FOLLOW UP: Those guys in suits in Oklahoma operating the limo party bus that can’t be called a party bus aren't what you would think.
TRICKY ACRONYMS: As you may recall, I wrote a few weeks ago about TGIS Party Bus and its battle with OKC Party Bus who apparently think they own the words "party" and "bus" when used together. They asked TGIS to cease and desist referring to their business as a "Party Bus" company. I wondered what TGIS stood for. There are so many acronyms that become common as a company name that I just had to ask. I mean, did you know that GEICO was actually once known as Government Employees Insurance Company before becoming known simply as GEICO? Closer to home, there is TIB which we all know stands for Transportation Insurance Brokers but people just call them TIB for short. Anyway, back to TGIS – The Guys In Suits. I could not believe that anyone would give a company such a ridiculous name. When I found out they wear fedoras, I was even more intrigued.
Well, it turns out THESE guys in suits were pretty smart, had good marketing sense, and entered the transportation business as an extension to fame that their fancy suits and hats already had brought them. Specifically, Jed Williams, a partner in the company, inadvertently caused a great deal of attention to himself while celebrating his 21st birthday in Las Vegas. It seems that Jed is quite the dancer and since he decided to wear a “pimp suit” on the dance floor and had exceptional moves, he quickly became a one-man Las Vegas show. He not only drew spectators as well as the management of several casinos who offered him jobs as an entertainer.
Being a good ole Okie, Jed wasn't ready to move to the glamour and glitz of Las Vegas but he still thought the “pimp suit” was cool so he decided to don the suit back home and tear the dance floors up in Oklahoma City. The result was the same. Everyone loved watching Jed dance in his big pimp suit. Soon, his friends, Ryan and Joe, bought brightly colored suits of their own – along with the fedoras of course and became The Guys In Suits of Oklahoma City, tearing up dance floors everywhere they went.
The next thing you know, The Guys In Suits are showing up in local magazines and getting media attention as well as the attention of club owners, bars, and other businesses who would hire TGIS to entertain crowds with their fancy suits, slick hats, and smooth dance moves. They were in business! They referred to themselves as “party starters.” It makes me think about Pink and her song, "Let’s Get This Party Started."
As their fame grew, they decided to take it to another level and the, um, Party Bus, or to be safe in Oklahoma we'll call it their converted transit bus with fancy lights, dance floor, and sound system, was a natural fit. They added Aaron to the mix of guys in suits in May 2008 and launched their new business. They already had name recognition, so why not capitalize on it? There was only one other company in town doing it and TGIS thought they could do it better. Since they were already “famous,” the crowds would surely come running.
Soon after, they were hired by the NBA to perform at the Oklahoma City Thunder Games. This put them in front of 18,000 people at every home game. They were featured on local news, promo commercials, Fox Sports, ESPN, and Oklahoma City Business Magazine.
Now that we know just how famous these guys in suits are, I think it paints a clearer picture on why they might be a threat to their competitors. It isn't about the Party Bus. Its all about the pimp suits!
-- Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
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