By Jacquelyn Nelson
The Swather Power Club is rolling out a whole new look for the 2013 merchandise.
Merchandizing Committee members Dara Haldez and Lynda Kauffman said they will be rolling out new Mean Machine gear at Enrollment.
“Merchandise is one of our biggest fundraisers, but we also have Touchdown Maina and Freethrow Maina. Businesses pledge an amount for each touchdown or freethrow,” said Haldez.
The Swather Power Club not only supports Hesston students, but ensures money for purchasing merchandise stays local as well.
“All our gear and wear comes from local suppliers. We rotate between suppliers. We keep it local, even our hats are made local. Most of our vendors are in a three-county area,” said Haldez.
The Swahter Power Club is revitalizing the Hesston look, aiming for more casual apparel.
“We are a little out-of-the-box this year. We are trying to appeal to the high school kids. Other than sports t-shirts this is all they have for apparel,” said Haldez.
In the Power Club’s quest to expand their market, they have moved away from the more formal Swather merchandise.
“We have always tried to appeal to older people. We had a lot of dressy polo shirts. It was too dressy. We are moving to more t-shirts with different takes on fabrics,” said Haldez.
“We even have some camo, which is new and different,” said Kauffman.
In addition to High School gear, the Elementary School students and Middle School students will have opportunities to purchase unique apparel of their own.
“Hesston Middle School and Hesston Elementary School have their own sweatshirts and more casual wear this year,” said Haldez.
Kauffman said this year’s sweatshirts are an exceptional bargain.
“I love the sweatshirts this year. They are so soft. I tried one on when it was 90 degrees and I didn’t want to take it off,” said Kauffman.
In addition to new merchandise, the Swather Power Club is expanding their marketing campaign.
“I am really excited about our facebook page. We put it up July 24 and were up to 114 likes by Friday. We really hope to put up pictures of new merchandise. It is also a way for alum to order. If people want to purchase merchandise, we can ship it,” said Kauffman.
The ability to reach alumni and students through an easily accesable on-line page gives the Power Club the opportunity to sell apparel and gear 24/7.
“We were limited to enrollment day and home games. This is the first time we are really working on reaching out,” said Haldez.
In addition to adjusting the target market and techniques, all of the newest Swather merchandise will not be hitting the table at Enrollment.
“We aren’t going to put all of our new merchandise out at once this year. We are going to introduce things at our Christmas sale this year,” said Kauffman.
“We are going to evaluate after enrollment and see what sold well,” said Haldez.
By slowly releasing new designs and merchandise, the Power Club hopes to have an increase in repeat customers.
“Once people have been to our table, they see what is out and it can be hard to get them to come back. We hope that having new things out at Christmas will get people looking again,” said Kauffman.
While merchandise is a major part of Power Club income, those who do not need another t-shirt or stadium chair have the option of joining in the Family memberships.
“We are looking at holding a drawing for people who have family memberships for free gear or merchandise,” said Michelle Penner.
To donate without dealing with clutter, Penner said family memberships can be a viable option.
“You can sign up for a family membership at Enrollment. They start at just $25. It is a great way to give money without having to have another t-shirt or thing. It is tax-deductible too,” said Penner.
The Power Club plans to work with families and possibly create incentives to register as a Swather Power Club family.
“We really want to find ways to encourage people to sign up for Family memberships this year,” said Penner.
However, no matter the funding mechanism, Power Club proceeds to toward all Swather activities.
“We do more than merchandise. Everything we do is for Swather activities,” said Kauffman.
We are setting a goal for 50 family memberships this year! Very excited about it & will update at games how many we are at
MOST of our supplies are local, but not all (remember we thought they were, but found a couple things not)
Here is the list of Board members:
Sheri Esau-Business/Family Memberships
Roni Caffrey-Teacher Appreciation