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  • 27 Sep 2022 3:35 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    ASI Promo Campaign Awards reflects the many ways that industry companies are equipped to serve buyers. Congratulations to PG Member 1338 Tryon for receiving  the Best Distributor Self-Promotions. Read more here or below.

    UNLEASHING MAJOR ROI - 1338TRYON (ASI/287946)

    Where previous self-promos skewed more to a female audience, 1338Tryon embraced a more male-centric branding spin for big success.

    Self-promo has long been an essential part of branded merchandise firms’ marketing strategy – it’s critical for highlighting popular product and imprint trends, showing off distributors’ and suppliers’ capabilities, and sparking ideation for upcoming campaigns among both prospects and existing clients.

    But to be effective and result in a healthy ROI, a self-promo campaign has to resonate with and inspire recipients. And that’s the challenge that 1338Tryon (asi/287946), a woman-owned business in Portland, OR, recently sought to address.

    The distributor sends out quarterly “hot boxes” – self-promo bundles of new products featuring innovative decoration methods – to key prospects and clients. But last year, it had received feedback that the boxes’ color scheme, which echoed their own branding, often appealed more to women than men.

    “We decided to put together a box that targeted men between ages 40 and 60,” says CEO Heather Comerford. “We used a kit that’s darker and more serious, with the wrapped tentacles and ‘Kraken’ theme. It’s a more aggressive version of our branding, but it’s still tongue-in-cheek.”

    1338Tryon shipped more than 30 boxes in Q4 2021 to men as well as women in male-dominated industries like trucking and technology to inspire ideas for their clients. “We decided on who would receive the kits based on the audiences they target,” says Comerford. “We sent them to existing clients as well as those we’re in the process of prospecting to, all with more budget to spend.”

    The boxes with a “Release the Kraken” theme contained a beanie from Cap America (asi/43792), a 3-in-1 tumbler from Starline USA (asi/89320), dress socks from Sock101 (asi/88071), a lantern from IMAGEN Brands (asi/93990), and a 10-in-1 tool card from Top 40 supplier Logomark (asi/67866).

    Comerford loves the raised imprint on the tumbler. “And clients have to see and touch the beanies. It’s like petting a rabbit,” she adds. “We wanted higher-quality items that wouldn’t break the bank.”

    The boxes were an instant hit with recipients; 1338Tryon began fielding inquiries from interested recipients not long after they arrived on doorsteps. In addition to three prospects who became customers, one client wanted to use the same five products with their branding, another worked with 1338Tryon to establish a new online store, and a C-suite-level customer is now working on an identical box for his sales team for 2022.

    Instead of sending the same self-promo item to their entire list, 1338Tryon put thought into the selection of products, developed a derivative of their branding, segmented the recipient list and developed a targeted strategy. “It resonated with recipients,” says Comerford. “We focused on male buyers and those who target male-leaning demographics. We wanted to show a targeted audience what they could do with their brand. Next, we’ll be working on a box with sustainable products from BIPOC- or veteran-owned businesses.”– Sara Lavenduski


  • 26 Jul 2022 12:51 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Premier Group is proud to celebrate all members honored at the 2022 Counselor Awards in Chicago on July 20, 2022. In addition to our supplier members designated as part of the ASI Supplier Top 40,  distributor members received some of the highest honors of the night. 

    In addition to this year's awards, ASI celebrated the 2021 recipients in person in absence of an in-person event last year.

    Click the links below to learn more about each of these prestigious awards.



  • 27 Apr 2022 11:02 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)


    For Immediate Release: April 27 , 2022
    Media contact: Randy Sparks | rsparks@teamipsports.com

    Team IP was recently featured by Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland on the Fox Business Network. The feature celebrates Team IP’s success over the last two years after the pandemic shut business down for months forcing business owner Randy Sparks and his leadership team to reimagine how they go to market.

    Established in 1992, Team IP is thrilled to celebrate its 30-year anniversary with an increased client base, additional warehouses, and 80% of warehoused goods sold out in recent months. 

    The turnaround began mid-year 2021 when Team IP signed its four largest clients creating historic revenues month over month culminating in a 53% overall increase as of January of 2022. With consumer demand revitalized, Team IP will service 2,800 events through on-site activations and e-commerce opportunities. 

    The producers of Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland approached Team IP aiming to highlight the rebound of souvenir merchandising in the championship sports industry.  Video crews spent the day at Team IP Headquarters and featured footage from their newest warehouse facility. 

