The South Leads The Charge In Sales Of Promotional Products

Total 2016 sales of $8.2 billion show growth of 5.6%

TREVOSE, PA – May 3, 2017 – A new study published by Advantages® magazine reports businesses and organizations in the Southern region of the U.S. led the nation in money spent on logoed promotional products, with total 2016 sales of $8.2 billion showing growth of 5.6%.

Advantages, published by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI), is the leading B-to-B publication for distributor salespeople in the promotional products industry. Nationally, according to ASI, total distributor sales increased across the U.S. by 3.1% in 2016, to $22.9 billion, continuing a seven-year upward trend.

According to the 2017 Advantages State and Regional Report, the South remains the largest and most lucrative region for sales of promo products in the U.S. Florida, which realized 5.6% sales growth, and Texas, up 4.7%, alone account for over $4 billion in sales of promotional products like logoed T-shirts, pens and mugs typically given away by companies, schools and nonprofits to promote their brand, advertise an event or reward employees and clients.

The report also shows overall sales of promotional products in the West grew by 4%, for a total of $4.9 billion. Big sectors in the West include hospitality, entertainment and tech companies.

“By showing exactly which states and regions are growing and what new markets – like technology – to explore, Advantages once again provides suppliers and distributors a blueprint for future growth,” said Advantages Editor-in-Chief C.J. Mittica. “With nine of the 10 metro areas projected to grow the most in the next 25 years located in the South, it’s a smart bet that companies in that region are prime candidates for marketing their businesses through affordable, high-yield promotional products.”

According to the Advantages report, the technology sector continues to impact sales of promotional products, with the technology industry accounting for approximately 4% of sales in 2016. Overall, the technology sector represented the largest percentage of revenue for distributors earning $1 million to $10 million in sales.

The annual Advantages State and Regional Report analyzes 2016 sales figures, spotlights each of four major geographic regions and uncovers key trends and prevailing sentiments. The report also shows promotional product revenue in each state to identify the ripest areas for growth.

Below are additional highlights from the 2017 report:

  • West: Seven of the nine fastest-growing states in the U.S. are in the West, with sales of promotional products in Utah alone surging by 6.5%, for a total of $282 million, thanks in large part to a burgeoning tech sector. However, nearly 40% of the West is tied up in one significant state – California – and that state saw only modest growth of 2.5% in promo sales.
  • Midwest: The region grew only 1.3%, for a total of $4.8 billion. South Dakota, the smallest state by revenue,  grew the most at 2.8%, while the two largest states (Illinois and Ohio) posted declining revenues, at -0.9% and -0.2%, respectively. However, the Midwest is recalibrating, while striving to attract younger workers.
  • East: Sales in the East grew just 1%, for a total $5.1 billion. Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, which account for nearly half of the revenue in the region, continue to struggle, but the proximity of Fortune 500 companies, major industries and financial companies could impact future growth.

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 analyzed by ASI Market Research Director Nathaniel Kucsma.

For more information on the report, contact Advantages Editor-in-Chief C.J. Mittica at For info on advertising in the magazine, contact Matt Barnes, ASI’s vice president of publishing and media services,

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) serves a network of 23,500 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $22.9 billion promotional products industry. ASI’s flagship product, the technology platform ESP®, serves the industry’s supply and marketing chain. ASI also produces award-winning digital and print content, live events and educational programs that enable companies in 61 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: