A World Class Event For MKTG INC

charles_joly_worldclass-6011At MKTG INC, we pride ourselves on executing world-class events, but this time, the event was actually World Class.

On June 16th and 17th, the National Finals of the USBG World Class Bartender Competition, sponsored by Diageo were held in NYC at the Monarch Room and Gilded Lily, and MKTG INC was there to make sure it went off without a hitch!

The NYC Final was the culmination of the 2014 US World Class Program. Presented by the US Bartenders Guild and sponsored by Diageo, 75 top bartenders competed in 5 Regional Finals in Boston, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta and Chicago. The top 3 from each region were chosen to move on the National Finals in NYC for a total of 15 National Finalists.

In all stages of the program, national and internationally recognized industry luminaries served as judges. The competition challenges tested all aspects of the bartenders’ abilities from Speed and Efficiency, Presentation, Creativity and Service using brands from the Diageo Reserve Portfolio.

From the regionals to the finals, MKTG INC worked closely with Diageo, the US Bartenders Guild, Liquid Productions and all the judges and competitors to ensure that the program was executed within World Class standards.

Charles Joly from Chicago was named the World Class US Bartender of the Year and will represent the US in the Global Finals in the UK starting July 27th. He will be competing against bartenders from 49 other countries and the Global winner will be named in London on Aug 2nd.

The Diageo World Class competition is considered “the best” in the industry and is in its 6th year globally with 50 countries competing each year. This is the 3rd year that the US has participated, with US winners Ricky Gomez placing 5th globally in 2012 and Jeff Bell placing 2nd globally in 2013.

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Written by Cathy Remmert
Cathy Remmert

July 23rd, 2014 at 10:13 am

What’s In Your Wallet?

KK Business Card

Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). In our new column Business Cards Explained, we take a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hear the stories behind them. Get ready to blush.

Growing up, Katie wanted to play second base for the Cleveland Indians.
True statement. The baseball references throughout the copy come from a previous job working for the Chicago White Sox, but they seem to work with the PR analogies. But as an Indians fan growing up, my favorite thing in the world was watching Robbie Alomar man the infield. Boy, was he great. Luckily, I had the chance to tell that to his face a few years ago.

Unfortunately for her, she didn’t make the cut – but fortunately for us, she’s an All-Star communicator and a five-tool player.
I recall my father – who was also my softball coach for my short-lived career when I was in grade school – saying that I was the worst player he’d ever seen. He denies ever saying it, but I don’t think I could make that stuff up. That’s why I ended up in Journalism, and not on an athletic scholarship.

She can pitch, she can deliver a hit and she’s always got her head in the game.
I’m in PR! I can pitch a story, I can deliver coverage and I’m always focused on what’s next.

From the first pitch to the final out, Katie’s always going the distance.
Again with the baseball puns. They used to drive me insane, but now that I’m a little further away from the game I think they’re funny. I can’t stop the fact that I still speak baseball.

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Johnnie Walker to U.S. Soccer Team: Keep Kicking!

Photo courtesy of @alebedoya17 via Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @alebedoya17 via Instagram.

The US Men’s National Soccer Team arrived in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup as part of the “Group of Death” (contrary to initial reactions, not a heavy metal group) facing soccer royalty in the form of Portugal, Germany and Ghana. After an impressive showing that included defeating Ghana, the team that had eliminated them from the championship in South Africa in 2010, and facing Germany, currently reigning as the world champs for the next four years, they squeaked through to the first knockout round (the Round of 16) – a feat that they’ve only accomplished 5 times in the tournament’s 84 year history.

Though our men were eventually eliminated by Belgium and returned home on July 3rd, they didn’t leave Brazil empty-handed. Alejandro “Ale” Bedoya, a brand new member of the USMNT, who made his World Cup debut this year, gifted each member of the 23-man team with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, engraved with the message “Brazil was just the beginning. Keep Walking.” – a fitting tribute to a team who inspired millions of Americans to chant “I believe that we will win.”

Not only was the advance to the Round of 16 “an epic achievement”, as Bedoya said, the 2014 World Cup set the bar higher than ever for American engagement with the quadrennial event – an estimated 26.5 million people in the U.S. watched the Cup’s final (1.8 million more than the final between Spain and the Netherlands four years earlier).

The World Cup has officially been passed to Russia for 2018, and millions around the world are dealing with a bit of withdrawal without three matches per day to watch on their desktop monitors during work. However, with U.S. soccer die-hards inspired and a slew of brand new fans, it’s safe to say that we will all be waiting with bated breath to see Ale Bedoya and his teammates’ next steps.

