by Bryce Maxim
ATLANTA – Ok holiday gift shoppers, you’ve successfully navigated the plethora of deals that “Black Friday” offered, you’ve loaded up with gifts from every sale you could find, and have only one or two gifts left to hunt down for your loved ones.
Good news! There’s still plenty of time left to score a gift before the big day especially if your loved one is a fan of college football, soccer, baseball, hoops, or anything else involving a score! Whether it’s something simple to stuff a stocking or your version of the “Red Rider BB Gun,” here’s a dozen suggestions that will delight just about every sports fan on your gift list this season.
Apparel: There isn’t a sports fan alive that does not love repping their favorite team on their clothing! Hats, hoodies, sneakers, and jackets are always appreciated and worn proudly by the recipient whenever possible!
You say you want something that’s a little more “out of the ordinary” than the typical jersey? Then get creative in your quest for team apparel. Odds are your loved one’s favorite team has a selection of “Ugly Sweaters” available, historical recreations of past uniforms, or even special editions of current uniforms available for the Christmas shopper. Whichever you choose, it’s a safe bet the recipient will be stoked to wear it everywhere!
Sports Bar Gift Certificates: There are few things in life better than hanging in your favorite sports bar and enjoying a wonderful meal and a cold brewski while the game is on! You don’t have to cook, you don’t have to clean up afterward, and you can focus exclusively on whatever monster HDTV TV has the game on.
Upgrade that HDTV: Think you missed out on all of the great Black Friday Discounts on HDTVs? THINK AGAIN! There are plenty of HDTV deals still out there and consumers can expect low prices to continue up until the Super Bowl. If your sports fan is still watching sports on a 1080p LED screen, they are living in the past! Upgrade that HDTV to OLED and watch a tear come to their eye when they behold the beauty that is the NFL in crystal, clear 4K+ detail.
Dinner and a Game: We are so fortunate to live in Atlanta both for the number of sports teams we have available for our enjoyment and for the volume of quality restaurants! Combine the two for the ultimate night out for your sports fan!
Here’s a few suggestions to consider: Start the evening at the top of the Westin at The Sundial and enjoy a delicious meal as the restaurant rotates 360 degrees. Afterward, head to State Farm Arena for a Hawks Game or to MBS for a Falcons game.
Even simpler, when the Braves resume in 2023, make it a night of fine dining at The Battery before the game! Choose among restaurants like Antico Pizza Napoletana, The Yardhouse, Sports and Social, or El Superpan Latino Kitchen among the many available within walking distance of a Triuist Field Gate!
Hexhead Wall Art: When shopping for holiday gifts, there are few things better than being able to support a small business that is 100% American with that purchase! When that company ALSO makes one of the coolest gifts on the planet for your sports fan, it becomes a compelling option!
Hexhead Art produces 100% accurate, officially-licensed, metal recreations of your favorite team logos! Choose logos from among MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, the U.S. Military, and “General Americana” themed pieces. Each is precision cut and color matched and is the perfect showcase for a mancave or game room.
Sports Video Games: If there is a gamer on your “good list”, odds are their hearts will go pitterpat if they see a copy of the newest sports simulation in the gift wrap! There isn’t a gamer alive who doesn’t like taking their favorit\e team to the promised land in Madden Football, FIFA Soccer, NBA2K3, PGA Golf, or other similar game!
It’s the ultimate gift for the fan who likes to dream about taking their team to the top!
Get the Book: Give the gift of the whole story behind your sports fan’s favorite coach, team or championship run from the people who lived it! Whether you’re a fan of basketball, football, hockey, horse racing, the Olympics, or any other competition, there’s a story about it! By giving the gift of a book or a device like a Kindle built for reading e-books, you open up a world of sports history and insight that sports fans love!
They’ll learn about their favorite athlete’s struggles to achieve greatness and what he or she overcame to reach the top.
Perhaps the origins of baseball and how it rose to become “America’s Game” or about the scandals of the steroid era are what interests your loved one.
Discover the stories behind the Georgia Bulldogs’ first national championship run in 1980 from 680 The Fan’s own Buck Belue in his book “Inside the Hedges: A quarterback’s Journey To A National Championship”.
No matter the subject, there’s a book about it ready to take the reader on a journey that no other medium can offer: inside the minds of those who lived these experiences!
Bobbleheads: The sports bobblehead is the “Swiss Army Knife” of holiday gifts. No matter the sport and no matter the team, a bobblehead mascot exists that celebrates it, everyone who receives one loves it, and no matter where it is displayed, it is never out of place!
Do some digging on ebay or Amazon and you’ll be able to find limited edition Bobbleheads for collectors, out of market Bobbleheads, all-star players, team mascots, antique bobbleheads, and MORE! Your options are almost limitless, but be warned bobbleheads are like potato chips! You can’t have just one! You may be starting a holiday tradition with this option!
Fatheads: Is there any sports fan that wouldn’t want to see a HUUUGE picture of their favorite player or team logo on a bedroom or mancave wall? NO! For good reason! When it comes to peel and stick sports décor nothing matches the quality and look of Fathead! Their vast selection of licensed players almost guarantees your sports fan’s favorite is among them!
Pinball Machine: There is absolutely nothing like playing a game of pinball! It exists in the real world, not a virtual one, so players are directly connected to the game. The cabinet transmits every thump of a pop bumper, snap of the flippers, and ricochet of the pinball directly into the players hands for a gaming experience no Playstation can match!
Here’s where it gets fun for your sports fan! There’s probably a pinball machine themed to one of their favorite sports! NASCAR, FIFA Soccer, baseball player Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas, the NFL and more have been made into pinball machines, so there are plenty of choices available! Prices can start from around $1,000 and can run, up to $50,000+ depending on condition, how collectable the table is, scarcity, and age.
Bucket List Sports Experience: Is there a historic ball park your loved one has always wanted to see their team play in? Perhaps someone would love to play golf at the game’s birthplace in St. Andrews, Scotland. Is your loved one’s college football or basketball team playing in a National Championship game?
Then get a ticket to that experience and get it under the tree! You can even make it easy for yourself by employing a service like Atlanta Sports Trips that will round up the tickets, book the hotel, arrange for fan experiences, and assemble meet and greets.
How about those who love fishing? Book an offshore, Florida deep sea fishing expedition or book a local guide for the best bass fishing on Lake Lanier.
Whatever their chosen sport, there’s a once-in-a-lifetime ticket or activity they’d appreciate participating in and you can make that happen!
Tattoo Gift Card: If you ever wanted to give a dedicated sports fan a present that is “completely out of the box” then get them a gift certificate to a local tattoo parlor!
Nothing says you’re a “100% Sold Out Fan” more than the willingness to permanently imprint your favorite team’s logo or player on your flesh! It’s the ultimate “put up or shut up” holiday gift that is a testament to your sports fan’s dedication to their team!
So get out there shoppers! There’s still plenty of time to get that ultimate gift for the sports fan on your list and to make this holiday season one they’ll never forget!