Sports Roses Adventure in the Steel City

October 9, 2013 Leave a reply

baseball roses at 2013 NL Wild Card Game at PNC Park

Sports Roses™ make their first appearance at PNC Park and Heinz Field

By Mark Ellingson, Sports Roses Founder & Creator

At the end of September, I had the opportunity to visit Pittsburgh, PA for the first time. A close friend of mine grew up there and has always been very proud to talk about her hometown. She offered to show me what makes the Burgh so special during my visit. I have a personal goal to visit all the major league ballparks and I find it a lot more meaningful when a native provides a local perspective during my sightseeing.

fans walk across the roberto clemente bridge to get to pnc park

The Steel City has a rich sports history filled with 5 World Series titles, 6 Super Bowl championships, and 3 Stanley Cups. The city has been transformed over the past 12 years with the addition of 3 new world-class sporting venues – PNC Park, Heinz Field, and Consol Energy Center. The aesthetic design of these facilities make it appear like the city was built around the ballparks. A strong loyal fan base is required to create this type of environment for sports and Pittsburgh fans are not shy to show their enthusiasm for their favorite teams.

I selected my travel date to Pittsburgh at the end of the baseball season when both the Pirates (also commonly referred to as the Bucs) and Steelers had a home game scheduled on the same day. The day consisted of a Sunday afternoon game for the Bucs on their final home game of the season and a Sunday Night Football game for the Steelers. I never imagined that 2013 would turn into such a special year for the Pirates, playing their best baseball in 21 years. The Bucs concluded their regular season with a winning record and a trip to the postseason for the first time since 1992. The added element of playoff contention made my experience at PNC Park even more exciting. The atmosphere around PNC Park was electric with a sold out crowd.

Pittsburgh Pirate fan looks out over PNC Park as fans raise the Jolly Rogers

I became inspired while watching the Bucs’ postseason run and started work on a new t-shirt design to commemorate the Baseball Rose’s first visit to PNC Park. The Baseball Rose™ Pirate T-Shirt depicts a pirate clenching a Baseball Rose™ in his mouth after raising the Jolly Roger and exclaiming he “Rose It”. If you weren’t aware, ‘Raise the Jolly Roger’ is a popular expression used by by Bucs fans to signify a game win and they accomplished that feat 94 times during the 2013 regular season. This is the first t-shirt design available for purchase that features the Baseball Rose™ on it. I limited the production to only 100 shirts and each one is individually numbered. There are still a few t-shirts left, which you can order here.

giving out baseball roses and pirate t-shirts at pnc park

For extra fun during the Baseball Rose’s first PNC Park visit, I created a dozen gift arrangements that included a Baseball Rose™ and a T-shirt and hid them around the ballpark. The locations were announced on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter using hashtag #PNCHideSeek in a PNC Hide & Seek game. A few of the winners even shared their treasure discovery on Twitter.

It was a beautiful sunny day in the 70’s, perfect baseball weather. Although the Pirates didn’t win that day against the Reds, the Pirates would go on to beat the Reds 3 times in a row to conclude the regular season and secure home field advantage for the 1 game NL Wild Card playoff game. I’ll share more on that Wild Card game in a moment.

After the Pirates game, my friend Dawn took me on a sight-seeing adventure to the scenic Point State Park before heading to Heinz Field. The park is located at the point where three rivers meet (Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers forming into the Ohio River) and offers a great view of Heinz Field across the Allegheny River. The centerpiece of the park is a beautiful fountain area that provides a great place to relax and take in a 360 degree view around the city.

visiting pittsburgh point state park with heinz field in background

A short walk across the Fort Duquesne Bridge took us to Heinz Field. Tailgating takes on a new experience here with party boats docked along the Allegheny River. I stopped at a grassy knoll to take some photos of a Steelers-themed Football Rose™ arrangement before entering the stadium.
This Steelers started their 2013 season winless through their first 4 games (I would be witness loss #3), but that didn’t stop fans from filling the stadium. It was fun to experience the game from a Pittsburgh fan’s perspective…Terrible Towel and all.

