Everyone has a race medal that means something special to them – from their first race to the one that had the most meaning, looking at medals can bring back emotions and memories from years long gone.
Quality and Service Take the Gold Medal
Thanks to the surge in popularity of mass-participation sports events in recent years, the market for Custom Sports Medal is experiencing rapid growth. iSportMedals.com Relies on the high quality of its products and service to stand out from the competition.
“The opportunities brought by mass-participation sports events such as marathons, fun runs, and triathlons are massive,” says Ou, founder of iSportMedals.com. Over the past years, the annual turnover of the gifts and premiums manufacturer has consistently increased by 20 percent. Ou attributes this growth largely to the boom in sports events around the world. “Sports is now a way of life. More and more people have developed a love for exercise and have started to take part in sports events. We will only see more of that coming in the future.”
Established in 2008, iSportMedals.com started out producing company souvenirs such as lapel pins, keychains and challenge coins, and event-themed accessories. Today, the Custom Sports Medal business has doubled to about 50 percent of the company’s aggregate sales revenue, with North America, Western Europe, and Australia being its top markets. “ For a Naked Run in the UK last year, we made and delivered a total of 3000 Custom Sports Medal and that was a comparatively small size event,” Ou says.
New Technologies, Top Quality
After more than a decade of hard work, iSportMedals.com has developed from an OEM into an ODM as well, offering a one-stop service from design to logistics. “In the past, we followed the design and manufactured it. It was as simple as that. Now we also offer design service as we have our own team to work with customers and come with designs that meet their needs,” Ou says.
Facing keen competition in the Custom Sports Medal’s industry, the company is also developing new production methods in order to stay at the top. “ This year, we have been experimenting with 3D printing. We use the technology to make plastic samples of Custom 3D Sports Medals designs,” Ou says. By replacing the traditional metal samples with 3D-printed plastic samples, the sampling process can be shortened from one week to less than three days. Another advantage is that more Custom 3D Sports Medal samples can be made at the same time, allowing for more flexible designs. The new 3D printing technology is welcomed by many clients.
“We are in the age of industry 4.0 now. Everything has gone digital, and iSportMedals.com has to adapt. We do a lot of business with overseas clients and time is money. So, even when there are amendments to be made after the sampling, they can not be made within days,” Ou says.
However, regardless of how the products are made, Ou stresses the importance of quality control. He explains that most of the Custom Sports Medals found in the market, including iSportMedals.com’s, are made of zinc alloy, which is more malleable than other metals like iron, and therefore can be more easily shaped in accordance with clients’ demands. However, some medal manufacturers might mix zinc alloy with cheaper materials in an effort to lower costs, resulting in products with a rougher, less polished surfaces.
In addition to offering quality products, Ou believes that providing good customer service is also a key to success. “ We have clients from every part of the world so it is important that we operate 24 hours a day to take care of inquiries,” he explains.
“An order consists of three stages: pre-order, production and post-order, but some manufacturers might neglect the last part.” Once the order finished, iSportMedals.com will contact each and every client to ask them for feedback. Regardless if it is a compliment or a critique, Ou says they are glad to know as the company is always looking for ways to improve.
“ If we are going to succeed, reputation is key. Although we have some years of experience in the industry, we still have to strive for perfection in every detail in order to make iSportMedals.com a start brand. Customer service is definitely a major detail,” Ou says.
Despite focusing a majority of the business in event medals, iSportMedals.com maintains a diverse product portfolio, including companies’ promotional souvenirs such as metal pins, badges, challenge coins, and keychains. “ We care for every order and ensure the utmost quality in all our products,” Ou says.