Editor’s Choice: Gifts for the Concerning Fan

The License Global Editor’s Choice series continues with senior managing editor, Patricia DeLuca, who offers guidance when shopping for the superfans on your holiday list.

Patricia DeLuca, Senior Managing Editor

December 6, 2022

3 Min Read
WWE belt bag
WWE belt bagIgloo

Buying the perfect gift feels like a challenge; some welcome challenges, while others dread them. With all the pressures of the holiday season, picking out the right gift for someone, especially if you’re buying a gift as a Secret Santa, can be anxiety-inducing. But if you know the person in even the most casual way, it’s tempting to hone in on a person’s fandom as gift inspiration. 

It seems easy enough ­– go to the nearest retail store and pick up a T-shirt of the person’s favorite band, TV show or sports team, right? Please don’t do it. Resist the temptation to pick out the first branded item you see. Chances are the person you’re shopping for has that very tee in their closet. And an official calendar. And action figures. What was once a thoughtful gift is now considered impersonal. The gift will be acknowledged and added to the person’s vast collection in the back of the closet, never to be seen again. 

But if you want your giftee to be wowed, dig a little deeper. There is a lot of great branded merchandise in every category; just take a moment to look around.

Wearing Your Fandom on Your Sleeve 

Not all merchandise has a big logo on it. There are lots of elevated branded apparel for the discerning fan. Taylor Swift fans covet the Red (Taylor’s Version) cardigan sweater. Like her concert tickets, the cardigan sells out the moment it’s available online. The logo on the branded cardigan is strategically placed, and it’s a great consolation prize if the Swiftie on your shopping list was unsuccessful in getting tickets to Swift’s Eras tour. 

Related:Editor's Choice: The Best Brand Collaborations for Big Kids in 2022

Bands with generations of fans have expanded their merchandise beyond the merch booth. QueenElton John and The Rolling Stones have pop-up and e-commerce stores with branded merchandise ranging from standard graphic T-shirts to sweaters, team jerseys and housewares.

Subtle Pop Culture References

What do you get the mature rock fan who buys all the album reissues but no longer wears concert T-shirts? More bands are diversifying their merchandise program to include food and beverage. The founder of Megadeth has a wine brand. Kiss, who released a collection of spirits in the past, finally released a branded gin this year. 

If someone on your list is passionate about pop culture and coffee, you’re in luck. There are plenty of branded brews that would make great gifts. Central Perk, the coffee shop from “Friends,” is now a standalone shop with a coffee line. Starbucks has extended its Been There collectors’ mugs to include destinations seen in “Star Wars,” like Naboo.

Loud and Proud

Perhaps someone on your list spends time in the metaverse? Get a gift they can wear IRL. Forever 21 is bringing its Forever 21 Shop City on “Roblox” to its brick-and-mortar stores (and website) this holiday season. The F21 Metaverse Collection features hoodies and T-shirts inspired by the brand’s virtual offerings including its Forever Beanie, the top-seller at Forever 21 Shop City. But act fast – Forever 21 Shop City will offer a limited-edition virtual accessories collection, launching one item each day that will be available for less than 24 hours. 

If you have a WWE fan on your list, bold is the only way to go. The Igloo WWE belt bag is a replica of a WWE title. A stroke of genius for both brands, a fan can emulate their favorite wrestler and keep their essentials handy, especially at a WWE live event. 

No matter what you buy the superfan as a gift, encourage them to use a gift. What fun is getting a gift if it’s going to sit on display, gathering dust?

About the Author(s)

Patricia DeLuca

Senior Managing Editor, License Global

Patricia DeLuca currently serves as License Global's Senior Managing Editor.

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