Press Releases - Business Impact Group

Business Impact Group Partners with New Digital Agency Opnia

New Agency Services to Include Facebook and Twitter Advertising Campaigns, Mobile Apps and Analytics

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MINNEAPOLIS, June 25, 2014 – Business Impact Group (BIG), the nationally recognized leader in business branding and employee engagement, has acquired an interest in digital agency Opnia. This new partnership will add social advertising, mobile app design and development as well as analytics capabilities to BIG’s deep portfolio of client offerings and will bring seasoned, senior leadership experience and growth capital to Opnia.

BIG is a national leader in employee recognition programs, brand product development, athletic uniforms, kitting and fulfillment, printing services, development of e-store programs whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, in addition to small and midsize companies.

“Mobile now accounts for more than 22 percent of all US digital ad spend with Facebook gaining significant market share. Digital ad spend as a whole is expected to surpass TV in just a few years, representing a significant shift in the way brands reach their respective audiences,” says Paul Taunton, CEO, BIG. “Directing campaigns to hyper-targeted audiences is the most cost-efficient way to reach customers while measuring ROI. BIG’s strategic partnership with Opnia helps us close the loop from physical branding to digital and social engagement for all our clients.”

Opnia was founded by Brett Loney, Brandon Johnson, Brook Oldre and Paul Taunton. Loney, Johnson and Oldre were part of the highly successful social coupon app “Cartwheel by Target”, which launched in 2013 and was revolutionary in driving in-store sales.

“Our Cartwheel work for Target was a major success on the mobile front,” says Brandon Johnson, Creative Director, Opnia. “Audience targeting allows us to personalize advertising in a whole new way that is more relevant to an individual.”

As a strategic partner of BIG, Opnia can offer full service programs from conceptualizing strategic initiatives to data science, creative execution and account management. In addition they can provide IOS and Android developers, software engineers, analysts, sales and business professionals.

“Opnia brings this data-driven approach to market as a service while building innovative tech products to scale performance. Our experience is second to none in this domain,” adds Brett Loney, Ad Operations, Opnia. “Working closely with our partners at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest we provide innovative ad tech and mobile solutions to our clients.”

To learn more about BIG and Opnia, please visit and

About Business Impact Group
Business Impact Group (BIG) is a recognized national leader in branding and recognition. Providing multiple core competencies under one roof, BIG has partnered with some of the most prominent corporations in the country to assist with employee incentives and learning programs; domestic and off-shore custom manufacturing of textiles and hard goods; development and management of e-stores; custom uniform programs; printing services; and team athletics uniforms and equipment. The company also created BIG LIFT, a proprietary program designed to deliver unique and comprehensive engagement solutions that build a culture of employee recognition.

About Opnia
Opnia is a Minneapolis-based ad tech agency, specializing in designing and developing mobile app experiences and driving results through paid social advertising. Made of a team of strategists, designers, data analysts, and software engineers, they have a passion for building innovative digital solutions with proven ROI. They anticipate the future of digital advertising to be defined by personalized, guest-centric messaging.

Posted: 06/25/2014



Once again, BIG has had the honor to support our community by sponsoring the MSHSBCA All-Star Baseball Tournament. The purpose of the MSHSBCA series is to recognize the best graduating seniors from the sport of baseball in our state every year. 20 baseball players are chosen to represent their area of the state in a “round robin” tournament. Coaches are also selected from different parts of the state. More…

BIG donates 100 uniforms for the players and coaches of the 4 teams.
An Adidas undershirt is donated to each player as well.

Watch the video below to see Ron Coomer, Twins Broadcaster, former MLB player and BIG Athletics Business Development Manager and Paul Taunton, CEO Business Impact Group, along with other local business leaders, discuss their support of the 2013 MSHSBCA All-Star Baseball Tournament.

Posted: 05/12/2014


UMAPP Presents BIG with Award

On April 22, 2014, the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) visited BIG headquarters. The purpose of their visit was to present the 2013 Community Service Award to Paul Taunton and Business Impact Group.

The Community Service Award is given to a business for enriching the lives of others through their acts of philanthropy. BIG earned this award due to our involvement in the following campaigns: More…

- Annual Holiday Drive to provide free knit hats, mittens and blankets to those in need
- Donations of resources and time to MN Teen Challenge

- Funded research and construction for a new freshwater well for a remote African village

At BIG, we are thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to give back to communities near and far. We are honored and humbled to receive this award.


Posted: 05/01/2014


Star Foundation Supports March of Dimes With $20,000 Donation

The Star Foundation is proud to have made its annual $20,000 donation to the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes aligns closely with the Star Foundation’s mission to support programs committed to the betterment of the lives of women and children. More…

The money raised helps the March of Dimes support programs in the community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. It also helps fund groundbreaking research that is searching for ways to prevent and treat prematurity.

