When pro golfer Brian Harman won the prestigious British Open in July, many TV viewers noticed the mysterious logo on his hat: MegaCorp. Twitter had fun with the sinister-sounding name. Isn’t that the villain from a Batman comic? Nope, MegaCorp Logistics is a North Carolina-based logistics firm with $800 million in revenue.
I asked Katie Braskett, marketing director of MegaCorp, about the company, its name, and the experience of sponsoring a British Open winner. “The impact from Brian Harman’s win has been incredible exposure for MegaCorp. This is pretty much a best-case scenario,” she said a few days after the Open. “Website traffic has increased over 5,000% compared to a typical day.”
Here’s my interview with Braskett, edited for space and clarity.
MICHAEL LEV: Tell me about MegaCorp Logistics.
KATIE BRASKETT: We were founded in 2009. We are the people that pair the trucks with the goods that need to be shipped. If it fits on a truck we will ship it. Our specialty is full truckloads. We also do LTL (less than full truckloads), intermodal, and air. And we’re starting ocean as well. We talk with the shipper and take the nuances and stress off their plate and coordinate the pickups or deliveries, and stay in touch with the driver along the route, which could be as short as 50 miles or as long as 3,000 miles.
ML: You might say you’re a travel agent for goods.
KB: Essentially, yes. And staying on top of where those goods are, making sure that they’re picked up and delivered in a timely fashion and staying at the temperature they’re supposed to if it’s temperature controlled, or secured. Whatever the client wants. We work with retailers, manufacturers, construction — basically anybody from Fortune 100 companies to original manufacturers, farmers, shippers, and distributors. And we have a database of trucking companies we have personally vetted. We have a really rigid screening process for our carrier partners.
ML: How did the pandemic affect business?
KB: We really were booming — almost double the amount of truckloads were on the road during the pandemic than prior. Outbound tender rejection rates were about 25% to 27% at the peak. Those were loads that were supposed to get picked up but didn’t because either a truck wasn’t available or found a higher-paying load or more desirable lane. They decided, “Hey, capacity is so tight I get to pick and choose what I want.” As a logistics company that has a great relationship with their carriers, we were able to come in and help, and that helped us grow. Our role was no loads left on the dock, so we had a lot of opportunities to help shippers that were desperately trying to get their products to the stores. Throughout the pandemic our growth rate was in the 30% range a year.
ML: What are you seeing now?
KB: We still have a growth trajectory but it’s nowhere like it was. It’s slowed and margins are lower. I would assume maybe 10%, 5% growth this year.
ML: Tell me about the name MegaCorp.
KB: I wasn’t here then but I know the story. They were trying to find something catchy, short, easy to remember, and all-encompassing in a sense. Someone threw out the name MegaCorp. It wasn’t already trademarked so they rolled with it. I like how it provokes a little bit of a sense of wonder, because what is MegaCorp? What do they do? That makes people Google us and helps with our digital presence.
ML: Why do a marketing deal with a pro golfer?
KB: Our CEO is a big golf fan so that helps. What I like from a marketing standpoint and from a logistics standpoint is the PGA Tour goes all over the U.S., so we have a chance to get our name out there in multiple cities. The PGA Tour also follows the produce season in a sense, and we ship a lot of produce, so it kind of goes hand in hand. The tour follows the warmer weather around the U.S. up to a point. And of course the television publicity. It’s just a way to reach a lot of people in different levels and different elements.
ML: Other benefits from working with Brian Harman?
KB: When he plays well, we do get airtime. And that’s reflected in our Google Analytics. The other part is since the tour does go throughout the country, we’re able to send some of our clients or prospects to these PGA tour events and give them an experience. The same thing with employees. There’s a multilevel marketing element.
ML: Is the front of the hat the premier logo position?
KB: In my eyes it’s the premier position. It’s visible, because sometimes when they’re swinging, the logo on the chest does get a little bit covered.
Read the complete Issue 40 of ChainMail here.
Enjoying this story? Subscribe to ChainMail, MxD’s newsletter on breaking supply chain news, trends, and updates.