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From Hype to Impact: How To Maximize Promo Potential During World Events

From the Olympics to the Oscars to royal weddings, news-headlining events have a way of capturing the public’s attention. Just look at the attention the 2024 Paris Olympics are already getting. The world’s going wild over the carrying of the torch—and a little bit of drama, of course. 

Commemorative items are always a hit during memorable world events like the Olympics. Folks are still holding onto vintage T-shirts from the 1970s! Promotional items capture these big moments in time, serving as tokens of big moments and bygone eras. 

People hang onto these items for the long haul, making them the perfect complement to any promotional marketing strategy. Promotional gifts serve as tangible manifestations of brand affinity, reminding recipients of the brand's presence and appreciation. In the context of major global events like the Olympics, these gifts become potent vehicles for brand promotion, making it possible for you to leave a lasting impression during the fervor of the occasion.

In this guide, we’ll explain why creating timely promotional items is important and offer five tips for integrating this strategy into your next promo initiative.


Why Are Timely Events Such a Big Deal with Promo?

Significant events represent the ethos or mindset of the world at a given moment in time. It’s the reason why World War II posters like Rosie the Riveter are still so popular today. They might have been simple motivational posters back in the 1940s, but today, they mean so much more. 

Creating promo for a specific event, like the Olympics, gives you a window of opportunity to amplify your presence and connect with your audience on a grander scale. Major world events generate a certain level of engagement you won’t find any other time, so it’s essential to capitalize on this trend before it’s gone! After all, people won’t be as interested in the 2024 Paris Olympics next summer, so you’ve got to make hay while the sun shines, as they say.  

Here's why timely events hold such significance in promotional marketing:

  • Timely events transform consumer behavior, driving heightened interest, purchasing intent, and brand engagement. The collective excitement and anticipation surrounding these events create an environment for brands to capture the attention of their target audience and forge deeper connections.
  • Aligning your promotional efforts with the event’s narratives and themes will amplify your brand visibility. There’s inherent buzz and media coverage anyway, so why not get your name out there, too? 
  • Events clearly delineate “before” and “after,” making it easier to analyze the impact of event-based promotional marketing. 

5 Tips To Integrate World Events Into Promo Campaigns

Ordering promo for a specific initiative or season is the best way to stand out and engage with your audience in a timely way. Integrating events into your promo initiatives is easy, but you’ll need the right approach. Follow these tips to capitalize on significant world events before they pass you by.

1. Consider the Legalities

Some events, like the Olympics, have trademarks and copyrights to consider. Work with your legal team to ensure you aren’t stepping on any toes. The last thing you need is a cease-and-desist letter over an Olympics-themed teddy bear.

2. Theme It!

Ensure that your campaign messaging, visuals, and promotional gifts resonate with the themes and spirit of the world event. Incorporate elements that reflect the event's values, culture, and excitement. That might mean creating a “red versus blue” promo item challenge ahead of the Super Bowl or rolling out vintage-inspired Coachella sunglasses to beat the heat (whether you’re actually at Coachella or just there in your dreams). 


3. Created Limited-Edition Items

Sure, you can find lots of high-quality, readymade promo. But the best way to leverage world events is to design exclusive promo specifically tied to the world event. Limited edition items create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, driving interest and engagement—and it doesn’t hurt that they’re super collectible. It could be as simple as a personalized plush horse for the Kentucky Derby or solar glasses leading up to the total eclipse. 

4. Watch Your Timelines Carefully

Quality promo suppliers can meet tight timelines, but even then, the more time you give yourself, the better. This allows you to plan your promotional timeline around key dates and milestones, like opening ceremonies. Launch targeted promotions and unveil special offers or gifts at strategic moments to capitalize on peak excitement. We recommend planning this at least a few months in advance—or more, if you can—so you have enough time to strategize, order, test, and ship promo before the big day.

5. Get the Word Out

Promo items are head-turning by themselves, but this is your opportunity to connect with a broader audience, so shoot your shot. Blend these marketing approaches with your promo initiatives to generate more buzz: 

  • Influencer partnerships: Collaborate with influencers or brand ambassadors strongly associated with the world event or relevant industry. For example, partner with former astronauts in honor of the November 2024 crewed moon mission. They could promote fun promo, like an astronaut space pen, to go with the space theme.
  • Official partnerships: Explore partnerships with event sponsors or official suppliers to gain access to exclusive branding opportunities or promotional channels associated with the world event. For example, Boundless client Carvana made a splash with its car vending machines at SXSW. Collaborating with reputable entities increases your brand's credibility and exposure within the event. Not all of them will be open to collabs, but you won’t know unless you try!
  • Social media: Monitor trending topics, hashtags, and conversations related to the event on social media. Your social team should be online pretty regularly leading up to the event and while it’s going on, so have resources in place to manage posting, replying, researching hashtags, and more.
  • Contests or challenges: Encourage audience participation by organizing contests, challenges, or interactive experiences that leverage the excitement of the world event. Invite customers to share their own stories, photos, or creative interpretations related to the event theme for a chance to win promotional gifts or prizes. For example, a “Tour de France At Home” promo initiative might give participants branded boxes with cycling swag and invite everyone to log biked miles on a digital leaderboard. 

Strategize Eventful Promo With Boundless

Major world events like Wimbledon, the moon launch, the eclipse, and countless other happenings give you unparalleled opportunities to elevate your promotional gift marketing efforts and make a lasting impact on your audience. Maybe you didn’t need an excuse, but these events are the perfect chance to connect with consumers on a global scale, leveraging the excitement and energy surrounding the occasion to drive engagement, loyalty, and brand visibility.

Now’s the time to spring into action. See how Boundless’s Brand Consultants identify relevant events for your brand and connect you with quality suppliers to Create Brand Love™ moments.

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