Business Impact Group is a branding agency that currently works with some of the most prominent corporations in the US with products & services surrounding their branding needs. Some of our daily services performed are: domestic and off-shore custom manufacturing of textiles & hard-goods, development and management of e-stores, multiple fulfillment facilities throughout US, custom uniform programs, enterprise recognition platforms and much more. These core competencies combined with our experience have been delivering results successfully for over 15 years. The Star Foundation is proud to be the charitable and volunteer branch of Business Impact Group.

Posted: 04/08/2014


Business Impact Group Acquires Global Rewards and Recognition Provider

Acquisition will build on employee recognition services with new leadership in BIG LIFT division

By Carol Schuler
March 5, 2013

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MINNEAPOLIS, March 5, 2014 – Minneapolis-based, nationally recognized expert in branding and employee engagement, Business Impact Group (BIG) has acquired Anderson Performance Improvement Company (APIC).

BIG is a national leader in brand product development, athletic uniforms, kitting and fulfillment, printing services, development of e-stores and enterprise recognition programs whose clients include Fortune 500 companies in addition to small and midsize companies.


APIC will bring its experience and expertise in employee and channel recognition solutions to BIG to further grow the division. Louise Anderson, company founder will join the BIG team as VP of the Recognition Sales Division.

In addition to her decades of experience, Louise also has the rare distinction of being a Certified Professional of Incentive Management. Louise is the current president of the Incentive Marketing Association and has held several offices and served on the board of directors for the past seven years. Her clients’ programs have been recognized as BEST IN CLASS Employee Recognition with the Circle of Excellence Award. APIC has been honored as a top recognition provider by HRO Today Magazine’s annual “Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings” for eight consecutive years. Anderson is also an accomplished public speaker and author of Cream of the Corp. An Ingenious Way to Get People Doing Things that Accelerate Profits NOW!

“Louise brings additional industry knowledge and perspective to BIG’s already established recognition team,” said Paul Taunton, president and CEO, BIG. “She will lead her team with her strong expertise and high visibility. We are thrilled to have her on board.”

BIG LIFT programs help to engage employees as well as create unique and comprehensive behavior based recognition that impacts an organizations bottom line.

To learn more about BIG LIFT, please visit

Posted: 3/5/2014


BIG Athletics teams up with Fellowship of Christian Athletes

BIG Athletics is proud to partner with Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a way to bring support, encouragement and the gospel message to our local youth. Jake Vanada, West Metro Director of FCA, connects with kids every week around the “One Way to Play – Drug and Alcohol Free” message. The ability for us to work together to bring a positive and moral message to these young men and women is very important and completely aligns our core values as organizations.



Since 1954, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is the largest Christian sports organization in America. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ. The mission of FCA is to present to athletes and coaches and all whom they influence the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.

Posted: 2/19/2014


Business Impact Group and CEO Paul Taunton selected as one of Twin Cities Business Magazine’s 2013 Small Business Success Stories Award

Paul Taunton built a one-stop source of uniforms, printing, and other services for businesses by putting himself in the customer’s shoes.

By Phil Bolsta
December 20, 2013

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I’ve run a company with well over a thousand employees, and I know where my heartburn was,” says Paul Taunton, founder and CEO of Business Impact Group (BIG), a Chanhassen-based branding company that specializes in uniforms, printing, and employee recognition programs for large corporations. Perhaps the biggest sources of that heartburn were suppliers that simply couldn’t deliver products he needed. “At BIG, I put myself in the customer’s shoes and ask, ‘What do I wish my suppliers would have brought to me?’” More…

Taunton’s answer to that question: create a one-stop system that closely collaborates with the corporate client in selecting products, then deliver the products quickly, whenever needed. It’s an approach that has helped him grow BIG into a $50 million company in just 11 years. A team of fashion consultants and inventory analysts assists the customer with everything from selecting color patterns to ongoing inventory management.

“One of the beauties of BIG is that we fund 100 percent of all manufacturing for our clients,” says Taunton, who built a chain of retail stores called Athletic Fitters before selling it to Foot Locker in 1998. “We do not invoice the client until the branded products are drop-shipped to them. That makes us a vested supplier in their program and moves a pretty big line-item expense off their balance sheet and onto ours, which is a pretty nice value-add.”

That turnkey approach is what attracted Greg Schneider, the vice president of purchasing for Eagan-based Ovation Brands, which operates several restaurant chains. “What brought us to BIG was their ability to source products from all around the world in a cost-effective manner and at the same time have a very skilled group of fashion people on staff who could help us ideate what we wanted to have in our restaurants,” says Schneider, who’s been a customer for more than a decade.

Schneider also praises BIG’s e-commerce platform. “The online ordering system helps make it a complete package,” he says. “It’s a highly customized and [secure] ordering system for all levels of the organization, so that you can only order what you’re supposed to be able to order.”

