(Editor’s Note: PromoWire by PPAI Media is a running digest of news releases and updates submitted from organizations around the promotional products industry. PPAI Media edits these only slightly, including for length, and will consider newsworthy entries from any member organization.)

January 30, 2023

PCNA Introduces Six New Retail Brands

PCNA (PPAI 113079, S15) is offering distributors six new retail brands, including two Certified B Corporations -- businesses that balance purpose and profit by considering their impact on workers, customers, community and the environment.

  • Terra Thread makes backpacks for conscious consumers and corporations, manufacturing bags from certified organic cotton in a Fair Trade Certified factory.
  • Nimble is the world’s first tech hardware brand with a 100% sustainable business model.
  • Silipint makes patented, BPA-free, 100% food grade-tested and unbreakable silicone drinkware.
  • Rite in the Rain is a patented, environmentally responsible, All-Weather Writing Paper that repels water in wet, rainy conditions.
  • Baronfig is a Made In USA, 100% employee-owned brand for well-crafted executive pens.
  • Noshinku makes refillable pocket hand sanitizer free of synthetic chemicals.
  • The new brand partners will help distributors support two closely related trends that are reshaping the industry: corporate social responsibility and premium gifts from retail brands.

January 27, 2023

Koozie Group Exceeds Keep It. Give It. (KG) Factor Goal

Koozie Group (PPAI 114187, S13) has announced that 77% of its product assortment – a total of 1,944 items – has earned the organization’s KG Factor designation, which identifies products whose designs lessen environmental impact through longevity. The company’s goal was to reach the 50% mark by 2024.

  • Since late 2020, the supplier has been working with a third-party, Hanover Research, to conduct impartial end-user surveys to identify KG Factor items. The initiative is part of Koozie Group’s product strategy as it relates to their social impact and sustainability commitment called Keep It. Give It.
  • “Our sustainability approach for product development is rooted in longevity,” says Pierre Montaubin, chief product and sustainability officer. “We know not all products or components can be made from recycled materials, so we are focused on maximizing brand impressions and creating quality, lasting products that don’t end up in a landfill.”
  • Cumulatively, Hanover Research gathered responses from 25,729 men and women ages 18-75+ from all 50 states and household incomes. Participants viewed items from Koozie Group’s assortment and answered questions to determine what they would do if they received the product, why they would take that action, and how long they would keep the item. Products that received a minimum score based on these answers received the KG Factor designation.

The Magnet Group Announces 2022 Award Winners

The Magnet Group (PPAI 338534, S11) has announced Robin Daniel as its 2022 Sales Rep of the Year and Tonya Cochran as its 2022 Fran Ford Award Winner.

The 2022 Sales Rep of the Year award is given to the individual whose region has not only had the largest increase in sales but also has sustained that growth and been exceptional over their tenure at TMG. “Robin Daniel joined our team in 2019 and has been nothing short of spectacular since day one,” says Joe Huber, TMG National Sales Manager.

The annual Fran Ford Award recognizes The Magnet Group employee who embodies the outstanding characteristics that defined Fran Ford: being a great friend, a valuable mentor and a willing volunteer in and outside of the promotional products industry. Cochran was nominated by a handful of TMG teammates, recognizing her not only for her strengths within her local community, but especially for her dedication to her fellow coworkers and the overall success of The Magnet Group.

MiPPA TOM Show Sets Records

Last week’s MiPPA TOM Show at the San Marino Club in Troy, Michigan set multiple records and reflected the full extent of the return of live events and trade shows.

  • This year’s show set a new distributor attendance record, hosting 314 distributors for the four-hour show. “Forget about ‘pre-pandemic,’ says Paul Kiewiet, MAS+, executive director of MiPPA. “This show set an all-time attendance record for us.”
  • The show also set records in another department: charity giveback. All attendees were encouraged to clean out their pantries, closets and sample rooms for a food, coat and fund drive to support Neighborhood House, a local resource that provides warm clothing and food to those in need in southeast Michigan. “We raised $200, over 50 pounds of food and nearly 1,000 garments to feed and clothe those in need,” says Paul Gualtieri MAS, of HALO.

January 26, 2023

NC Custom’s Deborah Gaspar Elected To SAAGNY Foundation Board

Deborah Gaspar, VP of marketing at NC Custom (PPAI 111662, S7), has been elected a Trustee of the SAAGNY (Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York) Foundation Board.

  • In this role, Gaspar will aid the Foundation’s mission to connect with and support the local tri-state communities through charitable activities. She started her Trustee position on January 1, 2023 and will hold the position for the next three years.
  • “I am very honored to be elected to the SAAGNY Foundation Board,” says Gaspar. “I am so fortunate to work with such amazing distributors and partners day in and day out in our local region. I am so excited to give back to an industry that has provided me with so much personal and professional fulfillment over the years and benefits so many communities in our region!”
  • Many of the Foundation’s efforts focus on fundraising to support children’s causes, including a sleepaway camp for children with cancer and a volunteering event at a school for children with variety of learning, social and emotional difficulties. The SAAGNY Foundation also grants college scholarships to members of the SAAGNY community.

MediaTree Announces Partnership with Square

MediaTree (PPAI 192068, S6) is launching “Shop Local” in partnership with Square (Block, Inc.), the small business tool powering payments and gift cards for millions of merchants nationwide.

  • As an authorized Square Gift Card Marketplace, MediaTree will now offer a robust digital reward catalog that includes 200+ popular national retailers and thousands of local gift card options based on the recipient's location.
  • With a simple zip code lookup, recipients can now find merchants in their area and select a digital gift card for their favorite businesses. Hometown pizzerias, coffee shops, bakeries, small businesses and services abound with Square's network of local merchants.
  • “We are very excited to be launching this new platform as we believe delivering promotional products through sustainable services is important to each and every one of us within this industry,” says Brian Duran, vice president of sales & marketing at MediaTree. “Through this new partnership, our community within the promotional products industry now has the opportunity to support local businesses across the country while giving the recipient choice in selecting their own favorite merchant to shop with.”