2021 Wrap-Up: 7 Feel-Good Promo Stories From the Year
As another tough year winds down, it's good to reflect on some of the moments of positivity from the last 12 months. There were certainly plenty within the greater promotional products industry. Don't believe us? Here are seven stories we covered this year that hit us right in the feels, boosted our faith in humanity, earned a respectful tip of the cap, or just about any other overused phrase regarding happiness that we can think of. May they lift your spirits once more as we head into 2022!
American hurdler Christina Clemons achieved her dream of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team, and she did so in style. When cameras zoomed in on Clemons' face to see her reaction, fans took note of her earrings, which were modeled after Doritos bags.
Does it mean Doritos is the new breakfast of champions? That's up for debate. (We say yes.)
After winning a Golden Globe for his eponymous role on "Ted Lasso," Jason Sudeikis sparked conversation with his tie-dyed sweatshirt. It turns out it was a promo sweatshirt for his sister's business, and he was using his moment in the international spotlight to show her some love and maybe send a few new customers her way.
Restaurants and bars took a big hit during the pandemic. Once vaccines became available, it became easier for people to dine in again and support their favorite spots. Miller Lite did its part by making it easy to receive a jab without having to roll up your sleeves, while donating proceeds from the shirt's sale to benefit restaurant workers.
Oatly, one of the biggest names in oat milk, flexed its sustainability muscles by releasing 10 one-of-a-kind jackets and a line of T-shirts made from upcycled materials. This practice has caught on with others in the food and drink industry—not only upcycling old merchandise to save it from landfills, but offering some of the pieces at rates higher than usual for promotional goods.
In 2020, we all got (way too) familiar with remote events. Throughout 2021, it was no longer out of the ordinary to get an invite to an event that didn't require any travel at all. Heck, you might even be able to wear sweatpants the whole time!
In early 2021, before live events resumed, one distributor told us about how she made a virtual client event feel personal and special through a branded kit of products.
SwagCycle, a program introduced by Grossman Marketing Group, worked with companies across the U.S. and abroad, receiving donations of obsolete or unused promotional products and repurposing them by donating them to charitable foundations like the United Way, or the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. The results of the program's first year-or-so in action: 60,418 items kept out of landfills and $168,922.18 in charitable donations.
Forward Madison FC, a soccer team based in Madison, Wisconsin, created a jersey for the team that featured a QR code on the back. When fans scanned the QR code, they could buy a beer for a fan at the club's stadium. It allowed fans from Wisconsin and London alike to share in the fun of soccer, and the jersey design is pretty great, too.
Check back in tomorrow for the next 2021 wrap-up. Thanks for reading!