Upcoming events

Donation goal

To track your fundraising efforts, you can add a donation goal to a page on your site. The donation goal gadget displays a progress bar that measures progress towards your financial goal.
Goal: $100.00
Collected: $0.00

Follow Us

Log in

HPPA Industry News

  • 28 Mar 2023 2:01 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Parker Stephens, formerly of T-Shirt Tycoon, has joined Zing Manufacturing as its regional sales director for Texas, serving industry distributors in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as well as the National Sales Manager for BDA.

  • 28 Mar 2023 1:49 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Proforma celebrated 2022’s sales performances at its Million Dollar Club event at The Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Ohio-based distributor hosted 350 of its owners and their guests, 45 supplier partners and more than 60 support center team members to mark close to $500 million in collective sales.

    • This year’s event was the largest Million Dollar Club event in the company’s history.
    • Individual companies within the Proforma community reported annual sales ranging from $1 million to almost $50 million in 2022.

    At the event’s awards ceremony, Proforma acknowledged the achievements of its top-performing distributor owners and supplier partners, as well as nearly 50 new and next-level members of the Million Dollar Club.

    “The best part about this event is having the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of success from the largest gathering of Million Dollar Club performers in the industry,” said Proforma Chief Sales Officer Greg Armstrong. “Also, the ideas exchanged about our technology and business support programs will continue to propel our distributor owners to future record-breaking growth and their next levels of achievement.”

  • 27 Mar 2023 11:41 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    As the pandemic slowly receded in 2022, promo pros helped clients of all stripes get back to business. Entries from the latest PPAI Pyramid Awards demonstrated the boundless creativity of the promo industry, as well as its ability to provide memorable experiences that yield measurable results.

    The PPAI Pyramid Awards, sponsored by Pacesetter Awards, have identified the leading achievement in promotional product marketing for more than 60 years. PPAI salutes the 2023 winners, chosen from campaigns created between April 1, 2021, and April 1, 2022, for the innovative and forward-thinking programs they developed to help clients build lasting and lucrative relationships with customers and end users.

    Here, we take a closer look at 12 winners of this year’s competition for client programs.

    Business-to-Business Programs

    Gold Winner: Cliff Quicksell Associates

    Cliff Quicksell Associates drafted the “Make It A Home Run With KMK” program direct mail campaign to “pitch” the client’s team as a new baseball season approached. The program targeted 100 prospects with a goal of 25% making a sales appointment with the client. A box decorated inside and out with custom baseball graphics was filled with custom baseball cards of each member of the KMK team that listed relevant “stats” and experience, plus logoed baseballs signed by the salesperson sending the kit. Each box was equipped with a custom light-activated sound chip that, when opened, played a series of ballpark souds: an umpire yelling “Play ball!”, the crack of a bat, a crowd cheering and an announcer declaring “That’s a home run!” The multi-sensory box produced an 80% appointment rate, generating 52 new clients at a cost of $86.54 each – a home run, indeed.

    Silver Winner: Cliff Quicksell Associates


    When the client wanted a low-cost, high-visibility direct mail piece to reactivate 79 dormant accounts, Cliff Quicksell Associates created a punny puzzle to physically engage recipients with their message. The loose pieces were delivered in a custom box bearing a teaser on the outside to build intrigue and an invitation to schedule a meeting on the inside lid, featuring the sender’s business card. Underneath the puzzle pieces inside the box was a printed maze bearing the slogan, “We can start you on the right path to improve your bottom line.” Once assembled, the puzzle let the recipient know, “We have all the pieces to elevate your marketing.” Nearly 9 in 10 recipients said they assembled their puzzle, and the program beat the standard 2-4% return for direct mail, achieving an outstanding 68% engagement that ultimately yielded 17 reactivated accounts (31.4%) – far exceeding the client’s goal.



    Client Branding Programs

    Gold Winner: Hillary’s

    Construction company Greiner engaged the promotional professionals of Hillary’s to fully refresh their brand. The project, which began in January 2020 and launched fully in September 2021, encompassed everything from the company’s logo and companion graphics to a tagline, website redesign and branded products to promote the updated look and feel of the company and its marketing. Although the scope and length of the project expanded beyond initial expectations, Greiner was pleased with the insights gained into their position in the market, as well as the broad range of practical and functional promotional products that reflect the brand in memorable ways for a variety of end users, from hard hats and notebooks to a snack gift box and portable speaker.



    Consumer Programs

    Gold Winner: IMAGEN Inc.


