Fantasy Football Season

The end of July and the beginning of August mark the start of Fantasy Football Season. Fantasy Football started in the 1960’s and was enjoyed a level of popularity through the 1990’s. But the popularity of fantasy football exploded over the past decade with the proliferation of on-line Fantasy Football Leagues. Now there are apps that help you keep track of how your fantasy “team” is doing and it seems like leagues are popping up every day!

At QuickTrophy we have developed an entire line of fantasy football trophies dedicated to fantasy footballfantasy football trophies and other fantasy sports as well. All of the fantasy trophies have a large engraved plate to hold the name of the fantasy league and space below to place an engraved plate to commemorate the winner of the fantasy league each year. The smaller fantasy trophies hold the winner’s tags for up to 9 seasons while the larger trophies will hold the winner’s tags for up to 32 seasons! With several sizes and styles available to fit every league’s budget, QuickTrophy has the trophy for your fantasy football league!

Trophy Value versus Trophy Cost

Trophy valueWhen someone is presented with a trophy or award, it is usually to commemorate a special event or accomplishment, so there is an emotional link to the trophy. It becomes a symbol of the special event much like a wedding ring symbolizes a marriage. In and of itself, it has little trophy value, but as a symbol of a significant event or accomplishment, it has immense value. Trophies and awards are items where the cost or commercial value is extremely low in relation to the ultimate personal value. The value may diminish as the years go by, but it never goes away.

For this reason, when you are purchasing a trophy consider not only the actual cost of the trophy, but the trophy value – the value and worth it will bring to the person who receives it for years to come.

Dual Purpose Awards

A customer came in recently looking for ideas for Dual Purpose Awards – Something that could be presented as a trophy or award, but that had a practical use as well. Something like a belt buckle, a drinking glass, or some other custom gifts. He noted that his personal trophy case was full of trophies and medals and he wanted something to present to the contestants they could use beyond the event. Recognition for successfully completing a challenging event, even something as intense as a marathon or an ultra-dual purpose awardsmarathon, was great and well deserved, but he thought presenting an award that could be used day to day like a coffee mug, would be appreciated as well.

QuickTrophy offers several such items, such as the ever popular flasks. But with this practical suggestion by a customer, we plan to add more dual purpose awards to our trophy and awards selection.

Recycling Old Trophies

At QuickTrophy we get calls from customers on a regular basis regarding reusing or recycling old trophies that have accumulated over the years. After the events are long past and the commemorating trophies have accumulated dust, they sometimes shift from being a source of pride to a burden of “stuff”. What can be done with something that once Old Pickup Championship Trophyheld a special place in someone’s heart? It is difficult to just toss them, they deserve a better fate. Can’t they be reused and given to someone who will cherish them as much as the original recipient?

But when people buy trophies from us, they want them all shiny and new, and matching each other. Parts and trophy designs change over time, so the styles of columns and figurines used in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are different than those used today. And finding matching pieces from decades past is difficult, if not nearly impossible.

So what is the solution? Would people be open to receiving a “vintage” trophy? We could clean them up and put new engraving on them. They could be marketed as “Recycled Trophies” or “Vintage Trophies” or even “Legacy Trophies”. What do you think?

The Cost of Shipping

We often have customers comment on the cost of shipping – how expensive it is to ship them a trophy, award, or name tag. We do what we can to keep the cost down as much as possible, by offering First Class Mail shipping if the item ordered is light enough. But when we ship items by UPS or FedEx Ground, it costs $8 to $12 dollars just to ship an empty box, depending on your location. So a $5 trophy can easily cost twice as much to ship! With larger orders, such as 12 soccer trophies for the team, the cost to ship them is a much lower percentage of their value – it will typically cost $15 to $20 to ship 12 trophies. And with orders over $100, we will pick up the cost for Ground shipping.

We don’t control how much the shipping companies charge, but we do what we can to make the cost of shipping as low as possible. To see an estimate of what the shipping charges will be before you place your order, we have a Shipping Estimator built into our web site. It is not 100% accurate, but it will give you a ball park estimate.

Why Employee Recognition Awards?

Star AwardWhy do we hand out employee recognition awards? Are they a waste of money? Do we get any return on our investment?

Your employees work hard – but usually there are a few or one in particular that excel in their accomplishments. Maybe they pushed hard on a project to make sure it came in ahead of schedule, or they worked longer hours to make sure the system upgrade went smoothly, or maybe they helped to energize the team when things looked grim. Whatever the reason, when you publicly recognize an employee in front of their peers with custom corporate awards, the effect is amazing! Their pride generates a positive wave in the workplace and other employees are positively affected by it. They too, are encouraged to put forth the extra effort. The atmosphere is changed and charged up in a positive way resulting in a better work environment for all.

When you get right down to it, publicly recognizing your employees for a job well done and commemorating it with achievement awards – no matter how simple – results in a big payoff for the investment made. A waste of money? No way – in a big way!

Flowers or Trophies?

