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Sports marketing lifts Makita

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Toolmaker Makita USA credited its off-the-beaten path marketing strategy as one reason for the company’s relative sales strength. Rather than invest in Nascar and NFL, the power tool manufacturer has chosen to spend marketing dollars in what it calls “highly targeted sports: dirt bike racing and soccer.”

“We looked for sports where we could enjoy a major presence and be meaningful to the passionate fans,” said Makita vp-marketing Ken Hefley.

The company said the marketing strategy is paying off. North American sales for Japan-based Makita increased 9.6 percent for the year, to 56.422 billion yen (US$493 million). Makita USA said it posted a double-digit increase in sales compared to the power tool category for the same year.

Targeting an audience of 18-to-35-year-old pro tradesmen, the company created Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki. At the same time, Makita views its relationship with Majo League Soccer as a bridge to the growing base of Hispanic contractors, an important demographic for the company.

In its most recent promotion, Makita is promoting the “Makita Building America’s Soccer Stadiums,” a program designed to make Makita the “tool brand of choice” for the construction of soccer-specific stadiums.

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EPA fines home builders for storm water violations

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a major crackdown against violations at construction sites, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department have announced agreements with four major home builders. Centex of Dallas; KB Home of Los Angeles; Pulte Homes of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and M.D.C. Holdings of Denver agreed to pay a total of $4.3 million in fines and penalties. Combined, the four builders accounted for more than 124,000 home closings in 2006.

The companies named in the settlements allegedly failed to obtain permits before clearing land for subdivisions and to prevent dirt, silt and other runoff materials from leaving 2,202 construction sites in 34 states from 2001 to 2005.

Along with the federal government, seven states will share in the settlements based on the number of sites within each state. Those states include Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee and Utah.

The settlements are the latest in a series of enforcement actions to address storm water violations from construction sites around the country. A similar consent decree, reached in February with Home Depot, required the company to pay a fine of $1.3 million and establish a comprehensive storm water compliance plan to prevent future violations.

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Mythic Paint names Sherwin-Williams, Ace veteran as vp

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mythic Paint, the Hattiesburg, Miss.-based no-VOC paint company, has announced Bud Moses will serve as vp-sales and marketing and will help spearhead a planned television and print advertising campaign.

Moses has served in the coatings industry for 20 years, most recently with Ace Hardware, where he served as a senior district sales representative. Prior to that, he spent 10 years with Sherwin-Williams as a sales representative. He also has worked as a retail development specialist for Do it Best.

Moses will be responsible for national and international retail and trade sales for Mythic. He also will be heavily involved with what the company called an “extensive marketing campaign,” scheduled to launch in July for the company’s line of zero-VOC paint, which features a 1,232-color palette.

“Bud brings with him a unique blend of experience in ‘real world’ store management, direct and international sales and marketing not easily found in our industry,” said Rocky Prior, president of Mythic Paint.

Mythic Paint, a subsidiary of Southern Diversified Products (SDP), was developed in cooperation with the University of Southern Mississippi.

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