The Story Behind BigWheel
BigWheel began more than 25 years ago as DMGx, a small shop dedicated to bringing tasteful design to the early web. Now rebranded as BigWheel, that small shop has grown into a full-service creative agency, servicing clients like Disney, NASCAR, Clayton Homes, and Ministry Brands.
Where We Came From
Since opening in 1995 as DMGx, we’ve been committed to tasteful, intuitive, and functional digital design. In 2010, DMGx merged with the Knoxville-based tech startup Gigmark Interactive Media, and in 2013, DMGx acquired Bluegill Creative, becoming known as DMG Bluegill.
With all three companies under the same umbrella, we started offering marketing strategy, graphic design, and software development to our customers. After acquiring the marketing technology company Voices Heard Media, we rebranded as BigWheel in 2015.
Our long history and distinctive expertise makes BigWheel a trusted partner and a one-stop shop for our clients.
What We Do
With our unique blend of business savvy and creative services, we work with our clients to create solutions that solve their business problems. Whether our clients are looking to rebrand their company, build a custom application for their customers, or boost traffic to their website or tradeshow booth, we’re here to help.
Digital Media Graphix (DMGx) is founded by Wade Austin and Kurt Jenkins in Wade’s extra bedroom.
The two graphic design majors see a need for better digital design and teach themselves how to code.
The now five-person DMGx team moves into a three-room office behind the illustrious Charlie’s Super Pawn.
The dot-com bubble begins to grow.
DMGx moves to Jackson Avenue in Knoxville’s Old City. The team attracts large clients including Scripps and Ed America.
The world survives Y2K!
Pets.com files for bankruptcy, plummeting from a $300 million valuation to $0. The dot-com bubble begins to burst.
With nine full-time designers, developers, and project managers, DMGx moves to a larger space in the same Old City building.
Designers Dan Alton and Billy Rivet, quit their jobs in the University of Tennessee’s Creative Services department to found Bluegill. The new marketing agency, backed by accounting firm PYA, moves to offices in Perkins Place off Sutherland Avenue.
Parker Frost receives a call from Rob Balchunas who relays a story about receiving a USB after a Ron Paul event that contained a copy of the speech he just heard. The developer who made the USB, Ed Donnelly, had a machine that downloaded content onto a thousand USBs per minute. Parker, Rob, and Ed meet in Las Vegas to discuss building a company around that technology and Gigmark is formed.
Voices Heard Media is founded by NFL player and broadcaster, Will Overstreet, and entrepreneur Chris van Beke. The company’s website plugins and mobile apps are designed to aggregate and prioritize common user questions and comments using crowd-sourcing technology.
Gigmark contacts DMGx about developing software for an interactive USB that allows artists and companies to share information with customers in real-time. DMGx successfully designs and develops the product, and Gigmark acquires a patent for the IFD (Interactive Flash Drive).
Mark Myers becomes a partner in Gigmark and helps secure key customers including General Motors and the Marines. Gigmark receives national attention.
The growing Bluegill team moves from Perkins Place to Twelve Oaks.
Bluegill’s now 14-person team moves to their own space in Cherokee Mills.
The VHM team moves into a tech incubator space on the University of Tennessee’s campus.
Gigmark invests in DMGx and the two companies merge.
VHM’s media products log more than 53 million unique visits. Clients include Disney, Gannett, Scripps, Huffington Post, HGTV, and more.DMGx and Gigmark move into a new office on Volunteer Landing.
DMGx and Bluegill begin partnering on projects.
DMGx acquires Bluegill.
The two become known as DMG Bluegill, offering a complete package of marketing strategy, design, and development. The Bluegill team moves to Volunteer Landing.
DMG Bluegill acquires Voices Heard Media.
DMGx, Bluegill, and Voices Heard Media rebrand as BigWheel.
The BigWheel owners buy the building that houses BigWheel’s offices on Volunteer Landing. They start making big plans to transform the space.
BigWheel’s office renovations are complete.
BigWheel launches BigWheel Events, a creative and cutting-edge event management and promotional service.
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