football roses at heinz field to watch the pittsburgh steelers and chicago bears during sunday night football

After I returned back home, the Pirates clinched a playoff spot in the 2013 Wild Card game. PNC Park would host it’s first playoff game ever. I reached out to a few new friends in Pittsburgh to help me bring Baseball Roses™ to this special event. Tiffany and John helped pass out a special commemorative pin to fans before the game.
giving out baseball roses at pnc park for the 2013 NL wild card game
We also gave fans an opportunity to win a Baseball Rose™ if they could answer Pirates trivia correctly. As we were passing out souvenirs, we ran into Sean “The Mayor” Casey and gave him a Baseball Rose. He loved it! It was a very special night for Pittsburgh. The Bucs would win their first playoff game in 21 years and move on to the NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Buctober would continue in Pittsburgh. I was very proud to see the Baseball Rose™ be a part of Pittsburgh history.

Good luck to the Bucs in the postseason!

Help Sports Roses Get To The 2014 Super Bowl – Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest

September 7, 2013 1 Comment

Sports Roses Creator, Mark Ellingson, has a special message for you. Watch video below.

click here to vote Sports Roses to the Super Bowl
Vote for Sports Roses to the 2014 Super Bowl Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest

Mark Ellingson, the founder and creator of Sports Roses™, needs your vote in the Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest.

Ellingson’s San Diego-based company, L.O.V.E.nterprises, started making Sports Roses™ in 2007. Their unique variety of roses are handmade in the USA from the covers of baseballs, basketballs, softballs, soccer balls, and footballs. Sports Roses™ make the ultimate gift for die-hard sports fans, players, coaches, and team moms.

Sports Roses™ have been seen nationally on the MLB Network and Rosie O’Donnell Show. Sports Roses™ have also been locally featured by San Diego’s Fox 5 News.

Intuit’s Small Business Big Game Contest is giving 1 lucky small business a 30-second commercial in the 2014 Super Bowl. The Big Game takes place 2 weeks before Valentine’s Day, one of the busiest holidays in the floral industry. This would give Sports Roses™ the perfect opportunity to plant its seeds in the hearts of millions of sports fans around the world. Sports fans watching will go crazy over Football Roses™, Baseball Roses™, Soccer Roses™, Softball Roses™, Basketball Roses™, and Volleyball Roses™.

You can help Sports Roses™ get to the Big Game by voting for them in the Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest.


save up to 25% off Sports Roses sale

Best Ever Football Trick Plays

September 4, 2013 Leave a reply

There is no sport that has as many awesome trick plays as football. There is just something magical about the set-up of the football field that makes it perfect for memorable moments and player surprises.

From viral flag football videos to NFL big play, here are the BEST ever football trick plays:

#1 The Unconventional Snap. Sure, they’re taught to snap the ball between their legs, but the options for how to get the ball moving are actually endless. Check out this great play from a middle school.

#2 Two-Point Conversion fake-outs. The two-point conversion is always a gutsy choice, but what about when a player fakes out the other team in the process? It’s a win! This one from a Georgia Tech and Clemson game is definitely the best ever.

#3 Combo trick plays. There aren’t a lot of these, but, wow, Boise State should go down in history for successfully pulling off this one. There really are no words to describe it; you  have to see it to believe it.

#4 Anything in the NFL. NFL football is the most institutionalized football out there, which sometimes makes it feel a little less exciting to watch. Sure, these guys are pros and they make it look easy, but they sometimes lack the heart and guts of the younger players. But not when it comes to trick plays. Check out this combo video of the best NFL trick plays and you’ll be wowed.

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Motivating Great Football Play through Player Incentives

August 30, 2013 Leave a reply

Are you having problems motivating your players to give it 100% in every football play?

You are not alone. Coaches and program directors across the nation regularly face the challenge of motivating their athletes in order to get the best football play out of each one on a daily basis.

