Sports Fanatics! Everyone knows or has come in contact with one. Some are the occasional, low-octane fans who like to cheer on their alma-mater on game day. Others are a bit more involved: the kind of who has 3 fantasy teams because their favorite team is doing terrible (like this Cleveland Browns fan). From the grass courts of Wimbledon to the grass fields of soccer games; from the greens of Augusta to the green turf of Monday Night Football, fans come in all sports and colors.
So when it comes to sports and the people who love them, this gift guide was distilled to the ten most heart-warming gift ideas for a sports fan. The list has been arranged (subjectively of course) in order of excitement level for a typical fan. One of these ideas is unconventional, while some are more expensive (jerseys) than others (team gear). Overall, these are pointers to get you thinking about your favorite fan over the holidays.
10. Fan Outfit for yourself: This is the unconventional idea after all, the idea of gift-giving is to give to others. However, a gift is also given to make the receiver happy and a fan is happy when his/her significant other is dressed in team-colors and ready to cheer and yell at the top of their lungs. This idea is especially relevant for significant others who have been pressed to take a little more interest in their fans favorite sport. It can show that you are [sort of] interested in their fanaticism.
9. Magazine Subscription: A variety of magazines exist for the avid sports fan from magazines that cover multiple sports (Sports Illustrated) to individual sports (Golf Digest). This might be one of the best attempts to get your fan away from the television. In addition, just like most magazines, these magazines often come with other bonuses such as tips on improving elements of their game or deals on resorts all over the country.
8. Team Gear: Most fans own some item bearing the emblem of their favorite team: a scarf, shot glass, pen, hat etc. Why not add to that growing collection by getting something your fan doesn’t already own. It could even be an item that drops a subtle hint such as an apron emblazoned in the Red and White of the St. Louis Cardinals or Nebraska Cornhuskers.
7. Sports Memorabilia: These items are mostly for nostalgia sake and the older/harder to find the item the more appreciative your fan will be. As an example, even though Ohio State last won a College Football Championship in 2003, a Buckeye fan will still get misty-eyed when presented with a picture of Maurice Clarett getting into the end zone. Now whether those tears are of joy or sorrow is a different story entirely.
6. Autographed Gear: A step up from sports memorabilia and team gear is specially autographed equipment from a former or current player of their favorite sport(s). Imagine the look on a fan’s face getting a tennis ball signed by Rafael Nadal or a jersey signed by Wayne Gretzky? You don’t even have to be present at a game so you can hopefully catch a freebie from an athlete; just visit a website like www.sportsmemorabilia.com.
5. Satellite Radio: This is for the fan that commutes and travels quite often or lives in an area where sports radio isn’t prevalent. Now that Sirius and XM satellite radios have merged, a fan can receive broadcasts of most games from live broadcasts of NBA games and the English Premier League to Golf Majors and Tennis Grand Slams. Although this radio comes with a subscription, a gift of a month’s subscription can be obtained and the fan can then decide what to do afterwards.
4. Sports Lessons: You might know a fan who has always wished they could play or participate in the sport that they love watching. Although this isn’t as feasible for team sports, you can purchase lessons at a local fitness center for tennis or golf lessons. This way, you get your fan to stay active instead of sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of Tostitos and dip.
3. Sports TV Package: These days almost every sport has an available package. With College conferences also broadcasting their games on their own networks, there appears to be a TV package out there for every fan. Add on to your pre-existing cable subscription and unveil it during Christmas or New Years and watch your fan’s face light up. With this gift, it will be a little harder to pull your fan away from the TV, so you might want to consider balancing this with the gift previously mentioned or purchasing a package with a shorter season.
2. Live Game Tickets: What’s bigger than getting to watch the game on TV or at a bar? Live Viewing. The atmosphere of being in the stadium or arena amongst thousands of screaming fans doing the wave and music over the loudspeakers can even turn the casual observer into an avid fan. Now this doesn’t happen for perennially bad teams as often, but if tickets are purchased for a game where the fan’s team is favored, you are [almost] guaranteed a good game.
1. Jerseys: Finally, nothing can show being part of a fandom like wearing the jersey of the team you love. This is why this is the top gift item and depending on the team can also be the most expensive. Nothing says I’m a Laker Girl like a Koby Bryant jersey or I’m part of Who Dat Nation like a Drew Brees jersey. Upping the ante by purchasing a personalized jersey is also a welcome option here.
As you embark on the coming holiday season, remember that the most important thing in giving gifts is the thought and not the monetary amount. Your Browns fan will take an orange visor given with a smile and a hug over an expensive jersey anyday. I wish you the very best this season.
Damilola is a guest blogger. Damilola (Dammy for short) is a current PhD student at Ohio University. He is a big fan of all the professional Cleveland teams and considers himself a candidate for Fan of the Century for sticking to them still.