Giving Back: How Roots Ethiopia used Promotional Products

As part of our Giving Back initiative, Magellan Promotions provides monetary donations and creates promotional items at cost to help non-profit organizations stretch their funds to better support their mission.

Roots Ethiopia – an organization that we supported through at-cost production of items – recently shared their story of their field team, who enthusiastically used the field bags and hats that we created. Here is a brief overview of the organization and how these promotional products impacted their work.

Supporting education and job creation in Southern Ethiopia is the main mission of Roots Ethiopia. Learn more about their organization and mission by visiting their website at We have had the pleasure of working with the organization’s founder, Meghan Walsh, who was kind enough to share their story of their recent trip to Ethiopia.

In December2014, Roots Ethiopia sent a team to Ethiopia for training and projects with field partner Meserete Kristos Church’s Hosanna Regional Office. The field team does everything locally, traveling by foot or public bus. Days are long and travel is slow, which makes field bags a desirable item, especially since they are difficult to find locally.

field bag for Roots Ethiopia

Close up of the messenger style bag used.

When Meghan attended the first day of training, they announced that they had these field bags prepared, and the entire crowd of community members cheered. One man even stood up and did a fist pump! Leaders gave 32 community members / field volunteers a bag stuffed with pens, paper, and a memory stick. According to Meghan,

 “The bags were a delightful way to start off a really meaningful 2 days of work! They set the tone of ‘team’ – and for that I am just deeply grateful.”

Roots Ethiopia training session

Images from the training session.

The baseball caps that were ordered at cost were passed out to all of the VIP assistants on the trip -drivers, translators, bag carriers, etc. This was a great way to show appreciation and raise awareness for Roots Ethiopia.

Baseball caps Roots Ethiopia

Imprinted baseball caps for Roots Ethiopia VIP’s

 “Your kindness allowed us to do this without any concerns for quality, and your ability to do this for us at ‘cost’ meant I could rest assured that we were spending funds thoughtfully and in the best spirit of stewardship. It means very much to a small organization like Roots Ethiopia to have your support and encouragement as we grow our program, all the while tending to the bottom line.” – Roots Ethiopia Founder, Meghan Walsh

It was so very rewarding to know that our promotional items were extremely appreciated and put to good use by the Roots Ethiopia organization! Such small things, such as a field bag or baseball cap, can have a much greater meaning and make a big difference, as Meghan described above.

For more stories on how Roots Ethiopia has made a difference for families and children, read about Tsehainesh pictured here.

Roots Ethiopia coffee shop

Did you know coffee can change a life? It did for her!

They are currently raising funds for education. Here are a few pictures from their visit to schools they support with essential learning resources.

Children at a sponsored school

Sweet Smiling faces at a school Roots Ethiopia sponsors


Roots Ethiopia classroom visit

Their field partner strives to make school a reality for many students.

From supporting small business start-ups like Tsehainesh to sending children to school, Roots Ethiopia’s work and mission is truly inspiring. We were happy to play a small part through promotional items used on their trip.

If you’d like to learn more about ways to help Roots Ethiopia, visit

Thanks again to Meghan for sharing their story!

Trending for Colleges: Custom Sticker Sheets

Our office loved getting a sample of a recent sticker sheet we ran for Wartburg College.

Isn’t it pretty?

design your own sticker sheet

Design your own custom sticker sheet

We have talked about stickers and decals before (see our Decal Buying Guide), and we think this is such a fun, low-cost promotional item for schools and colleges. When ordering a quantity of 5,000, the price is $0.20 each! Increase to 10,000 and the price goes down to $0.13 each.

Suggested Uses

Currently Wartburg is using these sticker sheets in deposited student mailings.

Stickers are also ideal for state fairs, college fairs, open house events, and college readiness programs at area K-12 schools.

Students and kids alike would appreciate a variety of stickers to promote your school.

Tech Tattoos

Similar to a custom sticker sheet, another new product that we highlighted in 2015 Top New Promotional Products for Colleges is a sheet of Tech Tattoos. Specifically designed to adhere to laptops, phones, tablets and more, these vinyl decals will remove without leaving behind the adhesive.  This would be a great product to use in alumni mailings, where a higher quality decal may better target the intended audience.

More Direct Mail Ideas

In addition to custom sticker sheets and Tech Tattoos, we have a showroom full of direct mail ideas.  Check out the Direct Mail Premium Showroom for inspiration.

What do you think of the sticker sheets?  What is your favorite item to receive as part of a direct mail piece?


2015 New Promotional Products for Businesses

As we mentioned in a previous post, Michael Wolaver and Pat Conley from our sales team attended the PPAI Expo in January. There they visited with promotional product suppliers to learn about what’s new and trending for 2015. After sharing their long list of products and reviewing pictures, we came up with ten awesome new products that any business could incorporate into marketing plans.

2015 New Promotional Products

It’s probably no surprise that more than half of the ten top new items are related to technology. Year after year the number of tech promotional products continues to grow and innovate. Heading up our list are the tech items.

