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SHOP BEAUTIFUL WHOLESALE RALLY TOWELS FROM TOWEL SUPER CENTER. Perfect for embroidery, printing, schoold events, sports team and more. 100% cotton super soft towels in bulk for your business or home.

Wholesale Rally Towels

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Wholesale Rally Towels

When you think of towels, you probably value them for functionality over fun. For most people, towels are luxurious, useful tools we need for washing our faces, wrapping our wet hair, dabbing our hands, drying off after a shower or taking to the pool to grab after a quick dip. There's no doubt the domestic towel market is booming — in fact, it reached an annual worth of $4.7 billion in 2015 and will continue to grow to roughly $5.4 billion by 2020. But did you know the population doesn't just use towels for necessity?

When it comes to widespread use, towels have another purpose and another name — the rally towels. Used for sporting events, this fan merchandise item has spread across the country like wildfire, and now people are adopting it for special occasions and their own fan support purposes alike. If you're wondering what a rally towel is, how to use it and where to get your own, we're here to help. This guide explains everything you need to know about rally towels.

What Is a Rally Towel?

What is a rally towel?

Used as a fan symbol for a variety of professional sporting events in America, a rally towel is a fan paraphernalia item many teams across the country have adopted as a sign of team spirit and support. While fans can bring their own towels to games, stadiums with official rally towels may sell them in the stands or online for fans to purchase and wave around at important gameplay moments. At tense or exciting points in the game, the encouraging sight of thousands of team-colored fan towels waving in the stands buoys both players' and fans' spirits. Some sports enthusiasts even swear by the power of rally towels to win the game.

Originally known as "the Terrible Towel," the rally towel originated in Pittsburgh, Pa., as an official publicity item for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With its simple, lightweight design, portable nature and ease of use, the rally towel became almost instantly natural to fans. Now, frantically whipping towels is an integral part of raising spirit at sporting events. From football to hockey, you'll find these team symbols to be the tradition of many a stadium across the nation.

History of the Rally Towel

While the rally towel has seen several team faces and cropped up in various places during the 1970s and '80s, its first official use was by fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1975. Searching for a simple but powerful publicity item to rally team spirit for the 1975 playoffs, Myron Cope, the radio broadcaster for the Steelers' station WTAE, promoted an idea that local Steelers enthusiast Figo Carvella had already been bringing to the home games. As a gimmick to draw sponsor attention, involve the media and energize fans for one of the most important games of the season, Cope and his fellow WTAE radio professionals encouraged fans to bring gold or yellow towels to the game to cheer on the team.

Towels were a genius idea for their simplicity alone. They were lightweight, portable, easily visible when displayed by a majority of crowd members and something every fan already had in their household or had easy access to. While the Steelers' colors are black and gold, Cope wanted the towels to add color and intensity to the stadium and make a statement when seen from a difference, so he opted for yellow and gold as the official colors of the "Terrible Towel poised to strike." On game day, fans waved more than 30,000 golden towels from the stands as the Steelers triumphed against the Colts and went on to win their second Super Bowl in a row. Retailers in the stadium began to sell both official Terrible Towel merchandise as well as backup yellow and gold hand towels, and a lifelong tradition was born.

In the years after Cope's Terrible Towel success, the rally towel became a Pittsburgh icon and spread to both other cities and other sports' leagues. Today, it is famous both for its power to generate excitement and stir up a fan frenzy in the stands and for its charitable impact outside the sporting world. In honor of his son Danny, who was born with severe autism and needed 24-hour assistance, Myron Cope made sure the royalties from the towels' sales went to the Allegheny Valley School, a private care facility where his son lived for many years. Since he transferred the trademarks to the school in 1996, Cope's Terrible Towel has helped the school raise more than $3 million to help other physically and mentally disabled patients.

Rally Towel Superstitions

For some fans, the rally towel is simply an enthusiastic show of spirit to cheer on their favorite teams, offer support and celebrate big plays and exciting wins. Others, however, take the towel tradition a little more seriously and superstitiously — some even believe it's the deciding factor in a big win or loss. Whether teams with rally towels win because of the extra encouragement from the crowd or the towel is a good luck charm in itself, one thing is certain — those who disrespect the tradition have invariably suffered serious sporting losses.

In 1994, for example, a Browns running back trampled the towel in a show of competition against the Pittsburgh Steelers — and the team suffered a consequent loss of 29-9. In 2008, when the Jacksonville Jaguars' mascot used the towel to wipe his nether regions in a show of pride, the Jaguars lost to the Steelers 26-21 and went on to turn their season lead of 2-0 into a string of eight losses out of 11 games. When the Jaguars' mascot made another joke involving the towel in 2014, the team wiped out again, losing 13 of their 17 games. This unbroken curse of the rally towel's enemies is just one of many reasons the tradition still goes strong today.

NFL Rally Towels

Although the Terrible Towel originated with the Pittsburgh Steelers, they're not the only football team to encourage their fans to wave colored towels during gameplay. With an enthusiasm for the towel almost as strong as the Steelers', the Seattle Seahawks have adopted their own rally towel — the "12th man towel" — which carried them to victory in the 2010 playoffs and Super Bowl.

