By Alex Purugganan
A large bottle of celebratory champagne chilled in Dale Bathum's refrigerator, waiting for the moment his Preston, Washington, company, Bite Golf, reached its initial revenue objective of $1 million. But the champagne remained on ice even days after the goal was accomplished. "We took a breather for an hour or so to enjoy it, then we went right back to business," Bathum says.
Bathum adopted that worker-bee mentality while working as a production manager for Nike in South Korea and China. He has since incorporated the attitude into his golf-footwear company. "Bite Golf's framework parallels Nike's entirely, from the defining of team roles to the breeding of a winning atmosphere," explains Bathum, who launched his business in August 1996.
And the similarities don't end there. Bathum has revolutionized the golf-shoe industry by introducing an athletic design for golf sandals and boots, focusing on comfort and style-and very much unlike the wingtip standard. Bite Golf expects to bring in more than $5 million in sales this year. Staying true to form, Bathum has reset his company's original objectives. "Earning $1 million was our first goal," he says. "Earning $1 million a month is our next."