    Click here to view Team IP feature on Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland.


    Team IP not only maintained its foothold in the industry when times were hardest raising, but also managed to raise $2.5 million for expansion.

    Team IP is an engaged member of Premier Group Network (PGN), an industry association comprised of distributor and supplier members committed to growing business together.  Sparks, a current board member, credits relationships developed within Premier Group Network for the growth for Team IP in promotional product space. “Trusted and valued partnerships with PGN suppliers like SanMar, alpabroder, Augusta Sportswear and many others are vital to our business and have fueled much of what has been possible over the last two years,” Sparks offered.

    In addition to the relationships forged within the promotional industry, Sparks was featured in a recent article in Connect Sports attributing success to the following universal lessons:

    Trust in the Industry

    Sparks has been in the business long enough to remember Y2K, 9/11 and the Great Recession. When a new sort of crisis took hold, he trusted his instincts. “I bet on the fact sports had to come back,” Spark said.

    Keep on Pitching

    When live events stopped Sparks went in the opposite direction. Team IP raised impressive capital and built its customer base. As the leading manufacturer of college football gear, Team IP’s Leveraged it’s 30-year reputation to create new business partnerships with major clients.

    Problem Solving

    Sparks took advantage of down time to troubleshoot pain points within his control. This resulted in him adding manufacturing factories in Waco, Texas, and Indianapolis. The original site in Naples, Florida, remains in use but new distributions centers increase speed and efficiency.

    Staying In-House

    When competitors were out of materials to ship to events by late 2020, Team IP was stocked with its in-house label, Dynasty, launched a decade ago. Having the foresight to keep product in made all the difference when supply chain challenges paralyzed the industry.

    Changing with the Times

    Team IP has embraced ecommerce and digital event experience to expand their portfolio. Sports apparel relies on fans purchasing mementos for long-term memories, and that’s still a major facet of the business. But Team IP if focused on digital programs to compliment the full event experience.

    ABOUT TEAM IP

    Team IP is recognized as the # 1 Souvenir Merchandiser for amateur sports in the United States, servicing over 2,200 events annually and is a five-time recipient of the INC 500/5000 Award presented to the fastest-growing companies in the US. Team IP provides decorated apparel and branded promotional products for its three divisions; championship eventsdigital services, and corporate identity programs.

    ##

  • 27 Apr 2022 10:15 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)


    Pittsford, NY, April 19, 2022—Cooley Group, Inc., an industry leading branded solutions provider in promotional, print and fulfillment for over 75 years, announced today that it has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York by The New York State Society for Human Resource Management (NYS-SHRM).   

    Cooley Group is headquartered in Pittsford, NY, and has offices throughout the state. As a locally based and all employee-owned company, Cooley Group has a long history of hiring locally, maintaining a culture of continuous learning, teamwork, integrity, and service.  These values have been the foundation that has enabled lasting client relationships, continued growth, and achievement. 

    “It’s a very high honor to be one of only 75 companies in all of New York State to be recognized in this way.  Every day I am very grateful for our colleagues at Cooley Group—for how they support our clients and, just as importantly, each other,” said Phil Yawman, President.  “I am extremely proud of our team. Despite the challenges we have all faced in the past two years, not only have we retained our long-time employees, but we have continued to grow and attracted new talent during this difficult time.”

    Yawman went on to add, “While the pandemic changed how so many companies operate, including Cooley Group, our team’s shared commitment to embracing change as a pathway to continuous learning and further delivering a differentiated client experience has never wavered.  The reward for that is a great place to work, growth in our client base and the opportunity to give back to the communities that we live and work in.”

    The distinctive Best Companies to Work for in New York Program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, whose practices benefit the state's businesses, economy and workforce. Winners are determined by specific registration eligibility requirements and a two-part survey of employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies. 

    The Cooley Group team has over 375 years of collective industry experience, ranging from several months to several decades.  Cooley Group has a very high employee retention rate and has simultaneously and successfully hired additional resources to support its growing client base. This has been made possible in part due to the company’s competitive compensation and benefits package including:

    • Flexible hybrid work environment
    • 401(K) and Profit Share Plan
    • Company stock ownership for all employees
    • Company provided health and dental coverage
    • PTO, including a company-wide community service day

    In addition to being honored as a Best Company to Work for in New York, Cooley Group is also a five-time winner of the Best of Print and Digital Award, recognizing its best-in-class customer service, and recently earned the Pyramid Gold Award by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI).