“Our clients utilize 90 percent of our core services from our e-commerce platform, which enables us to bring major economies to large organizations across the country,” says Taunton. “They know that the more core services they put in the shopping cart, the more efficiencies and economies they receive. It’s not uncommon to save 25 to 40 percent on shipping costs alone. That’s a real number for some large organizations.”

BIG has four divisions. Its corporate division, consisting of employee uniform programs and branded products, accounts for roughly 40 percent of sales. The employee recognition division generates 30 percent of BIG’s revenue, and its “rewards gallery” has thousands of items for recognizing staff, including electronics, sporting goods and gift cards. The division is based on the belief that companies can improve customer loyalty by rewarding the efforts of their own employees. “We show companies how to engage their workforce so that when their customer walks into their location, they have an amazing experience,” Taunton says.

The company’s two other units include a printing division that can produce a variety of client materials, including business cards, tri-fold brochures and window decals. It also has produced menu boards for restaurants and cookbooks for supermarket chains. The newest member of the BIG family is its athletic division, which kicked off in early 2012. This division sells uniforms, athletic footwear and all manner of sports-related equipment, from goalposts to soccer balls, to more than 500 high schools and colleges across the country. That might seem like a curious business for BIG to expand into. But it does fit with the company’s uniform prowess, and supplying athletic equipment allows BIG to cross-sell.

One of the most pivotal events in BIG’s history was the customer contract signed by Michigan-based Jackson National Life Insurance in 2004, which immediately grew the company’s revenue by 20 percent. “When you’ve got great clients like Jackson, it pushes you to continually evolve your skills and bring more core services underneath one umbrella,” says Taunton, who has since added Best Buy and Cargill as BIG clients. “I wanted to make sure we were always going to be relevant with the services we were providing; and nothing’s more relevant to corporate American than bringing cost efficiencies and improving their processes.”

In sum, “I took my experience in building a company and applied it to BIG,” Taunton says. “I said, ‘I want to create a company that can be relevant to corporate America today. And here’s what I want to be great at.’”

Posted: 12/23/2013


Star Foundation provides a clean and convenient water source to a community of 1,500 + in Ghana, Africa

Business Impact Group is happy to announce that we have successfully drilled for, and piped water into a small village in Ghana, just two miles from the city of Accra. A BIG employee, named Adolph Akpaglo is from this village and tells us it has never had fresh water for life’s basic needs. More…

Until now, the villagers have had to walk several miles to a river to get water. The river water is not high quality so it must be boiled and treated to make it usable for consumption or use in the village. NO MORE! They now have their own well and fresh water for their daily needs. Such a simple thing that we take for granted every day has changed the lives of these people forever!

This journey started with our inaugural BIG Golf Classic fundraiser in July of this year. It was a huge success and enough money was raised to move forward with this project. We enlisted the help of a global organization called Globe Serve, to drill the wells for us. They have been doing this sort of project since the mid 1970’s and have drilled approximately 200 wells in Africa and other parts of the world. Their geologists and drillers went to the village and were unable to find water, which was very concerning to us. They tested in another area of the village to see if they could find water there but came up empty once again. The project seemed to be hitting a wall. Pastor Ben Amoaka from Accra, which is a major city in Ghana, was called to discuss the situation. Pastor Ben has been a true blessing to us throughout this whole ordeal. When we called Ben to give him news of our failure to find water, he said he knew of a company, Nayanks Group, which may be able to help us by providing larger equipment that could drill deeper in hopes of finding water. This organization has been very busy in the gold mines and they didn’t know if they could help until early in 2014. However, the owner told Ben that he would come and do it himself! What he suggested doing was going about one mile outside of the village where he and his geologists felt confident they could find water. We were extremely pleased to hear from them that they did in fact find water! Now the task was how to get it into Adolph’s village. It was decided that a massive holding tank would be installed near the pump and then pipes would be run underground to bring the water into the village.

BIG also donated 600 t-shirts to members of the village, which for some, we were told, is the only shirt they have.

BIG CEO, Paul Taunton and Adolph made a trip to this village a few weeks ago and came back convinced more than ever that BIG can and does make a difference in the lives of the people there. We will continue to look for ways through STAR Foundation to make improvements in the lives of individuals around the world and in our own community.

Posted: 12/6/2013


Business Impact Group and CEO Paul Taunton were featured in the November 25th edition of the Star Tribune

Small Business: BIG offers one-stop shopping for quality company-branded products
- Article by: TODD NELSON , Special to the Star Tribune
- Updated: November 24, 2013 – 10:27 AM

Entrepreneur follows his early success in retail with Business Impact Group (BIG), offering branded products and recognition programs for customers and employees. More…

Paul Taunton did all right with his first business, building a lone athletic apparel store in Willmar into a chain of 104 locations in 17 states that he sold to Foot Locker in 1998 for more than $30 million.

