RedRover Hosts 10-Year Bash at FedExForum

Monday, April 4, 2016

You know you’ve made it when you can throw a birthday party that draws guests like an NBA star in addition to a variety of high-powered business leaders.

RedRover is throwing a 10-year anniversary party this week at FedExForum. It will include a meet-and-greet session with Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, networking opportunities, an early look at the firm’s revamped website and it will celebrate the release of CEO Lori Turner-Wilson’s new book. 


Later this week, RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy is hosting an invitation-only bash at FedExForum that will include a meet-and-greet session with Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen. In addition to networking opportunities with the business crowd on hand, the firm will also give an early peek at its revamped website launching this month and will toast the release of CEO Lori Turner-Wilson’s new book, “WOOF! Why Ordinary Organizations Fail.”

The gathering will also celebrate a milestone anniversary for the firm that Turner-Wilson and Julie Lunn launched in 2006, after they both decided to leave corporate life and build their own sales and marketing shop. They brainstormed ideas for what would become RedRover on a whiteboard over a game of pool, and with its first decade under its belt – or, rather, its dog collar – the firm with the playful canine motif has plenty to celebrate.

It has a growing team of 20 professionals; a Nashville branch; and client relationships with enterprises like the Greater Memphis Chamber, Regional One Health Foundation and the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

It was the latter name that brought about RedRover’s relationship with Allen. Last year, the firm helped orchestrate an endorsement partnership between the Grizzlies and Memphis International Airport, which entered into a three-year sponsorship deal with the Grizz that included making Allen the airport’s spokesman.

RedRover says that campaign – which included a website redesign and humorous informational video starring Allen – resulted in a 1,300 percent increase of visitor traffic to within 48 hours, one of many successes the firm will be celebrating this week.

Turner-Wilson says the firm 10 years ago took a strategic approach to mapping out its vision and what it hoped to achieve.

“We followed the best entrepreneurial practice of identifying the gaps in the current market and building a company and services to fill those gaps,” she said. “Customized sales training, a holistic approach to integrating sales and marketing practices, and metric-based strategic planning were elements we weren't seeing in other area agencies at the time, and we still hold that distinction today.”

The firm’s name works on multiple levels. It’s partly a reference to the similarly named childhood game that involves players breaking through the arms of the other team, which the firm incorporates into its ideal of “breakthrough” sales and marketing strategies.

It’s also a nod to the dog lovers and supporters of various animal rescue groups at RedRover.

At launch, the pair of businesswomen who set up shop in Downtown’s South Main District were a two-person consultancy with a couple of clients. The firm’s rapid growth since then has included graduating from the EmergeMemphis business incubator; moving into its own space on South Main; then moving into its current space on the third floor of Front Street’s historic Falls Building.

RedRover grew revenue 495 percent through the three worst years of the recession, from 2008 to 2010. And the firm has more than tripled its revenue since 2011.

The firm’s model is built around aligning both sales and marketing strategies. Its menu of services includes management coaching and high-level sales training along with traditional offerings like advertising and marketing communications, branding and corporate communications.

Regional One Health Foundation executive director Tammie Ritchey said she’s always felt a consistency of attention and quality of service from RedRover in a way that can get lost at a bigger firm, where turnover can be high.

“They’re really good at taking non-marketers and getting them comfortable with being marketers,” adds Ham Smythe IV, president of Premier Transportation Services, about RedRover. “Maybe a CEO knows everything about how to run a widget factory but has very little idea how to promote widgets. They get him comfortable with that, in an accessible way.”