Loudmouth Golf CEO LARRY JACKSON is making moves that are just as bold as his product offerings. Jackson went from consumer to CEO in ’07, when he joined the company known for its loud designs. He has since watched the company’s profits reach $1M in '08 and double since that time. Jackson estimates Loudmouth will reach $10M in gross revenue by the end of this year. With testing for a new kids line in the final stages and samples and designs for a new swimwear and resort line in the queue, Jackson said the company will be making a strong push into licensing to expand its product line. The brand made famous by golfer JOHN DALY and the Norwegian curling team is hoping to make its name in sports and entertainment, and Jackson is at the helm of that effort.
Describe Loudmouth in one word: Fabulous.
Number of days a week you wear Loudmouth apparel? I don’t remember the last time I walked out of my door without some Loudmouth on me. I am 24/7 unless I’m going to some event that it might be construed as rude to upstage someone. Like a wedding I might just wear a Loudmouth and then put a sports coat on for the reception. … The last funeral I was at I was even in Loudmouth at the behest of the bereaved wife.
Q: What is the best (or most memorable or unique) reaction to wearing Loudmouth clothing in a business setting?
Jackson: I came from the high-tech world and I lived in Japan for a long time, so every business meeting was so prim and proper and organized, and they had agendas. And before you walked into a meeting, you all sat in the correct seats in the room based on your position within your company. It was neat to learn that whole extremely tricky and intricate business etiquette in Japan. But Loudmouth is just the diametrically opposed opposite because every business meeting some crazy thing happens or some weird story pops out. We never walk into a meeting where we’re not appalling someone in some way.
Q: Can you articulate what your brand is, what it stands for and who you are targeting?
Jackson: The original thought behind the products was the great golf pants of the '70s, bring them back into fashion because they were fun and when you wear pants like these you have more fun. … Our target market is people who like to have fun, who want to increase their chances of having a better and more exciting day than they would otherwise.
Q: So your target market isn’t specifically golfers?
Jackson: I've got to say it is for golfers right now and that’s probably 90% of what our sales go to is golfers, but a huge chunk of these golfers who are buying Loudmouth products right now are wearing them to everything -- parties, concerts, sporting events. … You get hooked on just the fun and attention factor of Loudmouth. Those customers that have been wearing the golf clothing outside the golf course are clamoring for us to put Loudmouth patterns on more and different products, both apparel and other categories of items. That’s why we have done ski pants now, we’re working on kids clothes, we’ve got a resort line with board shorts, hoodies and things like that, swimwear, coming out in the next few months. It’s aimed at golfers now, but we are on the verge of rapidly expanding into other arenas.
Q: What other categories are you looking to expand into?
Jackson: We’re going to top manufacturers and working on licensing deals where they put Loudmouth patterns on other types of products, and over the next year or so, we’re going to produce the apparel lines ourselves, like the resortwear, the kids and so forth. We’re talking to lots of different types of companies right now to put Loudmouth patterns on soup to nuts at least in regard to products that we, inside Loudmouth, like, would use ourselves and would consider a quality product and that we will use in our daily lives.
Q: What’s the number one request from consumers on a category they would like the company to expand into?
Jackson: The ski pants we heard a lot. … Snowboard, kids, board shorts and boxer shorts we hear all the time.
Q: How did the association with the Norwegian curling team come about?
Jackson: In the summer curling championships in 2009 the Norwegian curling team, in every international competition as long as anyone can remember, everyone has only worn black pants. So the curling team wore black pants in 2009, but they put on pink belts. And the pink belts themselves got enough airplay and mentions in various publications, and they only won third place in that particular tournament. But they got so many mentions that they said why don’t we step it up a notch and do something more interesting? In the process of researching the Olympic uniform that you can and can’t use, they decided interesting pants would be the way to go and they basically Googled "wild pants" or "crazy pants" or something like that and we popped up number one. They just ordered them online with a credit card and didn’t even tell us!" (Editor's note: Loudmouth signed the Norwegian curling team to a five-year sponsorship deal through the next '14 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The team wears Loudmouth pants in every competition.)