creating your event t-shirt, and planning for the unexpected. Before you rest assured that your event will be smooth-sailing, however, one thing to consider is what all of the children attendees will do at your race while their parents run.

Although the children may come with babysitters, spectating parents, or grandparents, it’s always a great idea to plan some kid-friendly activities that will keep the kids busy at your event. Not only will this prevent them from becoming bored and bugging to go home as soon as the race is over, but it also allows the other spectators to enjoy the rest of the fun things your event has to offer, such as food, drinks, and other vendors. Not to mention, it buys the runners time to hang out afterwards and socialize while they wait for the awards to be announced.

On that note, here are some kid-friendly activities to keep the kids busy at your 5k this fall:

1. Face-painting

Kids face-painting station
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Especially with Halloween right around the corner, a face-painting station at your event is sure to be a hit. This is one of the simplest activities to set up–all you need to prepare ahead of time is a table with some paint and brushes. The kids will love getting to “dress up” as their favorite animal or spooky character.

2. Pumpkin painting

Kids pumpkin painting
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During the fall season, the pumpkin craze is in full swing. Allow the kids at your event to be their own pumpkin Picassos. Provide small pumpkins and paint for your kids to create their own artwork. This creative activity should take up a good amount time while the race is going on. After the race, the kids will be excited to show off their pumpkins and take them home. 

3. Moon Bounce

Kids Moonbounce
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There is almost nothing in the world kids love more than moon bounces. It’s crowd favorite that will never die. Look up a place near you that provides rentals–many places offer them relatively cheap. This is guaranteed to keep the kids occupied, and probably even begging their parents not to leave. 

If you choose to provide a moon bounce for the kids at your event, you’ll need to take safety into consideration. If you fear there are going to be many kids waiting to get on, you will have to plan on having an adult there to supervise them and make sure than no more than maximum capacity is allowed on at a time. 

4. Kids obstacle course

Kids obstacle course
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Engaging the older kids at your 5k in a fun obstacle course is another great way to keep the kids active, and to let them compete, too. All you need for this is a few simple props, such as hula hoops and short hurdles. Split the kids up into small groups and have them race in a series of fun “challenges.” 

5. Costume relay race

Costume relay race
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A costume race is a simple, relatively low-cost activity you can plan for the kids– and it’s one that they will love! There’s no better time of year than fall to let the kids dress up in goofy costumes.

First, get a few simple costume items, such as a witch’s hat, a cape, and a broomstick. Place the costume at one end of a race course, and have the kids line up at the other end. When the first racer gets to the other end, they have to put on the costume, run back, and then pass the costume on to the next racer. Then, each kid repeats after that! It’s a simple and fun race–you can provide Halloween candy as the prize (as long as it’s okay with the parents!)

6. Scarecrow making

Kids Scarecrow making
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Scarecrows are a fall staple. It’s not too often that kids actually get to make them anymore, but they are guaranteed to love it! A few simple supplies will make for a creative activity that will keep the kids busy For scarecrows, you’ll need:

  • Hay bales
  • Old jeans and flannels–check your local thrift stores for these!
  • Potato sack (for the head)
  • Markers (for drawing the face)
  • Thick rubber bands for securing the ends

You can let the kids split up and create a scarecrow with whoever they’d like for a collaborative, creative, and fun activity that they’ll be proud to show their parents in the end.

Planning a fun activity for the kids at your event doesn’t take too much time or effort, just a bit of planning ahead. Keeping the kids busy will help them and everyone enjoy your 5k event that much more. Have other ideas? Leave your own kid-friendly activity for a 5k event in the comments!

NFL Branding: Ranking of the AFC Teams from Worst to Best

NFL branding

The NFL is all about competition–on the field and off. On the field, the teams fall into rankings themselves. But off the field, it’s really up to each team’s fans to show support. Here’s our ranking of the AFC teams based on the success of each team’s franchise and the durability of their branding.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars 

Jacksonville Jaguars logo
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Despite playing for over 20 years, the Jags franchise has yet to establish a true “brand.” On the field, the organization has seen very little success and has had a revolving door of players and coaches. When it comes to their branding, they’ve experimented with bizarre uniform designs, which are often mocked by commentators.

Most expansion teams take a while to become ingrained in the fabric of their community, but for the Jaguars that timeline is at two decades and counting.  

15. Cincinnati Bengals 

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The Bengals have to share Ohio with two of the most devoted football fan bases in the nation, the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes. Unfortunately, they’ve remained in a distant third place for most of their existence.  Outside of their Midwest media market, the Bengals don’t have much of a presence.

With the exception of a few promising seasons recently, the Bengals remain “that other team in Ohio,” and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change any time soon.  

14. Buffalo Bills 

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Buffalo, NY is almost in Canada, and for most NFL fans, the Bills might as well be a CFL team. In all fairness, they probably would have won one those four Super Bowls in the early 90s if they had played the Toronto Argonauts instead of the Cowboys. The Bills’ brand has suffered with generic uniforms, rosters, and a stadium that only gets media attention when it fills with snow (yes, it fills up with snow). 

There have been signs of life recently with the signing of the ever-entertaining Rex Ryan as head coach, but until the team does something significant on the field or in the marketing department, it will remain near the bottom of this list. 