Well, now you don’t have to run out of ideas on how to motivate players. Using various player incentives and similar techniques, you can squeeze every ounce of effort and passion from your players that can hopefully translate to great play on the football field.

Here are some of the most effective player incentives that you can employ to boost your program’s morale and performance.

  1. Give good performing players a day-off of exemption from next day workouts.Rest is one of the best rewards you can give to players. Not only does it provide a moral boost, but it also gives their bodies a chance to heal and recover. If you see a player providing great and inspiring plays during the game, you can allow them to sit on the sidelines the next day as an incentive for their hard work.

  2. Use small tokens like sports roses to recognize a job well done.Sports roses are simple, novel, and beautiful tokens that you can hand out to the best player following each game. It may be small, but its design will surely generate enough interest to push athletes to try and be the best they can be each time they take the football field.

  3. Provide one-on-one coaching where needed.One-on-one coaching shows that you are attentive to player-specific demands. It shows that you care for your players on a personal level. A short talk here and there can do wonders for your players who are struggling with motivation. Often, you only need to clarify their roles so they know what they need to do to deliver the winning performance that you want to see out of them.

  4. Celebrate team and individual success.Going out for dinner and movies can be immensely gratifying to a team. Even a surprise round of pizza after practice can uplift tired bodies.

  5. Set goals and measure performance.Motivation is all about showing your athletes which areas they can make improvements. For this, you need goals and you need to measure their progress. Implement the right system to make this a reality so that your athletes strive to be better and deliver great performances during the games.

There are so many more ways to motivate your athletes, but these tips will already take you far. Remember, the trick is to care for your athletes on a personal level. Work with them through their struggles and limitations and the results will naturally follow.

Armed with this, which motivational tip will you implement first?

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High School Football Season Survival Tips

August 28, 2013 Leave a reply

If there’s anything you can learn from television, it’s that high school football is high drama. After all, shows like Friday Night Lights make it pretty clear that each game can mean life or death. That might just be television, but even if you don’t live in Texas, high school football season is a big deal. Try our high school football survival tips to get you and your son through it:

1)      Plan ahead for homework. Football can be demanding, but nothing will get your son benched faster than bad grades. Make sure he’s not forgetting to finish and turn in assignments, and keep tabs on test dates, to plan study time accordingly.

2)      Food is fuel. Teenage boys are ravenous no matter what, but during football season they need even more nutrition. Stock up on quality proteins for meals, complex carbs for snacks, and even some energy bars or sports gels for after-practice nutrition.

3)      Don’t forget the importance of recovery. For any athlete, recovery is just as important as training. If you want your star player to be at their peaks for game days, make sure they get adequate recovery time and plenty of sleep. Their bodies need time to repair and rejuvenate!

4)      Support them through stress. Teenage boys may not show their stress as much as their female counterparts, but you can be certain they feel the pressure. Give them support and let them know that you will help them when they need it.

Have fun! Remember to relax and enjoy this time of your son’s life. It won’t come around again!

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Plan Ahead for Homecoming Fundraisers with Sports Roses

August 27, 2013 Leave a reply

Homecoming 2013 Football Rose

Raise money for your school, league, or non-profit organization by selling Sports Roses during homecoming events.

We can help your organization raise essential funds by offering special discounted pricing on bulk orders

football rose boutonniere and corsage for prom and homecoming
School is back in session. It’s time to start looking for ways to generate essential funds for your school, league, or non-profit organization.

During the Fall, the Football Rose™ becomes our top-selling Sports Rose.

The everlasting petals of the Football Rose symbolize the passion that players, coaches, and fans have for a sport that is huge part of their lives.

Parents and faculty purchase Football Roses as gifts, event decor, or accessories to honor that passion for football during the following occasions:

– Homecoming Dance
– Banquets
– Texas Homecoming Mums
– Football Senior Night
– Awards Ceremonies
– Parent’s Night
– Other Football-Themed Events

Homecoming 2013 Football Rose Boutonniere
Homecoming is typically celebrated by schools between late September and early November. It may feel like it’s too early to be thinking about homecoming events, but they will be here before you know it.