1. Cell Mate Phone Wallet and Stand

This Phone Wallet was one of our favorite products of 2014. Available March 2015, the Cell Mate Phone Wallet is a multi-tasker because it can open up to be used as a phone stand.

Leather phone wallet and stand

Leather phone wallet and stand

It’s bi-fold design also means more security than the phone wallet we saw in 2014.  Cards and cash are safely stowed with less risk of falling out. Leather material also provides a higher-end look and feel.

2. Mobile Device Cleaning Kit

While we LOVE the DigiClean smartphone cleaning pad, we really liked the look and convenience of this device cleaning kit.

Mobile device cleaning kit

Cleaning kit includes microfiber cloth, cleaning spray and pouch.

Neatly packaged inside a pouch comes a lint free, microfiber cloth and a 6.75 mL spray cleaner. The cleaner is safe for electronics, alcohol free and non-toxic. It cleans and sanitizes at the same time, keep your device smudge-free,
and safe from bacteria that causes illness.

3. Solar Power Banks

We’ve seen more and more interest in on the go chargers. One of the newest iterations is a solar powered charger.

solar powered charger

This power bank’s battery runs on solar power.

These power banks use Monocrystal silicon solar panels, which efficiently convert sunlight to energy. The compact battery can charge any mobile device from smart phones to iPads and tablets. The Solar Power Bank comes individually boxed with a USB cable, so it’s easy to handout.

4. Leather Swivel & Stand Tablet Holder

Do you ever wish a tablet holder could accommodate both vertical and horizontal orientations? The Eclipse Swivel & Stand Tablet Holder can do just that!

Eclispe Leather Tablet Swivel and Stand

Easily rotate a tablet in this stand.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of the product:

5. Lynktec Stylus Pen

Here’s a high quality stylus pen with a very fine point for more accurate contact with a smartphone or device.

Lynktec TruGlide Combo Stylus with Retractable Pen

Smooth writing and easy typing on devices with this stylus pen.

6. DigiGrip

The DigiClean Screen Cleaner is one of our most popular promotional items.  When a new product in this same line was introduced, we decided to take a closer look.  The DigiGrip Plus Anti-Slip Wipes is a screen cleaner AND a phone grip that sticks to your phone, including most cases, even if rubberized or heavily textured.

DigiGrips Grip and Screen Cleaner

DigiGrips is a mobile phone grip and screen cleaner in one.

Similar to the DigiClean Plus, it includes full color, two sided imprint, including the sticky side that adheres to your device.  Photos, QR codes, phone numbers, and locations can easily be imprinted on the DigiGrips Wipe itself or on the included custom 3.5″ x 6″ Marketing Card or 2″ x 3.5″ Business Card!

7. Cooling Towel

This promotional product is something you have to physically touch to believe! Michael demonstrated the Chilly iCool Towel in the office, and we were all impressed!

Chilly iCool Towel

Keep your cool with this innovative towel.

The towel can absorb eight times its weight in water and keeps cool as the water evaporates. It can continue cooling for hours as long as the towel is kept damp. The chemical-free design is biodegradable and machine washable. Store the clean, moist towel in its original package to get years of reliable use. Pretty cool, huh?!

8. Tritan Tumbler

This is a classic style, higher end tumbler that keeps drinks colder since it is lined with a double wall. This means your hand does not warm up the glass when holding on to it.

Tritain 16 oz tumbler

Tervis-style tumblers are available in many colors, can feature an insert, embroidered patch, or dome imprint.

We recently created a tumbler for Western Racquet Club, using their logo on an embroidered patch. Learn more about that project in our case study.

Western Racquet Club Tumbler

Final products – WRC gave out these tumblers at a tennis event.

9. Hustle Duffel Bag

We like this affordable duffel bag as an alternative to an event tote bag.

Hustle Sports Bag

Roomy sports bag with shoulder strap and large imprint area.

This sports bag has a roomy main compartment and a mesh outer pocket. Available in six colors.

10. Puffy Vest

This lightweight, packable vest caught our eye. The shell of the vest is made from recycled PET bottles.

Radius Puffy Vest

Puffy vests were trending at the PPAI Expo.

Premium insulation provides warmth without the bulk of other puffy vests.

From tech items to drinkware, our top ten new promotional products for 2015 spanned across a lot of categories and price points. Which promo product would you want to include in your branding and marketing? Comment below and let us know your favorite!

Please contact us with product related questions or to request a custom quote. For more product information, visit our 2015  New Products for Businesses Showroom.

Need more SWAG ideas? Call our Idea Explorers at 414-831-0184.

2015 Top New Promotional Products for Colleges

In our last post we shared photo highlights from our recent trip to the PPAI Expo. Out of hundreds of photos and thousands of products displayed at the promotional marketing industry’s largest show we reviewed everything that caught our eye and voted on our favorite items for universities and colleges. After much discussion and even some debate, we narrowed our top products down to ten finalists for our list:

2015 Top New Promotional Products for Colleges

As in 2014,technology items remain a popular and fast-growing promotional product category. Phone stands, mobile phone cleaners, phone cases, and phone wallets were well represented at this year’s exhibits. Three new items stood out in particular:

1. Standees – full color mobile phone stand

full color imprint phone stand

Design options are endless with this full color phone stand.


