Cave City Watermelon Festival

Case Study:

What is the Cave City Watermelon Festival?

People have been coming from all over the world since 1980 to try the “World’s Sweetest Watermelons” in Cave City, Arkansas. Now, in their 40th year, the watermelon festival is the largest festival in the region and has been voted as one of Arkansas’ best festivals. While watermelons are still at the center of the celebration, CCWF also features a parade, car show, live music, and more.

CCWF's Challenges

Cave City Watermelon Festival has been selling merchandise since day one. Since 1980, they’ve run the entire gamut of poor merchandise experiences, including
unprofessional artwork, bad customer service, slow turnaround times, poor-quality printing, cheap products, etc. Along with these obstacles, they also struggled to know what styles to order or how much to order.

All of these challenges added up to every festivals worst nightmare: little to no profits.

Ink is simply good people. They deliver exactly what they say they will. The shirts are good quality, the printing is gorgeous, and the artwork is amazing.

Above all, you can tell that they care most about their customers. They absolutely want to produce a good product, which they do, but Ink is about much, much more than that.

Julie Johnson

Festival Committee Chairwoman

Ink’s Position

Since 1988, Ink has been working with special events and festivals to design and decorate retail-quality products. Some of the largest events we’ve had the pleasure of working with have been Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, UCA World’s Cheerleading Competitions, and the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest.

When CCWF responded to a Facebook advertisement, they were looking for a company that they could be more profitable with. They also needed custom artwork, and wanted to work with a company that was large enough to handle their volumen quickly on initial orders and re-orders. 

Making a Plan

Combining our Event Retail experience with CCWF’s passionate audience that was hungry for merchandise, we knew there was an opportunity to grow their sales significantly. We helped them with every aspect of merchandising, from sourcing trendy products to finding the right design trends that fit their audience, while keeping everything inside their budget the whole way. They loved the first batch of artwork so much, that they ended up saving some of the designs for the following year. When it came time to order, we were also able to give helpful insight on the right quantity numbers to order in each size using data from other festivals we’ve worked with.

Measuring Success

Before Ink, they averaged selling 500 shirts a year. The profits were minimal, and their measure of success was to basically break even. Since partnering with Ink 4 years ago, they have seen a dramatic rise in number of shirts sold, with over 2,000 shirts sold in 2019. To sum up 4 years of working with Ink, “the numbers just keep going up every year.”

Cave City Watermelon Festival is finally selling the amount of merchandise you would expect out of a festival that is so special and a group of people that work so hard. We’re thrilled to be a part of their success.

Ink is a proven partner for festivals, competitions, and special events.

Years of Partnership

Average Annual Shirts Sold Before Ink

Shirts Sold in 2019


Cave City Shirt Sales Growth