Billboard Bands WristbandsBillboard Bands Wristbands




Drink to this: Ads on club wristbands

It seems a natural for reaching the nightlife set

By Diego Vasquez
Jan 25, 2007

It’s one of those things you see and ask yourself, Why didn’t I think of that?

In clubs all across the country, patrons are given wristbands to wear to signify that they paid the cover charge, and they wear them all night, often after they've left the club.
What a place to put an ad message, right on the wristband. What a way to reach the attractively hip 21- to 34-year olds who frequent the late night scene.

“Actually my 18—now 19—year-old son, a freshman at the University of Michigan, came home last May with the idea,” recalls Fred Epstien, CEO of Billboard Bands, which produces the wristbands. “It made sense since obviously they’re required to wear them at the clubs,” he says.

So Epstien, whose background is in cable TV, launched Billboard Bands last summer, and by September he says the company had deals with 50 clubs around the country. Now he says the company produces about 1 million bands a month and distributes them to clubs in 18 of the nation’s top 20 markets.

“In another month we should be in all 20," says Epstien. "We’re not in Sacramento and Seattle. Most buyers are really focused on top five or top 10, so we don’t really plan to go past the top 20."

Advertisers who’ve already been on the bands include GFH, a snowboard maker, whose ads are on bands in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. The company also has a deal with a cable network that will use the bands come spring, as well as a bottled water company and two movie studios.

Epstien says club-goers usually wear the bands for hours. “They stay on two-thirds of people until the end of the night, and a third actually wears them overnight,” he says.