Have you ever attended an NBA game only to learn it’s your lucky day and you get a free hat to take home with you? Then you attend more games in the hopes of getting more free caps, but never got to experience it again? Do you know why?
Have you ever seen 1-dollar hats being offered at your favorite sports shop? Did you ever wonder what’s the catch of the low, low price?
Aside from shirts, hats are one of the most-produced and popular giveaways. People love getting them no matter the occasion, hat style or design.
If you’re a collector of everything hats, may it be Cowboy hats, sports caps, army hats, Fedoras, flat caps, beanies, and other types of hats, here’s everything you need to know about getting them for free, which companies to follow, and what kind of promotions to expect.
Types of Free Hats from Companies and How to Get Them
1. Winter Hats
During the holiday season, winter hats (the knitted ones) are a favorite giveaway of companies.
For example, last December, Sprint gave away hundreds of black, yellow and gray holiday cheer knit hats for any customer who went to a participating Sprint store personally and showed their ‘My Sprint Rewards’ app. Those lucky clients didn’t even need to purchase anything.
Sledmaker Snow Daze is asking their customers to upload photos of them riding the Snow Daze sled. Six of the best entries win a free knit hat.
2. Sports Caps
This free hat category has a wide range of hat styles available. Some of them are offered as limited editions and only during game season, while others are based on company promo calendars.
The following are just examples of organizations and companies that regularly use hats, caps and other sport-appropriate headwear:
- Baseballism – Every now and then, this store releases a design for its cap giveaway. Each promotion only includes a limited number of baseball caps, which are distributed to certain brick-and-mortar locations. Just like in this Star Spangled Flag Man giveaway, store locations, date and time of availability, and number of caps per store are published before release. Customers prepare to visit the given dates, make any purchase, and try on a free baseball cap with your size.
- NBA – Basketball teams are always prepared for giveaways, including jerseys, t-shirts, fanny packs, and caps. The terms and conditions of the promotion varies. For example, Bucks publishes the type of giveaway for a specific day and discloses the quantity being given away, rules of distribution, and so on. Check the official NBA subsection of your favorite team – it is very likely that they have their own giveaways published there.
- Jenko Fishing – Even fishing has a following you might not be aware of. Although they’re not as massive as the NBA, companies in this industry also use giveaways to its loyal customers. Just check out Jenko Fishing’s free visors to customers who bought a Gambler series rod last year.
3. Political affiliations
Free hats are one of the most popular giveaways when it comes to politics. Whether you’re a democrat or republican, you know this is true especially during the election period.
In the months before the November 3, 2020 presidential election, there would be numerous free hats to be given away from all camps. In fact, many of the declared major candidates have already begun preparing their freebies – just ask the Yang Gang and their fundraising efforts with free MATH hats to support Andrew Yang.
Both non-profit and for-profit organizations are serious about hosting events, producing giveaway merchandise, and creating items for fundraising.
For example, the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) has organized a meet and greet at the Pechanga Arena to watch the San Diego Gulls play hockey on February 22, 2020. The event is Country night themed, so everyone who joins get a free cowboy hat.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from breast cancer and is going through chemotherapy, head on to Breast Friends Hat Project and request a free hat.
5. Private Companies
If you’ve seen hats by AT&T, Pepsi, VISA, Burger King, Apple, Taco Bell, Verizon, HBO, Facebook, and other private companies in the past, I’m pretty sure many of them are giveaway hats done as part of the company’s marketing campaigns.
Although you could buy these brands on both official and unofficial stores, you could always watch out whenever your favorite brands hold free hat giveaways.
Even smaller companies do this. Sometimes, it only takes a few clicks to get a free hat. Here’s an example by Pinnacle Promotions, wherein they feature the free hat giveaway on a video and the only requirement is to share the video (even without a purchase) and fill-in your name and address where you’d like to receive the cool free hat.
While some companies use their official Facebook pages, others pick other social media platforms like Instagram or YouTube. Take Leaman Griffin of Midsouth Tire and Wheel – he held a week-long giveaway of trucker hats in exchange for just subscribing to his company’s channel and commenting on the video. Pretty easy requirement, right?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic calendar when these promotions happen. You just have to follow as much of your favorite brands as possible, hope to the Freebie Gods that the next item would be a free cap, hat, visor, or any other headgear of your dreams, and be sure to follow instructions once you encounter these promos and able to join the fun.
The $0 Free Hat from Online Stores
There are some online stores that sell hats with other hats listed extremely cheap ($1) or completely free.
What’s the catch, you ask?
Well, the catch depends entirely on the store you’re ordering from. For example:
- Include with another purchase – Many stores with $0 to $1 hats for “sale” require you to add these bargain-priced hats to your cart as long as you purchase a full-priced hat or other products from the site. Check out Supreme Patty’s $0 hats – it’s a perfect example of this scenario.
- You pay shipping and taxes – There are stores like e4Hats that make these hats completely inexpensive ($1 a pop) without the need to buy another full-priced item. e4Hats even allow you to buy multiple 1-dollar hats, as long as you take care of the shipping expenses and taxes.
- Sign up for a newsletter – Sometimes, you just need to sign-up with a store’s newsletter to receive the free hat. Personal information is pretty expensive, so any potential customer voluntarily giving his/her name, address and phone number is significant for any retail company.
The Bottom Line
Not all the examples above are delivered by mail. Sometimes, you have to attend an event, pick it up from a brick and mortar store, or even participate in games before you can get the free hat.
Like the post I recently shared about free clothes, hats with misprints are no longer being given away for free. While this could still happen every now and then, companies have discovered that even misprinted products have an audience and people actually buy them for their collections or just for fun.
Even if this is the case about misprinted hats, you still won’t run out of ways to get a free hat.
Good luck with the hunt! Let me know if you’ve found some gems as you search for free hats that pique your fancy.