For his entrepreneurial encore, at Chanhassen-based Business Impact Group (BIG), Taunton is using his product experience and manufacturing connections to help companies build their brands through client- and employee- recognition products and programs. The company also offers custom-printed brand materials and uniforms and footwear for high school, college and even company sports teams.

“I was too young to retire,” said 51-year-old Taunton, who was 36 when his Athletic Fitters chain sold. “How do you ever find something that’s going to stimulate you as much as that did? What do you want to be when you grow up? I looked hard and said, I wanted to impact businesses. Let’s be a branding agency that impacts businesses.”

Taunton, who launched BIG in 2003, started with something he knew from Athletic Fitters — uniforms — and turned to domestic and offshore manufacturers he’d worked with before to get polo shirts, button-downs and other workwear made for corporate clients. (Five years later, Taunton bought out the 50 percent stake of silent partner Tom Petters for $550,000, with those proceeds going to a trust managed by a court-appointed receiver to benefit victims of Petters’ $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.)

BIG subsequently moved into recognition programs, including custom “celebration in a box” kits for clients or employees and BIG LIFT (Learning, Incentives, Focus, Teamwork), an employee engagement program that BIG says can drive innovation and encourage employee retention. “It’s unarguable that a happy workforce creates a more loyal consumer base for your business,” Taunton said.

Taunton maintains a sharp focus on customer experience, making sure that a uniform shirt or a leather jacket is well-designed and well-made from high-quality materials while also presenting the items neatly bagged or wrapped in department store-style boxes or packaging.

Wanting to further ensure a good customer experience also was behind his push to develop and manage easy-to-use online stores where companies or employees can order branded products.

Last year, BIG, now recognized as a national leader in branding and recognition, shipped more than 750,000 polo shirts — both work uniforms and casual Friday wear — in multiple colors to more than 10,000 online stores. Clients consist of Fortune 500 companies and regional and local smaller businesses and include Cargill, Best Buy, Buffets Inc., Dairy Queen and Famous Dave’s.

BIG, which has 100 employees, had sales of more than $40 million last year and plans on 25 percent growth in 2013 and succeeding years, primarily through referrals, Taunton says.

Adding market share

The recession became an opportunity to expand. As competitors went under, Taunton built a building and added a new division in team sports apparel.

“We stayed focused on being financially responsible, but also looked at it as a time where we needed to not let it stifle our long-term vision,’’ said Taunton, who is the twin brother of Snap Fitness founder Peter Taunton.

Scott Burnett, regional director with Jackson National Life, a Michigan-based insurance company, said his company bought as much as $7 million in promotional products from BIG last year, reflecting the growth of a business relationship that dates to BIG’s early days. Burnett said he had recommended BIG to people at other companies who have admired the shirts, golf clubs, towing ropes and other items BIG has produced for Jackson National, all with the company’s logo.

Burnett said he appreciated the one-stop shopping, with BIG sourcing, warehousing and shipping everything, and the ease of ordering from BIG’s website.

“Nobody comes close, with all they bring to the table,” Burnett said of BIG.

The expert says: Mike Porter, director of the master of business communication program at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, said Taunton’s retail experience, manufacturing connections, emphasis on customer service and experience and online store management appear to separate BIG from other companies that have offered branded products and merchandise for customer- and employee-retention programs.

“This holistic approach, the understanding of all of those elements combined, allows him to deliver higher-quality goods in a more cost-effective way,” Porter said. “Not everybody can do the sourcing and delivery. You have to care. Clearly he’s doing that or he wouldn’t be able to work for companies like Best Buy and Dairy Queen.”

Click here to read the article on the Star Tribune website.

Posted: 11/25/2013


The BIG Golf Classic Raises $15,000 for the Star Foundation and $10,000 for Gillette Children’s Hospital

The first Annual BIG Golf Classic took place on July 29, 2013. The weather could not have been more perfect for the 120 players who participated in the event. Foursomes were composed of employees, clients and vendors. The players were treated to gift bags that included golf balls, a Nike golf shirt and adidas golf shoes. More…

The afternoon of golf was followed by a happy hour at the clubhouse at which time prizes were awarded for longest putts, closest to the pin and longest drives. Gifts ranged from adidas Ghost Spider clubs to signed baseball bats from the Minnesota Twins.

$25,000 was raised–$15,000 for the Star Foundation and $10,000 for Gillette Children’s Hospital.

About BIG’s Star Foundation
BIG’s “Star Foundation” focuses on the health and improvement of people and children. They believe ordinary people can come together and achieve extraordinary things. Business Impact Group (BIG) encourages its employees to be part of their corporate culture, which believes in Sharing Time And Resources to enrich their local communities around them.