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Written by Rachel Wasserman
Rachel Wasserman

July 15th, 2014 at 11:14 am

Posted in Events,Experience,MKTG INC,Spirits,Sport and Spectacle,What We're Up To

Tagged with , , , , , ,

with 2 comments – Latest by: Novella
I see a lot of interesting articles on your blog. You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know …
Johnnie Walker to U.S. Soccer Team: Keep Kicking! | EventSpeak
[…] Read more here: MKTG […]

MKTG Grows Hope With MSNBC


MSNBC is more than a cable news channel. It not only champions progressive issues and values, it seeks to directly engage with its viewers and their communities. So this year MSNBC launched Growing Hope – a campaign inspired in part by MKTG’s design for the channel at last year’s Essence Festival – to give people a voice around the issues that matter to them.

As developed by MKTG, the spirit of Growing Hope is embodied by a community garden, a place where people come together to nurture and grow. The symbol of Growing Hope is a grand solitary tree, evidence of the power and possibilities of voices united.

Visitors begin their experience in our digital greenhouse, where they choose the topic that directly impacts their families and communities, and write their hope for change. Issues include: Education, Economy, Equality, Health & Environment, Community, as well as Veterans and Foreign Affairs. Next, visitors print their hope (now entered into MSNBC’s database), attach it to a flower petal, connect it to a stem and plant it in our outdoor garden – a place where people literally put stakes in the ground.

The Growing Hope Tour began in Houston at Texas Southern University with stops in Atlanta and Charlotte. It culminated in New Orleans at the 20th Annual Essence Festival during Fourth of July weekend.

You can join in the conversation and submit your own hope by clicking here.


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Cincy goes loco for fútbol


The Cincinnati MKTG INC office invited an especially lucky group of clients to catch the Colombia-Japan World Cup matchup at the downtown office on June 24.

“As Colombians we grow up living soccer and loving soccer. It’s part of our family, part of our childhood, so to see Colombia do so well in this World Cup and qualify in the first two games brings a lot of pride,” said Colombian native Luis Restrepo, Orgullosa Brand Manager at P&G. “It also means that there is an amazing party somewhere in Colombia.”

With help from her compadres y comadres, Orgullosa Account Supervisor Natalia Salces organized the Cincinnati event, which featured a photo booth, foosball table, Caipirinha drinks, arepas, and, of course, televised viewing of the game (because we couldn’t afford to send everyone to Rio).


The fiesta drew inspiration from the #MyHouseIsMyStadium campaign for Orgullosa, P&G’s online word-of-mouth community for Latinas living in the U.S. Except in this case the office was our stadium.

Approximately one-half of all attendees were rooting for “those guys in the yellow jerseys” to win. The other half showed up for the refreshments.

Colombia bested Japan 4-1 and advanced to the round of 16. Restrepo used that good luck to propel him in his own foosball victory over Todd Laabs, SVP Marketing & Operations for MKTG INC. Laabs mumbled something about “a couple of sloppy goals” and vowed redemption in the form of ping pong.

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MKTG INC Guest Column Part 2: Nike Master Trainers

Nike Master Trainers         HOLLY RILINGER                                                                                                       TRACI COPELAND

This month, our Guest Column features two Nike Master Trainers, who were kind enough to sit down to chat about fitness, health and avoiding injury. If you missed Part 1 of the interview last month, you can read up on it here!

As the weather warms up, people will be heading outdoors for their exercise. What are a few tips to help people avoid injury?

HOLLY: Hydrate before you get started. If you wait until you’re thirsty you may already be dehydrated. Be sure to exercise in the morning and evening rather than the middle of the day. For types of workouts, try getting in the water. I’m a huge surfer and it’s a great workout!

TRACI: Make sure you are hydrating enough. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, start days before. Also bring Gatorade or vitaminWater to help replace the potassium and sodium you lose when you sweat. You lose potassium really quickly when you workout, so it’s great to have a banana about half hour before the workout. Wear sunblock. Make sure to do a proper warm-up and cool-down.

Are there any fitness myths or misnomers that people should ignore?
HOLLY: “You need carbs for fuel.” Not necessarily. Unless you are talking about the carbs you find in vegetables. I often hear people say that they gain weight when they work out really hard because they eat too much. If you eat the right foods this will never happen.

TRACI: “Lifting heavy makes you bigger.” Soooo not true. You burn more calories when you lift more weight!

You both travel a lot. How do you maintain your workout routine on the road when you don’t have access to your favorite gym?
HOLLY: I stay open to what’s available to me. The most important thing is that I get out there and move. Even if it’s just a run. Sometimes I use my NTC app and do a workout in the hotel room. It’s GREAT for travel.

