Professional sports teams often give away promotional items to get fans in the door (and thank them for their commitment, I guess), but the fact is that most of these trinkets are not especially great. While a schedule can be useful and a bobblehead can be pretty neat, a team-branded fedora should really only be used as a gag re-gift or emergency cereal bowl. Essentially, these questionable giveaways prove that franchises realize they owe their fans something in addition to their often overpriced game admission. The item is a token of thanks rather than a valuable commodity.
Sometimes, though, a team hits on an idea so inspired that the quality of the thing itself is beside the point. On April 4, 2015, the Memphis Grizzlies will host the Washington Wizards. The first 5,000 fans to enter FedEx Forum will receive a complimentary "Z-Bow-Tie" in honor of Zach Randolph, known almost as often by his nickname "Z-Bo." The promotion was announced by the Grizzlies on Tuesday, and SB Nation received a mockup of the tie soon after.
It is probably best to reserve judgment on the tie until we can see the finished product, but I am nevertheless wary of recommending that anyone wear such a thing in public. A mass-produced free giveaway bowtie is unlikely to be of especially great quality. Plus, a bowtie is always a dicey sartorial proposition for its inherent goofiness — it's doubly difficult to look like someone worth taking seriously when said bowtie also has Zach Randolph's smiling face all over it.
The counterpoint to this fashion criticism is that this is a bowtie with Zach Randolph's smiling face all over it, which is just a hilarious, awesome thing that should exist in the NBA's world. The connection between Z-Bo and a bowtie is too obvious to pass up. Here's hoping the Grizzlies go with Marc Gasol-themed galoshes for the 2015-16 season, too.
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