     

    ABOUT COOLEY GROUP, INC.

    Cooley Group is a leader in customized promotional, print and fulfillment solutions. Cooley Group brings clients’ brands to life with programs that enable them to grow their business. Cooley Group has offices in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Utica and the Hudson Valley area. To learn more about Cooley Group and how we can help your business, visit www.cooleybrand.com. Contact: Patricia Lipari: plipari@cooleybrand.com


  • 31 Mar 2022 7:43 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Cheshire, Connecticut, March 17, 2022: To provide much needed support to help feed the refugees from Ukraine, Jody Morneault of Stackpole Moore Tryon in Hartford, CT is selling STAND with Ukraine T-shirt’s featuring the amazing artwork of well-known designer, Ellis Echevarria (https://ellisechevarria.com/). All profits will be donated to World Central Kitchen (www.wck.org), a not-for-profit organization which is currently working to provide meals to Ukrainian refugees. 

    The need for food was brought to Morneault’s attention by Jamie McDonald of Bear’s Smokehouse of South Windsor, CT who had flown to Poland to help cook for the many hungry refugees. The shirts are $25 each and come in sizes small, medium, large, extra-large and 2XL. Barker Specialty Company of Cheshire, CT is producing the t-shirts. 

    The shirts will be available in stores beginning Wednesday, March 23. Please order your shirts today at the Stackpole Moore Tryon location at 242 Trumbull Street in Hartford or online at www.morneaults.com . T-shirts will also be available at The Common Man chain of hospitality locations in New Hampshire and at the Barker Animation Art Gallery locations in Cheshire, CT and Foxwoods. 

    Barker Specialty Company is a promotional products company that partners with clients to communicate their brand story through the creative use of branded products and apparel. Barker Specialty Company is a one-stop source for all promotional and marketing needs with a global reach and specializes in company e-stores. 

    Barker Specialty Company 

    Jessica Mollin, Public Relations  jmollin@barkerspecialty.com

  • 7 Feb 2022 4:24 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    The Premier Group Network Board of Directors is pleased to announce the renewal the PPEF Named Scholarship honoring Paul E. Smith, MAS, president of Ardmore, Pennsylvania-based supplier Calconix, Inc. The scholarship was created by the Premier Group Network to honor Paul, one of the group’s founders, during their 20th anniversary celebration in 2017. The renewal will continue the Paul E. Smith Scholarship through 2025. 

    Founded in 1997, the Premier Group Network is an alliance of 70+ distributors and suppliers in the promotional products industry. This group of dedicated peers collaborate to build business success and long-lasting relationships with innovative tools and valuable face-to-face interaction. With representation in numerous territories throughout the United States and Canada, and nearly $200 million in distributor buying power, the Premier Group Network is one of the largest partnering organizations in the industry.

     

    PPEF offers higher-education scholarships to promotional products industry employees and their children. In 2021, $278,750 was awarded to 161 students. PPEF’s Named Scholarships are established as long-term honorary gifts or memorials that endure over several years to assist students in pursuing their college educations.

     

    “Paul Smith is a firm believer in higher education. He has been an active volunteer to both his alma mater, Lehigh University, and the promotional products industry. PPEF is honored to be part of recognizing Paul for his efforts to make education accessible to the next generation,” says Sara Besly, PPEF executive director, “and we are so grateful to the members of the Premier Group for continuing this scholarship to honor Paul.”

     

    Past recipients of the Paul E. Smith Scholarship can be found here. The application deadline for 2022 is March 15. Click here for more details or to apply.

     

    About PPEF 

    PPEF is an industry-based nonprofit organization that raises money to help students achieve their higher education goals.  PPEF was founded to recognize and encourage scholastic ability and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their children. Since 1989, it has awarded over $2.7 million in financial assistance to 1,488 recipients. More information about applying for and supporting the scholarships is available at www.ppef.us. 

     

    *****

     ABOUT PGN

    Premier Catalog Group AKA Premier Group Network is the leading supplier-distributor networking group in the promotional products industry and the only one that grants full and equal membership to both suppliers and distributors.  Membership is selective and based on a recommendation of the membership committee and approval of the Board of Directors.  Now in its 25th year, it is among the oldest “buying groups” in the industry.  Founded in 1997 by Paul Smith and Doug Bruce, it has evolved and grown over the years.  It is recognized under Internal Revenue Service code as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.  More information about Premier Group Network may be found at www.premiergroupnetwork.com.