About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues. The organization, founded in 1983 by the Osmond family, John Schneider, Mick Shannon and Joe Lake, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. To date, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals claims to have raised more than $4.7 billion USD which is distributed directly to a network of 170 hospitals.

Posted: 11/7/2013


Business Impact Group gets behind 2013 MSHSBCA All-Star Baseball Tournament in a BiG way!

Ron Coomer, Twins Broadcaster, former MLB player and BiG Athletics Business Development Manager and Paul Taunton, CEO Business Impact Group, along with other local business leaders, discuss their support of the 2013 MSHSBCA All-Star Baseball Tournament. More…

Posted: 02/21/2013

Business Impact Group’s Star Foundation Makes a “BIG” Impact on MN Adult &Teen Challenge’s Transitional Housing Initiative

Chanhassen based Business Impact Group (BIG) along with Paul Taunton, CEO and President of BIG and its employees will share their time and financial resources by assisting with completion of room furnishings at Minnesota Teen Challenge’s Transitional Housing facility, located in the Hope Commons Building (formerly the old Mt. Sinai Hospital) on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. More…

For more than 25 years, Minnesota Teen Challenge has been restoring hope to teens and adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, from those seeking treatment for the first time, to those who have been struggling with addiction for many years.

CEO and President of Business Impact Group Paul Taunton commented, “We look forward to utilizing our relationships and strengths for such a great cause. This project is particularly meaningful to us because it allows women to be with their children during their recovery. We feel reuniting the family at this pivotal time is a crucial component to reducing anxiety and keeping them on the right path. This is the first housing of this type for MN Teen Challenge and we are honored to be a part of it.”

In 2007, Minnesota Teen Challenge was given a grant to begin a Transitional Housing Program on the third floor of the Hope Commons Building for 60 beds, providing transitional and supportive housing services to individuals 18 years and older who had successfully completed the Teen Challenge Recovery Program. Teen Challenge graduates can participate in the Transitional Housing Program for up to two years provided they are actively participating in their Aftercare Program and are working, actively looking for work, completing internships or enrolled in an educational program.

Recently, additional grant funds have allowed Minnesota Teen Challenge to expand its Transitional Housing Program to the fourth and fifth floors of the Hope Commons Building, providing classroom space, and 60 additional beds, including rooms for women and men with children. The current plan for expansion enables Minnesota Teen Challenge to help more individuals maintain sobriety, reduce recidivism and provide a gradual transition back into mainstream society and the community.

BIG’s “Star Foundation” focuses on the health and improvement of people and children. They believe ordinary people can come together and achieve extraordinary things. Business Impact Group (BIG) encourages its employees to be part of their corporate culture which believes in Sharing Time And Resources to enrich their local communities around them.

MN Teen Challenge
MN Teen Challenge
MN Teen Challenge
MN Teen Challenge

Posted: 07/16/2012


Star Foundation Supports Cry of India With $3,500 Donation

The Star Foundation is excited to have the opportunity to partner with Cry of India through one of their own. While living in India several years ago Greg Roane, a former BIG employee, was involved in establishing Cry of India, an organization in India that provided education, nutrition , healthcare and spiritual formation for children in extreme poverty. When Greg and his family returned to United States he worked for Business Impact Group in the areas of operation and sales. Recently, Greg has found himself in a position once again to work with organization and has decided to head back to India, to pursue this passion in his life and to help further the work of Cry of India. The Star Foundation is pleased to be able to support both Greg and his organization with this financial gift of $3,500. More…

In response to the unprecedented human need in India, the Assemblies of God working together with the Indian Church has launched Cry of India – a child sponsorship program to change the destiny of these children. Cry of India focuses on providing education, nutrition, healthcare and spiritual formation to meet the urgent needs of extreme poverty and children at risk. With sponsorship there is hope that they will be able to break out of the cycle of poverty and reach their God-given potential.

Business Impact Group is a branding agency that currently works with some of the most prominent corporations in the US with products & services surrounding their branding needs. Some of our daily services performed are: domestic and off-shore custom manufacturing of textiles & hard-goods, development and management of e-stores, multiple fulfillment facilities throughout US, custom uniform programs, enterprise recognition platforms and much more. These core competencies combined with our experience have been delivering results successfully for over 15 years. The Star Foundation is proud to be the charitable and volunteer branch of Business Impact Group.

Posted: 03/16/2012


Former Minnesota Twins Great named Business Development Manager at BIG Athletics

Business Impact Group (BIG) of Chanhassen, MN names Ron Coomer as Business Development Manager of their BIG Team division. Coomer, a 9 year veteran of Major League Baseball and current Fox Sports North Analyst for the Minnesota Twins, brings his years of athletic experience to BIG Athletics. Through hard work and a drive to be the best, Ron was able to compete professionally at the highest level. More…

Over his career Ron made stops with the Twins, Cubs, Yankees and Dodgers.

