GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox with ... Ogioi's Andy Donahue

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 | 12:00 AM

Ogio has made a huge name for themselves in the action sports market with their impressive line of luggage bags and accessories. They have been longtime sponsors of Loretta Lynn’s and have supported the GNCC series for some time. In 2007 they stepped up their endorsement of the series exponentially by giving out bags to the winners at the awards banquet. Andy Donahue is the National Sales manager for the motorsports department for Ogio and has been around the motorcycle and off-road industry for over a decade. We sat down with him before the upcoming Christmas break to talk about Ogio’s stepped up involvement with the GNCC’s and what we can expect to see from Ogio in 2008 and beyond.


First off, you guys have been involved with most of Racer Productions events for sometime, but last year you guys really stepped it up.


Yes, we provided bags for the awards banquet the year before but not as many, not enough for everybody.


The off-road market seems to really be booming, but it is a new thing for you guys. What were your key attractions?


We’ve always had great luck working with Racer Productions on Loretta Lynn’s and had great success being present there, setting up a booth and talking to everybody and now our stepped up support of the GNCC series is a way for us to be directly in more families involved with off-road racing and activities. It’s a great opportunity to get our products out for them to test them out and see why Ogio makes the best bags on the market.


The brand has really grown a lot in the past five years. We saw a special on ESPN regarding the gifts that some of the larger bowl participants will be receiving and noticed that an Ogio bag is one of those gifts. How did that come to fruition?


We get connected with a lot of mainstream sports stuff through most of the major broadcast stations like CBS, NBC, and events associated with ESPN and SPEED. When there are events like that they come to us because they know a gift from us is something special and not just something they will throw in the back of the closet, you know? But, yes, we are grateful that we have established solid relationships with those people and it’s worked out really well for us, that is for sure.


So, Andy, tell us about your personal involvement with the GNCC’s. will you be attending some events yourself?


Yes, I’m planning to be there for at least two races as it stands right now. Also, I’ll have local sales reps that will set up display tents in the vendor’s area. We’re also putting together an Ogio hydration pack and have some samples for the racers to check out on amateur day. We feel like those are our direct customers and we want them to use them, beat them up and give us feedback on how we can make them better.


What are some of your products that our participants may best recognize?


Well, we sponsored the KTM team in 2007 and I’ve been working with Charlie Mullins for 08 to fly the OGIO logo on this helmet and pick up some wins and podiums! OGIO has a new ERZBERG Hydration pack for racers now, so that will be showcased at the races.  The Baja pack is more of an all day trail riding pack or a desert racing application, but the ERZBERG is perfect for GNCC’s. It’s also in the new RX issue in Deluxe with Travis Pastrana on the cover.


Have you been to a GNCC yet?


Yes, I attended one in Indiana two years ago and had a great time. I didn’t make it to any this year but now that we are so involved I want to get out there and talk to the racers and see all of the guys with Racer Productions, the sponsors, teams and be a part of the cool family that you guys have built around racing.


Who is your favorite off-road rider of all-time?


I’ve alwaysbeen a huge Rodney Smith. I did some Parts Unlimited rides with him back in the day when I worked at Sunstar and always idolized him for being one of the older riders in the series and always coming though. He’s just a super nice guy and a very talented rider, so I’d say he is my favorite off-road participant for sure.



Do you guys have anything special going on for the holidays?


Yes, we’re doing some special incentives for dealerships and riders to buy some things now and not have to pay for them until Spring time and some other really cool things. Check out www.ogio.comand take advantage. But, right now we’re really working hard getting ready for the upcoming Indy Trade Show. Putting the booth designs together the best way we can so we can make a good impression on the industry.


OK, thanks for the time Andy, we’ll let you get back to work.


Thanks Jason. We’re really stoked to be involved with the GNCC’s and can’t wait for 2008!