  • 20 Sep 2021 9:18 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Pittsford, NY. September 20, 2021— In conjunction with its 75th year anniversary, Cooley Group, Inc., a leader in promotional, print and fulfillment solutions, is introducing a new corporate brand.

    Over the past several years Cooley Group has expanded its capabilities and is currently able to offer clients more products and services than ever before. The company provides a state-of-the-art online store platform which enables clients to build brand awareness with their customers and efficiently engage their employees in an increasingly remote work environment. It has also expanded its kitting and fulfillment capabilities which provides a simplified and cost-effective delivery and overall experience for clients who desire a complete solution.

    The Cooley Group logo has been updated to better represent the end-to-end capabilities and our approach to creating solutions for our customers without limits. This includes the technologies we’ve invested in which enable execution on the total solution promise. We have the thought leadership to move our clients’ brands forward in this world, as evidenced in our best-in-class NPS scores and Best of Print & Digital recognition,” said Cooley Group President, Phil Yawman.

    Cooley Group is also updating its tagline to “Showcase Your Brand”, which signifies its promise to bring clients’ brands to life. With 75 years of progressively innovative industry experience, Cooley Group develops creative programs which grow the businesses of its client partners.

    What has not changed with the new brand introduction is the relationship-building approach Cooley Group Brand Consultants take, as evidenced by the word “Partnership” in the logo descriptor. Brand Consultants strive to understand client objectives in an effort to create programs for long term success. “It’s my belief that while there are plenty of choices for promotional items, branded apparel, or printed products, it’s the “how” these products and solutions are created and delivered that provides sustainable value for the customer. Excelling at our core competencies and striving to build long term relationships with our clients allows us to provide the most value and serve them best,” said Yawman.

    ABOUT COOLEY GROUP, INC.
    Cooley Group is a leader in customized promotional, print and fulfillment solutions. Cooley Group brings 
    client’s brands to life with creative programs that enable them to grow their business.and how we can help your business, visit www.cooleybrand.com. Contact: Patricia Lipari:

    plipari@cooleybrand.com

    ###


  • 12 Aug 2021 11:41 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Premier Group Network (PGN), the leading partnering network in the promotional products industry, is excited to reconnect members with a perfectly placed retreat in Park City Utah August 22-25, 2021.

     

    The Premier Group Network Annual Meeting, held virtually in both 2020 and 2021, is traditionally where members come together to brainstorm, address challenges, and explore avenues to partner and grow. “While we are grateful for the virtual events that have sustained us over the past 18 months, we are all craving the collaboration and magic that seems to happen when we are all in the same physical space,” offered Menda Wright, 2021 PGN Board Chair. “Being together in Park City will help us strategize individually and collectively about how emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient.”

     

    Approximately half of PGN’s members are registered to attend the event in Park City. In addition to individualized business discussions, members will engage in small roundtable discussions and help cultivate solutions to some of the unprecedented challenges the industry is currently facing.

     

    Premier Group Network is looking forward to 2022 when the entire membership will gather for the 25th anniversary and annual meeting. Until then, Board leaders are pleased to facilitate this retreat where members can reset, recharge, and reconnect in a safe and supportive space.


    *****

     

    Premier Catalog Group AKA Premier Group Network is the leading supplier-distributor networking group in the promotional products industry and the only one that grants full and equal membership to both suppliers and distributors.  Membership is selective and based on a recommendation of the membership committee and approval of the Board of Directors.  Now in its 24th year, it is among the oldest “buying groups” in the industry.  Founded in 1997 by Paul Smith and Doug Bruce, it has evolved and grown over the years.  It is recognized under Internal Revenue Service code as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.  More information about Premier Group Network may be found at www.premiergroupnetwork.com.


    For Immediate Release: Aug 9, 2021

    Media contact:  Dana Geiger | 757.491.3114 | Dana@premiergroupnetwork.com



  • 9 Jul 2021 6:56 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Six months after Premier Group Network partnered with ZoomInfo, a software program that provides access to a database of lead generating information, one-third of distributor members are utilizing the software to grow business.

    Premier Group Network worked to negotiate access to ZoomInfo’s Elite Level Plan at a discounted rate for members.