13. Houston Texans

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Considering the franchise didn’t exist until the early 2000s, the Texans have done a decent job of establishing themselves in the NFL ranks. Their uniforms are red, black, and intimidating; their logo is an interesting mix of abstract art and Texas pride; and they field a competitive team every few years.

As long as they are sharing the Lone Star State with “America’s Team,” the Texans will continually face an uphill battle. So far, however, that battle is off to a pretty solid start. 

12. Tennessee Titans 

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When the Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee, they kept the red, white, and baby blue color scheme, and applied it to a uniform that would look more at home in the Arena Football League than the NFL.

While that uniform was mocked in the late 90s, eventually a lot of teams (Buccaneers, Seahawks, etc.) followed their lead with similar designs. The Titans got off to a quick start in the their new home when they made it to a Super Bowl early in their existence, but the last decade has not been kind to the team. 

11. Kansas City Chiefs 

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Besides their bright red uniforms and their “good guy” image in their rivalry with the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs are not known for much else. While they do have an extremely dedicated fan base in the Midwest, the Chiefs are normally not on the national radar in terms of nationally televised games, marquee players, or merchandise sales.

10. San Diego Chargers 

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ESPN’s Chris Berman contends every year that the powder blue, white, and yellow Charger uniforms are the best in all of sports. The team’s merchandise, however, has not really been a hit outside of southern California. Perhaps it’s because the team has consistently disappointed in the playoffs. Whatever it is, the Chargers have consistently struggled to create a national brand.

9. Indianapolis Colts

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Things were looking up for the Colts during the Manning era, when they were coached by Hall of Famer, Tony Dungy. The team had an electrifying roster including players like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Edgerrin James, and played in two Super Bowls (one of which they won). Once this core was dismantled, however, the Colts took a giant leap backwards in terms of national recognition.

8. New York Jets 

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Similar to the LA Clippers, the Chicago White Sox, and the New York Islanders, the Jets will never be “the team” in their city.

Since winning Super Bowl III, the Jets have had a rough time living in the shadow of the continuously competitive Giants, which has left them with a perpetual “Little Brother” feel. It doesn’t help that they also share a stadium with the Giants, which, until recently, was actually called Giant Stadium.

7.  Denver Broncos 

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The Broncos play in the somewhat lackluster AFC West and have done a good job of establishing themselves as the classy team of that division. 

The team’s popularity waned somewhat in the 00s but their acquisition of Peyton Manning and subsequent Super Bowl runs gave the Broncos one of the NFL’s truest “feel good” stories of the last few years. 

6. Miami Dolphins 

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Few NFL uniforms match the vibe of their city as nicely as the Miami Dolphins. Even when they have no marquee players on the roster, the Dan Marino retro remains a popular seller. 

The Dolphins haven’t necessarily been a dominant team since Three’s Company was a hit show, but the team’s South Florida aesthetic and connection to Miami’s celebrity culture keeps them in the company of the league’s most popular teams. 

5. Cleveland Browns 

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In over a century of professional sports in Cleveland, the city had never won a championship until LeBron James and the Cavaliers brought the NBA title to Ohio this year.

If you look at their rabid fan base, however, you would never know the Browns have experienced decades of futility. The Browns have branded themselves as a working man’s team, and done a great job of selling their blue collar aesthetic to fans across the nation. 

4. Baltimore Ravens 

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With Brian Billick as head coach, along with a team stacked with star players like Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, and Terrell Suggs, the team won two Super Bowls and put Baltimore back on the pro-football map.

The “Purple People Eaters” have been consistently competitive on field since the late 90s, and have done an even better job of branding themselves as the tough-as-nails defensive juggernaut of this era.  

3. New England Patriots 

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Until the turn of the 21st century, Boston was clearly a baseball and basketball town that happened to have an NFL franchise.

That all changed in the early 2000s, when head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady started their run of dominance over the rest of the league. The Patriots have since branded themselves with an air of professionalism and excellence rivaled only by MLB’s New York Yankees. 

2. Oakland Raiders 

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For almost fifty years, the Oakland Raiders have been the NFL’s outlaw franchise. The team embraced this image under iconic owner Al Davis, and it has worked pretty well for the franchise over the decades.

They won several Super Bowls before hitting their current rough patch. But even when the team is nowhere near playoff contention, the Silver and Black continues to be a national brand. 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers 

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No team in the NFL–or arguably in all of professional sports–represents their part of the country better than the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The team has fully embraced their Blue Collar image since their inception, going as far as naming the team after western Pennsylvania’s most well known export.  This early branding immediately endeared the team to not only steel workers, but to blue collar workers everywhere. The Steelers quickly became the team of the people. 

Over the decades the team has had a steady stream of no-nonsense coaches and players known more for toughness and teamwork than prima donna antics. This formula has not only been successful on the field, but has allowed the Steelers to maintain a brand image that has attracted an incredibly devoted nationwide fanbase that rivals any in professional sports. 

Angelo Gingerelli is a New Jersey native, stand-up comic, streetwear enthusiast, and avid hip-hop fan.  He has been writing for various publications since 2009 and currently contributes to Pop-Break.com, FifthRoundMovement.com, and Rush Order Tees. Learn more about Angelo on his website and on Twitter @Mr5thRound.