How To Host A T-Shirt Design Contest

Ottawa Beavers-Banchees Rugby Football Club wearing navy blue custom t-shirts and custom shorts.

Whether you’re a school group, a charity or a sports team, you’re likely looking for new opportunities to engage your audience and promote your brand. A customized t-shirt design contest hits all of these marks.

A fun way to engage your target audience, a t-shirt design contest allows your members to unleash their creative energy to create a winning design. Your organization gets a unique design or logo, you generate some buzz around your cause and you foster a stronger sense of ownership among your members, or voting public who get to decide on the winning design.

A t-shirt design contest sounds like a win-win for organizations, but how do you do it right? As Canada’s leader for custom printed t-shirts, Entripy has a few tips!

Have a Clear Objective

The first step to running a successful t-shirt design contest is understanding what you want to get out of the contest. Where will the winning custom t-shirt design be featured? What is the purpose of the contest?

One of Entripy’s clients, the Ottawa Beavers-Banchees Rugby Football Club recently held their first club-wide t-shirt contest for their 2017 team t-shirts. “For the past many seasons, we have offered a free club shirt for everyone who registers. The Executive knew they were not logo design experts and the designs were getting a little old so they decided to put it out to the club to come up with their own designs,” says Beavers-Banchees President, Marc Sorrie.

Participants in a soccer club posing as a group wearing custom printed t-shirts and customized shorts.

Set Clear Rules

When setting up your custom t-shirt design contest, be sure to set rules for who can enter the contest, how long the contest will run for, how the winner will be selected, and when the winner will be announced. You may also want to consider design limitations. Ottawa Beavers-Banchees Rugby Football Club restricted their design to one colour and while the design could take any theme as inspiration, the contest rules stipulated that the logo must proudly display the club’s name.

Spread the Word

Share news about your contest on your website, your social media channels and announce the contest at events where your target audience will be in attendance. The more attention your contest attracts, the more entries you will get.

Offer a Great Prize

The offer of a reward provides an extra incentive for your members or those interested in your organization to submit a design. The Ottawa-Beavers Banchees Rugby Football Club offered $50 off the 2017 season’s dues to the winner of their custom t-shirt design contest.

Engage Your Audience in Voting

Get your members involved with the voting process. After all, they’re the ones who will be purchasing or wearing the winning printed t-shirt. The Ottawa Beavers-Banchees used Likes on their Facebook page to help determine the winning custom t-shirt design, with the executive holding the final vote.

Group of ladies wearing custom t-shirts with a custom design.

The winning design showcased Ottawa’s rugby community by using the Parliament buildings as the background. With 2017 being Canada’s 150th year, the design was very current.

Provide a Way for Sponsors to Share the Cost of Printing

Custom printed t-shirts provide an opportunity for sponsors to gain exposure by printing their logo on your t-shirts. “Our club shirts are worn to games and in around town after games,” Says Sorrie. Local supporters love the idea of displaying their logo on the back of t-shirts and are willing to pay for logo placement, helping to offset the printing costs of these custom t-shirts.