We often give people flowers when they are ill. Why? Is it because flowers represent life, spring, or new growth? But sometimes I wonder: What would be more appropriate – Flowers or trophies?

People who are injured or ill, or end up in the hospital for some reason are ofteflowers or trophiesn faced with a tough personal struggle. The healing and recovery process often requires a lot of personal sacrifice, changes in lifestyle, and hard rehab work. In many ways it is similar to an athlete preparing for an endurance challenge. When the athlete completes his or her event, we reward them with a trophy or award to commemorate the event and as a reminder that all the hard work paid off. But when someone goes through the same endurance challenge battling an illness or injury – in many cases a life threatening ordeal – we treat them with a bouquet of flowers. A nice gesture, but fleeting at best. I propose we develop a line of awards for those who have successfully won the battle of health. To let them know we recognize the struggle they have endured and to encourage them to continue in their endeavors.

In the any particular case, it will be up to you to decide which would be more appropriate – flowers or trophies?

 

Little League Baseball

Little League baseball is an American family tradition. You yourself may even look back on your own experiences with a nostalgic warmth. Do you want to provide that same experience for your own children? How can you explain to them why it’s such a great pastime?

Parenting is full of choices. Some of these choices are fun and some… not so much. One of the more challenging choices for some families is how to get your kids out of the house, get some exercise and join in with something. Sports is great exercise and socially very rich, but it can be a tough sell to the kids.

Modern children have a distressing tendency to stay home, or stay at a friend’s home, indulging in the new entertainment technologies that the 21st Century has to offer. But we all need to get outside once in a while and interact with people who are not made of pixels on a computer screen or TV… right?

It may be that there is a strong tradition of sports in your family, if so, this isn’t something you will ever really have to think about. Sports is an automatic part of your life. But what if that’s not the case? What if your family never really engaged in sports, but you think it might be a good idea? What are the real benefits of something like Little League?

Family Sports Tradition

Let’s start with a little history. Little League was founded by Carl Stotz in 1939 as a small league in Williamsport, PA, and started composed of just three teams. Over time it has grown and spread in popularity into a nationwide league and the largest organized sports organization in the world. Children between the ages of 4 up to 18 years old can participate in the league.

It’s well known that many Little League baseball players leave the league to go to high school and continue to play. Sometimes they even go on to play college baseball and turn professional. It’s potentially a career path for those talented and enthusiastic enough to pursue it.

So it’s recognized that Little League is organized, healthy and potentially can result in high earnings way down the road. But these notions may be meaningless to a 4 year old going into the program. How can you sell it to children that this might be one of the most rewarding things they ever do?

Why Play Ball?

First of all. there’s the fitness aspect. We call it “exercise”. Children call this “play”.

As adults, we know that there are some alarming statistics on childhood weight problems. Some say as many as 30% of the child population is obese or overweight  (Source: Trust for America’s Health). Even without the statistics and scare stories about weight, it’s obvious that active kids are healthy kids. You need some reason for them to get outside. Bottom line, baseball keeps kids active and the game itself is play.

Another worthwhile upside of taking part in a sport that is watched by others is confidence. Children love to be watched showing off that they can do stuff, showing mastery of their world. But staying in too much damages their social skills and makes them uncomfortable being observed by people. Playing ball in front of an audience gives them confidence, and even makes them enjoy attention. This feeling of confidence and self-awareness can carry over to the rest of their daily life.


In addition, being out there on the field is a potent lesson in teamwork; you can’t win a game on your own. You have to work with others, enjoy the company of others and begin to learn how to get along with other people. This is a positive and a negative. Rivalry in groups can cause friction and difficulty. Learning to get past these problems and forge friends from rivals is a valuable life lesson.

And finally  –  although it’s in danger of fast becoming an archaic concept – there’s the idea of sportsmanship. In this day and age of instant gratification and sore losers, it’s vital to educate kids in the ideas of winning and losing. But also doing so with grace. Yes, that is a slightly old fashioned concept, but is it a meaningful one worth perpetuating? Absolutely.

Get Involved

You can even make it a family bonding exercise if you yourself get involved in organizing the local league, or just helping out as a volunteer. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids, get to know other kids and parents in your area, and generally provide the glue that keeps people together working for common goals.

Whatever you decide to do, and however you end up pitching it to your children, Little League is packed with good stuff for kids to learn and grow. It will be something they will, like you, look back on with pride and warmth.

Oh, and it’s really good fun!

Further Reading

Get Ready for Wimbledon!

Our favorite tournament of the season, Wimbledon is the oldest and best-known tennis championship in the modern competitive circuit.

Our favorite tournament of the season, Wimbledon is the oldest and best-known tennis championship in the modern competitive circuit. It’s the oldest tournament in the world, which is why it’s officially called just The Championships – when it started, back in 1877, it was the only one! The grass courts of Wimbledon have made or broken the careers of some of the greatest athletes in tennis, lending the action a significance no true fan can ignore.