Football Roses can be used as boutonnieres and corsages for the homecoming dance. They also make great gifts for returning football alumni and for the homecoming king and queen. In Texas, Football Roses can be used as accessories for homecoming mums.

When the football season draws to an end in late October/early November, Football Roses can be given as special keepsakes for the players and parents on Senior Night. Why spend money on a live rose gift that will die in a few days? Football Roses last forever and preserve the memories created from countless hours of hard work on the field.

Sports Themed Homecoming Mums and Garters Ideas with Sport Roses featuring Baseball Roses, Football Roses, and Softball Roses
There are many different opportunities for your organization to raise money by selling Sports Roses during this time of year. In addition to Football Roses, we can also create Baseball Roses, Softball Roses, and Basketball Roses.

To start your fundraising efforts, you’ll need place an order for Sports Roses. We offer special discounted pricing on bulk orders for schools, sports leagues, and non-profit organizations that will save you up to 50% off Sports Roses. Your organization can earn $6-$10 on each rose sold.
Sports Roses Are Made In The USA in San Diego, CA

Since all Sports Roses are handmade in our San Diego, CA workshop, a production time of 2-4 weeks is required on bulk orders. This means you’ll need to get your bulk order placed ASAP to have your next shipment arrive before the end of September.
Fundraise with Sports Roses

How do I place a discounted bulk order for Sports Roses?

Are you part of a school, sports league, or non-profit organization? Download our Free Fundraising Guide to learn more about fundraising with Sports Roses. You’ll receive helpful information to kick off your Sports Roses fundraiser.

how to create a successful fundraiser with Sports Roses

Recovery Tips for Football 2-a-Days

August 23, 2013 Leave a reply

Have you ever tried two-a-day football workouts?

If you have, then you know those aren’t very easy to recover from. Two-a-days leave your body precious little time to bounce back for the training or game the day after. It leaves you with dead legs, little lift, and an overall lethargic feeling that can even carry over to the next day’s performance.

Recovering from football two-a-days boils down to employing the right strategies and techniques that will allow your body to heal quickly and efficiently. It’s all about being meticulous with the recovery plan, staying away from things that can aggravate the fatigue, and doing the things that best promote recovery.

In this post, I will outline some of the most important and medically proven techniques that athletes can implement so they will feel fresher and more prepared for the work that will come the next day.

Here are the most important things that you can do to recover effectively from football two-a-days.

  1. Ice your legs immediately after workouts. Ice prevents the muscles from swelling and effectively negates the soreness that you feel afterwards. Spend at least 30 minutes icing your legs and arms after a heavy workout so you can feel fresher the next day around.

  2. Stretch properly. Stretching can help loosen tight muscles and prevent the pooling of lactic acid which is the primary culprit of muscle soreness. Studies have shown that people who stretch properly after workouts are able to recover better than those who do not have a proper stretching plan.

  3. Drink plenty of fluids to replenish your stores. Also include electrolytes in your drinks. You can do this by drinking sports drinks within the first 60 minutes following your workouts. Adequate hydration will keep your muscles loose and limber because they are properly nourished.

  4.  Get some massage wherever possible. A proper massage can do wonders to your tired muscles. Trained masseuse can actually flush out the lactic acid build-up so your body heals faster.

  5.  Reward yourself. Psychological recovery is just as important as physical recovery. You can reward yourself with sports roses for completing two-a-day football workouts. After the training season is done, you can frame these sports roses inside shadow boxes to remind yourself of the effort and sacrifice that you put into the training. This mindset can do wonders for your tired body.

