Oscar swag bags have become a thing of legend over the past decade or so. Nominees and presenters get “bags” teeming with gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars. Past swag has included a safari in Botswana worth $15,580, a KitchenAid mixer studded with Swarovski crystals and 22K gold paint, a $15,000 party from Disaronno Italian liqueur, and a day of boxing training with Joe Frazier. It’s all quite swanky, if unnecessary.
Equally exclusive, but not quite as swanky, is the embroidered sweatshirt each nominee gets. Since 1988, stars who gather for the annual Oscar luncheon not only get to network with the other nominees, they also receive a warm reminder of their success—or perhaps a bitter reminder of their failure. The style varies from year to year, but each one comes custom-embroidered with the nominee’s name and the category they were nominated in. Some years have included a list of all nominees for the year. Some years have even included Oscar hats.
If you’re coveting a unique but affordable piece of Oscar swag, the sweatshirt may just be the thing for you. They occasionally appear on eBay, and sometimes they’re even handed out randomly to the non-Hollywood elite: Last year, Academy president Tom Sherak was escorting Oscar statuettes on a United flight from Chicago, where the awards are made, to L.A. He let one ride with him in first class, allowed passengers to take pictures of it, and gave everyone on the plane an Oscar-shaped chocolate. The man sitting in the 84th seat of the plane also received an Oscar sweatshirt in honor of the 84th annual Academy Awards.