The holidays can be a tough time for any girl this time of year, whether you’ve been in a relationship for a long time or just started dating. You can’t go wrong this holiday season giving your guy a sports gift. It’s a “no pressure” gift that is sure not to be a lame sweater that will end up in the back of his closet, never to see the light of day.
The first thing to do is to figure out what sports he likes the best. Once you got that, the team name is essential to pick out the perfect gift. If your guy is a die-hard Red Sox fan, you don’t want him opening up a Yankees hat on Christmas because you will probably be spending your New Year’s by yourself. Each of the major sports leagues have Web sites that you can shop on. Along with the major sites (where you will probably pay a lot) is the smaller up-and-coming sites that offer the exact same items, usually with better customer service to assist you. Either way, you have to start off researching!
If your guy is into football, the most user friendly site I found was actually the top dog, NFL.com. The site has a “Gift Center” where you start off by choosing your guy’s favorite team. Once the team is chosen, there are three areas to narrow down your search: by price, by recipient, or by how the gift is used. Other useful search options include choosing whether you guy is a “Mr. Fix It,” “Tenacious Tailgater,” “Collector,” or “Wear It Like a Pro.” These options make it incredibly easy to narrow down that perfect gift. If he is more interested in college football rather than the pros, I recommend going to FootballFanatics.com. This site isn’t as easy to choose from if you have no clue what to get; in this case I would recommend starting off on NFL.com (just pick a general team) and choose one of the categories that best fits your guy. Chances are, you can find any of those items on NFL.com with any college football team of your choice.
Now let’s say your guy is into America’s pastime; another great site that has a gift finder function is MLB.com. Here you can also start off by picking the team of your choice and inside you can search for items by price, recipient, category, or my personal favorite, personality. These functions made it very easy to find the item your guy would be most interested in while saving you a valuable amount of time. You can also select multiple attributes to search by. For example, say the man in your life likes to have his “everyday team shirt” as well as a professional shirt—you can click both functions and items like boxers and ties, items that fit both those categories. MLB is moderately priced with your higher ticket items being, of course, the jerseys and autographed items.
The NBA has a site that is very similar to MLB’s in which they have a gift finder function that allows you to search with multiple attributes such as recipient and price. Another option is a customizable jersey that you can put your guy’s name on the back of rather than buying a jersey of someone who may not be with the team for an extended period of time.
There were some sites I was honestly disappointed in as far as the navigation and ease of finding a gift. Though each the NHL, NCAA, PGA, and NASCAR all had shopping capabilities on their site, trying to find a gift was somewhat difficult if you didn’t know exactly what you were looking for. Good luck trying to find the perfect gift on PGA’s site. As a former employee of the PGA, I had enormous difficultly even finding the “shopping” portion of the site. If you want to get your man a golf-related gift, your best bet is to go to a golf store and hope the workers there know what they are talking about. If not, I suggest buying a round of golf for him and his buddies, though it will set you back at least a couple hundred dollars.
Now if you want to earn major brownie points and you already know what the favorite team is, I would hit up Distant Replays. They carry a large assortment of throw back jerseys, hats and other misc items. Most of the gifts on this site are the old uniforms from old days in each league. If you guy opens this gift, he will most likely not know what it is at first, but as soon as you explain it to him the history of the gift, you automatically have a unlimited amount of brownie points. I would advise that if you get the gift for him, to Google the gift and actually know a little snippet of history to impress him even more. Who knows, after that gift, you could have scored yourself a pretty kick ass Valentine’s Day present!