Collegiate Mascot on Phone Stand

Custom Shaped Standee is a great way to show-off your mascot.


The phone stand is made of a rigid styrene material with a securely attached plastic kickstand that folds flat. Custom shapes are available, so you could really get creative with this item!

Suggested uses:

  •  Students or Alumni
    • Imprint an athletic schedule
    • Imprint a campus mascot or scene from campus
    • Fold down the kickstand to include in a mailing
  • High School Counselors / Referral Sources
    • Imprint important dates, contact information

2. Conveniently Packaged Ear Buds – Though they have been around for years, ear buds remain a popular item for college students. This packaging makes it easy to store and handout earbuds.

ear buds packaged in a tube

These earbuds provide high quality sound and work with any portable device.

Suggested uses:

  •  Students – events, open house, campus tours, fitness center, welcome week giveaway, student organization fair

3. Tech Tattoos – stickers for your devices

stickers for mobile devices and laptops

Multiple stickers on one sheet to decorate all of your devices.

These ultra removable decals are a safe and easy way to personalize your gadgets! As noted in the picture, the stickers are designed for a variety of applications: laptops, tablets, e-readers, cell phones, music players, game consoles, and more! These vinyl decals will remove without leaving behind the adhesive.

For more information on buying decals or bumper stickers, visit our Decal Buying Guide.

Suggested uses:

  • Prospective Students – insert in direct mail piece, event handout, open house
  • High School Counselor leave-behind
  • Alumni – insert in direct mail, events

4. Ultimate Hands

Pat had some fun posing with a larger #1 hand at the PPAI Expo.  It IS a fun, team spirit product!

Larger size #1 Hand

Pat Conley and the big, 20″ #1 Ultimate Hand

Many collegiate options are available, like this one from the University of Minnesota. What else says school spirit better than this product?!

In addition to the large, 20-inch size, the Ultimate Hand comes in a smaller size that is great for displaying on a desktop.

ultimate hand number 1

Suggested uses: athletic events, pep rallies, Homecoming, alumni

5. Chrome Domz

School logos and mascots are beautifully displayed on Chrome Domz!

Wisconsin Bucky Badger Chrome Domz

Doesn’t Bucky look nice?! Picture your mascot like this!

Chrome Domz are mirror finished, embossed stainless steel that is coated with full color graphics. Available with plastic backers for wall art (includes flush mount hanger) or stands alone to mount on existing products. Laser cut to any shape with sizes ranging from 3″x3″ to 22.5″x34.5″.

Suggested uses:

  • Donor gifts
  • Alumni recognition
  • Employee service awards
  • Social media driven contest prize

6. Game Day Socks

Colorful socks are another school spirit related item that we love for 2015.

Game Day Striped Socks

Striped socks are ideal fan gear.

24″ socks can be mixed and matched: school colors in stripes, or one color on your left foot, different color on your right foot or create your own design, including your logo or mascot.

Suggested uses:

  • Students – athletics, university housing, recreational sports
  • Social media driven contest prize

 7. Bondi Bands – Headbands

Similar to game day socks, Bondi Bands are another lower price point promotional item. These headbands are made of an extremely soft material, inspired by the soft, stretchy material of a bathing suit.  Bondi Bands will not slip, making them both fashionable and functional for working out.


Bondi Band headband in a print design

Numerous colors and designs can appeal to both women and men. Available in wicking fabric and in smaller, hair-tie option.

Suggested uses:

  • Students – athletics, recreational sports, run / walk events

8. Low Cost Table Cover

While we highlighted the Fitted Spandex Table Cover last year, we realize that sometimes you need a less expensive table cover option. This is why we love the full color screen printed disposable table cover.

disposable 6 ft table cover

6 foot table cover provides a professional look without a high cost.

These table cloths could be part of an event kit for alumni associations or smaller, local events that still need a professional looking display for your school.

Suggested uses:

  • Events: for alumni, high schools, other local events

 9. Slinky Note Pad

If you’re looking for an eye-catching desk item, look no further than the Slinky Post-it Note Pad.

Slinky Post-it Style Notes

Imagine the fun with these Slinky notes!

Suggested uses:

  • Students
  • High School Couselors
  • Alumni
  • Staff

10. The Snacker

There are always a lot of drinkware options each year, so it was difficult to choose just one favorite for this list. We agreed upon the Snacker, since it can hold a snack in a top compartment over your drink of choice. Here were images of two snacker drinkware options:

Snack and a mug all in one

College students will enjoy a snack break with this beverage container.

Suggested uses:

  • Students – admitted student days, social media contest prize
  • University staff – recognition gift

From tech items to spirit gear, our top ten new promotional products for 2015 ranged a lot of categories and price points. Which promo product would you want to include in your branding and event marketing? Comment below and let us know your favorite!

Please contact us with product related questions or to request a custom quote. To view additional product details, visit our 2015 Top New Promotional Products for Colleges Showroom.

Need more SWAG ideas? Call our Idea Explorers at 414-831-0184.