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Why Adding T-Shirt Cannons Will Forever Change Your Events


April 1, 2021

If you’re in the event industry, whether it be sports games, shows, or concerts, you’re familiar with the never-ending line of fans at every event, waiting for exactly what the name implies: entertainment.  This is the sole reason why thousands of people spend a small fortune on tickets and their associated fees to cheer on their city’s football team rather than turning on ESPN, or to sing along with their favorite band rather than tuning in to Spotify for almost no cost.

What fans miss with those cheaper entertainment fixes is the experience.  Hearing a song on the radio isn’t quite the same as hearing it amplified through dozens of speakers as a stadium full of other adoring fans sings along with the band.

So while this essential element might be beneficial for venues and performers, what does it mean for anyone else?  It means opportunity. There is no better audience for anybody trying to get the word out about their business, new product, or upcoming event than a captive audience of thousands fans who are already excited and happy about an event. You need to be careful, however, about how you orchestrate its introduction. When a crowd is attending an event for a specific reason, how do you ensure that you can divert its attention without immediate dismissal?

Sponsorship Game-changer

T-shirt Cannon

Enter the t-shirt cannon. Such a simple device, it’s almost hard to believe that the world had never seen one before the 1990s. The t-shirt cannon was built with an obvious purpose, and since its invention has proven to be a hit with any large (especially rowdy) crowd.

T-shirt cannons allow a lucky handful of all the attendees get to walk out of the arena with a brand new tee. They bring an entirely new element of fun and competitiveness to the fans. No matter what’s on the shirts, it is only customary for fans to compete with each other to snatch them out of the air.

A Fan Favorite

T-shirt Cannon event

So why would anyone care about a cannon t-shirt over one in the vending booths? Aside from the victory and rush that comes with snagging one of these rare t-shirts is the sole fact that they are free! Shirts sold at live events can cost upwards of $50, and for many people, that is simply not an option. Cannon shirts cost you nothing more than the energy it takes to climb on top of whoever is sitting next to you so that you can reach high enough into the air to snag one.

You’d guess by watching the attendees practically wrestle each other to the ground trying to claim one of the coveted tees that the shirts and want whatever’s on them is even better than the shirts the venue is selling, but this is, in fact, the most bizarre part of the entire cannon concept.  It doesn’t matter as much what’s on the t-shirts–so long as the audience feels they are getting a limited, “exclusive” t-shirt. Only a handful of people will ever have them–a teeny fraction of the amount of people who were fighting for them in the crowd– and that makes them that much cooler to own. 

Wining All Around

76ers T-shirt Cannon

The most value behind the t-shirt cannon system, though, is for the venue and the event’s sponsors. Offering a t-shirt cannon as a part of a sponsorship or partnership deal is extremely appealing to businesses–and for obvious reasons. Not only will each tee have a team or event’s logo on the front, but they will also have a space for the sponsor’s logo, business name, or website. Each company pays a substantial advertising fee to be featured on the shirts.  After all, they not only get seen by the people who are able to catch them, but by anyone that sees someone wearing the shirt that night…and the next week in the grocery store…and the next week at the gym…and the next week on their way to the beach.  The tee becomes a sort of mobile billboard, but with no contract ending.

It’s not often in the world today that you find win-win-win relationships, but that’s exactly what the t-shirt cannon enables.  Venues make money to support the advertising efforts of local businesses who, in return, get their name out to both a targeted audience and, later, the general population. And the fans? They get the rush of adrenaline, a better experience, and, sometimes, a free t-shirt!

T-shirt cannon

If you’ve been trying to come up with better offers for event sponsors and partners, the t-shirt cannon is a great way to start.

Tracy is an unwavering fan of all things travel, music, or feline.  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.


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