Market Overview

Balfour Brings Innovation and Personalization to Backpacks Just in Time for Back to School


Balfour Brings Innovation and Personalization to Backpacks Just in Time for Back to School

New Assortment Offers Customizable Patches for Every Type of Student

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Balfour®, digital retailer and premier provider of school achievement products, has teamed up with top brands Timbuk2® and OGIO® to offer a new line of stylish backpacks that can be personalized with customizable and removable patches. 

In a market full of endless options, the Balfour ID® backpack line stands out with students and parents with its innovative, patent-pending Velcro surfaces and collection of interchangeable patches, giving students a new way to show off their personal style and amplify their achievements.

"Our product development team worked with students to understand their needs for back to school and the backpack continued to be the most important accessory and one of the first things they buy when they head into a new school year," said Justin Honea, Vice President of Product Innovation at Balfour. "We doubled down on this insight by offering a wide range of customizable patches, with options that are virtually endless, so their backpack can tell a different story every year—or even every day."

Balfour is first in the market to offer backpacks that can transition with a student, from pre-school and primary school to secondary school and even college. From sports and school activities, to hobbies and expressions, there are patches for every type of student, at every age. With the click of a button or through in-school representatives, students can pick from 100 patches with new collections being introduced frequently. In addition, Balfour is working to introduce new technology to allow students to create single-order custom patches for ultimate personalization.

"Students are always looking for ways to express their unique style," said Bob Myers, President and CEO of Balfour. "With this new personalization trend, we were inspired to create an innovative take on the traditional backpack – a back-to-school accessory that continues to be an important accessory for all students."

In partnership with the two leading brands in the backpack world, Balfour has manufactured best-in-class backpacks with quality materials at every price point. The OGIO® Raven entry-level bag is made of polyester and features a limited warranty. The Timbuk2® Uptown and Prospect bags are made of nylon fiber and come with a full lifetime warranty. Prices range from $39.99 to $139.99. Key features of each bag include:

The OGIO® Raven by Balfour ($39.99) offers convenient storage for textbooks and school supplies while keeping everything organized for quick, on-the-go access. Compartments include: spacious main pocket, front zip pocket, quick access side pocket, media pocket, laptop sleeve holding devices up to 15" and a water bottle sleeve. The Raven's front surface and straps feature full-coverage Velcro with room for more than 15 patches in varying sizes.

The Timbuk2® Uptown by Balfour® ($89.99) features a dual laptop and tablet sleeve for devices up to 15", spacious main pocket for textbooks, media storage pocket, accessories organizer for key and pens, water bottle sleeve, as well as other hidden compartments only accessible from inside the bag. The bag is complete with breathable mesh padding for the ultimate comfort in wear. With the Uptown's full-coverage Velcro front surface and straps, there's plenty of room to tell your story with Balfour patches.

The Timbuk2® Prospect backpack by Balfour® ($139.99) stands out with its unique roll-top closure, keeping all your valuables safe while providing weather protection. The bag includes compartments for a laptop up to 15" and a separate tablet sleeve. The water bottle sleeve and reflective panel feature on the front pocket helps this bag cater to the busy commuter. The front, roll-top closure and straps all feature Velcro areas ready for coordinating patches.

Embroidered patch designs such as emojis, hobbies and slogans start at $6 while chenille names and award letters similar to the traditional letterjacket style start at $18. The company's website showcases the full line of bags and patch collections in an online catalog at  

Visit to learn more.  

ABOUT BALFOUR: For more than a century, Balfour®, a division of American Achievement Corporation®, has celebrated the most meaningful moments in students' lives with products like class rings, yearbooks, letter jackets and graduation regalia. Balfour reaches students and school across the country and abroad through a variety of sales channels including in-school, online and retail distribution. With recent investments in digital technology, Balfour is innovating tradition with new offerings such as Encore™, the industry's first full-feature HTML5 software for yearbook creation, Balfour ID® backpacks, which feature patent-pending Velcro surfaces and a collection of interchangeable patches, and THRIVE, a new school and student enrichment program aimed at positively affecting campus culture. For more information, please visit the company's website at

ABOUT AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENT CORPORATION®: American Achievement Corporation operates under the brands Balfour®, ArtCarved®, Gaspard®, Keepsake® and Taylor Publishing Company®. With more than 1,200 employees in 10 facilities across North America, AAC is recognized as one of largest distributors of commemorative jewelry and recognition products.


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