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As 2014 comes to a close, SPPA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the SPPA eNews a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Friday, Jan. 9.
1. The $23,000 T-shirt: Teaching copyright in today's social media culture
From Aug. 8: How much is a T-shirt or a tweet worth? Two copyright cases, separated by nearly 30 years, should reinforce our need as educators to teach copyright as a practical matter as much as a conceptual one. When it comes to working with students, we should approach copyright from two protective angles. One is to ensure that students don’t stray across copyright laws and willfully or accidentally infringe on a creator’s rights. The second is to ensure a full understanding of how to protect their own works.
2. Nike's Team USA World Cup gear not made in USA
June 20: In 2012, Ralph Lauren Corp. got shredded by U.S. politicians — and the public — when it was revealed that the company's Team USA London Olympics opening ceremony uniforms had been manufactured in China. In response, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced the "Wear American Act of 2012," an effort to ensure that future apparel purchased by the federal government was 100 percent U.S.-made. Ralph Lauren learned its lesson, producing all of Team USA's Sochi Olympics apparel in America.
3. Marketers need to address UPS, FedEx rate changes
Direct Marketing Changes
From June 27: Internet retailers and catalogers whose pricing decisions are influenced by shipping rates need to reassess their shipping strategies in light of UPS's decision to follow FedEx and base U.S. ground rates on the size of packages, according to a shipping industry expert. Under UPS's new rules, if you look at a box that's one cubic foot, you could ship up to 11 pounds inside it using the industry dimensional factor. But if a merchant needs a box that size to ship six pounds, it could cost double what it used to,” says Ursa Major Associates Executive Director Mike Comstock, a 30-year shipping industry veteran who served as SVP of corporate strategy and e-commerce at DHL.
4. Setting annual sales goals are a waste of time
From Sept. 26: Rick Greene, MAS, is the regional vice president at HALO Branded Solutions. Greene recently was interviewed by Print+ Promo magazine for the Executive Perspectives columns, and he was asked about annual sales goals with his sales force. Print+Promo probably wasn't expecting the answer that Greene gave, though: He has learned over the years that sales goals aren't worth it. Life is unpredictable, and so is business.
5. Under Armour becomes second largest US apparel brand
From Oct. 10: Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour is moving up in the world. Forbes has reported that Under Armour has surpassed Adidas to become the second-largest apparel brand in the United States. Under Armour reported more than $1.2 billion in sales this year, which is 20 percent more than it reported last year. It represents 14 percent of the U.S. market share.
6. Tee Compressed unveils unique promotional apparel
Fibre 2 Fashion
From June 6: Promotional product creation company Tee Compressed is offering clients a service that few others can provide — compressed promotional apparel. These are items, like a T-shirt, tote bag, or towel, which have been compressed into an exponentially smaller, unique shape, in many cases one that has relevance to the client's business.
7. Ohio State sues another DIY T-shirt design site, following victory against Skreened
Columbus Business First
From May 30: Fresh off its victory against Columbus-based Skreened, Ohio State University has sued another company that allows people to design their own T-shirts for sale. Ohio State filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit in federal court in Ohio against Teespring Inc., a Rhode Island company with a business model similar to Skreened. Teespring allows customers to submit their own T-shirt designs, which it then produces for the customers to resell.
8. 40 brand logos with hidden messages
From Oct. 24: You probably already know the story behind the famous FedEx logo and its clever use of negative space. But of course, it's hardly the only logo with a "hidden message." British plastic card maker Oomph has collected 40 such logos — Amazon, Unilever and the Tour de France are particularly unique. How many of these sneaky messages would you have spotted without the help?
9. 7 simple ways to stay in touch with your customers
From Sept. 26: You want to stay in touch with your customers. The reason is simple: You want to turn transactions into ongoing relationships. But that's not easy, especially when all you can think to do is send a "Thinking of you — hope you're doing well!" email that sounds like you're just fishing for business.
10. Dimensional weight pricing and how it could affect your shipping charges
From Oct. 24: The way in which ground shipping charges are derived is about to change in 2015. Are you prepared? Both FedEx and UPS announced plans to apply dimensional weight pricing on all packages. The two companies already use this pricing on many of their other services, but have now opted to expand this practice further. Both companies believe these changes will help to reduce excess packaging materials and overall package sizes in order to better optimize loads, which may ultimately lead to related reductions in fuel use, vehicle emissions and transportation costs.
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