Freddy Craze, director of Master Stitch, reports that his customers have loved using the NFC cap, which is perfect for festival and event merch

I’m a facilitator for brands, so they will come to me with ideas and tell me what they want to achieve. They all want to do something that no one else is doing and, at the moment, chip into clothing is one of the cool, new things to do – but people are starting to clock on to it. “I haven’t used the NFC cap for masses of brands, but the one that sticks in my head was for a festival. We preloaded a load of information onto this chip: where you could go for the after party, where you could get special offers, as well as some free drinks tokens for the event. Basically, it was event merch: if you buy this, you get that for free. 

“The hat worked really well in a festival atmosphere because you can be as drunk as you want and all you have to do is get your hat scanned and all the information is there. That’s a really good idea and my customers loved it. They loved the idea of getting information out to the festival-goer without having to actually speak to them. When I’m going after new promoters who look after festivals like Wireless, Lovebox, V Festival and Love Saves The Day, I showcase the hat to show them that there’s new technologies out there now where you can combine merch and promotional offers all in one garment. I’ve also heard of these hats being handed out at a big tennis match where they were preloaded with a programme that you could download to your phone. That saves them printing out a load of paper that they’re going to throw away.

“The hat is something a bit nicer — and at the end of the day you can wear it again. I’d say that the cap is competitively priced because of what the customer is getting. In terms of decoration, it’s no different to using any other hat, except that you can’t put embroidery in the middle of the peak because it will end up going through the chip. Of course, it takes a little extra time to load up the chip, get it all ready and make sure it works, but it’s worth it. I can see it being massive because it’s quite niche and it’s quite new. If I can offer my customer something that another producer can’t, then that’s going to work well for me.”