The Power of the “T” Shirt


By Nolan Apostle
Contributing Editor
Event City Premier Magazine

So What About Them Tees? 

The Tee Shirt or “Tshirt” how most prefer to write it, has played a significant role and an integrated part of my various marketing plans since I started my first business a very long time ago! Now with the advent of the Internet and a keen, easy to remember name or company URL, the Tshirt can be a very powerful tool. There is a lot to say for the Marketing methods of the past, the Old School advertising ways, don’t discount them one bit. Even the use of business cards and post cards is still very powerful. Combine these two marketing elements and look out! My friends that work in the Digital world of Social Media Marketing don’t want you to think that, but when someone sees you in a company Tshirt and comments, it is a very simple task to pull out a two-sided, beautifully printed, high quality, business or post card and hand it to them. Starting at only $29.00 per thousand that small 2 x 3.5″ tool can wallop a great punch in a partnership with your Tshirt campaign and help your company reach a level of success beyond what you could imagine; and to think it cost a tiny fraction of many other marketing campaigns in today’s modern digital world. tshirtNavy GunnersEarly-1900s

Even on its own, the Tshirt has been a huge success from the get go. The “T-Shirt” surfaced  in the United States as a standard issue by the U.S. Navy sometime around the period of the Spanish American War. But way before that the original Tshirt was invented during the Middle ages as an “undergarment”. During the 19th Century the Navy adopted this and featured the crew-neck and short sleeved garment to be worn as underwear beneath the uniform. Shortly after this, the Army followed as part of the standard issue ensemble given to recruits. Of course, it got its unique name from the simple fact of its shape resembling the letter “T”.  It became popular very quickly as it was such an easy to clean garment and mothers loved it for their sons as outerwear for chores and play. By the 1920’s the “T-shirt” became an official American-English word in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.


Wizard of Oz, first promotional T-shirt ever.

So how did it become a printed product? The earliest printed shirt was a tee made for promoting The Wizard of OZ in 1939. Official historical credit of the first printed Tshirt worn in a photo usually goes to the Air Corps Gunnery TshirtLifeCoverSchool “promotional” T-shirt featured on the July 13th, 1942  cover of LIFE magazine (there’s one you need Sujan for your collection).
Then good old Mickey Mouse would follow in those footsteps a few years later as an exclusively licensed print for Tropix Togs, a company founded by Sam Kantor in Miami, Florida.


One might think once Tshirts were used to promote Mickey Mouse that was it, but actually it wasn’t until Marlon Brando wore one in A Streetcar Named Desire that the Tshirt skyrocketed to even greater heights. It became fashionably cool to wear as an outer garment.

Image of the original Mickey Mouse T-shirt.

Image of the original Mickey Mouse T-shirt.

When the 60’s came along, the T-shirt was now the impetus for self expression and wearable art for an entire generation and movement of primarily young, creative minds! The commercialism of theTshirt began as it took off as an advertising tool, souvenir messages, promotional campaigns, and even protests.


Original artist Warren Dayton created this iconic Tie-dyed style Tee for Woodstock.

Tongue and Lip" logo was designed by John Pasche

The Rolling Stones “Tongue and Lip” logo is one of the most iconic symbols to appear on a Tshirt ever. It was designed for the Stones by Art Designer John Pasche.

The 1960’s Psychedelic artist Warren Dayton pioneered several political, and pop-culture art Tshirts featuring images of Cesar Chavez, several political cartoons, and other many other cultural icons of that era. Many of the designs produced in the 1970’s are just as popular today as they were back then, maybe even more so. Some of the more notable shirt designs over the decades include the yellow “Smiling” Happy Face Tees, The Rolling Stones’ “Tongue and Lips” logo, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” St. Patrick’s Day slogan, and the legendary “I ♥ SF”, “I ♥ N Y” or any of the “I ♥ __” variants and spoofs. Of course there is the ever popular Tshirt message “My parents went to ______ (name of place), and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!”, “Who farted?”, “I’m With stupid —->”, and a multitude of other crazy tees.

