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Old 10-10-2013, 04:47 PM   #34
is one Smokin' Farker

kcmike's Avatar
Join Date: 02-09-11
Location: Kearney, MO

Good afternoon everyone,

Because this is my Brethren Ventures forum (I pay for it) and its primary purpose is to communicate our brand to current and would-be customers, I felt it necessary to respond to a few of the posts contained within this thread. Furthermore, since I believe in full transparency in life and in business, some of my answers will put a little egg on my face, and some won't, but all will be truthful and without error. Finally, please be assured, I do so with no disrespect or malice implied nor intended toward any of the posters quoted below.

Originally Posted by Big Poppa View Post
Funny Mike most of those teams buy my stuff. btw its Poppa.
Honest Answer: My original response was a knee-jerk gut response not rooted in actual specific knowledge. In reality, you are correct. Several of my teams have purchased BPS products. However, this is accepted and I do not discourage it. Our sponsorship agreement allows our teams to use other rubs besides Oakridge as long as they use Oakridge on a specific number of entries, dependent on the sponsorship Tier level they qualify for. That said, I don't typically ask them (or require them to tell me) what other rubs they are using in addition to Oakridge. So, I don't normally possess the knowledge of what other rubs our teams are using, quite frankly because it's part of their secret recipe and I don't wish to impose on that. The only thing I require is for them to only report the top ten calls they receive where an Oakridge product was used. I do not, nor have I ever, counted any other top ten calls they may have received where an Oakridge product was not used. This has been my hard and fast reporting guideline since the inception of my sponsorship program back in 2010.

Regarding the misspelling of Big Poppa, it was truly unintentional. Sometimes spell check is your best friend, other times, not so much. Sorry about that.

Originally Posted by Big Poppa View Post
hahahahaha Ask the rgc at the open....
Honest Answer: After this exchange, I did ask him. Without giving away too much, he used multiple rubs on his 1st place 180 Open brisket, one of which was an Oakridge product. The other(s) will remain nameless out of respect for the cooker. I can also certify that he used at least one Oakridge product on his 17th place Open chicken as well as his other two entries. As stated above, this falls within our sponsorship guidelines and there is no issue with any of my teams using other competitor's products as long as they use Oakridge on the minimum required categories for their Tier.

Originally Posted by Big Poppa View Post
One of your teams that you list sent me the link of this thread embarrassed.... thats how it got my attention
Honest Answer: I have asked internally for the embarrassed team to identify themselves so we could talk privately about why they feel that way. To date, all responses received back have been negative and no one has taken ownership of this. I have no reason to believe this didn't happen, but to date I cannot confirm that it did.

Originally Posted by Dan - 3eyzbbq View Post
Big Poppa Smokers makes great rubs, but the Elite program is so much more than that. For instance he is putting up $15,000 a YEAR to childrens charity in the name of the teams that finish 1st in each category and for the overall. Plus the comradery between the teams in the program is nothing short of amazing. I'm happy to be a part of it all.

You mention "Team Oakridge". I'll be honest and say I don't know what that is. Do you have a similar program?
Honest Answer: I am thrilled that another BBQ Rub manufacturer has decided to give back. As far as Oakridge BBQ is concerned, our core #1 guiding business principle has been charitable giving. Since day one, we have openly communicated on our website and our packaging that we donate a minimum of 10% of our net profits to Domestic and International Orphan and Homeless charities. While my pockets may not be as deep as others, last year we donated over 14.5% of our net profit to these charities. Additionally, at the release of our Black Ops Brisket Rub last December, we increased our giving to include an additional 10% net profit from the sale of that specific product toward the Wounded Warrior Project. While I don't typically oversell these core business practices because it's just not my way, they are intricately woven into the very fabric of who I am and who Oakridge is.

Finally, I'm not surprised you've never heard of Team Oakridge. We are a quiet bunch, typically. (Except when somebody boosts a golf cart at the AR and drives it around for a couple hours... LOL!) However, our sponsorship team has managed to amass over 1,200 top ten calls (Sanctioned contests only and only calls where an Oakridge product was used) in just the past three years. Not sure how big of a deal that is in reality, but it seems big to me.

Originally Posted by DUBBAGA View Post

I love your products, and plan to start competing in 2014 using them. You have a list of great teams that are winning big using Oakridge, and that is a credit to both you and those teams.

Having said that, and without taking anything away from their accomplishments, the BPS Elite Team is at another level. There is nothing wrong with that, and no doubt many of your teams would like to work their way to that level.

I am not certain what the requirements are to be a member of the BPS Elite Team, but clearly it isn't to use Big Poppa Smokers branded product only. Heck, one of his teams is a major player in the bbq rub market = Simply Marvelous, and the combination of their two products makes up the "West Coast Offense". As Big Poppa Smokers carries Oakridge products, I see no reason why a team such as I.A.B. 30 couldn't continue to be an Oakridge team next year while also being a BPS Elite team in 2014.

I would like to see Big Poppa make a spot open in his King of the Smoker event this December to a team of Mike's choosing, and let the results decide the winner of "Team Oakridge" vs "BPS Elite"
Honest Answer: Thanks for the business, DUBBAGA. Regarding the inferred Oakridge BBQ sponsorship requirements question; as I've mentioned above, I have no issues with our teams using other competitor's products and our Sponsorship Agreement specifically allows for it. However, I guess where I differ is open promotion of another's brand while acting as a member of another sponsorship team. It's nothing personal toward the other guy's rubs, I suppose it just boils down to a difference in practice regarding marketing strategy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Regarding the idea of a cook-off between the two teams; based on the hackles that were raised by my one benign comment at the start of this post, I don't think it would be in anyone's best interest to take this any further.

Thanks for your time,
Mike Trump
Mike Trump
President & CEO, Oakridge BBQ LLC

~ Visit Oakridge BBQ ~

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Last edited by kcmike; 10-10-2013 at 04:58 PM.. Reason: When am I going to learn to spell check this stuff first...
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