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  • 22 Mar 2023 11:20 AM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Premier Group Network, the leading partnering network in the promotional products industry, is pleased to welcome Ohio based distributor City Apparel + Merch to the membership.  

    City Apparel + Merch is an award-winning uniform, apparel, and logo’d merchandise company in Findlay, OH; with a mission to “Outfit partners to create positive community impact and lasting relationships.”

    City Apparel President, Andrea Kramer, and her team are committed to delivering solutions for their clients that radically elevate their clients’ brands by connecting people. The company’s “Do Good” philosophy aims to positively impact associates, customers, and communities, balancing profit with purpose. 

    “Joining Premier Group is exciting for our entire team. We look forward to building with other members of the group as we continue our mission to serve clients and our community. I believe the resources available to us through this organization will help fuel our growth as individuals and as a company. Those that collaborate well, win!” remarked Kramer.  

    Premier Group Network Board Chair Matt Wagner of Fields Manufacturing welcomed City Apparel to the group.  “We are so excited to welcome Andrea and her team to the Premier Group family. Premier Group continues to be an integral piece of member success. We are excited to grow with like-minded businesses like City Apparel + Merch who we know will bring a fresh and unique perspective to the group.” 


    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 26th 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

    Media contact:  Dana Geiger | Dana@premiergroupnetwork.com

  • 19 Jan 2023 1:01 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    BREAKING NEWS: Towel Specialties lowers prices of products, reduces shipping costs

    Leading industry supplier Towel Specialties is ringing in 2023 with an average price reduction of 12% across the entire line. This is on top of additional average savings of 37% on all domestic shipping charges.

    “We’re looking to offer a bright spot in the form of price relief for our customers,” said Towel Specialties' President and CSO Shawn Kanak. “COVID-19 globally disrupted the supply chain and caused major price increases from 2020 to 2022. Container shipping costs were six-fold what we were paying in 2019. Raw material costs soared during COVID-19 but have stabilized recently. Since things have settled down over the last few months, we determined it is time to do the right thing and give back on our towels, blankets, bags, and robes.”

    The price reduction arrives on the heels of a November switch from UPS to FedEx as Towel Specialties’ designated carrier. This change allowed distributors to enjoy discounts from 25-55%, depending on where orders ship.


  • 14 Dec 2022 3:23 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    Pittsford, NY, November 29, 2022—Cooley Group, Inc., an industry leading branded solutions provider in promotional, print and fulfillment services for over 75 years, announced today that it has donated $10,000 in product to several nonprofit organizations across New York state.

    “Cooley Group is proud to support these organizations which work tirelessly to create a positive impact in our communities,” said Cooley Group President, Phil Yawman. “We’ve had our Cooley Cares program in place for many years and I truly believe that the power of giving benefits us as much as the organizations we support.”

    The Cooley Cares program demonstrates the company’s commitment to serve and enrich the communities in which it operates. In addition to charitable donations, the program also gives employees paid time off to volunteer their time and talent to the community.

    This year’s benefiting organizations include:

    Loretto Foundation—comprehensive continuing healthcare organization dedicated to transforming eldercare in Central New York, focusing on person-first, affordable care.

    Mercy Flight Central—independent, non-profit organization of air medical professionals, devoted to integrity, compassion, and excellence providing critical care to the sick and injured.

    Volunteers of America—empowers people in the community to rise out of poverty, move toward self-reliance, and reach their full potential.

    Integrated Community Alternatives Network—strives to empower children, families and individuals who have high service needs, to enable them to live in ways that are productive and healthy, and to keep families together.

    The Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center—the region’s only children’s hospital, devoted exclusively to the medical needs of infants, children, and adolescents.

    Alzheimer’s Association—through many initiatives and worldwide reach, the Alzheimer’s Association leads the charge in Alzheimer’s care, support, research and advocacy.

    David’s Refuge— provides respite, resources and support to parents and guardians of children with special needs or life-threatening medical conditions where they will be refreshed, restored and renewed in their role as caregivers.

    Person Centered Housing Options—committed to addressing, preventing, and alleviating chronic homelessness within Monroe County, New York and surrounding communities using the housing first model.

    House of the Good Shepherd—leading provider of treatment, education, and support services to the children and families of the community that it serves.

    Camp Good Days—strives to improve the quality of life for families affected by cancer or sickle cell anemia through residential camping programs and year-round recreational and support activities.


    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


  • 14 Dec 2022 1:21 PM | Dana Geiger (Administrator)

    TK Promotions is please to announce they have moved into a new office at 4319 Cox Road in Richmond, Virginia. Moving from 1,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet, they are excited to get settled and hosting many clients and community related events. Their growing team is eager to utilize the full bar top and kitchen area for numerous team engagement opportunities too. If anyone is in town, please reach out and set up a visit!

    Learn more about the TK Promotions Team Here

  • 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.


    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.


    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).



    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. 




    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.

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