Make friends in high places-that's how sports bag company OGIO blew open the doors to the "in crowd." Looking for a company that shared his style, OGIO founder and CEO Mike Pratt pitched Ã¼berbrand Ducati Motorcycles a cross-promotion the company couldn't resist. Soon, Ducati hangtags adorned 150,000 OGIO golf bags, and golf shops housed gleaming motorcycle displays. Ducati even offered up a Supersport 900 motorcycle as the grand prize of an OGIO contest.
Hip by association, this youthful and aggressive company was getting everyone's attention. The company forged new alliances with Yamaha and Mongoose dirt bikes. Popular golf equipment manufacturer Callaway Golf also approached OGIO, which designed Callaway's bestselling golf bag ever-and now makes 90 percent of Callaway bags. Snowboarding, skateboarding and motocross pros have also hooked up with the company, which now designs gear bags for those sports, too.
"We've always been known for quality and fresh designs, but we never had the brand," explains Pratt, 40. "The [turning] point was aligning ourselves with cool brands outside the [golf] industry." Sales for this Bluffdale, Utah, business hit $51 million in 2001-and you can bet that with each new ally, Pratt's thinking, "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."