Sujan, you and many others have lived it so have I, the success from using Tshirts. We don’t need to convince ourselves the value and power of a Tshirt campaign. We already know and have experienced, what I like to refer to as, “The Power of the T” or “Power to the ‘T’ Degree”! Tshirts have always been powerful and IMHO, are even more powerful today!


Tropix Togs gets exclusive rights from Disney to print images of Mickey Mouse and other characters on T-shirts to promote tourism and the Disney brand in the 1950′s.

The company Event City is about to launch a product that will certainly change how people live, attend events, purchase, acquire and receive whatever they buy at any given time, wherever they might be. You can bet they’ll have a Tshirt for that as well!

I wish all of you well and best in your continued success and if you haven’t tried a Tshirt campaign now’s the time to do that.


This article was influenced by my business partner and In2Hollywood Co-Founder David Falicki and Sujan Patel, the CEO of When I Work and Single Grain Internet based companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. It seems we all share the same passion about the power of the T-shirt.




By Nolan Apostle
Contributing Editor
Event City Premier Magazine

Savioke, (pronounced “savvy oak”) a company based out of Santa Clara, Calif., creates autonomous robot helpers for the Hospitality and Services industries is sending its Robot’s to work. Savioke and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the largest leading hotel properties in the world, announced recently the launch of its new hotel delivery robot at the Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley hotel. The robot, Savioke’s latest creation, is a Relay Robot known as DASH, and the company is overjoyed to see its robots provide expedient and delightful service to its guests.

The Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley is the latest hotel property to begin using Dash and implementing the specific tasks for the Robot to become part of the Crowne Plaza’s front desk team to specialize in delivering items to guests in their rooms. The presence of Dash and the services he provides allows the other members of the team to focus on value-added customer service that only people can provide.

Gina LaBarre, Vice President, Americas Brand Management, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, IHG, commented: “We are delighted to introduce Dash to our guests at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Milpitas. Given the hotel’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley, I expect our guests to be impressed by the technological sophistication of the robot.”


Robot Dash will board an elevator to deliver snacks to guests

One of the hotel guests who we interviewed not only showed a great surprise when the Robot visited them at their room bringing along their much needed items, but were equally as excited in the technology and the feeling they were living in the future. She said, “I know we’re here in the middle of Silicon Valley and one might expect if this were to happen this is the place for that to be, but I’ll tell ya, I’d be just as impressed here or anywhere else on the planet to see something like this work as well as it does.

Savioke is passionate about delivering easy-to-use yet sophisticated robots that can help people improve their everyday lives by developing and deploying robotic technology in human environments – the places people live and work. Dash is Savioke’s latest version of its autonomous delivery service featuring automatic docking, improved autonomy, and an all new design enabling the company to scale much easier in response to demand. When Dash arrives at the guest’s room, it phones them to announce its arrival, delivers the requested items, and makes its way back to the front desk docking area where it connects itself into its own charging station. The Crowne Plaza hotel team members are excited to explore new and innovative ways to serve their guests using Dash.


Hotel Guest receives delivery from delivery robot

The Crowne Plaza brand assists in making business travel work for its guests, and Dash will further enhance the guest experience through providing quick and seamless delivery of snacks, toothbrushes, water bottles and other amenities to hotel guests. Approximately 3-feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds, Dash is designed to travel at a human walking pace and can independently navigate between floors, even calling the hotel elevator using a special Wi-Fi connection.

Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke said: “We’re excited to see the updated version of our Relay robot find a home at this Crowne Plaza hotel. With more than 300 guest rooms, this is the largest hotel to use our robot technology, and as Dash becomes a fixture at the hotel, we look forward to hearing some great stories from guests and staff alike.”


The Crowne Plaza brand is considering this a “testing period” and will determine whether or not to roll out the robot at other properties based on how well the testing goes at the Milpitas hotel. I suppose one might consider this to be Dash’s probation period. Do a good job Dash and keep your best foot forward; uh, maybe not quite your best foot. We’ll leave it at this – keep on rolling Dash, we know you can do it.