Promotional Pride: Selling Caps to Nontraditional Students

February 27, 2017 - By Emily Potter

This is the final article in our education series; we’re discussing nontraditional students. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the ins and outs of selling promotional caps to universities and high schools.

Today, we’re discussing elementary and preschool, as well as nontraditional students and educational institutions, like summer camps and youth centers.

Among all educational institutions, referrals can act as an in to parents, teachers, administrators, coaches, etc. Flex your networking muscles to maximize your selling potential.

Elementary Schools

School sponsored sports are less common at the elementary level. Often, athletics for younger children are organized through a community center or local league system. Reach out to your contacts at the schools; chances are they can get you in touch with a decision maker for community activities as well.

Do not discount the power of promotional caps to these organizations, though. The more personalized, the better. Parents love to personalize the team uniform with things like “Panther Dad” or “Gavin’s Mom.”

Trust me, my sister is that T-ball mom.

Nontraditional Students


The average tuition for a private elementary school education is about $8,500 per year.

Private elementary schools tend to offer fewer extracurricular activities due to lack of governmental funding and smaller student populations. Without quiz bowls and science fairs to promote, you may have to get creative with your cap sales.

One option is just to stick to the basics; you can never go wrong with mascots and school colors.


Public elementary schools are notorious for adorable age-appropriate events like Christmas pageants, musicals, and holiday parties. Parents want to hold onto these precious memories. Hats and other promotional items can act as mementos or keepsakes they can use to look back on these times when their babies were still babies.

Booster Clubs, PTAs & PTOs

At the elementary level, these are formed to foster relationships so that parents can be more involved in their child’s education. These organizations raise money to provide classroom supplies and resources, or host events like “Donuts with Dads/Muffins with Moms,” poetry readings, book drives, etc.

Speak with your contacts in the administration to obtain a calendar of events so you can start planning out promotional strategies months in advance. If they have annual events, you can plan out even further.


With the rise in popularity of private preschools and lower level educational institutions, there are endless opportunities for growth. Parents will put their unborn babies on waiting lists early during a pregnancy, and some preschools still won’t have a spot by the time the child has reached the proper age.

Essentially, it is also broken into two types: public preschools (Pre-K, Nursery School) and private (Daycare, Headstart, Parochial School). But, there are many names they go by.

Public preschools are through the state curriculum just like K-12, whereas private preschools charge a fee or tuition. In many states, however, public preschools are limited to low-income families.

Selling promotional hats to educational institutions at this level will be similar to selling to a small business, because, often, that is exactly what they are.

Schools will use caps as giveaways to new or potential parents as well as use them as part of the staff uniform. Caps can also be used as advertising tools at new-parent events like Lamaze classes, infant CPR courses, or infant development programs.

Nontraditional Students

Life Learning

Education is not synonymous with blackboards and teachers. Nontraditional students are educated about life in many ways and institutions that transcend a classroom.

A well-rounded child will be taught about things like health and social norms through a variety of situations that occur in group activities and shared spaces like gyms or camps.

Youth Centers

These can be either for-profit or non-profit organizations that act as a meeting place for kids. The centers may involve helping children learn a skill or sport or simply act as a daycare of sorts where kids can safely hang out during evenings or weekends while their parents are at work.

A short list is provided below to give you an idea of the various types of youth centers available.

  • 4-H
  • After School Tutoring Centers
  • Boy/Girl Scouts
  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Church Youth Groups
  • ROTC
  • Sporting Centers
  • YMCA

Summer Camps

Summer camps are another example of education beyond the classroom. Nontraditional students, campers in this case, learn specific skills or acquire knowledge in certain subjects all while learning valuable life lessons about social situations and independence.

Hundreds of specialty camps are a quick Google search away, but a small list is provided below to give you a frame of reference.

Caps will be given out to campers and their families, and used by camp employees and counselors as part of the uniform.

Summer camps will work within school districts to provide services like Field Days, team building programs, and character development activities. This is a great time for them to advertise by handing out promotional products.

Don’t forget to check out the previous articles in this education series: colleges and high schools.

What industry would you like to see us cover next? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram using the hashtag #hatswork.

Emily Potter

Emily is the Content Marketer for Outdoor Cap Co. She holds an M.A. in AD & PR from the University of Alabama and a B.B.A in Marketing. Emily is an avid Crimson Tide football fan. She has a golden retriever named Opie Winston, and a cat named Tide.


Hatswork Round-Up: March 2, 2017


Hatswork Round-Up: February 23, 2017