For the ramp up to Wimbledon, Sports Illustrated has delivered a handy crib sheet of players to watch this year. In the woman’s competition, our favorite up-and-coming player has to be Li Na:

One of the most exciting things about Li is that she’s proved to be an all-court player, having won the French Open, made the Australian Open final twice and advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals twice. But the 31-year-old comes into Wimbledon in a state of flux. She started the year with a bang and looked to be back on track to challenge at the French Open after getting to the final in Stuttgart, Germany, but she lost to an in-form Mattek-Sands in the second round. A deep run at Wimbledon is doable.

Sport has always provided a diplomatic link between cultures. Ping Pong opened China to cultural exchange with the West; would a Wimbledon victory encourage more open relations?

While the French Open has concluded, we feel it’s worth taking a moment from our Wimbledon coverage to discuss the tennis great from whom the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen takes its name. The first truly famous female tennis player, Suzanne “La Divine” Lenglen won thirty-one titles in the course of her career. Among Lenglen’s accomplishments is the fastest Wimbledon victory in the record books – she defeated her 1922 singles final opponent in just twenty-six minutes, while recovering from a devastating pertussis infection.

In 1997 the second court at the Roland Garros Stadium, site of the French Open, was renamed “Court Suzanne Lenglen” in her honour. In addition, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Women’s Singles competition at the French Open is the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

Lenglen died too soon, of complications from leukemia, in July of 1938.

While we have no Wimbledon Trophy replicas at QuickTrophy, we do have some very nice metal cup trophies that can be used for your tennis tournament – whether it’s called the Championships or just the Family Games.

World(s) of Hockey

As ice hockey fans everywhere follow the fight for the Stanley Cup, we at QuickTrophy dedicated the week to hockey in all its forms: ice, field, and ball/floor hockey.

As ice hockey fans everywhere follow the fight for the Stanley Cup, we at QuickTrophy dedicated the week to hockey in all its forms: ice, field, and ball/floor hockey.

Many of us who grew up in the United States played floor hockey in gym class, without ever realizing it was a serious, competitive sport in its own right. Variously called indoor hockey, ball hockey, or floor hockey, amateur and semi-pro leagues are open and accepting players. If you hate skating, but love the dynamic, punishing gameplay hockey has to offer, why not give it a try?

Field hockey’s another option. Played outdoors, with specialized sticks, field hockey is often treated as a women-only sport in the United States, despite offering serious competition at the international level for both men and women. The sport’s gradually opening for co-ed play, thanks to a handful of brave young men, but there’s a case to be made that separate leagues are the next step to seriously grow the sport.

If ice hockey is definitely your game, however, consider taking it to the next level by joining the North American Hockey League’s Junior Program. Keep your health and safety foremost as you train, of course, but the only way to really push into a professional or even semi-pro career is by seeking out greater challenges… and bashing them to the ice.

There’s a lot of genuine concern surrounding athletic training and kid’s competitive sports. Hockey, especially, can be as punishing as it is rewarding. It’s important to keep health and safety foremost in your mind, as a coach or parent, while encouraging the kids to push and challenge themselves. USA Hockey has a smart, scientific review of youth hockey training regimes on their website:

In recent years sports scientists have spoken out emphatically about the harmful effects of premature and over-intense athletic training of young children. Many complain that hockey programs for youngsters are too intense, competitions too many, seasons too long, emphasis on winning too great. Young children are pushed by parents and coaches to choose and specialize in the sport way before they are mature enough to do so.

By keeping the developmental conditions of each age group in mind, it’s entirely possible to design intensive training routines which minimize the risk of injury to young athletes.

Hockey fans in North America are following the Stanley Cup fight from the edge of their seats. The Cup has one of the more interesting histories among iconic trophies, which parallels and reflects the development of professional hockey over the past century.

“I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup, which would be held from year to year by the leading hockey club in Canada. There does not appear to be any outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the interest that hockey matches now elicit, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held annually by the winning club.”

So mused Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, at a sports banquet in Ottawa.

The first cup was a fifty-dollar silver bowl, held by the victor only so long as they could defend it. All serious contenders were welcome for the first eighteen years of its existence, before ice hockey went pro and competition formalized.

The Stanley Cup evolved into it’s current, iconic design in 1948. Prior to that time, the winning team could add their name, year, and team members to a ring on the cup, adding a band each year until the trophy grew to a size and shape it was nicknamed the Stovepipe Cup. Now, when a ring is full and new one needs to be added, the oldest ring is retired and put on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Many customers have emailed and called us at QuickTrophy to see if we could offer a Stanley Cup replica for their Fantasy Hockey League. When we investigated this, we found we could get a full sized, Stanley Cup replica, but it would cost many hundreds of dollars – edging up to the $1,000 mark. When faced with such a steep price tag, our customer’s interest waned. We’ll keep our eyes open for a cheaper alternative, but such a massive piece of hardware will likely always be expensive.