This Brian Harman sponsor became a punchline. But MegaCorp got the last laugh
MegaCorp executives have seen many, if not all, of the jokes about their company’s vague and somewhat sinister-sounding name. Over the past few days — with the MegaCorp logo plastered to the front of soon-to-be Open champion Brian Harman’s hat — quips about the brand’s motives have been flying around Golf Twitter and beyond. A sampling:
“Obviously they assemble sharks with laser beams attached to their heads”
“Try to take over small, quaint, ski towns in Hallmark movies”
“Some kinda joke or a clap back by Harman for being shunned by sponsors”
On Monday morning, the hosts of the popular Barstool Sports podcast, “Pardon My Take,” joined the fun, riffing on Harman’s sponsor for nearly five minutes.
“Who knows what that is,” Eric Sollenberger, aka PFT Commenter, said to his cohost Dan Katz, aka Big Cat.
“It’s a freighting company. I looked it up,” Katz said. “I was like, ‘This sounds badass.’ But I’ll just say this, MegaCorp, you do more than freighting. There’s no way. Like, that’s the coolest name for a company ever. MegaCorp?”
To which Sollenberger said, “I saw MegaCorp and was like, this is a company that Superman is trying to stop from taking over the world.”
Katz later added: “I’m somewhat bashing MegaCorp, but it’s 100 percent from a place of jealousy, because whatever guy decided to call it MegaCorp, that guy rocks. It’s a total dudes-rock moment.”
That guy was actually a team of guys and gals.
When Ryan Legg, MegaCorp‘s chief executive officer, and his wife Denise founded the Wilmington, N.C.-based company in 2009, they wanted a name that was “short, easy to remember and catchy,” Katie Braskett, MegaCorp’s director of marketing told GOLF.com Monday morning.
“They went through a lot of different names, but unfortunately a lot of the short catchy names were taken,” she said. “Someone finally threw out the name ‘MegaCorp’ — it was short, it’s catchy, it kind of drums up some sense of What is that? And it wasn’t taken.”
With that, MegaCorp was born.
Many golf fans may not have been familiar with the company — which provides freight transportation arrangement and intermodal logistics across the U.S. — but that began to change as Harman made his way up the leaderboard at Royal Liverpool. With fine play comes broadcast and social-media exposure, and at the Open Championship no one played better than Harman.
TV time for Harman’s hat led not only to light-hearted jokes on social media but also to many viewers researching the company.
According to Braskett, search traffic to MegaCorp’s site increased by 5,000 percent last week, and “tags on social media and social activity were more than we’ve ever had.”
Braskett said that the company has seen interest spikes before when Harman has been in contention. “But this much airtime, this much publicity on a Sunday is new to us, and it’s very exciting to see the impact,” she said. “We know people are going to poke fun at our name, but once they get to know us and realize what we do and who we are behind the name, we’re excited to have more people know about MegaCorp and the logistics industry in general.”
Harman first partnered with MegaCorp in 2017, soon after his win at the Wells Fargo Championship, which that year was played in Wilmington. Following the event, he met some of the company’s representatives at a First Tee outing. “Our team and him just hit it off,” Braskett said. “He’s such an awesome, down-to-earth person.” She added that Harman “was looking for a sponsorship at the time. Luckily our CEO thought it was a great idea.”
MegaCorp’s employees also seem to support the partnership. On Sunday, as Harman was plodding his way around rainy Royal Liverpool, a crowd of MegaCorp staffers gathered at the office to root on their man. Brunch was served. Mimosas and Bloody Marys, too. “Such a special moment,” Braskett said. “Even if he didn’t win, we wanted to be together to see that.”
Braskett said Harman’s deals with the company have been one-year agreements, but “as the years have gone be, our relationship has strengthened.” MegaCorp also has one other PGA Tour pro on its books: J.T. Poston, who signed with the company last year.
When asked about the snarky one-liners about the company’s name, Braskett said, “We kind of laugh along with it, because I do understand, like, MegaCorp is coming. But once you get to know us and the people behind the fun name, we’re really awesome, hardworking people that care. We’re not trying to take over America in an evil way, just trying to make sure that everything gets done in a ‘mega’ way, in the best possible way.”
Any plans to rebrand?
“We’re going to keep it MegaCorp,” she said. “I like to say ‘MegaCorp Logistics’ when we’re talking to new people, but it looks more cluttered on a hat when you see ‘MegaCorp’ and a small “Logistics” under it. So we like to be just ‘MegaCorp’ — it makes people wonder and it makes people google us, and that helps drum up our online presence and traffic. We kind of do like the bit of mystery to it.”