Porkapalooza is the largest BBQ festival in Canada and this year I was asked to join the Porkapalooza BBQ festival board of directors. I figured I would be a good fit because of my experience as a competitor but also because they had been selling the same t-shirts at the festival since I started competing at it.

I was able to bring a couple of big benefits to the board. I helped us come up with a vision of becoming the largest BBQ festival outside of the USA, I brought on a couple of cool sponsors and I designed new swag for the teams. I was very fortunate to be able to bring on one of my customers to sponsor the awards of the contest. BBQ contest awards are usually ribbons or small trophies which are generally thrown into a box by most teams and forgotten. My vision was to give the teams a useful item that would be celebrated and last for years and possibly even used. I came up with the idea of giving each team an Epicurean brand cutting board engraved with the contest name and their position plus the sponsors company name. To say that the teams loved the awards would be an understatement. After the contest they were all over social media posting about how awesome the trophies were, not a bad immediate ROI for the sponsor! Not to mention these cutting boards have a lifetime guarantee, so they will last literally forever.

Another great item we did for the event was the team swag. Every year teams at these contests want to buy a commemorative t-shirt or something to remember from the event, so I along with our in house design team came up with a sweet design for a hat. We put the name of the event with 6 stars to commemorate it being the 6th year of Porkapalooza along with a maple leaf. We didn’t put a year because if we didn’t sell out then we could still sell the leftovers next year, but lo and behold we DID sellout! We produced 50 hats for the event and sold them at a cost of $25 each to the teams and public. The volunteers who were selling them told me that we likely could have easily sold 100 hats if we had them, a good problem to have in a non-profit event situation.

  Needless to say that the swag at Porkapalooza was a hit! We as a board managed to make a sizeable donation to Adaptabilities and over 10,000 people got to take in the largest BBQ festival in Canada and have a memorable and meaningful takeaway. Thanks so much for reading this series on BBQ swag on our blog. These posts have been a lot of fun to write because it gave me a chance to reflect on not just the fun swag I have gotten to make for my own team but the impact that it has made on the overall BBQ community around me and my business as a whole.


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