Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hitching a High-Speed Ride

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hitching a High-Speed Ride

Article excerpt

Auto racing, beer and barbecue sauce. These three American obsessions are the main ingredients in the business formula of Big Daddy's.

The year-old trio of related companies, based just outside of Yukon at the Sundance Air Park, is using an unusual marketing strategy to push its bottled barbecue sauce and beer. Its sole advertising medium is racing team sponsorships.

The company now sponsors more than a dozen racers in such high- profile competitions as the Automobile Racing Club of America, the International Hot Rod Association and the Indy Racing League. One of the company's sponsorships is Lance Norick, son of former Oklahoma City mayor Ron Norick, in the Craftsman Truck Series. These sponsorships have given Big Daddy's wide exposure to a focused market category from the United States to Japan. In fact, many racing enthusiasts are familiar with Big Daddy's even in markets where the company's products are not yet available. "Our original intent was to get the name out there to create a demand," explains Dan Lloyd, chairman of the board and president of the company. The strategy has worked. The company's products are primarily sold in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. Its strongest market is Phoenix. Big Daddy's picked up two major Arizona contracts in March, with Abco Grocery and the Phoenix division of Albertson's. These two deals together boosted Big Daddy's into more than 60 percent of the Arizona market. In the company's home state, its products are distributed through Fleming to a number of different stores. But its line of beer is not yet available in Oklahoma. "You've got to grow slow," says Lloyd. "The worst thing is to get a lot of sales and you can't take care of customers." Yet Lloyd doesn't want to go too slow. The company is working on possible national distribution deals. If sales continue to grow according to plan, Lloyd expects Big Daddy's to accumulate $12 million in revenue for 1999. Big Daddy's has two factories -- one in Oklahoma City at SE 15th and Walnut, the other in Van Buren, Ark. In anticipation of increased demand and distribution, Lloyd says the company will soon open facilities in California and Florida, and possibly North Carolina. …

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