EDITOR’S NOTE: The Regions Tradition is an annual major stop on the PGA TOUR Champions schedule. This year, we’re looking at some of the small businesses that bring the event to life in our Powering the Tradition series.
Ben Morris learned the lesson early: Listen.
“My wife hated going to the gas station,” Morris said. “It’s gross, you smell like fuel, the weather’s not always good and you’re out in the open. She told me, ‘In this day and age when everything is delivered, why can’t someone deliver my gas?’
For Morris, who now calls himself a reformed lawyer, the light bulb went on.
“That was such a novel idea. And I think I’ve solved the problem.”
Three years ago, Morris left his law practice for a new venture he dubbed FuelFox, a small business based in Birmingham.
And now this small, upstart business provides behind the scenes help for the Regions Tradition.
Each year, the local Lexus dealership delivers 90 sedans to Birmingham for Champions Tour golfers to use during the week-long major event. The cars arrive on empty and must be topped off for the tour pros.
“FuelFox has saved us countless hours,” said George Shaw, Regions Tradition Tournament Director. “Before, it would take a volunteer team all day to drive back and forth to gas stations to fill the tanks. Now, it takes just a few hours. And all we have to do is pay the bill.”
For Morris and FuelFox, it’s a major convenience provided during a minor stop on the day.
“We live in an on-demand society where a culture of convenience reigns supreme,” explained Morris, a Regions customer. “Since the first gas station opened in 1913, little has changed relative to how we fuel our vehicles. Fueling vehicles is an antiquated industry that is ripe for disruption, and FuelFox conceptualizes fuel delivery for the 21st Century.”
With a fleet of trucks – that vary in size from 500 to 2,000 gallons – FuelFox arrives and gasses up clients onsite.
“Since the first gas station opened in 1913, little has changed relative to how we fuel our vehicles. Fueling vehicles is an antiquated industry that is ripe for disruption, and FuelFox conceptualizes fuel delivery for the 21st Century.” – Ben Morris, CEO FuelFox
FuelFox initially served retail clients. Using a unique app, clients could sign up, pay remotely, and the gas would be delivered by truck to office buildings, malls and even gyms at appointed times during the week.
Then came the pandemic.
“We got calls from businesses that had fleets of vehicles, and they needed us to fuel while they weren’t in use,” Morris said. “So, we created a commercial division that would come in overnight and fill the cars so that employees could arrive at work the next day and head out. Now we are 100 percent commercial because no one is working at office buildings.”
The Bruno Event Team, which manages the Regions Tradition, reached out to FuelFox three years ago after learning of the company. While FuelFox tops off the 90 cars in a scant few hours, the Bruno Event Team programs the individual GPS units so that when the Champions Tour pros arrive, they only need to hit one button to find Greystone Golf & Country Club, the site of the Tradition, or their local accommodations and restaurants.
FuelFox is the first company of its kind in the South and recently opened a hub in Charlotte. Short-term plans are to expand into other markets.
While Morris his changed professions, his past work pays major dividends.
“I think my legal background helped me start this business, and it’s been very beneficial in navigating this because we’re highly regulated by the Department of Transportation,” Morris said. “We’re doing something so novel that no one really knew what to do with us, but we are able to point them to some of the needed regulations.”
And while attorneys are known for arguing their case, Morris proved that the ability to hear someone out is just as important.
“My wife’s idea was so unique,” Morris said. “Now, we come to you. And all you have to do is schedule it on our app.”