So many people call these next few months the most wonderful time of the year, but there’s more to the end of the year than the holidays. For sports fans, the combination of playoff baseball, NFL football, professional hockey and the start of basketball season makes this time of year pretty wonderful too. This sports overload is great, but if your loved one is deployed, they may feel like they’re missing out. Luckily, you can send a sports care package to get them pumped for the season!
The first step in creating a sports care package is choosing the sport you’ll focus on, but the second (and equally important) step is to customize the design based on your loved one’s favorite team. The extra personalization of both the design and the contents helps your loved one feel closer to something from home. It will be a nice distraction from the negative realities of deployment and help them cheer for their favorite team from afar. This isn’t just limited to American sports, this can relate to any sports they support and follow from afar, for instance, if they support Collingwood Magpies, you may want to check out the collingwood football club shop to see what merchandise you can get them from there.
How to customize a sports care package
Change the colors you use
This is probably the easiest way to customize a sports care package for your loved one’s favorite team! Covering the box with paper in your team’s colors instantly personalizes the look and feel of the care package. You may get lucky and find paper printed with the team’s logo, but if not, using solid colored paper works just as well.
You can incorporate more team colors through the text that you add to the box, either through stickers or cutting text out of colored paper. For example, this Seattle Seahawks-inspired care package incorporated the dark blue as the background and the bright green and white in the text.
Recreate the team’s arena/stadium
For most sports fans, the place where their team plays has significant meaning. Maybe it’s filled with a lot of team history, maybe it’s got a reputation for being the loudest place in the league or maybe it’s the spot where your loved one watched the greatest game of their lifetime. Whatever the reason for the special place in their heart, a meaningful arena or stadium can be great inspiration for a sports care package design. If you’re able to recreate some of the iconic pieces of that spot, it will help your loved one feel like they’re there.
If you want to cut everything out individually, you can, but you don’t have to make the re-creation terribly complicated! Photos can be blown up and used to cover the flaps, like in my Clemson football care package.
Recreate the jersey of a favorite player
If your loved one is a huge fan of a specific player, recreating their jersey as the design of the box would be so much fun! You could situate it any way you’d like (across all four flaps, just on one, etc.) and it would definitely make an impression on your loved one.
Incorporate fan sayings or team slogans
Each team and its fanbase has a unique personality and culture. Oftentimes that personality is represented in a team slogan or special chant. These are perfect additions to your sports care package! They help make that box feel more like a representation of a game.
For example, in this hockey care package, Nashville’s “Smashville” slogan was repurposed to fit the idea of crushing deployment. The added “Let’s go Preds!” could be customized for any team and is certainly something heard quite often during a game!
Wrap contents in paper with the team’s colors
I’m a big fan of wrapping care package contents no matter what, but if you’re going for a certain theme or color scheme, wrapping contents becomes especially important. You may not be able to find a box full of items in your team’s colors, but you can use wrapping paper to make them all fit your theme. You may be able to order wrapping paper with the team’s logo on it! Here are a few examples of NFL paper on Amazon.
Decorate wrapped contents with team jersey clipart
If you can’t find team-specific paper, you can make your own! Wrapping everything in a solid color and then adding team clipart or stickers still adds a little extra team flair to your box. Logos, player jerseys and even some general sports images can all be used to make your own custom wrapping paper.
Include team apparel (t-shirts, hats, socks, etc.)
Part of the fun of a game is wearing your lucky team apparel! Help your loved one get ready for game day by sending their favorite game day attire in your sports care package. I would caution against sending very expensive (or autographed) items, like a jersey, in case they’re lost or damaged during shipping. But a new hat or a t-shirt from somewhere like Buy Side Sports are great additions to the box!
If your favorite team is local, you can likely find these items at most stores. If you’re a long-distance fan, you may need to shop online. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to the public relations department of the team and see if they’re willing to donate something to your box. Most teams are willing to do that, especially for something like a military care package!
Send publications featuring key players/the whole team
This is probably easiest if you’re local to the favorite team, but even national publications may feature your loved one’s favorite team or player during their deployment. If so, grab a copy and add it to the box. Magazines like Sports Illustrated, ESPN and USA Today Sports Weekly are all great options. Most professional sports also have a dedicated publication that may be of interest to your loved one.
Send any specific game-day snacks your loved one enjoys
This one isn’t necessarily specific to your loved one’s favorite team, but it is specific to your loved one watching their favorite team. Sending a few favorite snacks to have when they are able to watch their team in action helps make it feel more like home (or that they’re there)! For example, my husband can’t watch baseball without sunflower seeds and a baseball-themed box for him would naturally include them. You can also send locally popular or snacks straight from the arena where appropriate.
Have you sent your loved one a sports care package? Which team did you customize it for?
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.