    IMAGEN Inc. helped entertainment website Fandor re-establish itself as “The Home for Cinephiles,” attracting and engaging users with the goal of growing its paying subscriber base. Fandor-branded prizes were awarded to trivia contest winners to make wearing and carrying Fandor gear a badge of honor for cinephiles wanting to show off their knowledge of film. IMAGEN helped the client curate a diverse yet cohesive collection of items to offer multiple Fandor-branded options. An online Fandor Gift Store allowed winners to select their gift, enter their address and submit their selection for fulfillment – all handled by IMAGEN. Through the use of the carefully selected branded merchandise, in conjunction with regular online trivia contests and other activities over the course of seven months, Fandor more than doubled its online community activity, grew its membership base and increased premium paid memberships by 10%.

    Silver Winner: WHOOPLA


    WHOOPLA helped Agency Guacamole and Matrix hair care invite 125 social media influencers to try the Unbreak My Blonde hair care product line and post about it to generate buzz. The client wanted an interactive “Break in Case of Hair Emergency” box, similar to a fire alarm box. The emergency glass component raised safety concerns, but the WHOOPLA team came up with a paperboard box with perforated lid and custom insert tray to hold the products. The box was fully sealed, so the only way to open it was to “break” the top of the box, which was designed to “break” in a shattered glass pattern. A small mallet was included to enhance the experience. The campaign reached nearly 4 million people through high engagement on TikTok and Instagram, with over 400,000 views for the top TikTok video.



    Educational Programs

    Gold Winner: Arid Zone


    Arid Zone designed Kinder Kits, a bright and engaging collection of resources for 3-year-old children, for the Victoria State Government Department of Education & Training in Australia. The kits were distributed to about 60,000 kindergarten students to encourage learning at home through play. An expert panel evaluated the kit packaging and contents to ensure that everything was age-appropriate, safe, engaging and inclusive, and the multi-use activity case was designed to be both robust and light enough for a child to carry. Contents included colored markers with washable ink, a whiteboard panel and eraser, and an animal magnet puzzle – all intended to help recipients develop language skills, social skills, emotional expression and creativity. Feedback from Early Childhood Services and recipient families was extremely positive, and funds have been approved to extend the program for two more years.



    Employee Incentive & Recognition Programs

    Silver Winner: IICON Creative Strategies


    The leadership team at Carpenters Local 494 Skilled Trade Union in Windsor, Ontario, Canada wanted to reconnect on a personal level with as many of the more than 500 active members as possible and thank them for their dedication and loyalty. IICON Creative Strategies had previously developed Local 494’s winged logo to appeal to the many motorcycle enthusiasts among the membership, and they built on the previous year’s well-received Union Made in Canada full zip hoodie with a “Welcome Home” campaign featuring new long-sleeved tees and beanies. IICON sourced the union-made garments from a Canadian manufacturer, and the beanie featured a small red maple leaf label to acknowledge the union’s Canadian roots. Union leadership was delighted that roughly 90% of members attended the event, held at the union hall shortly before Christmas 2021, to claim their gifts and visit with fellow members.



    Internal Communication Programs

    Gold Winner: Martket Branding


    Visier, a workforce planning software company, engaged Martket Branding to help introduce the company’s five key values – Roll up our sleeves, Play to win, Never stop learning, Make it easy and Be proud – to its 500 employees. The values were launched at a company-wide meeting, and Visier employees were invited to order a variety of fun and functional products celebrating those values. The branded apparel and accessories include five T-shirts, one for each value; a clear tumbler with straw; a five-pack of pens (plus bookmark), each highlighting a different value; hoodies; a ring light and cellphone holder; and a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Martket Branding built and manages the online shop and fulfillment across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and the values collection drew more than 450 orders in its first year.



    Not-For-Profit Programs

    Gold Winner: Render Ad Service


    Render Ad Service helped the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association and Henry County Sheriff’s Office launch a community car show to raise money for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes nonprofit organization, which supports at-risk children. The event committee wanted a distinctive award to create buzz and attract participants. Render Ad Service recommended a full-sized basketball, autographed by former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who had agreed to donate $5,000 as a grand prize, as the trophy. A local news station reported that the top 25 cars would receive an autographed basketball, and calls came from around the Southeast to enter. The venue lot was filled, with 550 cars entering the contest and more than 1,500 people attending. The fun, all-ages event raised $32,000 – over three times the original goal – and will be held annually in a much larger venue.