While some football teams have instated the rally towel into their team traditions, others hand out their own towels specifically during playoff games to mobilize fans and pump up enthusiasm. Other NFL teams to notably feature the rally towel include the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings, the Indianapolis Colts, the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rally Towels in the NBA

Rally towels in the NBA

Although it's where they started, rally towels aren't just a tradition in football — multiple other sports have taken up the tradition of handing out towels to their fans in the stands and started selling them in their stadiums. While the towel isn't as common a sight at basketball games as it is in the NFL, some teams in the NBA have followed suit. In 2011, the Dallas Mavericks handed out towels to their cheering fans during their first-round series and went on to triumph against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West Conference Finals.

One of the most famous NBA towel traditions is that of the Miami Heat, who offer their "White Hot" team towels to their fans during the playoffs. Other teams who embrace the towel-waving ritual for themselves include the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

NHL Rally Towels

With an enthusiasm for rally towels almost as prominent as the NFL's, hockey has its own history with the towel-waving tradition. In 1982, Roger Neilson, the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, attached a white towel to the end of a hockey stick and waved it around at the other team's players and the referee. It was meant as a sign of protest against a string of unfair referee calls, and it resulted in Neilson being thrown out of the game — but his actions resonated with the crowd and fellow hockey fans, who started waving white towels themselves as a show of support. This is where the NHL's "Towel Power" movement began. Now, teams across the hockey league wave their own towels.

Among the most iconic rally towel uses in the NHL are those fans waved at the Dallas Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup win and the Pittsburgh Penguins' "LET'S GO PENS" playoff towels. Other prominent teams to carry on the tradition include the New Jersey Devils, the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks — whose orange "Fowl Towels" are iconic. Both the Winnipeg Jets and the Arizona Coyotes have used white towel waving for special "Whiteout" events.

Rally Towels in the MLB and MLS

After catching fire in the NFL and NHL, rally towels made their way to the MLB and have taken it by storm. Some notable towel moments in baseball include the San Francisco Giants' orange World Series towels and the Texas Rangers' American flag-colored towels for their home games. The Toronto Blue Jays distribute towels on a regular basis every "Fan Friday," while the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies partake in the tradition frequently. The rally towel has become so popular in baseball, in fact, that by 2010, only three MLB teams hadn't enacted the ritual yet.

While football, hockey and baseball are the most popular sports to see rally towels, they do crop up in other professional sports leagues from time to time. In the 2010 Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs, Real Salt Lake offered its fans white towels to show their support in the semi-finals.

Uses of a Rally Towel

Uses of a rally towel

Professional sports teams may sell rally towels to bolster team spirit, but the towels are something you can adopt and adapt in your life for your own sporting events and special occasions. If you love the idea of rally towels, here are a few ways you can use them to make your own events special:

  • Sporting events: Rally towels aren't relegated to the official gear of major league sports! If you're looking for a way to boost team spirit in your own community league, Little League team or high school football stadium, why not introduce your own kind of rally towel? Pick your favorite colors or team colors and spread the word about waving those towels. You can even have them with your team name or symbol. Also, if you're heading to a professional game and don't want to handle the hassle of purchasing an official team towel, buy your own rally towel in your team colors beforehand.
  • Graduations: Who said rally towels can only show spirit at sporting events? If you're looking for a unique way to support your grad or bring your graduating class together, waving custom towels during the commencement ceremony is an exciting, easy way to celebrate. Pick up your own towels in school colors, spread the word around the audience or hand out custom school-emblazoned towels beforehand.
  • Wedding favors: On that special day when you tie the knot, you'll want to thank your wedding guests for their gifts, support and attendance by offering them a token they can take home with them. While many couples opt to hand out edible wedding favors, offering something useful and permanent is a more personal way to offer your thanks and make an impression. Handing out personalized rally towels for your wedding favors is both unique and thoughtful because your guests will be able to use their towels every day at home — and they'll always think of your big day when they do. Towels are also a great way to add an extra personal touch, whether you met your spouse at a sporting event or you want your wedding date monogrammed on each towel. Plus, your guests can wave you off when you leave for your honeymoon!

Order Your Own Wholesale Rally Towels at Towel Super Center

Looking for the right rally towels to cheer on your favorite team, cheer on your graduating class, commemorate your wedding or hand out as party favors? Here at Towel Super Center, we offer the perfect fingertip towels for the occasion. Choose any color to suit your theme or team — from neutrals like black, white and charcoal to brighter tones like lime green, aqua blue and red. Our hand towels come in so many colors, there's sure to be one perfect for you.

As a leading towel supplier specializing in offering the best wholesale towels at the best prices, we're the perfect choice for finding your own rally towels. Our towels are more than affordable and easy to order — they're made of the highest-quality, 100 percent terry material and built to last wash after wash, year after year. Seize the day and show some spirit for your sport or special occasion when you order our wholesale rally towels online today.

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