Whether your son/daughter graduates this year, in the middle of their high school career, achieving a varsity letter is a BIG DEAL! Maybe it doesn’t seem like it to your young athlete – after all, others get them, they play for the love of the sport not because of the letter, or maybe they don’t know what to physically do with the letter anyway. Junk drawers, bulletin boards, and the dreaded box in the attic are more the norm than the exception.
Someday your child will realize what a big deal it really is – and likely as a parent you already understand that. About 93% of high school athletes do NOT go on to play in college. While your kid may be one of the 7%,.... for most, this is it. The glory days are here…. and they will pass on by! So how can we give the varsity letter its proper showcasing, not just for now, but also for when these young athletes are no longer playing and it’s the story they want to tell?
Here are 5 great options to celebrate that varsity letter. I will give you an overview, price range, pros and cons, and a company link. Note, there are often additional companies and you can research more options.
Option #1: The Letterman Jacket
In a lot of ways this is a throwback. More popular some decades ago, the Letterman jacket used to be the key indicator of the male athlete or the girlfriend of one.
Today of course, athletes are smartly celebrated in all genders! Lettermen jackets are absolutely still around but seem to vary in popularity by region, school, and sometimes sport. While often offered as a school or team program, it's also an option as a one-off if it’s something you think your athlete would enjoy.
Price range: $165-$300. Many colors available plus leather, vinyl, or wool sleeves, which seems to be the biggest price differential. Anything chenille is one of several Letterman jacket companies. They also sell various patches that can be added to your jacket like sport specific positions.
The “cool factor” – in a retro kinda way.
Very warm jacket.
Practical item for letter showcasing.
Customizable with colors, styles, and patches beyond the letter.
Likely to last a long time.
Many kids these days don’t wear jackets of any kind - even in the Northeast!
May not have the same appeal post-high school.
Seasonal and regional wear-ability.
Option #2: The Letterman Bag
Sticking with a practical option that showcases your letter, consider a backpack.
The Letterman Bag company gives you a DIY sew yourself option, or you can send in your letter and they will do the work for you. Many color combo options are available, you can add additional patches, and you can personalize. School fundraiser option is available too.
Price: Currently on sale for $172.99, normally $249. Bag is made of premium leather and wool.
Good jacket alternative especially if you live in a warm climate.
Practical item for letter showcasing.
Style may not have universal appeal.
Only one size available.
Option #3: Custom framed with picture
Full Disclosure – this is our company – LTD Moments! (We might be a little biased)
The best place to showcase your Varsity letter is on the wall of your home! Why? So you can tell the stories! Place your LTD Moment frame in a common area of your house (think stairway gallery, man-cave next to your pro sports memorabilia, or your “big monitor” den) and your guests will be prompted… “Your son played soccer? Your daughter was All-American?” Plus – you get to remember all the games, the pride, and the lessons they learned, every time you look at it. It’s a gift for you as much as for them!
The picture element is not to be understated. Whether or not your athlete goes on to play in college or pro or even for fun…. you are capturing THIS moment in time. That includes how they looked in their uniform, how young they were, and maybe even how they played (action shot). It’s part of the story and key to the memory.
Price range: $99.99 for 12” x 16,” $179.99 for 16” x 20”. Join our email list and instantly get 10% off! You upload your picture, send in your letter, and we deliver a complete framed piece ready to hang on the wall. Products feature: wood frame, glass front, double matte/v-groove, and professional finishings.
Best for story-telling/bragging rights.
Shows the sport (through the picture) for which the letter was earned.
Classic design fits all décor.
Lasts long beyond high school (think parent home to athlete home).
Classic black is the only matte and frame color available.
Option #4: Solo framed letter
Maybe you like the idea of hanging the letter on the wall, but you’re not as interested in the personalized picture option. You can still elegantly showcase your letter with simple framing.
Of course you can DIY with your Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupon and pull it off for less than $40. You can also bring your letter to a custom framer and get a more elegant matte design and more quality frame for about $100 or so.
Various price options including DIY.
Gets the letter out of the drawer, on the wall, and preserved!
The solo letter doesn’t tell as much of a story.
With price options comes quality variability.
Option #5: Letter Pillow
Here’s an idea perhaps you haven’t thought of…. a pillow that showcases the varsity letter. It keeps the letter front and center in your athlete’s room and allows them to have a keepsake that can move with them as they continue on their journey to dorm, apartment, house, etc.
Check out 4Keepsies on Etsy. Price ranges: $30-55 depending on if you want a pillow cover only or the pillow insert as well. [They do blankets too!]
Unexpected and fun showcasing.
Easy to travel with and makes a long lasting keepsake.
Can customize design with color coordination for various decors.
Not the majesty of the jacket or framed options – but if you have two letters this is a great choice for the second!
Display likely limited to athlete’s room.
Act now for Graduation, Holidays, and More
Whatever option you decide…please get the letter out of the junk drawer! Relatedly…ask yourself where is YOUR Varsity Letter? Your spouse’s? Your parent’s? These gift options are not just limited to your kid’s graduation gift. Father’s day, holidays, and birthdays are great options too.
As mentioned, we are LTD Moments and make personalized framed memorabilia products. We have no formal partnerships, nor are making any commissions from any of the other companies included in this blog.