BAMKO Acquires Gifts By Design

Los Angeles, California-based distributor BAMKO (PPAI 242148, D11), a division of the Superior Group of Companies, has acquired substantially all of the assets of distributor Gifts By Design, Inc. of Seattle, Washington. The news was first reported on Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert.

Gifts By Design delivered approximately $18.2 million in revenue in 2020 and is expected to be accretive to SGC’s fiscal year 2021 operating results. Gifts By Design will operate as the Awards, Recognition And Incentives Division of BAMKO.

“The acquisition of Gifts by Design immediately positions BAMKO to become an industry leader in corporate awards, incentives and recognition programs,” says Jake Himelstein, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of BAMKO. “This acquisition will provide BAMKO with the opportunity to develop the awards, incentives and recognition program vertical across our existing portfolio of clients and leverage our salesforce to extend that vertical to future clients. We also have an immediate opportunity to extend the unique suite of capabilities and services that only BAMKO has to offer to develop new verticals across Gifts By Design’s existing customer base. In so doing, we will be able to strengthen and deepen those client relationships and expand our sales footprint with them.”

Speaking to PPB Newslink, Joshua White, general counsel and senior vice president, strategic partnerships, at BAMKO, spoke on what drew the two companies together. He says, “Every deal we consider has to, at a minimum, offer what we call the three C’s: culture, cash flow and capabilities. BAMKO’s got a very unique culture. We are relentlessly positive, obsessed with a growth mindset and unwilling to settle for being less than the best. Gifts by Design has a uniquely positive and empowering culture that has a well-earned incredible reputation. On top of that, Jamie [Stone, president and founder of Gifts By Design] has built such a sound business that the cash flow part just takes care of itself. Then, when you look at their capabilities as one of the very best in the industry at their core competency of employee awards, incentives, and recognition programs and infuse that with BAMKO’s resources, technological supremacy, fulfillment capabilities, and overseas sourcing infrastructure, and synergies to create the industry’s best employee engagement platform are just too obvious to pass up.”

White adds, “On top of all that is a fourth factor, which is leadership. Jamie has proven herself to be a thoughtful, effective and beloved leader over the years. She’s really good at what she does. Now she gets to be really good at what she does with a much larger platform at her disposal. To have someone like her step in to lead this new division was a really attractive opportunity that dramatically increases our odds of success here.”

Stone adds, “Joining forces with BAMKO is not a decision we arrived at lightly. I’ve known the BAMKO team for years. As I’ve watched their growth and success in recent years, it became clear that BAMKO is something very different from the rest of the industry. BAMKO has distinguished itself with its unmatched technological capabilities, an award-winning creative team, an incredible overseas sourcing operation, and an unparalleled ability to win and service major program business for the world’s biggest brands. Joining forces with BAMKO creates incredible opportunities for our employees, offers our clients access to the most impressive set of capabilities in the industry, and gives us a platform upon which to build the best and most technologically advanced awards, incentives and recognition solution in the entire industry. What excites me most is the opportunity to become part of such a positive, enthusiastic and hard-working team. BAMKO’s culture of empowering individuals to relentlessly pursue personal and professional growth is something truly special. We’re excited to partner with BAMKO and build something special here.”

Stone will remain with the business as president of BAMKO’s newly-formed division. BAMKO also anticipates that there will be numerous opportunities for the new division to operate in conjunction or collaboration with other elements of its business. White says, “We intend to significantly enhance the suite of services that Gifts By Design is able to offer to its current customers and expect this acquisition to be a major value add to them. Just as important is the idea that we’re building a whole new division here. We’re not bringing Jamie and her team on board to just operate in a silo. We are empowering Jamie Stone to be the leader of BAMKO’s Awards, Incentives, and Recognition Division. At BAMKO, we don’t do anything halfway. We have every intention of leveraging our existing clients relationships across both BAMKO and our parent company to offer our clients access to the best engagement platform that exists anywhere in our industry.”

BAMKO President Phil Koosed says, “Jamie and her team have built an exceptional culture that we think will fit right in with the special group we have here at BAMKO. By joining forces, both companies will immediately become better with increased capabilities and product offerings. We are adding talent and proven leadership whose positive impact will reverberate throughout the entire organization. Our employees and clients will benefit substantially from the opportunities that this acquisition creates, and we cannot wait to get started.”

The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions in recent years. In late 2019, BAMKO expanded its footprint into Texas with the formation of a strategic partnership with Dallas-based distributor Lapgevity (PPAI 260498, D4). The partnership gave Los Angeles-based BAMKO a new presence in the Texas market and Lapgevity clients access to the California company’s technology, creative and distribution capabilities.

filed under February 2021 | BAMKO
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