HARLON | June 24, 2022
Connect Partnership Group, a Dallas-based sports and entertainment agency, announced the strategic acquisition of HARLON, a full-service sponsorship sales agency that specializes in representing rights holders across sports, music, and entertainment. The acquisition will expand Connect’s growing portfolio of property sales clients, including the addition of immersive entertainment experiences to the company’s suite of offerings.The announcement comes on the heels of the XFL selecting Connect as its sponsorship sales agency to enhance and execute the League's corporate partnership strategy.
As part of the acquisition, HARLON founder and industry veteran Scott Howard will join Connect as Executive Vice President of Property Sales out of the company’s Chicago office, bringing along HARLON’s exciting portfolio of immersive entertainment and music clients.
For years I’ve admired the impressive work the Connect Partnership Group team has done, and I could not be more excited to step in and be a part of the company during an incredible period of growth,” Howard said. “I look forward to working alongside the Connect team and growing our business to provide the very best services for our clients.
HARLON has been one of the Midwest’s most-respected emerging sales and marketing agencies, trusted by properties such as the Mempho Music Festival and Lighthouse Immersive, the powerhouse that created the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. To date, the attraction has sold more than 5 million tickets across 20 markets in North America in less than two years and is one of Ticketmaster’s best-selling exhibitions in history.
Connect Adds Sales Veterans
In addition to the acquisition, Connect announced the addition of three new members to the sales and consulting teams, all with extensive partnership sales and consulting experience with some of the country’s leading sports and real estate properties.
Kristin Harwood joins Connect as Senior Director of Sales in Connect's Property Sales Division. Harwood spent more than five years managing partnership sales with the Seattle Mariners organization before assuming corporate partnership roles with the Dallas Stars, the XFL’s Dallas Renegades and Premier Partnerships.
Joining Harwood as Senior Director of Sales in Connect’s Property Sales Division is Matt Castellan, who will be headquartered in New York and will focus on Connect’s representation of Hudson Yards’ sponsorship rights. Castellan most recently oversaw sponsorship sales for the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership in New York City, and has extensive marketing and sales experience from past roles with Stanton & Company, Citi Bike, the 2016 Chicago Olympic City Bid and the 2012 NYC Olympic City Bid.
Price Johnson, who spent the last six years leading Topgolf’s Global Partnerships sales team, is joining Connect’s Consulting Division as a Special Projects Consultant to assist with its rapid national growth. Mr. Johnson brings over 25 years of combined sales, marketing and operational experience to Connect, including nearly 10 years in the software and communications industries, which aligns well with the Consulting Division’s growing roster of industry-leading technology companies.
“The past year has been one of incredible momentum for Connect, our team and our clients, and by adding HARLON and a powerhouse of experienced sales members to our team will only accelerate our ongoing scaling efforts, help secure more key wins for clients, and further position Connect as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry,Connect is now bigger and more established than we ever have been, and we’re just getting started.”
-Connect co-founder Danielle Shuff.
Last Fall, Connect rebranded to reflect its rapid growth in areas beyond its formidable Partnership Sales and Strategy division, most notably its Consulting division, which has secured a unique niche in the industry by providing an outsourced business development team to companies that desire to sell their product or solution to large public venues. To support the continued growth - with Connect expecting year-over-year revenue to double as it readies more client announcements and client transactions in the second half of the year - the company is actively hiring sales professionals and account managers, with immediate openings in Los Angeles.
Since it was founded in 2015, Connect has been trusted by some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including the Dallas Stars, LA Chargers, Chicago Cubs, XFL, Related Companies, Circuit of The Americas, VIRGIN FEST, IBM, Nokia, American Tower, and CommScope, amongst others.
For more information about Connect Partnership Group or to contact directly, visit ConnectWins.com.
About Connect Partnership Group
Connect Partnership Group is a strategic sales and consultancy agency that specializes in representing and selling sponsorships, naming rights and other media assets in sports and entertainment, while also providing an outsourced business development team to companies that sell products and services to the industry. Based in Dallas, Tex., Connect capitalizes on a combined 120 years of sports business experience selling and activating sponsorships, operating events, consulting on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, and creating strategic and mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for properties and brands around the world.
