Callum Borchers' Blog

Sociologically significant sports (and class assignments)

Banners a one-of-a-kind regatta souvenir

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AMI Graphics, the company that designed the Head of the Charles Regatta’s banners, offers souvenirs in the merchandise tent.

Most sporting events offer the staple souvenirs—baseball hats, T-shirts and the like—but the Head of the Charles Regatta features something more unique: pole banners.

The yellow and orange blocks of canvas that adorn light poles in Cambridge and Boston are on sale in this weekend in the Finish Area/Launch Site.

“Business is good,” Peter Wensberg said Saturday morning, while manning AMI Graphics’ banner station inside the merchandise tent. “We did very well yesterday, and we’re off to a strong start today.”

The New Hampshire-based AMI designed the now-iconic “warrior rower” logo that has been a symbol of the regatta since 2005. Every banner is double-sided; one face depicts a man, the other a woman. The company also has created graphics for the Boston Marathon, U.S. Open tennis tournament, NHL and NBA playoffs, and the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Full-size pole banners cost $65, miniatures go for $30, and burgees are $10.

For some regatta participants, a banner has become an annual purchase.

“Some schools get ‘em for each year they’re here,” AMI’s Matt Gahm said. “So, maybe they started in ’06, and they just keep adding every year.”

The “warrior rower” logo has been the centerpiece of HOCR banners since 2005.

In case they missed a year along the way, AMI is selling banners from 2004 to the present. Classic red, white and blue banners without year labels are available too.

Because rowers are so focused on race preparations throughout the weekend, picking up a memento often is not a priority. So, the banner clientele includes a lot of family members, who snag flags on rowers’ behalf.

“It’s usually parents of rowers that come over and get ‘em,” Wensberg said. “But it’s a variety of people.”

According to Gahm, one favorable element of this year’s regatta ought to boost sales among that variety of people.

“Weather’s a lot better than last year,” he noted, “so we’re hoping for good things.”

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Written by callumborchers

October 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

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