As the name implies, military coins are traditionally handed to military servicemen and police force. Coins are distribute during their graduation from training programs and to show unit brotherhood. The latter reason triggered a lot of non-military groups to adopt the tradition and distribute challenge coins to their members.
The National Football League (NFL) has a large fan base that crowd arenas during its events. The famed professional American football league takes part in the tradition by distributing challenge coins to fans. Instead of showcasing military insignia, NFL coins’ designs have each NFL teams’ logos and colors. Hardcore fans can purchase these coins to show their support for the team or use them for their own challenge coin games.
NASCAR, which showcases its own exciting racing events, also adopted the tradition as its famous drivers began promoting their own custom coins to fans. NASCAR stars like Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart, The Legendary Number 3, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and even entire teams sell their own coins to fans. Gordon is perhaps the most popular NASCAR driver with his version of military coins, which he gives to sick children during his visits. These coins become unique gifts and serve as encouragement for children fighting cancer.
Aside from individual stars and teams, three organizations collaborated to produce limited edition challenge coins. Each coin represents racing families like the Earnhardts, the Pettys, the Jarretts, and the Labontes.
World Series of Poker
World Series of Poker (WSOP) is known for handing bracelets to its titleholders while offering other items for fans. However, the poker league began to distribute challenge coins to show its appreciation to participants. Since these are exclusively handed to poker participants, coins are numbered to avoid duplication. Following the same WSOP design theme and branding, these coins become cool memorabilia for poker players who may not be lucky enough to take home a bracelet.
Utah Symphony and Opera
The Utah Symphony and Opera is a full-time orchestra based in Salt Lake City. The music group was once separate entities, the Utah Symphony and Utah opera, before they merged in 2002. Apart from making a name in the music industry, the performing group also became the first of its kind that distributed its version of military coins to members. The coin was given to its musicians and crew members as part of embracing the tradition.
Civil Air Patrol Cadets
The Civil Air Patrol is a civilian branch of United States Air Force. The organization trains cadets to support military services in the future. Being a group related to the military, the Civil Air Patrol also distributed challenge coins to its cadets. The coins feature the squadron’s patch, organization’s logo, and unit names to easily identify members.
Harley-Davidson Owners Group
Harley-Davidson is a famed motorcycle brand. In 2009, the Harley Owners Group decided to distribute coins to its members to showcase their bond, particularly in collecting the most magnificent bikes from the brand. The organization emphasized that its members share the same strong bond as servicemen, as represented by their military coins. Its coins have unique designs that suit the organization’s missions.
Breaking Bad Crew
The hit TV series “Breaking Bad” is reported to also have its coin version distributed to crew members. Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator, reportedly designed the coin personally. He made each coin special by using a unique design for each season. Its special Blu-ray set also comes with a challenge coin for people buying the entire series on discs.
Overall, many non-military organizations adopted the coin tradition. Their versions of military coins have unique designs that suit their brands and satisfy their fans’ need for special memorabilia.
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