The fundamentals of advertising for T-shirt design

While T-shirts aren't part of the on-field uniform, they are still an important part of bringing a color guard together. They help unify a team, giving them a sense of pride they can then translate into hard work and great acts.

Interestingly enough, T-shirts can actually help your squad beyond instilling team spirit. They can also become a key component for building a program. Have you ever thought about placing advertising on the back of your shirts? This can be done at any time of the year and is a great way to financially support the color guard while also connecting with the local community.

To advertise, there are a few hoops you'll have to step through first. Here are a few of them:

1. Get permission

The first thing a director will need to do is obtain permission from the school's administration. If the school has purchased advertising from other vendors, they'll want to ensure the color guard doesn't bring on competing companies. A school may also have in place existing agreements that state the school will promote vendors across all student organizations. While this obstacle likely won't derail ad plans, it's something that could cut into a color guard's goals. After all, there  is only so much space on the back of a T-shirt.

2. Determine logistics

If this advertising project is a fundraiser, ask yourself the following:

  • Will students be asked or required to take part in it? If they are required, how many ad dollars do they need to sell?
  • If students don't meet their goal, will they be required to make up the difference out of their own pockets?
  • Besides making the team, will there be any other incentives or rewards for hitting certain goals? For example, what if the goal is to reach $90, but someone reaches $100 or $200?

After deciding this, figure out how you can help the students succeed. The best way is to provide them with instructions on how to find interested vendors and instruct them on how to sell the color guard. Prepare the members of the color guard by providing clear instructions on how to best approach vendors. Convey to potential donors that proceeds will support a great school group and will fund things like new color guard accessories or a trip to a regional competition.

Finally, ensure you take into account operating expenses. Design, ink and shirts are expensive.

Finding new ways to fund your color guard team can be a fun experience for everyone involved. For more tips, tricks and fundraising ideas, contact Marching Band Concepts today.