    Silver Winner: Martket Branding


    Martket Branding designed and produced custom playing cards for the BC Hydro Power Pioneers, a nonprofit group representing more than 5,000 BC Hydro retirees and their families in western Canada. The goal of the product was threefold: to provide a unique and engaging way to preserve and share the legacy of the utility company’s history; provide members with a safe, stay-at-home activity during COVID-19; and to raise money for BC Children’s Hospital. Each of the 54 playing cards, printed on premium casino-grade linen playing card stock, features interesting historical facts and imagery. More than 100 decks were sold online via the PowerPioneersGear.com shop; another 200 decks were sold or gifted to museums, libraries and community groups; and all sales proceeds were donated to BC Children’s Hospital.



    Social Responsibility Programs

    Gold Winner: Arid Zone


    The Kinder Kits designed by Arid Zone, a bright and engaging collection of resources for 3-year-old children in Australia, were also recognized for sustainability. In addition to ensuring that everything was age-appropriate, safe, engaging and inclusive, the kits were also carefully designed and sourced to be as durable and eco-friendly as possible. The Arid Zone team spent six months sourcing recycled and recyclable materials that also met strict compliance standards. For example, the kit’s custom washable markers designed especially for small hands were made from recycled plastics and filled with washable ink. The final product was 100% carbon neutral thanks to carbon offsets, with the credits benefitting the Tasmanian Native Forest Protection project of Australia. The colorful case received high praise for its engaging, functional and environmentally-friendly design.

    Silver Winner: The Dunstan Group


    After its successful survival kit program, Duke Energy again engaged The Dunstan Group to supply vulnerable customers with tools to keep up with critical alerts, call for help or report an outage if a storm knocked out electricity to their homes. The Dunstan Group helped select and deliver 7,000 handheld emergency tools (weather radio with LED flashlight, power bank, solar and hand crank power) branded with the Duke Energy logo to customers in coastal Florida and the Carolinas at the start of hurricane season. Also provided was a manual including a phone number and directions in English and Spanish to report outages. By sourcing a multi-function product likely to be put in a prominent location and used as part of storm preparation and recovery, rather than kept in a drawer, The Dunstan Group helped Duke Energy boost brand awareness and make sure its customers know their power provider and how to reach them.

  • 26 Mar 2023 7:35 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Next Level Apparel has partnered with Grupo M, a leading textile manufacturer based in the Dominican Republic, to provide nearshore production while supporting NLA’s move to 100% U.S. cotton for its entire apparel line.

    The Partnership

    NLA, which specializes in designing, manufacturing and supplying premium blank apparel – announced that this strategic partnership “will bring production closer to home for improved speed-to-market, decreased geopolitical risk and increased supply chain transparency, including upstream traceability of the cotton it uses.”

    NLA and Grupo M are aligned on key priorities: providing global partners and customers with apparel that prioritizes ethical and sustainable production.

    “With our premium products, our customers not only look good, but they also can feel good about how those products are sourced,” says NLA CEO Randy Hales. “As part of our ethos, we seek like-minded suppliers who prioritize sustainability and uphold equally high standards. This exciting partnership with Grupo M is another step forward in our longstanding commitment to supply chain visibility and accountability.”

    Ongoing Commitment

    NLA has been committed to quality and socially conscious operations since its founding in 2003.

    • NLA recently announced a partnership with Oritain to provide origin verification for its worldwide cotton program through cutting-edge science. NLA is an approved member of the Fair Labor Association, committed to upholding its Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing throughout its global supply chain.
    • The company has also partnered with Better Work – a comprehensive program bringing together all levels of the garment industry to improve working conditions – on a factory, national and international level, and has received Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production certification for its factories.

    “We are thrilled to collaborate with NLA to offer nearshore production while furthering our shared visions of innovation and transparency,” says Grupo M President Fernando Capellán. “We appreciate Next Level Apparel’s passion, enthusiasm and diligence in bringing the highest quality products to its customers while being equally committed to ethical and responsible sourcing.”
  • 21 Mar 2023 12:33 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Building upon the success of its very popular snack boxes, Maple Ridge Farms announced the release of eight new snack boxes this week.  Maple Ridge Farms, Mosinee, WI, now offers eleven unique snack boxes with prices ranging from $20 (c) to $50 (c). These exciting new options can be viewed at MapleRidge.com/Snack-Boxes.

    Each snack box contains a wide variety of popular snacks including Chex Mix®, Kind® bars, and Famous Amos® cookies. We include themes like Breakfast Box, Energy Booster, and Let’s Play!  A full color custom label is placed on each box to boost your next promotion.

    Opportunities for these snack boxes are endless:

    • Employee Meetings
    • Work-at-Home Employee Engagement
    • Virtual Event Breakfast Meetings
    • Referral Gifts
    • Onboarding New Employees
    • Room Drops
    • Conventions
    • Golf Outings
    • Student Appreciation
    • Client Thank-you's

    Tom Riordan, President of Maple Ridge Farms, explained, “Adding the original set of snack boxes to our lineup has been so successful that it was only natural to build upon it.”

