June 1, 2008

THE COLLEGE DEMOGRAPHIC has long provided inspiration for artists, musicians, activists, sports enthusiasts, and as of late, presidential candidates. This important crowd is also where most designers and fashion-industry insiders who know anything about anything go to for creative guidance. If co-eds are wearing it, talking on it or riding in it, it will surely survive. In the case of promotional collegiate apparel, which has traditionally been regulated to the all-too-familiar sweatshirt/sweatpants/jeans/T-shirt/baseball cap/sneakers ensemble, there seems to be a rise in a trend toward more fashionable clothing. And these fashions outfit students (and their parents) in stylish selections from dusk ’til dawn. FROM

June 1, 2008

EVERY SCHOOL YEAR brings with it a graduating class, a new batch of fresh-faced students and simultaneously, the sense of starting all over again. Educational institutions subsequently need to “restock” with incoming students, and revamped marketing initiatives can be just the thing to attract the next star quarterback or future valedictorian. Promo Marketing asked Ilene Wilder, director of marketing and business development at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, about the needs of such a sprawling institution. “My primary responsibility is to create and execute marketing plans to support the business initiatives of the [business services] division,” she explained. “In addition, I manage new

S&S Activewear Celebrates 20 Years with Open House
May 6, 2008

On April 25, S&S Activewear, a leading distributor of imprintable sportswear, celebrated its 10th annual open house with approximately 1,950 guests at its headquarters in Bolingbrook, Ill. In addition to thanking all customers and vendor partners, S&S Activewear used this year’s open house to commemorate its 20th year in business with special anniversary promotions and giveaways. The event also offered guests the opportunity to see firsthand the company’s new products for 2008, meet employees and talk directly with manufacturers in a trade-show format featuring 38 booths—a record number of participants for the event. According to Margaret Crow, marketing director for S&S Activewear, the continued

May 1, 2008

RETAIL TRENDS HAVE been inching their way into the promotional apparel market for some time now, but none have made quite as much headway as urban wear (comparatively speaking, of course). For the past two years especially, it’s been the embodiment of what is considered fashion-forward in the current market, and is showing no signs of fatigue. To help distributors ride the wave successfully, Promo Marketing has developed a primer for integrating the latest urban trends into today’s apparel promotions. LESSON 1: MARKING TERRITORY The argument’s as old as that one about the chicken and the egg. The demand for trendy

May 1, 2008

ONCE UPON A time, in a fashion industry not-so-far away, wafer-thin models became the norm. “Heroin chic” inched its way into the cultural lexicon and Hollywood’s red carpet grew lousy with actresses the approximate width of a coat hanger. Women knew they had waists. Curves, too. But clothes that accentuated—or even acknowledged—these shapes did not exist. In an equally nonsensical dimension, promotional apparel cornered the market on the opposite end of the spectrum: the shapeless, one-size-fits-all garment. Despite the fact that “one size” fit no one particularly well, it became standard fare. And women’s curves were thwarted again. Yet, in 2008, hope

Dry Goods
May 1, 2008

Moisture-wicking fabric wins the performance-wear popularity contest. APERSON ONLY has to consider the steadiness of antiperspirant and umbrella sales in this country to know that, from a comfort standpoint, an overabundance of moisture just isn’t OK for the average human. Maybe it’s simple biology. Orangutans—primates with whom we share around 95 percent of our genetic makeup—are known to craft rain hats out of leaves. But regardless of how clever these friendly apes might be, they’ve yet to come up with any solutions for the sweating thing. Such know-how can only be a byproduct of that last 5 percent of uniquely Homo sapien

Embellish: THE TRUTH
May 1, 2008

DON’T ANGER OPRAH. Despite the fact the point’s been hammered home to us mere mortals ever since Ms. Winfrey took over the world, memoirist James Frey still believed he could “enhance” a few pesky details with his formerly Winfrey-approved tale, “A Million Little Pieces.” We all know what happened next. He’s on the express train to obscurity. And the ticket is not round-trip. For better or (more often) worse, embellishment gets things noticed—after all, the National Enquirer staff has to eat, too. Luckily for the honest-living promotional industry folk, the power can be harnessed for good. Chosen with the right amount of care,

Bono of U2 Joins Forces with S&S Activewear
April 15, 2008

S&S Activewear, based in Bolingbrook, Ill., a leading national distributor of imprintable sportswear, announced it is pleased to help introduce the edun LIVE line of blank, organic T-shirts to the U.S. imprintable apparel market. Edun LIVE is the sister brand to EDUN, the socially conscious clothing company launched in 2005 by Ali Hewson and her husband, Bono. The mission of edun LIVE is to create trade in Africa through high-volume sales of blank T-shirts to the worldwide wholesale market. The concept goes beyond simply offering an organic product, but rather to employing a unique production process called “grow-to-sew.” From the fields where the cotton

Vantage Adds Members To Sales Team
April 8, 2008

Avenel, New Jersey-based Vantage Apparel has recently added new representatives to their sales team. Kelly Henrich has been hired as the sales representative for Tennesee, Mississippi and Alabama Henrich comes to Vantage with promotional products sales experience having previously worked for industry supplier Gold Bond Inc. Elliot Pomeranz has been hired as the sales representative for Central and Southern New Jersey, and Eastern Pa. He joins Vantage with extensive business-to-business sales experience. For more information on Vantage Apparel, visit Do you have a press release for or Promo Marketing magazine? We are continually looking for the latest information on promotional

Broder Bros., Alpha Launch New Distributor Tools
March 31, 2008

In an effort to continue to fuel their growth, Broder Bros. and its subsidiary, Alpha Shirt Company of Trevose, Pa., recently announced an expansion of the marketing tools section of their websites, giving distributors an even greater array of sales tools and online support. With the new marketing tools, Broder Bros. has created an innovative support system that allows key distributors sell more efficiently to end-users. The updated marketing tools Web site not only provides new and exciting features, but also explains to the customer how to use these tools and why they are beneficial to them. Distributors now have access to: