Archive for 2017

MKTG NY Volunteers at Gods Love We Deliver

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Yesterday members of MKTG NY spent the afternoon volunteering at Gods Love We Deliver packaging food for those in need. The mission of GLWD is to help alleviate hunger and malnutrition by delivering over 7,000 nutritious meals daily to those who are suffering from serious illness. We are thrilled to support such a great cause and look forward to continuing to do so in 2018!

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

December 15th, 2017 at 11:04 am

2017 TopSpin Charity Event

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For the eighth year in a row, MKTG was proud to produce another successful TopSpin Charity ping pong event last night at NY’s Metropolitan Pavilion. TopSpin raises awareness and provides funds for exceptional nonprofits that provide educational opportunities for under-served youth.

This was by far our most attended event with attendees spanning across brands, properties, media, leagues and agents. This year, 13 of some of NYC’s top restaurants provided amazing samples from their menus. Similar to recent years, bars were fully stocked with themed cocktails and this year’s silent auction brought some amazing sports memorabilia, including Shaq’s size 23 sneaker. Take a look below for photos from last night’s event!

Photos by Mitch Plaise @sh0tbyp

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

December 7th, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Our CEO Charlie Horsey’s World-Renowned Chicken Chili Recipe…just in time for the holidays!

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• 6 (1 lb) Cans of Navy or Great White Northern Beans

• 3 Cans (6 cups) of chicken broth

• 2 Chicken bouillon cubes

• 1-2 cloves of garlic

• 1 large White Onion Chopped fine

• 2 (4oz) cans of chopped green chilies

• 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes/chilies

• 1 tbsp ground cumin

• 1 tbsp dried oregano

• 1/4 tbsp ground cloves

• 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper

• 4 Cups of shredded cooked chicken (hint: get a cooked

rotisserie chicken and shred it!)


Combine above ingredients in crock pot and simmer all day or use stove top

method below….

Stove Top Method

• Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and onions in a large soup pot and

bring to a boil

• Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours

• Add remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour longer


Top as you choose, but I suggest you garnish with monterey jack / cheddar

cheese, sour cream, jalapeno peppers (Mrs. Renfros are the best), and, of

course, Fritos when you are trying to impress!

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

December 4th, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Experience

A Day In The Life of…Guinness Ambassador Ryan Wagner

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It’s that time again! Time to get to know another one of our amazing #HumansofMKTG.  To finish off the year, we’re taking a look at a day in the life of Ryan Wagner, our Baltimore-based Guinness Brewery Ambassador.

What exactly does it mean to be a Guinness Brewery Ambassador?

Well, there’s a team of nine of us around the country, we divide up the country evenly. My territory is Maryland, DC, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It’s our job to kind of spread the gospel of Guinness in any way that we can. So it’s mainly focused on education, and whether that’s getting in front of the sales team at a distributer, or getting in front of the bartending staff at an on-premise account and making sure that they’re up to date on Guinness’s quality standards and pouring techniques and all those things. Then it’s also designing consumer-facing events. I’m working with the Maryland Zoo for instance, in creating a program surrounding live zoo animals and the animals that are on the Gilroy posters from Guinness. So I do whatever I can to increase awareness of the things that we’re doing and making sure that everyone is as educated as possible about the world of beer. Not just the world of Guinness, because if people are smarter drinkers, then we hope that’ll lead them to Guinness anyway. And then also because I’m based in Baltimore and our new brewery is being built here, I’ve been spending a lot of time helping everybody get up to speed at the brewery and in the taproom as well.

The cat that’s “probably screaming”

Would you tell us a little bit about your morning routine?

Because I work primarily with staff at bars and restaurants and things like that, I tend to use my mornings to get caught up on admin work, whether that’s responding to emails or dealing with expenses. So I usually take my time in the mornings because, more often than not, I know it’s going to be a later evening. I’ll spend the earlier part of the day working on the busy work.