What’s your go-to snack before or after a workout?
HOLLY: I always try to eat whole foods. Hard-boiled eggs and almonds are my go-to before a workout. Post-workout I try to get in something more substantial like a salad or organic veggies with a protein like fish or chicken.

TRACI: I love a banana or chia seed tapioca pudding. Both are great sources for energy. Great fuel.

What three things are always in your workout bag?
1. My Nike TR Frees. These shoes are great for everything I do.
2. My iPod. I gotta have good tunes at ALL TIMES.
3. Volt! It’s Nike’s neon yellow. It’s become my signature color. I want one of everything in this color. #VOLTLIFE

TRACI: The question should be what TEN things do I pack? I feel like I pack so much before I leave for the day. A typical day for me can be back-to-back classes and clients, so I need several changes of clothes and a large bag to make it all work. But the 3 absolute must-haves are Stress Relief body spray by Bath & Body Works. I use it during my yoga classes. A gym lock in case I decide to go do a gym workout that day. And printed tights in case I end up in a dance class later that day.

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Written by Katie Kirby
Katie Kirby

June 26th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Apps Worth Some Daps

Summer Apps

Summertime is always a great time to try new things so why not test out a few new apps? Featured in this post are some to make your life easier, more active and adventurous.

Need to break the mold from your local watering hole, standard first date spot or repetitive weekend attractions? Sosh helps you embrace adventure through its social discovery platform, available for iPhone and the web. Akin to a personalized concierge service, it allows you to browse, bookmark and select from things to do: hip new bars, snazzy restaurants, live music, outdoor recreational activities and more.

With ride-sharing (Uber, Halo, Lyft) and bike-sharing (Divvy Bike, Citi Bike) on the rise, there’s no shortage of transportation options to go along with the old commute via car or public transit. Ridescout (for iPhone and Android) gets you from “point A to point B faster and smarter” – consolidating all your travel options in one view. Simply enter where you are and where you’re going, and you’ll get a map rendered with time to travel, cost and even calories burned if you walk.

Blending personal and business use, Wunderlist helps organize your life. Perfect for shopping and grocery lists, long-term travel plans or in-office collaboration, the app syncs across all your devices and keeps you on tasks. Planning a wedding this summer? Wunderlist might be for you (and the wedding planner).

Turns out that working out doesn’t need to be especially rigorous or time-consuming. Everyone can spare just 7 minutes to get that heart rate going before heading into the office or out for the day. This iPhone app features 10 easy-to-do exercises sans equipment or a ton of physical space. You’ll be done before you can say “TPS Reports.” Upgrade for $.99 to a “pro” version to mix up the sequence and add new features.

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Written by Jake Bernstein
Jake Bernstein

June 26th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

What’s in Your Wallet?

HJ CardHeather Johnson | Director of Project Management

Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). In our new column Business Cards Explained, we take a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hear the stories behind them. Get ready to blush.

Heather is a nag. In her own words, “I nag people all day!”
Yes – as a project manager – I don’t actually DO anything – I just nag everyone who does. My husband said he likes it because I’m so tired of nagging I don’t have any left for him!

Back when she – no joke – did standup comedy, Heather would nag friends and family into coming to her open mic shows.
Yeah – for about 3 years I did standup comedy all over Cincinnati. Most of my jokes were around my horrible dating life (pre-husband of course). The story about the guy who showed up wearing a fanny pack was too long to fit on the card. There was also the guy that had 7 dead animals in his living room – 3 species. Can you guess what they were?

These days, this former comedienne is using her willingness to pester people to ensure that her clients’ projects meet their deadlines. It’s a job that requires a good sense of humor.
Yes – it takes a great sense of humor to do this job. The other day someone said, “You’re just like my annoying mother – but in a good way.” Nice try spinning that to a compliment! That said – I like making things happen. Without your annoying mom nagging you – you never would have graduated high school and then you’d be asking someone if they want fries with that. Instead you now love your annoying mother – right?! Someday they’ll all love me, too – hopefully.

After all, when it comes to comedy (and schedules), timing is everything.
And to combat the last “What’s in Your Wallet” participant (yeah you Dan Rogers!) – as a University of Iowa grad I did learn that timing was everything. You had to catch that Cambus on time or else you’d be running the 5 miles between your two classes!

And to satiate your curiosity – the dead animals were deer, squirrel and razorback.

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Written by Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson

June 26th, 2014 at 1:19 pm



It’s that special time in the sports world that only arrives every 4 years, when Americans realize that the beautiful game is back and ready to fill their Summer sports malaise, where the only other news of note is the exciting stretch run of only 92 games to go in the baseball season.