Coomer’s athletic experience will strengthen BIG Athletics’ ability to develop marketing strategies to best service high school and collegiate programs throughout the US.

Coomer states, “The strengths of BIG and work ethic of our Athletics Division fits well with my experiences and drive to be the best during my years playing professional baseball. I’m very excited to be part of a world class organization like BIG. We have some great people on our team and I look forward to many successful years working with high schools and colleges all across the country.”

Paul Taunton, CEO Business Impact Group states, “We are very excited to welcome Ron Coomer to our BIG Athletics Division. Not only does he bring extensive sports experience to our already strong Athletics Division, but he is also a great role model to the athletic organizations that we reach out to.”

BIG Athletics specializes in sales of athletic uniforms, footwear, and equipment to high schools and colleges across the country, along with classroom uniforms for the private school segment. BIG provides seamless e-commerce ordering solution and fundraising platforms for schools modernizes the way team sales and fundraising are conducted. BIG Athletics brings over 100 years of combined team sales experience with elite brand names and superior customer service to passionate audiences in the high school and collegiate markets.

Posted: 04/04/2011


BIG Launches Athletics Division

Chanhassen-based Business Impact Group, already well-known as a major supplier of promotion products, uniforms and recognition programs, has created a new division – BIG Athletics. Paul Taunton, President and CEO, said: “This development marks new ground for BIG and provides real opportunity for continued expansion of the company. At the top of our list is to bridge these core services being throughout our CORPORATE SALES DIVISION seamlessly into our ATHLETICS DIVSION. This is an ideal collaboration of BIG’s established strengths and will bring a significant impact to this division.” More…

Our goal is to first and foremost showcase top name brand athletic apparel and school spirit wear, to exceed client expectations, and bring unprecedented service to the academic and athletic groups which we work with. BIG Athletics will do this by capitalizing on current inventory and management platform already being utilized with major corporations like DirecTV, Best Buy, Supervalu, and more. In additional to providing high quality products with competitive pricing, BIG Athletics will also offer fundraising options for teams and academic clubs, all available from one convenient online platform. This new menu of services will clearly establish BIG Athletics executives in a class by themselves.

Heading the BIG Athletics division as VP is Andy Long. Andy brings over 21 years of direct team sales experience to our organization. Andy worked as the National Sales Manager of the team division at Athletic Fitters and established himself and the organization as industry leaders. After Athletic Fitters was sold in 1998, Andy brought his leadership in team sales to Eastbay where he was Director of Team Sales for over six years. In his role at Eastbay, Andy was responsible for all team related vendor relationships and for all products presented in their catalogs, on their website and by his team of Field Sales Representatives. A family move brought Andy back to Minnesota where he became Director of Corporate and Team Sales for Golf Galaxy. Andy made a significant impact and quickly grew this division. He was in this role for over 4 years until the company was sold to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“We couldn’t be more excited about Andy heading up the BIG Athletics Division. Andy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the athletic wear and athletics industries and will surely be a key element in taking the BIG Athletics Division to a new level,” said BIG President Paul Taunton.

Business Impact Group is a branding agency that currently works with some of the most prominent corporations in the US with products & services surrounding their branding needs. Some of our daily services performed are: domestic and off-shore custom manufacturing of textiles & hard-goods, development and management of e-stores, multiple fulfillment facilities throughout US, custom uniform programs, and much more. These core competencies combined with our experience have been delivering results successfully for over 15 years.

Posted: 12/30/2010


BIG Proud to Announce Renewal of Contract with Buffets, Inc.

Business Impact Group is proud to announce the renewal of the Employee Uniform Program for Buffets, Inc. The program products range from apparel to accessories using state of the performance fabrics that bring a tidy and updated look to all managers and crew members. More…

BIG was awarded the business based upon our outstanding customer service to the account, competitive pricing, local presence and product quality.

This program spans across all 500+ restaurants bearing the brands of Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan’s, Country Buffet and Fire Mountain. The customer’s goal was to freshen-up and standardize the look and feel across all five brands.

In addition to their uniform program, BIG also manages their Service Award Program, recognizing employees for their years of dedicated service. BIG also provides enterprise-wide online training and various print and branded promotional products for their stores, their Field and Corporate Management Training departments and the Tourism & Group Sales department.

Posted: 12/02/2010


BIG Partners with Dairy Queen for New Uniform Program

BIG is proud to be the new uniform provider for Dairy Queen Operator’s Cooperative. BIG is honored to partner with such a strong brand identity as Dairy Queen. With 4,000+ locations, Business Impact Group worked with DQOA to provide a uniform offering unlike any that had previously been available to them. The focal piece of the program is a 100% polyester polo shirt that introduces a fresh, new look into DQ stores. By incorporating this piece into their program, DQ employees now have a garment that doesn’t fade or wrinkle and is able to stand up to the daily requirements of a DQ employee. More…

Implementation of the new uniform program began in March 2010. BIG and DQOA will continue to work together to maintain the strength of the Dairy Queen brand while working with the franchisee owners to provide high quality uniform pieces that deliver exceptional value.

