summer contest prize ideas

35+ Prize Ideas: Boost Your Summer Contests

Everyone loves getting something for free. In fact, many consumers are willing to interact with brands for the chance to win something for nothing — from simple giveaways like hats and t-shirts to larger prizes like gift cards and electronics. The excitement serves as a much-needed distraction from our daily lives, which is one of the reasons contests are such useful marketing tools.

Contest and giveaways are a powerful way to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, extend social reach, and generate leads. If you are lucky, the right contest prize can turn a prospective customer into a lifelong brand advocate who will tell their friend and family all about you.

As we look forward to the most effective marketing strategies for this summer, it is clear this year will be different. The economy is struggling, and many states still have stay-at-home orders in place. Even once those orders lift, some may be wary about returning life as usual.

Yet, contests remain a powerful marketing tool that can’t be ignored. How can you make sure your online contest is successful? It all starts with choosing the right prize for your audience.

Prize Idea Categories:

Great Summer 2020 Contest Prize Ideas 

The right contest prize can make or break the success of your next contest. If you choose a prize unrelated to your brand — or one your audience couldn’t care less about — your contest may get few entrants. On the other hand, if you choose a broadly appealing prize, entrants might pour in from people who have no interest in your brand.

The most effective contest prizes are related to your brand in some way and appealing to a variety of players. Not sure what prize to offer? Here are 35 plus creative prize ideas for your summer 2020 contest.

Prize Ideas: Swimming Pools & Accessories

Many families are planning to stay close to home this summer — even if stay at home orders are lifted in their state. According to Google Trends, searches for swimming pool related items are on the rise. While part of the increase is likely due to seasonal cycles, the increase is occurring much earlier this year, which suggests that more internet users are interested in swimming pools this year.

Depending on your brand (and industry), consider offering swimming pool-related contests prizes such as:

  • Small kiddie pools
  • Inflatable pools with slide
  • A large above ground pool
  • Discount on the installation of an inground pool
  • Swimming pool deck
  • Water slides

If an actual swimming pool is too pricey (or doesn’t make sense for your brand), consider offering a variety of swimming and summer accessories to keep kids and adults entertained.

Here are a few examples:

  • Blow up floats
  • Diving rings
  • Extra-large towels
  • Shade tents or canopies
  • Pool lights
  • Automatic pool vacuums
  • Pool alarm systems
  • Diving boards

If your brand isn’t related to swimming or outdoor activities, consider creating a gift basket with a variety of outdoor toys. For example, a wine and cheese company could create a gift basket of white wine, cheese, and snacks as well as pool toys, towels, and outdoor toys like horseshoe or cricket.

Prize Ideas: Outdoor Furniture & Shade Sets 

As the lovely summer weather approaches, more people are spending their time enjoying the warm weather.  Your brand could help make that outdoor time more enjoyable by offering outdoor accessories such as:

  • Patio tables and chairs
  • Outdoor lights
  • Portable fire pit
  • Hammock
  • Umbrellas
  • Mosquito repellant candles

The beauty of these prizes is that people will be thinking of your brand while enjoying a relaxing, fun afternoon with their family. That positive association will extend far beyond their fun afternoon and can lead to years of brand loyalty.

Prize Ideas: Outdoor Sports Accessories & Toys 

Kids and adults alike are tired of being stuck inside on Zoom calls and Google hangouts. Consider offering prize winners a selection of outdoor sports accessories and toys that can be enjoyed by consumers of all ages.

Depending on what is popular in your area, you might offer:

  • Bocce set
  • Soccer goal and ball
  • Basketball goal
  • Giant Jenga
  • Corn hole game
  • Inflatable movie screen
  • Tree swings
  • Trampolines or bounce houses
  • Playhouses
  • Jungle gyms/swing sets

The perfect prize should be valuable to your audience, but not overly expensive for your brand. For example, an outdoor sports store may be able to get a massive swing set at cost and offer installation themselves. However, a restaurant would have to purchase and pay for installation, making it a much pricier offer. A restaurant could, however, offer an outdoor movie screen and a gift card for takeout so the winner can enjoy dinner and a movie.

Prize Ideas: Grilling Equipment and Accessories 

Few things evoke the feeling of summer more than cooking on the grill — and Americans are willing to invest more than ever in their quest to create the perfect summer dinner. If your brand’s target market is interested in grilling at home, here are a few ideas to encourage contest participation

  • High-end grill
  • Smoker
  • Grilling tools, such as a spatula, grill scrub, etc.
  • Non-stick grill pans or baskets
  • Thermometer
  • Grill cover
  • Seasoning gift pack
  • Grilling cookbook

Final Thoughts: Giveaway Prize Ideas for Summer 2020

Summer 2020 will likely look far different from years past.  Some brands may be hesitant to market during the COVID-19 crisis for fear of looking insensitive to the challenges many Americans are currently facing. However, brands that choose not to market now are likely to have a difficult time recovering from the economic downturn. Contests offer a simple way to engage your audience — without pushing them to make a purchase.

When considering prizes, consider offering prizes related to the outdoors, including:

  • Swimming pools and accessories
  • Outdoor furniture and accessories
  • Outdoor sports and toys
  • Grilling and grilling accessories

Ready to start creating your Summer 2020 contest or giveaway? Sign up for a free Woobox account where you can create and edit your contest at no cost. You only pay when you are ready to send your contest live! Need help getting started? Reach out to the Woobox Support Team at 1-360-450-5200 and Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm, PST.