MEDIA AND BROADCASTING
Allen Media Group | June 24, 2022
Byron Allen's Allen Media Group (AMG) free-streaming digital platform, HBCU GO – the leading media provider for the nation's 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – is launching a pair of exhilarating shows that appeal to the hearts and minds of their audience. Beginning Thursday, June 23, fans are invited to tune in to THE COLOR OF STEM – a docu-series that explores the latest discoveries, NFTs, and people making a difference in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and SPADE A SPADE – a half-hour roundtable talk show that features teams of well-known entertainers, athletes, and influencers as they discuss topical news and views over a game of spades. Both shows are proudly sponsored by Procter & Gamble and are available to audiences across the country at HBCUGO.TV and by downloading the HBCU GO app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.
THE COLOR OF STEM – debuts on Thursday, June 23 at 11:00 am ET. This docuseries explores how access to STEM programs has impacted the lives of Black students across the country by creating opportunities for students to secure jobs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and to compete in the global marketplace. Each episode will introduce HBCU graduates and highlight their road to success as a way to empower viewers, shatter stereotypes and share "how-tos." The series celebrates and amplifies the unique journey of Black students who have skillfully navigated STEM-related career paths. Additionally, the program explores how attending an HBCU impacted their lives and their careers. THE COLOR OF STEM episode airing June 23rd will feature Music Notes, an educational music company founded by Jimmy Pascascio and LaMar Queen, two middle school math teachers in South Central Los Angeles. Mr. Q-U-E and Mr. D combine their love of hip hop with their passion for teaching to create STEM songs that are sure to have viewers nodding their heads and rapping along. The episode also highlights Lisette Titre-Montgomery of Gameheads, whose passion is being a diversity advocate for the game industry. She speaks publicly about how game-based curriculums are the key to engaging today's youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), and careers. Gameheads is a Game Development Accelerator program for Oakland youth, establishing art curriculums and recruiting industry professionals to mentor students of color to become the next generation of developers.
SPADE A SPADE – debuts on Thursday, June 23 at 3:30 pm ET. The first episode of SPADE A SPADE, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, which gave equal access to sports for women, will feature Olympic sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, the first female African-American position coach in NFL history, Jennifer King, and Shakira Austin of WNBA's Washington Mystics – 2022's third overall draft pick in the WNBA. SPADE A SPADE is a 30-minute round-table talk show hosted by notable influencer King Flexxa. SPADE A SPADE features teams of students, entertainers, athletes, and their select partners in a classic neighborhood game of trash talk and real conversation about key issues of the day. Each week, three guests will play for a winner-takes-all game and bragging rights. For those who know and love the game, SPADE A SPADE offers fans a chance to get in the heart of the action and play for fun while rooting for their favorite team's charity. Additional celebrity guests for the season include David Banner, Robert Covington, Quinn Cook, K. Michelle, Yandy Smith, Jess Hilarious, and John Wall, among others. The first season will include a five-episode run featuring such kitchen table topics as mental health, the state of HBCUs, and other riveting cultural conversations.
These new shows are executive produced by HBCU GO's Curt Simmons and Karrington Symonds. With more than 40 years of collective television and film experience, the HBCU GO team has garnered five Emmys, six Telly Awards, a Peabody Award, and three NAACP Image Award nominations for their documentaries, unscripted series, and live shows.
THE COLOR OF STEM and SPADE A SPADE are being supported by Procter & Gamble, which through its Widen the Screen initiative is fueling more expansive portrayals of the Black experience in film, television, and media through partnerships and programming with Black creators and Black-owned and Black-operated media companies. Procter & Gamble brands (including My Black is Beautiful, Olay, Old Spice, Pantene, and Secret) will provide advertising support as part of Procter & Gamble's collective efforts to serve the HBCU community.
"HBCUs are the heart and soul of Black America. The free-streaming service HBCU GO is simply here to amplify the excellence of these extraordinary institutions of higher learning, Allen Media Group is 100-percent committed to bringing original and inspirational content to this platform, and we genuinely appreciate Procter & Gamble for their continued sponsorship and commitment in working with us to achieve this very important goal."
-Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group.