What about first thing when you wake up in the morning? The before work stuff…

Oh my goodness. I hit the snooze button like 17 times. I deal with the cat that’s probably screaming at me. If it’s the day my fiancé doesn’t open the gym where she works, then I’ll get up and make breakfast for us. If she’s already gone and it’s just me then breakfast is something really simple like cereal. Then I sit down and turn the TV to CNN or ESPN and get caught up on what’s going on in the world. Finally, I open the computer and get to work.


Are you a big podcast listener?

Occasionally I’ll listen to a couple of the beer podcasts. Some of the stuff that the guys at Beervana do or Good Beer Hunting to, again, keep up with what’s going on in the market.


Do you have any go-to lunch spots?

Yeah, Smoothie King! When you work in beer, and you know you’re going to be drinking a lot of it, you know a lot of your calories for the day are going to be coming from beer. So you have to try to keep it light for lunch. It’s not always easy, but if there’s a Smoothie King around I try to have that for lunch.


What about an after work activity? Do you have a favorite?

Spending time with my fiancé. We both work a lot. Depending on the time of year I work three or four jobs and she’s busy as well. She’s a group fitness director for a regional chain of athletic clubs so my favorite activity is literally something as simple as an SVU marathon and laying on the couch and just being around each other.

So you said you’re typically working 3-4 jobs at a time, can you tell us a little more about what those are?

Yeah it’s quite a few things! My background is really varied. Obviously, Guinness is my fulltime job and where I spend the majority of my time. In addition to the experience I have working with beer, I have a couple other part-time gigs that are a lot of fun that I like to do whenever I have the opportunity to. One of them is teaching a class called Body Pump, which is a group fitness weight-training class. So I’ll typically do that once or twice a week it’s usually early in the morning where I’ll go to the gym and teach a class. And then I also work for the local CBS radio affiliate in Baltimore doing sports talk radio. So I’ll do that a few times a month, where I’ll pick up a few hours and go in and talk sports. Then I also work for the Orioles when they’re in season. I am the announcer at the ballpark at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, so I’m the public address announcer at the stadium.


So let’s say the Orioles are in season, what does your workweek look like?

I mean it depends. So they’re home 81 times a year typically for anywhere from 3-10 days in a row at a time so it really just varies from week to week. But if I’m working all of my jobs simultaneously, which doesn’t happen terribly often, I might wake up at 5am to go teach a 6am class. I’d get back to the house at 7:30, have breakfast, and work on some admin stuff until it’s time to go on the road and go do my Guinness day. I’d visit a couple of accounts, do a staff training, work with bartenders on Perfect Pour, meet with a distributor. I’d meet with my distributor manager, see what’s going on for the week with him. Then I would be at the ballpark by 5 or 5:30. The game would start at 7. I’m there until 10. Then there are days where I go right from the ballpark to the radio station to do 10:30 until midnight on the radio. Again, it doesn’t happen often but if I’m doing all four in one day that’s what it’d look like.

It was a pleasure speaking with Ryan about life as a Guinness Brewery Ambassador, sports announcer, group-fitness instructor, and radio host.  You can keep up with Ryan on Instagram and Twitter @rwags614 or just catch him at the Orioles home games next season.  

Now that we’re wrapping-up 2017 A Day In The Life pieces, I highly recommend closing your year by sitting down with a colleague you don’t know so well and getting to know them better. It’s a privilege to hear the stories of the people we surround ourselves with every day. One thing’s for sure, MKTG is full of some pretty amazing humans. – MaryKate




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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 30th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

MKTG Wins “Best Use of a Digital Influencer in a Social Campaign” at Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards

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MKTG was rewarded for their continued work around client, IBM’s, Tony Awards Influencer Watch Party (#WatchPartyIBM) at the Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards. The category contained quite a few reputable programs making the victory extra sweet. For more background see details of the award-winning program below:

Category Finalists Included:

• Turner Sports – #ArtOfTheDunk

• MTV EMA – Viacom International Media Networks

• Viacom – 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards – Social Squad

• Nickelodeon – Kids’ Choice Sports Social Campaign

• Oxygen Media – Snapped – Influencer “Evidence Unboxing” Campaign



In 2014, through the utilization of proprietary social listening tools, MKTG identified a lack of social conversation and attribution surrounding IBM’s partnership with the Tony Awards. Aditionally, MKTG noticed a strong desire amongst theatre aficionados to share their Tony Awards viewing experience, but what was lacking was a physical and digital community where they could all come together under one umbrella. From this insight, #WatchPartyIBM was born in 2015 to drive home the association of the partnership and bring attention to IBM Watson solutions.


