SoBe Promos Shines Their Way into the Miami Business Spotlight

SoBe Promos SoBe Promos

Alumni work together to build successful company, catering to ’Canes.  

A dream to bring a young energy into marketing has blossomed into a thriving business in WynwoodSoBe Promos, a promotional company, was started in 2011 by Spencer Kramer, B.B.A. ’10, CEO; Chris Ferriter, B.B.A. ’09, VP of Business Development; and Scott Latimer, B.B.A. ’09, Chief Financial Officer. Felipe Leighton, A.B. ’13, Account Manager joined the company in 2014, and Maddie Hasbrouck, B.S.Ed. ’14, Account Manager, joined the company in 2016.

The instant success of SoBe has a variety of ingredients, but the founders give most of the credit to the ’Canes; the alumni who work with them and the community that has helped them achieve what they have today.

Creating customized, quality promotional products, has set them apart from the competition. “That’s the whole reason you print a logo on them, to make sure people reuse them and your logo is seen over and over throughout the life of that product,” Chris Ferriter said. “That’s what makes SoBe unique. We care enough about our clients to put in the extra effort and make sure their marketing dollars are being spent on relevant items that will resonate with their clientele.”

Hear more about SoBe from founder Chris Ferriter, B.B.A. ’09:

How did you develop the concept for SoBe Promos? 

My business partner’s father started and sold one of the largest promotional products companies in the world in 2006 and he sort of mentored us throughout our days in Business School at UM.  We would do projects and use him as a case study or bounce questions off of him. He was one of those guys that when you spoke to him you were speaking to someone who was a brilliant business mind. Shortly after we graduated his non-compete expired and he called and asked if we wanted to start a new business with him. It was an easy yes at that point as we’d always wanted to start our own business and we were going to have an excellent mentor to guide us through the start-up process. 

As we started building the business we very quickly noticed all of our competition was much older than we were and were pitching very boring products. This was right around when social media was becoming huge and we were very in tune with all the technological advances coming out and being used by our target market. We took that and ran with it and started pitching new, unique, and fun products that we knew we’d want to get as a giveaway.   

That’s been the idea behind SoBe Promos ever since! 

How did your degree factor into your plans? 

I majored in finance and minored in accounting, all of which are very relevant to starting a business. Being able to read financial statements, understand cash flow, and analyze major capital budgeting decisions are vital to the sustainability of a startup. 

I also took quite a few management and entrepreneurship class as a business major and I use principles learned from those classes on a daily basis, whether we’re helping employees handle certain situations, deciding whether a project is worth the investment of time and energy, or just negotiating pricing with a partner factory…it’s all very relevant to what was learned at UM!  

Lastly, my two business partners met at the school of business and many of our clients are former classmates. The networking portion of business school can’t be overlooked as we certainly wouldn’t be here without it.  

Why hire ‘Canes? Tell us about the ‘Cane collaboration: 

I met some of the most intelligent people I know at UM. Plain and simple. And if you want to make a business really take off, build it with intelligent, motivated people. 'Canes are self-starters that want to be a part of something from the ground up, which is why we’ve put an emphasis on hiring people we went to UM with or that we somehow met through UM.  Like we always say…it’s a 'Canes thing, you wouldn’t understand.  

Not only is UM our alma mater, the school was also our very first customer! The U holds a very special place in SoBe’s heart and without UM we wouldn’t be the company we are today. 

What makes SoBe unique? 

We’ve recently taken on a new slogan at SoBe Promos and that slogan is “because your giveaways don’t have to suck.” How many times have you been given a promotional product at a tradeshow or at a sporting event and just tossed it directly in the trash? We’re out to change that perception that promotional products are just “tchotchkes” that no one is going to hold onto and will end up in the trash. We pride ourselves on being able to come up with unique, tailored, and creative giveaway ideas that are very relevant to our clients’ target markets and that people will actually use and bring home with them! That’s the whole reason you print a logo on them, to make sure people reuse them and your logo is seen over and over throughout the life of that product. That’s what makes SoBe unique. We care enough about or clients to put in the effort and make sure their marketing dollars are being spent on relevant items that will resonate with their clientele!

SoBe Promos