HBCU GO is pleased to amplify the voice of Black excellence to students, alumni, and our community during the summer and throughout the whole year," said HBCU GO President Curtis Symonds. "From documentaries, movies, sports, talk, and lifestyle programming, we're opening new doors for content creators to share their stories and to shine a light on our unique cultural experience. HBCU GO is the ultimate destination for free, quality content.
For more information about HBCU GO visit HBCUGO.TV or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram.
About HBCU GO
HBCU GO is a cultural lifestyle destination and leading sports media provider that embraces and represents the voice of Black Excellence every day of the year through an all-new platform that captures the rich history, diversity, perspectives, and cultural experiences at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The network also provides a platform for emerging creatives in media production, branding, and broadcasting. We offer our viewers the best in live sports, original series, documentaries, films, comedy, and edutainment programming produced by African American leading producers, directors, and students from select HBCUs.
CubiOs Inc | June 23, 2022
CubiOs Inc. announced their one-of-a-kind immersive-reality gaming platform, The WOWCube ® entertainment system, is now available for pre-order. Named one of “The 100 Best Inventions of 2021” by Time Magazine, the WOWCube® system was recognized in 2020 with The Edison Best New Products Award, and was a CES Innovation Award honoree in 2021. It is certified by STEM as an educational gadget and also serves as a stress-relief tool that has a positive impact on the development of motor skills, cognitive function and three-dimensional thinking. Pre-orders for the one-of-a-kind cube-shaped device are now offered at 40% off the launch retail price
“For anyone who loves gadgets and games, and parents who want to invest in their child’s cognitive abilities, the WOWCube ® system is a modern version of the Rubik's Cube, that will continue to evolve and entertain,With our WOWCube ® System, players interact with games in a unique and thoughtful way - by examining the action from different angles and sorting it out using motor skills and three-dimensional thinking. It is so much more than a gadget or a game, it’s also a certified educational device and developmental tool, that’s fun too!”
-Ilya Osipov, President of CubiOs Inc.
The WOWCube ® entertainment system features eight separate cubicle modules connected to each other, that let you interact with the digital world as if it were real. Each module is a separate device with three high-resolution screens and a CPU inside. Video games run simultaneously on all 24 screens covering six sides of the device, as the 3D puzzle cube delivers a unique experience where virtual gameplay is controlled by physically tilting, twisting and shaking. When not in use for gaming, the WOWCube can be placed on the charging dock to connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth, and each of the 24 screens can be used to showcase information you want or need handy. CubiOs Inc. is building an entirely new ecosystem of games, widgets, and apps for the WOWCube ® entertainment system by providing SDK and APIs for developers worldwide, who are inspired by unique possibilities to create immersive-reality worlds on the next-gen cube. More details on the DevKit for developing Cube Apps will be available soon.
Pre-orders for the WOWCube ® system are now available at https://wowcube.com/buy, at a fraction of the future retail price, for a limited time only. Consumers who want to get their hands on the cube first can purchase a Starter Pack for $299 which includes WOWCube® Entertainment System, a 30CC$ Gift eCard, 3 games and much more available at WOWCube® Play Store. Additionally, Full Pack “Cut The Rope®” and Full Pack “Space Invaders®” editions, are priced at $349 and include WOWCube® Entertainment System plus a 50CC$ Gift eCard, accessories and pre-installed exclusive games. 40+ free and paid games will be available to consumers by the shipment date. All pre-order purchases are verified and secured, with easy payment options and free refunds, plus a refer-a-friend program. The first batch of WOWCube® Entertainment System plans to be delivered in December 2022.
About CubiOs Inc.
The company is the creator of the WOWCube ® entertainment system — the first-in-class immersive-reality innovative console and the gaming platform providing a unique experience of interacting with the digital world as if it’s a real object by twisting, shaking, and tilting it. CubiOS Inc. is based in Sarasota, FL, and focuses on design, development, marketing, and distribution of hi-tech consumer robotic toys and entertainment game platforms. It is an independent R&D and manufacturing company, developing breakthrough technologies and innovations, and building the ecosystem around the WOWCube ® entertainment system. The CubiOs Studio is the company's game-design lab that creates next-gen digital apps & widgets running on the WOWCube ® entertainment console.