In 2017, MKTG revamped the 3rd annual Official Tony Awards Watch Party in a NYC penthouse by inviting 35 unpaid influential voices in the theater, tech, and sports communities to come together to amplify the IBM partnership and share their experience on Broadway’s biggest night.


New to 2017, MKTG developed a 10-person Host Committee which included current Broadway actors and actresses (featured in acts like Hamilton and others) as well as past Tony winners. This Committee was devised to spark conversation amongst attendees while initiating the #WatchPartyIBM social community to extend the conversation beyond the 3-hour award show. The week of the Watch Party, influencers received a personalized social asset from IBM on Twitter as well as an informative email to set the stage for the event, introducing them to Watson Cognitive technology. Post event, Getty Images were sent to the influencers, encouraging additional social sharing after the award show.


On Tony night, MKTG hosted the Watch Party at the Skylark in New York City.  Onsite were unique activations to enhance the experience and encourage social content sharing including: an interactive IBM branded selfie mirror, custom Snapchat Spectacles (with 2 geo-targeted Snapchat filters), a photo opportunity with an actual Tony Award, an officially sponsored Periscope channel, an opportunity to contribute to a crowdsourced video, and interactive Tony themed games and contests awarding signed Broadway memorabilia. Not to mention, Chef Watson tech-inspired chocolates and signature cocktails, and the infamous Watson Beat activation where guests could create an original Broadway composition on a keyboard piano. Following the live broadcast, guests were transported to the Tony Awards Gala at the Plaza Hotel to rub shoulders with the stars.

Evaluation of Success

Across all social platforms, there were over 2,100 unique IBM and Tony Awards conversations (38% growth from 2016) including 1,600+ unique event hashtag uses totaling 34MM potential impressions.

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 29th, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Experience

Wells Fargo Mobile Food Banks

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Food is the cornerstone of the holidays, but for 1 in 7 Americans, this means relying on food banks for support. This holiday season, Wells Fargo will use the power of their 6,000+ branches and 265,000+ team members to help collect the food so many people rely on. As part of the overall effort, Wells Fargo has created a mobile food bank to travel the country this holiday season, raise awareness and collect non-perishable donations at events in four regions and 16 different markets until December 30th. This is a large nation-wide initiative with national and local media efforts, as well as a partnership with United Way and local food banks to do the most good in each market on the tour.


You can catch a Mobile Food Banks in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Des Moines, St. Louis, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. between now and December 28, 2017.

Check it out on Good Morning America here!

Click here for more info on the Wells Fargo Food Banks

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 28th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Experience

Discussing EventTech with Gavin Blawie

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We asked MKTG SVP Gavin Blawie some questions about his EventTech talk: IBM Sports & Entertainment Partnerships: Rules for a Wired World.


You spoke about our work with IBM at the recent EventTech conference in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. Can you share a few things to help those of us that couldn’t attend get a feel for your talk and also some key take aways from EventTech in general?

MKTG was at EventTech to share our integrated activation framework for IBM, and how over the last 3 years we have helped raise their social game through influencers and content made to share to better amplify tentpole partner events like the US Open, the Tony Awards and Pebble Beach, which are used by the client to demonstrate their technology expertise and build relationships with clients and prospects.

Overall it was a privilege to share MKTG’s success with IBM to a larger audience, and our approach to earned media is both a differentiator and a proven model that unlocks significant incremental value and amplification, and which is now applied across their partner portfolio.

How long was your presentation and were you solo?

I had planned on attending this session with our IBM client, but she was unable to travel at the last minute so I handled our presentation solo.

