This is a great way to reward your fine athletes.   Give them a reward that they can carry around.  Challenge coins can be both awards and rewards.


USA Made Sports Medals


No need to go overseas for these anymore.  We are able to offer US made sports medals in addition to our US made Challenge Coins.  This feature of the medals will delight the players and staff.  It says that you value the efforts of US workers as much as you do the efforts of your athletes.  So why do USA Made sports medals?  The easy answer is that it is the right thing to do on so many levels.  Not only are we employing US workers, ours are  sports medals  made by Union Workers.    Perhaps the local unions might choose to sponsor your medals.  Either way you will have the comfort of knowing that you are helping well paid US workers and perhaps even saving money at the same time?


Saving Money with US Made Sports Medals?


There is a good chance you will.  What this requires is that you order substantial numbers.  League wide or School wide programs can lead to very considerable savings by ordering in the US.  We found with our  US Made Military Coins that we were able to overcome the cost considerations and even offer some of our customers greater savings that overseas.  Rest assured.  We offer both US and overseas made sports medals.  The key is your wishes.  We are happy to quote both of them for you.


Designing Affordable Sports Medallions


The simple answer is to let us do it for you.  We do not charge for artwork and have been doing it for nearly 20 years now.  We can create the design you are looking for and help you avoid the pitfalls along the way.  If you have a design already you can let us help you make it real.  Whether it is Challenge Coins, Military Coins or Sports Medallions there are ways to keep costs way down without denigrating your design at all.  One way to keep costs down is to have program wide standardization.  This means, perhaps, that the sports medallions share a common side for example.  Then we modify the obverse to be sport specific.  This way each sport can share in the initial costs.  More importantly it avoids the appearance that one sport gets more attention than another.


I once attended an awards ceremony where several individual sports got small medals and two major sports got very large and obviously more prestigious medals.  I was left asking myself if there really is greater “merit” in competing in golf than there is in track and field.  It sure appeared that the school felt that way.  I know that was not their intention but I also know that I was not the only person to notice.


One common mistake I see is to try to figure out exactly how many sports medals you “need” without thinking long term.  When we do military coins one thing we frequently see is that each new commander wants to develop his/her own commanders’ challenge coin.  I completely understand the desire for leadership to put their individual stamp on the process.  On the other hand I have a unit that has been buying the same military coins from me for more than a decade.  Their approach is to make the custom coin a unit tradition.  I like this idea.


What this means to you who are designing a sports medal program is that it is perfectly OK to look long term.  You can be the author of a school tradition if you produce enough sports medallions for several years.   By that time the medals will be a tradition.  That is a tiny claim to immortality for you, its originator.


Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a delicate balance between the size of the sports medal and its perceived importance.  BUT.  If you are looking at events where yours is the only one presented, they will not be judged against others.  The athlete will be thrilled with their silver medal whether it is 1.75″ or 2.5″.  Though the prices are not that different between the two there is no real need to bust your budget unless a large and elaborate sports medal fits into your plan.  I mean let’s face it.  A small medal is just fine for the winner of a football kicking competition but it will just not do for Professional Wrestling Medallions.  And we can make those too.  You want bling?  We can make it.


One final consideration about sports medallions.   You need to be certain of your manufacturer.  The last thing you want is to see your sports medallions for say on an auction site.  The manufacturer must be clear about whose work it is.  We never sell individual examples of work we have done for others.  Never.


Sterling Silver Sports Medals


I was asked about this the other day.  We have done precious metal challenge coins for years now and yes, they are expensive.  No way around it.  But here is the thing.  Our factories are able to use the same dies for pure/sterling silver sports medallions as they do for the brass ones.  This means that we can do limited numbers of these custom medallions for important people, special events or even to sell as special edition sports medallions for fundraising for your organization.    Perhaps the budget doesn’t quite allow for sterling silver challenge coins.  No problem.  We can plate them with real silver and they look great.  Silver plated coins are just about the same price as regular ones.  Gold as well.


Stop Using Generic Sports Medals


I know.  They are inexpensive and you can get them in a hurry.  If that is necessary then it is necessary.  Better yet a little prior planning and your fully custom designed sports medals can be cheaper than these substitutes.  And mean a whole lot more to those who win them.


Varsity Letter Challenge Coins


So I am from Arizona.  A sports letter jacket is a bit hard to use here, isn’t it?  So why not issue a Varsity Sports Letter Challenge Coin.  After all.  Who has met the challenge more than your letter winners?


A Final Word on Sports Medallions


In all of the Sturm und Drang  of trying to run an athletic program year after year it is easy to forget just how important it is to the athletes.  We know it is but after a few years we tend to forget.  Winning the High Jump or having the swim of a lifetime is an experience your student/athletes will never forget.  It is important to them beyond belief.  One coach told me that he had a harder time rewarding the superstars than he did the trainers.  Why?  Because the more talented an athlete is the more is simply expected of him/her.  Of course John scored two touchdowns and naturally Carol made 12 spikes.  They are the best.  It is easy for them.  But, of course, it is not easy for them.  Sure they get the limelight and even the scholarship.  But how do you, their coach, say thank you in a personal way?  Have a few personal challenge coins in your pocket.  Maybe the school won’t pay for them.  But I can tell you that your athletes will truly appreciate this small act of gratitude on your part.  That coin just may mean more to them than the Varsity letter or the scholarship.  They are the school heroes, no doubt.  But you are theirs.  Don’t forget that….