Image courtesy of Shaheen Karolia
First of all, let’s answer this question for those who are new to buying school spirit items, “What are thundersticks?” Thundersticks are a pair of inflatable sticks that are banged together to make a loud booming noise. They are most commonly used as school spirit items to cheer on a sports team. They are one of the most popular spirit items sold to schools. Other names used to refer to these noisemakers include the following: ThunderStix, BamBams, boom sticks, cheering sticks, and banger sticks.
When shopping for thundersticks, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the options and the price points. One common reason these are bought is to sell at games to raise money for a booster club or organization. Because of the low individual price of thundersticks, they are great for fundraising. Options for thundersticks include reusable vs. one-time use, LED light-up, and many other options from which to choose. Below you will find a quick reference buyers guide for the top-selling thundersticks.
Types of Thundersticks
If you want the most bang for your buck, reusable thundersticks are the best option. These noisemakers have a valve on the bottom that is the just like the valve found on beach balls, so you can inflate and deflate as necessary. After using at each game, they can be deflated and easily stored, then brought back to the next game. Since they are reusable, your logo printed on the thundersticks will receive much more exposure over the disposable thundersticks.
These are printed in the USA, so production time is very quick (about 1 week) and 48-hour rush production is also available. These come in various colors from which to choose and can be printed with your custom logo. If you need them in a hurry, this is your best option.
If you are looking for cheap and are only concerned with your thundersticks being used for one game or event, then you will be interested in the options below. These one-time thundersticks are inflated through an opening at the bottom of the sticks and then permanently sealed. The seal is not made to reopen or re-inflate.
They will last for an entire football game and they are just as loud as the reusable thundersticks. Many of these options are printed overseas and have extended production times, but most have an option to be delivered as quickly as 3 weeks. However, if you have time, you can significantly save money by opting for a longer production time (your choice of 5 or 9 weeks) These thundersticks start off as a white material and can be printed with any specific PMS color of your choice. Within the disposable thundersticks category, there are many styles and you will find them below.
Types of One-Time Use Thundersticks
These are the typical cylindrical tubes that measure approximately 23 1/2″ in length. You can print as many spot colors on these thundersticks as you wish, with each extra imprint color adding an extra setup charge.
There are 3 pricing options for these to include 3- week and 9-week production time. The more time you order in advance; the more money you can save! These traditional noisemakers are the most popular choice by universities and high schools from around the country and you’ll never go wrong opting for this fun noisemaker!
If you have a night event or a blackout time during your game, the LED BamBams are a great choice. These are very popular for basketball arenas that can turn off the lights in the stands to create a dazzling light show from all of the fans waiving and banging their thundersticks together.
Once activated, the LED lights stay lit for approximately 4-6 hours. The LED aspect of these puts a fun twist on the traditional BamBams. The lights are sure to bring extra attention to your printed logo. These are also great to pass out single sticks to participants at nighttime events. Production options include 3 weeks, 5 week, and 9 weeks.
These are simply mini thundersticks. Where the standard BamBams are 23.5″, the mini-sized are 18″ long. They are made of the same material and the same tube shape. Just because they are small doesn’t mean they aren’t loud. These BabyBams pack a booming noise when banged together.
If your event is going to be indoors or in an outdoor area with minimal space, these BabyBams might be a good fit for you. As another bonus, these are priced lower than their full-sized counterpart, allowing for you to buy more with your budget. Choose from the 3-week or 9-week production time options.
Sometimes you just have to shake things up a bit and step away from the traditional in lieu of something just a little different. These unique PomBams have one end of the thundersticks with a frayed end to make pom poms.
They are great for cheerleading squads to sell at football and basketball games. They are the same standard BamBams with the added pom at the end and they still make a loud noise. Now, fans can use these to shake the poms or bang together to make a deafening noise. Production time options include the 3-week and 9-week options.