    Located in Mosinee, WI, Maple Ridge Farms, Inc., (ASI 68680, PPAI 114165, UPIC: MAPLE, SAGE 57654), founded in 1979, is the leading supplier of food gifts to the promotional products industry. Recognized for outstanding freshness, the line includes a complete variety of candies, premium chocolates, fresh-roasted nuts, made-from-scratch baked goods, naturally aged cheeses, and smoked meats presented in innovative packaging.

  • 19 Mar 2023 6:32 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Patagonia is back.

    Almost two years after announcing it would no longer authorize the addition of brand logos on its products, the popular outdoor apparel retailer has shifted course. Beginning this spring it will allow limited brand embroidery off of the front of its garments, such as on the arm or beneath the neck.

    Riverside, Rhode Island-headquartered Driving Impressions is the supplier of Patagonia products to corporate markets and the promotional products industry. It first announced the retailer’s shifting course in an email to distributor clients on Thursday.

    “The reason [Patagonia] made this decision is that they have developed new solutions to either remove, repair, or repurpose embroidered Patagonia products, to better extend their usable lifespan, and to keep them out of the landfill. This program will be offered on a limited basis,” the email stated.

    A Complicated Relationship

    Famously vocal about its planet-first mission, Patagonia has long had an uneasiness doing business in the promotional products marketplace.

    • In 2018, it briefly took the stance of only allowing B-Corporations to co-brand its products. That quickly changed, and Patagonia instructed brands to only decorate the sleeve or back of the garment. 
    • By 2019, Patagonia’s corporate sales catalog noted, “For each order, we require disclosure as to the type of company whose name will appear on the Patagonia product and how the product will be used.”
    • In April 2021, the company stated “Patagonia respects the power of all company logos. Every organization, business and group we work with is doing its own part to improve our planet’s future, and those efforts endow each logo with a very worthy set of values. We’ve also found that adding a logo to any Patagonia product significantly shortens its lifespan – specifically, by limiting its use to business hours or a person’s tenure at a single company or organization.”
    • Removal decoration options, such as logoed zipper pulls, woven hem tags and patches, were offered by Driving Impressions and will remain as options.
    • The new requirements move Patagonia closer to its stance before the spring of 2021. Projects will continue to be accepted on a per-order basis, with Patagonia reserving the right to approve.
    • The supplier suggests submitting the end-buyer and its website for pre-approval before pitching the Patagonia brand to any customer.

    Not Gone Completely

    After Patagonia banned on-garment logos, Driving Impressions continued to provide blank apparel to distributors providing that Patagonia approved the client and project.

    What Next?

    Driving Impressions’ email to clients says that “In the coming months, Patagonia will begin to accept qualified styles into their Worn Wear program that have logos added to them. Customers will be issued store credit. Items with logos will need to be altered, so the price uou will be offered is different from standard pricing. The anticipated launch for this program is Spring 2023.”

    Industry Reaction

    Because of Patagonia’s quality products and sustainability story, it remains popular with many end-buyers.

    “Clients want it because their brand message is something that companies want to associate with,” says Scott Boyages, CAS, a Geiger distributor in Massachusetts. “I think a lot of Patagonia product will be sold through our industry moving forward. I don’t think the imprint location will make too much of a difference.”

    In the two years since Patagonia pulled back from the promo industry, distributors have no doubt found other options for well-made outdoor apparel.

    Boyages says, “It’s not my favorite brand to sell, that’s for sure. Too many hoops to jump through.”

  • 16 Mar 2023 10:39 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    SanMar has announced the addition of a new distribution center in Ashland, Virginia, approximately 16 miles north of Richmond. The facility is SanMar's ninth distribution center in the United States and marks a major initial investment in the Greater Richmond area.

    • The new Ashland facility comprises 1.1 million square feet of capacity. The company hired its first employees in Ashland in February.
    • This new location will be SanMar's largest distribution center and serve as the flagship facility for the company's East Coast distributions. The company has committed a minimum investment of $50 million to bolster its deep inventory and shipping capabilities and its longstanding commitment to meeting the needs of customers nationwide with reliable service.
    • “We are really excited about the Virginia distribution center," says Jeremy Lott, CEO of SanMar. "It will be our largest building and employ over 1,000 people when fully built out. We are investing significantly in advanced material handling systems but won't be fully functional until later next year. Our 50-plus-year commitment to deep inventories continues with the growth of the business and this building.”
  • 15 Mar 2023 11:13 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Over 1,100 distributor partners and preferred suppliers attended the Facilisgroup 2023 Supplier Showcase held Dallas last week.

