Public Relations

In the News
Burton Golf Bag
Sports Insight

July/August 2009
Article: Conglomerate Comeback

The sports conglomerate could be making a comeback. The latest evidence is supplied by Dynamic Brands, the Richmond-VA based owner of Baby Jogger and golf brands Bag Boy and Slotline. Dynamic recently paid cash for Forefront Holdings to acquire two more golf bag brands, Datrek and Burton and several golf accessory companies, Miller, Sir Christopher Hatton and Devant.

David Boardman, CEO of Dynamic Brands, says the purchase was motivated by the desire to more to the forefront of the golf customization business, while at the same time becoming more of a 1-stop shopping center for its customers.

The acquisition will strengthen Dynamic Brands’ presence in the bag category with off-course and golf specialty retailers. “When you ask about off-course and specialty, Datrek is the brand that speaks to that segment probably the strongest,” says Boardman. “If we can offer the right products we’ll have as strong an offering when it comes to golf bags for the off course specialty market as any company in the industry.”

Boardman regards Devant, Burton and Sir Christopher Hatton as green grass brands.

“Scale in this industry is important,” says Boardman. “A lot of our retail partners and green grass pros want to deal with as few vendors as possible. If they can buy all the products they need from one vendor as opposed to buying them from 10, that makes their lives a lot easier.”

A key aspect in Dynamic’s purchase of the ForeFront assets was getting 22 brand new embroidery machines, and Devant’s ability to embroider and image dye golf towels. That will power the customization movement.

“ForeFront has done a nice job of putting together some great brands and that was attractive to us. One of the big things it gives us is the opportunity to customize everything,” says Boardman. “We do some logoed business now in travel covers and golf bags but its not what I would consider to be one of our core competencies, whereas with Devant and Burton and a certain extent Datrek that’s a huge part of their business.

The customization is a competitive advantage because it takes a lot of work. It’s a value add for our business that a lot of people aren’t willing to go that extra step to offer this service.”

Buying five brands in one fell swoop invites thought of a possible limited sell off to ease the cost of purchase, but Boardman says that won’t be the case. They’re all here to stay.

“We bought them to keep them. We didn’t buy them to liquidate them,” says Boardman. “I’m excited about the long-term prospects for each brand. We think that together they’re much stronger together than apart. Bag Boy alone is not as strong as Bag Boy, Datrek, Burton, Devant, Sir Christopher Hatton and Miller Golf. The combination of brands makes each brand stronger.”

Dynamic Brands will also be stronger because of the IT equipment it gained in the purchase that will help all of its businesses, including Baby Jogger and Protect-A-Bub, operate more efficiently.

All applicable assets in ForeFront’s headquarters in Nashville, TN, will move to Dynamic’s headquarters in Richmond, VA. Embroidery equipment in Mississippi will be move to Dynamic’s warehouse in Los Angeles. Devant, Miller Golf and Sir Christopher Hatton will remain in Monroe, NC.