    License holders can search potential new clients in a host of ways – by industry, by job title, geographically, and much more. Researched and selected contacts can be tagged and saved to integrate with individual CRMs or workflows can be created within Engage, ZoomInfo’s integrated CRM platform provided at no additional cost.

    The robust software empowers users providing a 360-degree view of their ideal customer. Accessible data includes company profiles, business statistics, sales Intelligence, contact details, intent data, organizational charts and more.

    Distributor Member Team IP Owner Randy Sparks offered “The group-buy negotiated exclusively for Premier Group Network members is what made this platform accessible to my team. We are thrilled with the leads generated so far and it is proving to be a game changer - helping us develop prospecting processes that generate a much higher return.” He continued, “It is just one of the many resources brought to us through our Premier Group membership that has strengthened our company.”

    For over a decade ZoomInfo has helped companies achieve profitable growth with access to the world's most comprehensive B2B database, putting sales and marketing professionals in position to identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects.

    “The partnership with ZoomInfo brings our members a resource many would not have access to otherwise. This type of offering supports Premier Group’s mission directly contributing to the success and growth of individual member companies,” said Executive Director Dana Geiger. “We are thrilled with the productivity to date as a group and we are committed to continuing to support our member user with scheduled trainings and best practices to help their teams maximize the platform.”

    *****

    Premier Catalog Group AKA Premier Group Network is the leading supplier-distributor networking group in the promotional products industry and the only one that grants full and equal membership to both suppliers and distributors.  Membership is selective and based on a recommendation of the membership committee and approval of the Board of Directors.  Now in its 24th year, it is among the oldest “buying groups” in the industry.  Founded in 1997 by Paul Smith and Doug Bruce, it has evolved and grown over the years.  It is recognized under Internal Revenue Service code as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.  More information about Premier Group Network may be found at www.premiergroupnetwork.com


  • 19 May 2021 9:38 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release: May 17, 2021

    Premier Group Network, the leading partnering network in the promotional products industry, is pleased to welcome New York based distributor Cooley Group Inc. to the membership.

    Cooley Group, Inc. is a 75-year-old multi-million-dollar company headquartered in Rochester with four satellite offices in Albany, Hudson Valley, Syracuse and Utica. Phil Yawman, Cooley Group President, is entering his third year leading a twenty-six-person team committed to clients, company culture and community.

    The company’s award-winning legacy successfully elevating client brands is driven by empowered employee-owners. Its Brand Consultants have built strong relationships with their clients and strive to gain a deep understanding of clients’ needs and offer holistic solutions. Additionally, Yawman’s business acumen and energizing demeanor has inspired a revitalized commitment to innovation for Cooley Group Inc.  The objective is to strategize with clients to enable  them meet and exceed their goals, and then create and deliver value added end to end customer solutions that leverage best-in-class services and technology.

     “Joining Premier Group will position us to be even better partners to our clients,” remarked Yawman. “We are all excited to be part of this community and we look forward to collaborating with other exceptional industry professionals”

    Premier Group Network Board Chair Menda Wright of Creative  Studio Promotions welcomed Cooley Group, Inc to the group.  “We are so excited to have Phil and his team as part of the Premier Group family. The last year has affirmed the importance of being part of a community of like-minded professionals. I know we will be an even stronger community with Cooley Group Inc as a member and am assured they too will grow towards their goals from opportunities made available through the Premier Group network.”

    *****

    Premier Catalog Group AKA Premier Group Network is the leading supplier-distributor networking group in the promotional products industry and the only one that grants full and equal membership to both suppliers and distributors.  Membership is selective and based on a recommendation of the membership committee and approval of the Board of Directors.  Now in its 24th year, it is among the oldest “buying groups” in the industry.  Founded in 1997 by Paul Smith and Doug Bruce, it has evolved and grown over the years.  It is recognized under Internal Revenue Service code as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.  More information about Premier Group Network may be found at www.premiergroupnetwork.com.

     

    Cooley Group is a leader in customized print, promotional and apparel solutions. Cooley Group brings customers’ brands to life with creative solutions that enable them to grow their business and profitability. Cooley Group brand consultants value three things above all else—their clients, their culture, and the communities in which they live and work. This balance helps the team deliver exceptional results, as a partner, as a business, and as individuals. Cooley Group has offices in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Utica and the Hudson Valley area. To learn more about Cooley Group and how we can help your business, visit www.cooleybrand.com.

    Media contact:
    Dana Geiger   |  
    757.491.3114  | Dana@premiergroupnetwork.com


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