To capitalize on the energy around the World Cup and the world’s most popular sport (deal with it, America), Nike launched the latest in a series of innovative soccer-based campaigns with RISK EVERYTHING: a challenge to all footballers to take chances and play with a creativity that takes the game to its highest and most entertaining level (deal with it, Spain).

To harness and amplify that creativity, NIKE developed a 4 v 4 tournament unlike any other: Winner Stays. With a unique set of rules and a winner stays on mentality that throws brackets to the curb, Nike and MKTG INC set out to the crown the best in NYC amidst concrete arenas in the heart of the city.

Nike Risk Everything              Pearl St. Plaza – Brooklyn Qualifier                                            Pier 26 – Manhattan Qualifier

Over 680 players and 120 teams battled it out at the Brooklyn and Manhattan Qualifiers for a chance to advance to the Finals. Set against iconic, unexpected locations in the two boroughs, the events drove home the city-based inspiration with locally relevant artists and food trucks. With 5 teams from each Qualifier moving on to the Finals, it was time to prepare for a championship setting unlike any other.


With the flight deck of the USS Intrepid playing host to the Finals and conjuring up memories of one of the best NIKE Soccer campaigns of all time, the Risk Everything mantra reached a fever pitch (pun intended), as players battled it out in front of 1,100 fans. The NY Finals were held first, as the top 10 teams from the qualifiers fought to be crowned the NY Champion. After The Wild emerged victorious, it was time to take on the LA champion (who had been flown in for the evening) to be crowned the best in the USA. As a precursor to the Stanley Cup Finals, LA (got lucky and) took home the victory. Finally, a trophy celebration amidst a 3-minute firework show that would wow even the boldest of pyros brought the Winner Stays tournament to a close.

Nike’s campaign for creativity and boldness keeps rolling as the World Cup kicks into high gear, and with the Group Stage on pace to provide the highest scoring tournament of all time, it seems like the world has heard the message.*

*Unless you’re from Spain. 

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US Open 2014: Domination, Evolution and a Bigger Banana

martin_kaymer_champion_usatsiPhoto Credit: cbssports.com

The US Open was already rewriting the history books after Friday’s play. No one had ever posted a 65-65 on the first two days. This record was set by Martin Kaymer, who held the lead from start-to-finish, yet another feat, which only seven players had accomplished in US Open history. The win was doubly memorable for Kaymer, who also won the Players Championship to complete the bout of winning on both Mother’s and Father’s day. When asked how he felt about winning during the holidays, Kaymer noted,

“It was nice to win on Mother’s Day and our Father’s Day [in Germany] was a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t get him anything,” said Kaymer after a gargantuan eight-shot victory at Pinehurst on Sunday. “Maybe this works today.”

Yet another milestone to note, this time for the course, was Pinehurst’s first US Open back in its old form. Originally designed by famed architect Donald Ross in 1907, Pinehurst had seen a forward evolution through the years. As seen in the 2005 US Open, the fairways had become tight, the Kentucky bluegrass roughs were among the most formidable of any tour stop, and the bunkers were clean cut-outs, but quite scary, even for the most regarded professionals.

Back in 2010, the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were brought in to bring #2 back to its original lore. Their goal for the renovation was to bring the course back to Donald Ross’ original intent for his home course, epitomizing the philosophy of providing golfers “strategic choices” on every hole. They increased fairway widths, removed that bluegrass rough (approximately 35 acres, leaving native areas made up of sane, pine needs and wiry grass), simplified turf maintenance leading to firmer, faster fairways, and what was probably the most noticeable, reformed bunkers to make them more natural. All work was done following aerial images from the 1940s.

The “strategic choice” philosophy that Donald Ross aimed at providing golfers as personified by the shot of the weekend, Kenny Perry’s bender on the par-four 14th, a 479-yard hole. Perry, 53, and the oldest player in the field, had an errant drive that ended up in the native area that was part of the refresh in 2010. After pulling a hybrid from his bag, and peering around the trees at the pin that was 220 yards away, he proceeded to record the first eagle of the week on 14, with a shot that would rival the famous banana that Bubba had during his Master win in 2012. While Parry didn’t win, his shot immediately became the best of the weekend.


All things considered, this year’s US Open was one for the storybooks. Next year’s US Open will be held at yet another throwback, the Robert Trent Jones II designed Chamber’s Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington. Much akin to Pinehurst from a standpoint of keeping native features alive, Chamber’s Bay is a links course that also tests the “strategic choice” philosophy. And with a hole named “Humpback,” you never know: another big bender could happen anytime.

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