PPAI Magazine January 2024

Community | Buzzworthy Feeling Festive A legendary jam band finally releases special glassware tailored to a particular fan favorite, a candy company capitalizes on a football team’s go-to game day snack, and fast food companies up their merch game for the holidays. By Rachel Zoch 1. Grateful Dead Glassware Legendary jam band the Grateful Dead have embraced branded merch for decades, and their lightning skull logo (aka “Stealie”), dancing bears and other emblems have become iconic. The band has also long been famously associated with marijuana, but curiously never released a band-branded bong, even as various states legalized cannabis. Of course, fans have been making their own pipes and other merch (and the band seems cool with it) for decades as well. After many years and much deliberation, the band has partnered with Stündenglass, a maker of award-winning “glass gravity infusers,” to create an infuser in red and blue to match the Stealie skull logo emblazoned on the frame. They’ve also teamed up with G Pen for a Stealie-branded vaporizer. “We want to make sure that the brands we partner with are the right partner for the Dead,” Mark Pinkus, president of Rhino Records, who’s also in charge of Grateful Dead Properties, told Bill Shapiro for Esquire magazine. Image courtesy of Stündenglass 2. Game Day Gummy Worms When Rice University athletics trainers were looking for a new way to deliver quick carbs to players on the sidelines, one of the coaching staff suggested gummy candies. The sweet-and-sour treats were an instant hit with players – and fan videos of the guy handing them out went viral, with over 30,000 views overnight. Candy maker Trolli noticed the #gummywormguy trending and showed its support by sending almost 140 pounds of its sour gummy worms to Daniel Domian, the team’s strength and conditioning intern (aka the Gummy Worm Guy), plus a branded duffel bag to carry them in and a branded hat. The first 2,000 students at the October 28 game also received free worms and Trolli-branded spirit posters. Sports Illustrated picked up the story, spreading the love for both the Rice Owls and their tasty treats. Image courtesy of Rice University Office of Public Affairs 88 • JANUARY 2024 • PPAI