    • The event centered around a two-day tradeshow exclusively showcasing the 60+ suppliers that comprise the Facilisgroup Preferred Supplier network.
    • Additionally, members of the Facilisgroup community were celebrated as part of the 14th Annual TASA Awards, recognizing top performing distributors, suppliers and sales reps.
    Winners include:
    • Partner of the Year: Brandito
    • Supplier of the Year: Gemline
    • The Facilis Cares Award: (Distributor – McCabe Promotional) (Supplier – PCNA)
    • Finance Person of the Year: Christine Cardinal with Gorilla Marketing
    • CSR of the Year: Malinda McKinnon with HF Custom Solutions
    • The Randy Shippam Award: Kevin Mullaney with Brandito
    • The Inspire Award: Amy McCray with Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Product Group
  • 15 Mar 2023 11:06 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Zing Manufacturing has relocated its operations to a newly created state-of-the-art facility in Phoenix.

    Zing, which offers laser engraving for promo products such as beverage insulators, key tags, electronics, knives, sporting goods and many others, reached an agreement with S’well in 2021 to become the exclusive provider of the brand’s premium, vacuum-insulated, reusable products. In the last few months, it has also announced the additions of new brands such as Built and Anker.

    As the supplier has grown in size and offerings, a bigger facility has become a necessity.

    The New Facility

    Zing plans to move into their new Phoenix facility March 17-20.

    • The supplier is relocating from a facility in Tempe, Arizona.
    As part of the facility upgrade, Zing plans to continue its focus in areas such as:
    • Robotics and automation.
    • Warehousing, kitting and fulfillment programs.
    The secure warehouse will include a containment area that provides storage for high-end products. The shipping and receiving area includes 15 bays for large, high-volume production orders.
    • Zing will be hosting virtual tours in their new facility in late March. (Sign-up information will be sent out by the company).
    • Production will be closed Friday, March 17 and will reopen on Tuesday, March 21.
    • During the move, rush services will not be available.
    • Sales and customer service will be available (sales@zingmfg.com) during the move if any questions arise.
    • PromoStandards-integrated customers could see downtime on the night of March 17, while Zing’s servers move to the new location, but this downtime is expected to be minimal.

    Will This Affect Orders In The Short Term?

    No orders will be impacted by the move, as Zing’s order system scheduled orders around the move.

    The move will have the following minor implications:

    As part of the facility upgrade, Zing plans to continue its focus in areas such as:

    The secure warehouse will include a containment area that provides storage for high-end products. The shipping and receiving area includes 15 bays for large, high-volume production orders.

    “We’ll miss our friends and community in Tempe,” says Rob Watson, vice president of Zing. “We’ve enjoyed their support for nearly seven years. But, with growth comes change. And now, we get to build new amaZING partnerships in our expanded facility and become your top source for drinkware, tech products and gift sets.”

    Watson also spoke on the size upgrade and potential for the new facility compared to their former operations location.

    “The new Zing HQ is three times our current production square footage and with its massively high ceilings, affords us over 25% vertical expansion to warehouse more inventory for high-volume opportunities as well as quick ship and on-demand fulfillment programs for our distributor partners,” says Watson.

  • 13 Mar 2023 11:07 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Sarah Goshgarian Unruh, CAS, has joined Sock101 as chief rainmaker (aka CRO). A former educator that joined the promotional product industry in 2008 as a distributor, Unruh has served the industry most recently as the vice president of business development at OrderMyGear.

    Before her role with OMG, she was the vice president of sales at Logomark. She currently serves on the Promotional Product Association Southwest (PPAS) Board and is an active member of CHIEF.

    "I am ecstatic to join the Sock101 Team at such a pivotal time," Unruh said. "Sock101 is an award-winning supplier that continues to impress the industry. I am committed to focusing on growth while maintaining a customer-centric approach. Together with Kelly and our dynamic team, I'm excited and honored to lead the team to the next level of near-term growth and long-term success."

    Unruh will spearhead scaling and driving growth by reshaping the go-to-market strategy, and developing a future workforce to capture both organic and net new business expansion on a national level. She will commercialize the business and accelerate growth by driving integration with marketing and evolving the core competencies of the existing sales force.

    "We are very excited to have Sarah joining the Sock101 team," said Sock101 owner Kelly Yarborough. "She is very knowledgeable, and will help to bring our company to new heights and reach company goals."

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software