Posted: 04/26/2010


The Star Foundation BIG Supports March of Dimes

Chanhassen, MN—Business Impact Group’s Star Foundation is proud to have donated $10,000 to the March of Dimes organization. The March of Dimes is the leading non-profit organization for pregnancy and baby health. They are dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. They carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies’ lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight. More…

Business Impact Group is proud of the families which its employees represent and works hard to partner with organizations which promote the health and wellness of families in general.

Posted: 04/21/2010


BIG Supports Local Business Diversity

Chanhassen, MN—Showing their support for the importance of diversity within our communities (specifically minority-owned businesses, war veterans, etc.), over the last 5 years Business Impact Group has donated over $300,000 in funding and hours of consulting services to local diversity businesses. BIG recognizes how important it is for all businesses to start off on the right foot during the critical early stages and views these businesses as a way of strengthening our local and national communities. Different life experience and perspectives shape the way we think and react, the way we approach work challenges and solve day to day problems. Diversity is also about the diversity of thought and Business Impact Group strives to partner with those organizations which show superior quality based upon those unique perspectives.

Posted: 02/16/2010


Star Foundation Supports Troops this Holiday Season

Chanhassen, MN—Business Impact Group’s Star Foundation recently donated 50 care packages to soldiers stationed in the Middle East. In association with Project Minnesota Nice, BIG employees filled boxes with food items, games, toiletries and personal notes of encouragement which they had written. Not only were their efforts for a great cause, but it was a wonderful opportunity for employees to get away from their desks, roll up their sleeves and tackle a different kind of work project together. More…

The Star Foundation was honored to be able to make a difference in the lives of those people who give of their time for our country.

Posted: 12/04/2009


BIG Employees Join Forces to Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children

(Chanhassen)-July 31, 2009. BIG employees were happy to recently be part of a great volunteering opportunity at Feed My Starving Children. Fifteen BIG employees spent 3 hours packing meals to be sent to Haiti. This was not only a good chance to help the organization but also good team-work effort. In addition to volunteering their time, the Star Foundation of BIG contributed office and packing supplies to replenish the Chanhassen FMSC location.

Posted: 07/28/2009


Record-setting Donation to Susan G Komen for the Cure through Pink Ribbon Pen Sales

Business Impact Group is proud to be the distributor of the very successful Pink Ribbon pen promotion with Best Buy stores nationwide. The promotion enabled a donation of $350,493 to Susan G Komen for the Cure in its fight to end breast cancer forever. As the first known Best Buy driven, female-focused cause marketing product in their stores, they were thrilled to see the success of this project and be able to connect with female customers on a personal level through our support of finding a cure for a disease that impacts millions. They believe that this project and others like it will encourage female consumers to look at them in a new way as they strive to make Best Buy THE place for women to both work & shop. More…

Pink Ribbon Pens began selling is US Best Buy stores mid October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and have been selling at a rate of 7,500 pens per week across the country. With inventory still on hand, the business teams have decided to continue sales through May 16th which takes us through Mothers Day.

Posted: 02/25/2009


Business Impact Group and Star Foundation Contribute to Toys For Tots

(Chanhassen, MN) December 18, 2008 – Business Impact Group employees and the Star Foundation contributed over $1,000 worth of new toys to the Toys for Tots drive of 2008. More…

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

Paul Taunton, CEO of Business Impact Group and founder of the Star Foundation said, “Even in this very difficult economic climate, we have been blessed as a company and a foundation. It is our belief that every child deserves the opportunity to experience the joy of this Christmas season.”

Posted: 01/16/2009


Star Foundation and Business Impact Group Partner with Famous Dave’s to Serve Meal at Ronald McDonald House

(Chanhassen, MN) July 14, 2008 – The Star Foundation and Famous Dave’s, along with 11 Business Impact Group employees had the privilege of participating in the “Cooks for Kids” program at the Ronald McDonald House of Minneapolis. More…

Cooks for Kids is designed to help the 48 families who stay at the House while their children are undergoing treatment for life-threatening illnesses at area hospitals. After a long and often exhausting day at the hospital, families look forward to coming back to the House for a “home-away-from-home” cooked meal.

Famous Dave’s provided the food, while BIG employees enjoyed serving the meal and meeting the remarkable families that call Ronald McDonald House home.

Tracey Walke, Human Resources Generalist from BIG said, “You just can’t walk away from something like this without feeling grateful for the good health we so often take for granted in our own families, but also being amazed at the community that Ronald McDonald House has created.”

