Keep Your Corporate-Logo Goodies (Please)

Last Updated Apr 15, 2009 3:30 PM EDT

A post I read the other day about lame corporate logo merchandise made me recall, with the barest hint of nostalgia, all the semi-useless swag I've collected during my career.

Tim Sackett, writing on Fistful of Talent, said he believes managers should come up with better ways to reward and recognize performance. I heartily agree, because very few of the tchotchkes I've received from employers or organizations I've worked with have made a difference in my life.

The ones that I did enjoy and/or use included:

  • San Francisco Chronicle coffee mug
  • CE Sports duffel bag
  • Various USTA notebooks and pens
  • CNET umbrella
The ones that collected dust in my closet for years:
  • 1996 Olympic Games official polo shirt
  • Los Angeles Times polo shirt
  • KCBS-TV polo shirt (are we sensing a theme here with polo shirts?)
  • Roughly six laptop bags
  • ZDNet-logo'd backpack (with apologies to Stephen H-S: Sorry, dude, but it WAS kind of dorky-looking)
And items that immediately found their way into donation bags:
  • Huge assortment of trucker-style baseball caps
  • Cheesy nylon windbreakers
  • A desk set (who even uses these anymore?)
  • A plethora of lapel pins
  • Dozens of stress balls
  • A multipurpose mouse pad with a built-in calculator
Think of all that wasted money (and motivation).

What's some of the silliest corporate gear you've ever gathered? Share your stories in the comments section.

(image from

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for and writes regularly for and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.