  6. Get enough sleep. Sleep is your body’s best friend for recovery. Never take it for granted. After two-a-days, see to it that you get 8 to 10 hours of sleep so your body has enough time to recharge and recover.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now make a conscious effort to take care of your physical and psychological well-being in order to effectively bounce back for the next day. Even with something as simple as sports roses, you can motivate yourself to push harder and break your limits to become the best athlete that you can be.

How long does it take you to recover from two-a-days right now?

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Best-Ever Boutonnieres and Corsages with Sports Roses

August 16, 2013 Leave a reply

Designing the best boutonnieres and corsages during the fall season homecoming event can be a difficult task.

Sure, you can copy designs from previous years or simply buy off the supermarket shelf but that approach reeks of laziness and the inability to whip up something creative that befits the alumni that are coming back to visit their Alma Matter.

In this post, I will show you how to create the best-ever corsages and boutonnieres using sports roses. Not only will sports roses give your corsages and boutonnieres additional personality and creativity, but they will also serve as mementos that are worth keeping after the activity, something that generic corsages aren’t able to deliver.

Here are some of the ways you can incorporate sports roses into the corsages and boutonnieres that you will be handing out this coming fall season homecoming festivities.

  1. You can buy sports rose corsages straight from LOVEnterprises. If you want to get the corsages completely done and ready for pinning on the chest of proud alumni, you can order it as is. You have a wide selection of corsage types including football, baseball, and basketball corsages. For best results, order a mixture of the different types and let your visitors pick the corsage they like the most.

  2. You can also order sports roses in bulk and have a local supplier create the final product. This is recommended if you want to do something truly fancy with the corsages and boutonnieres. LOVEnterprises can ship individual sports rose stems to you in bulk and you can commission a separate supplier to do all the work depending on your preferred design.

  3. You can also use wrist corsages for your female visitors.It is a common perception that corsages can only be worn on the chest and are only reserved for men. This is not true. Wrist corsages are fast-becoming a rising trend that is very appealing to women. You can also use sports rose corsages slightly altered to fit this use.

Sports roses are perfect for making corsages that will last for many years thereafter. After all, you want the memories of that fall homecoming to last for a long time. Sports roses are perfect memorabilia for that purpose.

What homecoming event are you organizing and how are you planning to add sports roses to your corsages and boutonnieres?

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What You Need to Know NOW About Fall Sports

August 14, 2013 Leave a reply

When most of us picture fall sports, we see footballs being thrown, crisp evening breezes, bonfires and falling leaves. The thing is, though, fall sports actually start in the summer. In fact, when it’s  August, you’ve probably already signed up for football, soccer, and volleyball. So what else do you need to know NOW about fall sports?

#1: Success in fall sports starts early. If your son or daughter is an elite high school athlete, or hoping to be one, they need to start training for their fall sport in spring or summer. Get them doing a variety of cardio and weight lifting exercises so their bodies will be ready in the fall.

#2: The best time to buy equipment is before fall. If your child is getting ready for a fall sport, make sure you’ve bought shoes and equipment before the first practice. Especially if you want to save money; equipment will be cheaper during the offseason.

#3: Schedule a physical now. Many, if not most, sports teams on the junior high and high school level require a sports physical to be completed by each athlete. You can get these physicals done at the pediatrician’s office or a “minute clinic,” like those at CVS or the Target pharmacy, but it’s best to get them done early.

How are you preparing NOW for fall sports?

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Preparing for School and Fall Sports Success

August 9, 2013 Leave a reply

How many times has your team stumbled out of the gates to start a season?

Bad preparation is often at the root of all these miserable starts to a tournament. When teams don’t prepare well enough, the rust quickly shows and better prepared teams easily take advantage. As a result, teams suffer through multiple losses before finding their identity and stringing together wins.

But preparations for fall sports success need not be difficult. Armed with the right set of training techniques, teams can win a tournament because of a strong start.

In this post, I’ve listed down some of the most important training and preparation considerations that any team who wants to succeed should keep in mind. With this, summer training and preparation need not be hit-or-miss.

Here are the tips that you can implement to put your team in a better position to succeed come fall.