Posted: 01/16/2009


Star Foundation Generously Contributes to the Chaska High School Senior Class All Night Party

(Chanhassen, MN) April 24, 2008 – The Star Foundation contributed $1500 to the Chaska High School Senior Class All Night Party. Contributions such as this pay the way for Chaska seniors who would otherwise be unable to attend due to financial issues. More…

Star Foundation founder and Business Impact Group CEO Paul Taunton commented, “It seems sad to me that kids would work so hard to make it through their high school career and then are unable to attend an important and fun evening with their classmates. It’s a small price to pay to encourage and support these community kids in a big way.”

Committee co-chairs, Lynne Nygaard and Joanne Mallon said, “It is nice to know there are individuals and businesses in our community that are willing to provide resources to support our young adults. It is this dedication to giving and sharing that makes our community such a remarkable place to reside!”

Posted: 01/16/2009


Best Buy Partners with Business Impact Group for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

(Chanhassen, MN) June 18, 2008 – Business Impact Group is pleased to be a partner with Best Buy in their support of Breast Cancer Awareness. During the month of October Best Buy employees will have the opportunity to set aside their traditional blue shirts to wear pink, the color of Breast Cancer Awareness. More…

The initiative was headed up by the Best Buy Women’s Leadership Forum (WoLF Pack). This group which focuses on capturing the female mindset from the female employee’s viewpoint is passionate about giving back. This program allows them to give to a good cause while bringing awareness to the stores, employees and customers about breast cancer and their drive to help find a cure.

Wearing pink is optional, but each time employees choose to participate, $3.00 will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. They feel strongly that showing their support in the fight against breast cancer is in lockstep with the company’s desire to become more in tune with the female customer.

“We’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Best Buy and are thrilled to be able to work with the other organizations within their walls,” says Marc Powers, BIG VP of Business Development. “The pink shirt campaign is the feel good aspect of our business and we’re proud that the Wolf Pack called on us to help them bring awareness to breast cancer and finding a cure.”

Posted: 06/18/2008


The Star Foundation and Business Impact Group Make a BIG Impact on People Serving People’s Development Center for Homeless Infants and Toddlers

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2008 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Chanhassen based Star Foundation and its founder, Paul Taunton, CEO/President of Business Impact Group, a Chanhassen resident, donated over $25,000 to People Serving People’s (PSP) Infant and Toddler Development Center for supplies in order to get the program up and running by May. As part of National Volunteer Week, 10-20 employees from Business Impact Group volunteered their time to assemble cribs, paint murals and accomplish other manual labor projects needed in in order to get the Center ready for the children. More…

The Star Foundation, who believes in “being responsible by making an impact on the community”, made a huge impact on PSP’s new infant and toddler development center by supplying the majority of funds needed for this project. Because the foundation primarily focuses on the health and improvement of the lives of children, the PSP Infant and Toddler Center was a perfect fit. With their help, PSP can move forward with its plan to open the center by May, fully stocked with all of the supplies in place to care for homeless infants and toddlers.

The PSP Infant and Toddler Center is one division of the Children’s Development Program at PSP that provides early learning care and education for impoverished children. The program honors the developing child through encouraging and guiding social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth in an environment where the joy of learning is enhanced. PSP supports development based on the premise that quality care, protection and developmentally appropriate education must be interwoven. Understanding that children live in a diverse and complex world, teachers strive to integrate a multi-cultural, anti-biased approach to curriculum planning.

People Serving People’s Development Center for Infants and Toddlers is part of a wide range of services and programs that PSP offers homeless children and families. Because of the demand for child care at the shelter and the fact that the average age of a guest at PSP is just seven years old, PSP is expanding Children’s Services to support the growing need by implementing this infant and toddler center. The face of homelessness at PSP is the face of a child. The new center is scheduled to open on May 1, 2008.

People Serving People is a community-based, family-focused homeless shelter, housing more than 300 people each night. Over half of the people staying at PSP are children. PSP has 21 collaborative agencies on-site to provide health care, education, medical services, job training and more to the children and families residing here.

Posted: 04/21/2008


Business Impact Group announces the securing of the Employee Uniform Program for Buffets Inc

Business Impact Group is proud to announce the securing of the Employee Uniform Program for Buffets, Inc. Evaluation, against two other contenders, included a three month field test at one of their stores to evaluate our proposed apparel, accessories and service. Products ranged from polo shirts to custom-designed chef shirts for food handlers, as well as other pieces to accommodate their unique niche in the restaurant business. More…

BIG was awarded the business based upon our outstanding customer service to the
account, competitive pricing, local presence and product quality.

Implementation began in October 2007 to all 325 field restaurants bearing the brands of Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Country Buffet.

In addition to their uniform program, BIG also manages their Service Award Program, recognizing employees for their years of dedicated service, and provides various branded promotional products for their stores, their Field Training and MIT Corporate Management Training departments.

Posted: 03/05/2008