Awards & Engraving

June '18

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40 a-e-mag.com • A&E JUNE 2018 A LOOK BACK Back in the day, retailers in our industry sold trophies — this was their primary product output. There were trophy shops in virtually every town, village, and city. Many sporting goods dealers sold trophies as well. Originally, these were mostly made of marble or wooden bases and metal columns. Gen- erally, there was a small plate on the front that was engraved via a pantograph, or hand-engraving machine. It was a cum- bersome process. These trophies looked just as we have seen them on TV shows and in the movies. They primarily came in single-, double-, or four-column configurations and sometimes had multiple tiers. The columns were either rolled by a dealer using bending material and a rolling machine contraption, or later bought complete from one of a few companies that sold them in pre-fabricated form. (My company, Victory, was one of the pioneers in the pre-fabricated metal column business from the late 1960s to the 1980s.) Just as we see today, technological advances to the products changed the trophy business, and by the late 1970s, there were a number of alternatives to the traditional trophy as I described. Column alternatives included aluminum extru- sions in various profiles that were mostly sold in five-foot lengths, 18-inch round wood-turnings in multiple designs, and later colorful plastic extrusions also sold in long lengths. While aluminum extru- I began my career in our industry in 1982. The more I reflect on the last four decades, the more the changes become apparent. So much so, that in many ways when I break it down, it is difficult to see how it is even the same industry; back then, the primary product that we made was a trophy, and the industry was widely known as the trophy industry. Today, the offerings are so vast, and trophies have become a small and arguably insignificant part of what we generally refer to as the awards and customization industry. We don't even use the word "trophy" anymore to describe what we do. It is stunning how things have changed, both perception-wise and in reality. Let's examine how this evolved and where we might be headed as we move into the future. THE WORLD MARKETPLACE OF TROPHIES & AWARDS By Eric Priceman Eric Priceman is President of Victory, division of Planter Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. In his over three decades in the awards and engraving industry, he has traveled extensively, both domestically and internationally, visiting customers and suppliers. He is happy to share his unique perspectives of the industry, both past and present. Please feel free to contact Eric by email at ericp@buyvictory.com or by phone at 773-637-7777 ext. 228. Oh, How Things Have Changed Keeping up with industry changes

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