  1. Properly define the roles of each of your team members. Team success is closely tied to cooperation, which in turn is based on understanding the different roles that each team member must play. Do not head into a season or tournament without clarifying these roles.

  2. Reward effort and hardwork during training. Don’t wait for the games to matter before you begin recognizing hard work. Even something as simple as sports roses can boost morale and inspire the team to work harder in training. When you recognize effort and hardwork, you are showing that you are paying attention and that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

  3. Spend time developing chemistry and relationship within the team. Winning isn’t simply about skills. Often, chemistry and relationship lead to intangibles that make a good team great. Spend more time developing this and you will have better chance at success. Again, even something as simple as sports roses as gifts, tokens, or rewards can pull a team together.

  4. Focus on specific needs as opposed to general off-season programs. Many coaches and team directors fall into the trap of embracing generic training programs and forcing everyone on the team to do it. This is not good for peak performance. Focusing on specific needs will produce more results than if you were to subject an athlete to a generic training plan. In the end, remember that the specific skills are the most important factors that translate to winning.

  5. Don’t make your off-season training too long but don’t make it too short either. In many cases, a team is already fatigued heading into a tournament because of the rigorous training routine. This can result in defeat and the team members being demoralized. Of course, not training enough is also bad for performance. Balance the length of the training sessions to ensure that your team is performing at peak condition during fall.

There are many more tips for ensuring proper preparation to increase a team’s chances of success, but these are excellent starting points. With these, your team should not have to struggle to begin playing and winning the games that matter.

Do you see any tips here that you can implement to boost your team’s chances of success?

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Best Stretches to Avoid Common Baseball and Softball Injuries

August 7, 2013 Leave a reply

You know your kids play hard. They put their hearts into their games and leave it all on the field. You also know that this often means sore muscles and can occasionally lead to injuries. One of the most effective ways to stave off injury, though, is simple: stretching. We’ve put together a list of the best stretches to help your players avoid common baseball and softball injuries.

1)      The Lying Knee Roll-over: This stretch is performed by lying on your back with your arms outstretched, then lifting one knee and touching it to the ground on the opposite side of your body. You should feel the stretch in glutes, hips, and sometimes lower back.

2)      The elbow-out rotator stretch: Perform this stretch by placing the top of one hand on your lower back (palm facing out) and then reaching around the front of your body with the other arm and gently pulling the elbow forward. You should feel the stretch in the shoulder and sometimes in the deltoid area.

3)      The rotating wrist stretch: This stretch is exactly what it sounds like. With your arms outstretched, rotate your wrist in full circles both ways. Try this stretch with hands in fists and open.

Other great stretches to try are the tricep pull-down, arm pullover, and quad stretch. Also, don’t forget to stretch your hip flexors. With all the stop and go of baseball and softball, those get tight quickly!

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Trophy Outlets and Sales Resources

July 31, 2013 Leave a reply

It’s a simple fact: the more time you spend with kids in sports, the more likely it is that you will be put in charge of finding awards for teams. How do you do it? Here are our best tips for finding trophy outlets and sales resources.

#1 Start local: Many, many times the best options for sports trophies are mom and pop stores in your own city. Not only do they offer great deals, but they also have a quick turnaround.

#2 Think online catalogs: Countless companies exist with countless options. If you’ve started the trophy process early enough, online options can be your most cost effective choice. Try out Decade Awardsas a starting point. We do a lot business with them and they have a huge catalog of trophies and awards for all sports.

#3 Think Quality: Depending on the age and the type of league your child is in, the quality of trophy you want will vary. For younger kids in rec league sports, cheaper, plastic trophies are a great fit. Try a search on Amazon  for affordable options that can be ordered in bulk.

#4 Other Moms: Your best resources are the other moms of team members. Odds are that at least one of them have done trophies before and will be more than happy to give you some great tips. Ask your coach or the head of your booster club who was in charge before you, and give them a call!

What trophy outlets and sales resources have worked for you?

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