Custom trading pins have its origin in the middle of the nineteenth century from curling clubs. Curling is a sport wherein players glide the granite stone on an ice sheet towards the goal. Those involved in pin-trading organizations and sports institutions gather and trade custom pins crafted for their particular group. Theme parks have become recognized sites for pin trading. It is also a significant activity in the renowned Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Trading pins have also become an important part of many sports affairs.
Their popularity started when the Olympic Games initiated the use of custom trading pins as a tool for recognition of the various participating teams. Soon, pin-trading developed into a major hobby participated in by many enthusiasts.
Athletes, judges, and the rest of the sports committee wore a small circular cardboard of different colors in their uniforms for identification during the Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens, Greece. The pins evolved from being made of cardboard to being crafted with metal in the Olympic Games of 1912 in Stockholm. Several companies have also engaged in the manufacturing of pins for teams and audiences alike.
The launch of the first Olympic village in 1924 provided opportunities for athletes and delegates from different nations to foster camaraderie and collaboration. Custom trading pins have become a valuable icon of identification, cooperation, and alliance. Likewise, they became an in-demand item for the viewers and supporters of the event. However, the 1948 Olympic committee encouraged the countries that will take part in the event to control the production of the trading pins. This is to keep the pins’ status as exclusive items.
Despite the limitations on the accessibility of custom trading pins because they were initially restricted to the athletes, spectators continued to rave about the souvenir pins. In 1972, viewers actively traded their collections of pins. By that time, vast numbers of styles are available. Avid supporters even set up trading events that have gained media attention. Coca-Cola started sponsoring a center for a trading event in 1988, during the Olympic Games in Calgary. It enticed many people to watch the games and acquire popular pins. This acted as a catalyst for other companies and organizations to embark on trading activities. It catapulted trading pins into one of the most popular hobbies.
Even Little League Baseball embraced the tradition of creating and collecting custom trading pins. The league launched its first official trading pin in 1983. Each team has their respective design. The tournament draws a multitude of crowds from various countries. Hence, it is not surprising that trading pins have become a highly coveted event as well.
Trading pins serve to establish friendship among people who share common pursuits. The act of collecting and swapping valuable items associated with their passion has played a vital role in broadening ties among people.
Moreover, it became a pleasurable diversion in times of difficulties. For instance, despite the Great Economic Depression during the Olympic Games of 1932, trading pins were a success among the spectators and hobbyists. In 1940, the cancellation of the Olympic Games in Japan did not hinder manufacturers to continue production of sports trading pins. Likewise, supporters and fan groups continue patronizing the pins.
The immense popularity of sports pins has expanded across the globe. Statistics show that trading of pins reached to more than three million during the Summer Games of 1996 in Atlanta. The Coca-Cola event of 1988 attracted about 17,000 people daily in the Winter Olympics of Calgary.
At present, trading pins are a symbol of every sport. Athletes, coaches and supporters take pride in displaying their pin badges. It is a way of showing their confidence in their teams. Likewise, viewers display their pins to express dedication and support to their favorite teams.