Take a piece of poster board, write a clever message in big, bold letters of support for your favorite team or player, wave it wildly when the camera is pointed in your direction, and you’ve got a shot at being seen on television.
That was the way sports fans have been doing it for decades. But that’s so old school.
Big Heads is new school.
Big Heads are a larger-than-life personalized photos, printed on durable cardboard. They’ve become a trendy, fan favorite.
Expect to see them during crowd shots and behind the backboard on broadcasts during this year’s basketball tournaments.
Sports Illustrated columnist, George Dohrmann, recently traced the Big Heads concept back to 2002. That’s when 25-year-old Conor Mongan created one of the first versions of a Big Head as a way to distract opposing teams of his beloved San Diego State Aztecs when they were shooting free throws.
Shindigz, a leading party supplies provider, has seen orders skyrocket for personalized Big Heads. The combination of low-price, ability to use any digital image, and online ordering are fueling this fan phenomenon in 2013.
“We predict a surge in the number of Big Heads seen during the 2013 college basketball playoffs,” reports Jacquie Downey, Director of Sales & Marketing for Shindigz.
Besides a larger-than-life fan image, other popular Big Heads include Grumpy Cat and celebrities. The craze has trickled down to high schools too with cheerleaders using them at pep rallies. “The reaction to a 3-foot-tall face really gets the crowd energized,” says Downey.