ASI’s Advantages Magazine Releases Regional Promo Products Sales Report

Hammered by historic storms, the South still leads sales with $8.5 billion.

TREVOSE, PA – April 30, 2018 – An annual report from Advantages® magazine on the amount of money spent on promotional products by U.S. regions shows a storm-battered South took a hit in 2017, but continues to lead the nation with sales of $8.5 billion.

Highlights from the Advantages State and Regional Report were published in a special “Road to Growth” cover story in the magazine, published by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI). Advantages is the leading B-to-B publication for distributor salespeople in the $23.6 billion promotional products industry.

“If there’s one word that sums up what distributors are feeling about our industry right now it’s ‘optimistic,’” said Advantages Editor-in-Chief C.J. Mittica (@CJ_Advantages). “Our chief aim in analyzing areas ripe for growth, along with the hottest new markets and trends, is to give suppliers and distributors a clear road map to success.”

The annual report analyzes 2017 sales figures, spotlights each of four major geographic regions and shows promotional products revenue in each state through at-a-glance graphics. In 2017, Delaware, W. Virginia and Wyoming showed the greatest percentage increase in sales.

New this year, the magazine profiles distributors who are growing by making positive connections in their community. Advantages also includes an event calendar for each region, a product showcase geared toward markets worth targeting and numerous case studies.

According to the report, isolated silos of industry are starting to break down, with tech in particular spreading beyond the West into major urban centers across the country. The 10 best places to get a job in tech today (besides California’s Silicon Valley) include Washington, D.C., Detroit, Austin and Orlando.

Another booming trend: marijuana. As one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado has become a haven for suppliers and distributors selling cannabis-themed promotional products. “When a new industry starts in a state, rarely does it exceed sales of $1 billion in its first five years, yet that’s what’s happening with marijuana in Colorado,” said Nate Kucsma, ASI’s executive director of research and corporate marketing. “With very strict dispensary regulations in place for TV, radio, internet and outdoor advertising, it’s no surprise that promotional products – which don’t have these restrictions – are booming.”

Below are additional highlights from this year’s Advantages State and Regional Sales Report:

South, $8.5 billion in sales, 3.7% growth over 2016

  • The region’s promotional products growth decreased from 5.6% in 2016, primarily due to natural disasters in the 3rd quarter, but population migration is once again spurring economic growth, as the low costs of hiring and living have fueled an industrial expansion, in addition to increases in manufacturing employment and activity.

West, $5.07 billion in sales, 3.8% growth

  • The West remains the greatest beneficiary of a growing tech presence, with three tech epicenters (Washington, California and Utah) topping the list of fastest-growing state economies.

East, $5.1 billion in sales, 2.3% growth

  • Pennsylvania ($886 million), Virginia ($829 million) and New Jersey ($577 million) all rebounded in 2017 to lead the East in sales, making distributors optimistic for 2018 and beyond, with many larger companies spending more and smaller companies feeling bullish.

Midwest, $4.88 billion in sales, 2.4% growth

  • Overall economic health and a low unemployment rate of 4%, along with tax reform and infrastructure spending, have played a significant part in Midwest growth. The need for growing companies to retain good employees has also prompted spending, especially on apparel.

Revenue estimates in the Advantages report are derived from various data, including distributor sales in each state, population trends, health of regional industries, state GDP growth, unemployment rates, census figures and other key economic indicators.

For more information on the report, contact C.J. Mittica at [email protected]. For info on advertising in Advantages, contact Matt Barnes, ASI’s vice president of publishing and media services, [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) serves a network of 23,500 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $23.6 billion promotional products industry. ASI’s flagship product, the technology platform ESP®, manages the industry’s entire supply and marketing chain. ASI also produces award-winning digital and print content, live events and educational programs that enable companies in 55 countries to be more efficient, productive and profitable. ASI’s Counselor® magazine provides the most authoritative business content in the industry, and the ASI Certification Program features 500+ live and online education courses for over 40,000 professionals. The company, family owned and operated since 1962, is proud to have been consistently ranked among the “Best Places to Work” in Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA. For more info: