Feature Article - September/October 2017

Something Fun for Everyone

What's New in Rec & Sporting Goods Incentives?

By Emily Tipping

Hot and Cold

So, what's currently a hot item? Something cold.

"One of the hottest categories in sporting goods right now are high-end, rotomolded coolers," Glamann said, "What really started out as a niche product for the serious outdoor enthusiasts has exploded in popularity, and you are now seeing these coolers everywhere, from backyard barbecues to tailgating parties."

Top Brands, he said, recently partnered with KYSEK to bring its Ultimate Ice Chest to the incentive market, and the company is seeing a lot of demand.

Kooken agreed, adding that insulated steel water bottles are also a growing category. "You see new companies jumping in and existing companies adding those," he said. "…It's almost a fashion statement. If you look at S'well, they have 100 different colors, so you pick the bottle that you want."

The idea behind S'well, he said, was a bit different, because the product was developed with the idea that you'd no longer buy bottled water. "That idea was more for the environment," Kooken said, "but the product competes."

"Those plastic mold injection coolers keep ice cold for five to seven days," he added. While they were traditionally made for campers who needed to keep things cold for around a week, he said, "… now you see it in people's back yards for a party. Fishermen find them useful, too."

You can blaze a trail to anywhere and take along some cold food and drinks with a Coleman® 55-Quart Rugged 55 A/T Wheeled Cooler. This all-terrain cooler can go as far off the beaten path as you can with its telescoping handle and 8-inch oversized, off-road wheels that give you 75 percent more ground clearance than a Coleman® cooler with 6-inch wheels. For the rare occasions when the wheels won't cut it, the rugged EZ-Lift™ swing handles make it easy to carry your cooler in the roughest of conditions. Large enough to hold 84 cans, you'll have plenty of space for refreshments for a whole group of people, and they'll stay cold for up to five days. Once you arrive, the Have-A-Seat™ lid will ensure you always have a place to sit and relax. And the cup holders molded into the lid will keep your cold drink close while you enjoy the day. After you've trekked your way back, the leak-resistant drain makes it easy to empty any excess water, so you're ready for your next off-road adventure.

Camping items are also trending right now, as more people discover the great outdoors. "Camping-related products also continue to redeem at a high rate in online incentive programs," Glamann said. "We have had a lot of success creating camping packages that give an award winner almost everything they need to enjoy a weekend outdoors with family and friends."

Whether out for a day hike or for an overnight camping trip, a good backpack will come in handy. Outfitted with serious hardware and versatile storage options, the Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack, available through Links Unlimited, is a complete package with heavy-duty appeal. Whether taking a day trip or extended excursion, specialized pockets inside and out organize items, while abrasion-resistant fabric keeps them safe, including shoes and most 17-inch laptops. Equipped with a hard media-player compartment and reinforced clip and zip closures, the Kitchen Sink Backpack blends toughness, style and diverse function ideal for the unpredictable day.

Available through Zanes, the cabin-style Eureka Jade Canyon is a four-person tent that provides vertical walls for maximum interior space, wall-sized windows for maximum ventilation and the added amenities of the Elluminate system and the E! Media Center only from Eureka. The steel and aluminum frame combination provides ultimate durability and the large opening makes for an easy in and out. The bathtub wrap-up floor minimizes ground-level seams and there's even an exclusive Eureka power port that allows you to bring an outdoor-grade electrical power cord into the tent.

For campers who love the great outdoors, but wish it didn't bite so much, Zanes offers the Thermacell Camp Lantern and Insect Repeller. This camp lantern effectively repels mosquitoes, black flies and other biting insects by creating a 15-by-15-foot zone of protection for bug-free comfort. Its bright 300-lumen light runs for 50 hours on its highest setting and makes it a great addition to the serious camper's gear. Ideal for use while you are camping, hunting and fishing. The lantern and its components have been evaluated by the EPA for safety as well as its effectiveness.

"According to the 2017 North American Camping Report, millennials now make up 38 percent of the 75 million active camper households in the United States, and more than 1 million new households have started camping since 2014," Glamann said. "With more people spending time outdoors every year, sporting goods and recreational equipment will help to fulfill that need. Families that take part in outdoor activities together pass that enthusiasm down to their children, helping to grow the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts."