Trump spent nearly half a million dollars on hats (and nothing on TV ads)

Lynsey Barber
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Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Albany, NY
Trump's hats send a message and bring in money to the campaign (Source: Getty)

Can hats win elections? One man certainly thinks so.

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has spent almost half a million dollars on hats to promote his bid for the White House, new campaign spending records reveal.

Of the $18.5m cash Trump splashed on campaigning in July, more than $420,000 went on hats, featuring now-famous slogans such as "Make America great again", while until this month, the former Apprentice presenter spent not a single dollar on TV advertising.

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The spending on hats was just $26,000 short of the amount Trump spent on staff payroll costs, according to the figures, and in total, merchandise such as mugs,stickers and t-shirts landed Trump with a bill of roughly $1.4m.

While Trump has until now eschewed the traditional TV ad, the records show $8.4m - around 45 per cent of the month's total campaign spending - went to an online design and marketing firm.

The hat business, however, is a lucrative one.

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Thanks to mark ups on such products, the Trump campaign has already brought in $1.3m in net revenue from merchandise sales as of May, according to analysis by Business of Fashion, adding additional funding to Trump's campaigning war chest.

The one company to cash on the hat's is the California-based Cali-Fame Headwear, which makes them. While he may be adding jobs at home, an interview with its owners by the LA Times last year noted 80 per cent of its workforce is Latino. Trump on Saturday sat down with Latino community leaders from across the country to try and ramp up support after a string of controversial remarks on immigration.

Meanwhile, July's figures show Trump's spending more than doubled on the previous month, hitting an all-time high as polling day edges closer, but it still lags behind rival Hillary Clinton's and, in fact, any presidential hopeful in recent elections. Clinton splashed $38.2m in July.

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