At EventTech we shared our philosophy of leveraging not just official partner content and feeds from IBM’s marquee sponsorships, but the idea that we enlist credible 3rd party influencers and their social graphs and feeds to personalize their sponsorships, and earn the partnerships exponentially more conversations and sharing.  Now, if you plan and execute events with a social mindset, you can unlock thousands of pieces of user generated content and tens of millions of incremental media impressions.

What major subjects did you cover? Did you get any great questions from the audience?

Best part of our presentation was our strategic framework to the larger event model, whereas most of the audience was focused on the physical, live aspects of wiring events to capture content and share, our approach stood out as a pre/during/approach social mindset to events as much as model to harness conversation and sharing.  Truth is brands always have tons of incremental content and conversations earned which flow out of and around events, the trick is typically that value dissapates like so much heat and light.  Now, it’s incumbent on MKTG as an agency partner to wire events to be shared to benefit the brand, using unified hashtags like #WatchPartyIBM and incenting people to share and spread the word at scale, it’s the difference between a great one off event for a small handfull, vs social conversations that travel across hundreds of personal feeds.

What were three key things you learned from the show floor? What was hot, and what was less impressive?

Augmented reality was everywhere, especially with the new AR kit in the latest Apple OS, and supporting tech to facilitate onsite sharing via hotspots and beacons, but still felt more like it was all a great tech coming than stuff which is actually here yet.  Lots of innovative camera rigs and technology to seamlessly stitch together 360 content, as fostering greater ways of personal, camera first storytelling from multiple POVs becomes the new model.

Overall, what were your impressions of the event? 

Event Tech Live was overall a very well run event, 3 full days of content, tech and partner overviews, as everyone in the space (client and agency) navigates the ongoing revolution.  Definitely much smaller an event than CES, but a great vibe and positive forum, and great reception to our thinking and approach to maximizing event impact through digital and social, as we were all from the same dedicated audience of experts in live & experiential meets tech – the show itself was probably attended by over 500, with a large standing exhibition space and 5 separate break out stages, which was larger than I had expected.



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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 28th, 2017 at 10:23 am

Posted in #mymktg,Events

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MKTG Westport Partners with Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk for Red Cross Blood Drive

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Westport MKTG partnered up with  Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk to join them in their first Red Cross Blood Drive. Did you know that donating just one pint of blood can save up to three people’s lives? The combined effort collected 26 units of blood which can save 78 lives. If you are thinking about donating blood, get out and do it. The event was a success and we look forward to co-sponsoring a bigger event with our friends  next June.

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 17th, 2017 at 11:22 am

Posted in Experience

Hospitality and Events Collective Volunteer Day

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The Hospitality and Events departments of Westport, CT and Charlotte, NC each spent a great day in October volunteering in their local communities in an effort to give back and bond as a team.

The Westport team spent their night at the New Covenant Center in Stamford. The New Covenant Center started as a food kitchen, and is now a full pantry and resource center for the homeless in southern Fairfield County, offering hot meals, take-home groceries, shower and laundry facilities, and even a drop-in medical clinic. Via the connection from colleague Kathryn Rambo, who volunteers with the Center on a regular basis, the team got involved with the Center’s Social Night of Service, where they worked together to prepare a full meal that will be served to the NCC patrons the next day. This involved making meatloaf, chopping potatoes, making brownies, and finding the best way to fold silverware into a napkin with no string! At the end, the team got to celebrate a job well done by enjoying the meal together that night. For more information on the New Covenant Center, please visit them at

Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hospitality & Events team enjoyed a day of service on Friday, October 27th. The team served lunch at the Charlotte Rescue Mission, which is a residential recovery program that help men and women struggling with addiction achieve long-term sobriety. The team helped set the tables, prepare/serve the food and were able to sit and enjoy conversations with the residents throughout the meal. The Charlotte H&E team enjoyed this community outreach opportunity so much that they are planning to make it a monthly initiative for the entire Charlotte office! For more information on the Charlotte Rescue Mission and their work, please visit them at

But Westport and Charlotte weren’t the only ones to give back. Remote colleague Kati Kasch spent a snowy day in Colorado helping the Denver Rescue Mission prepare and serve meals to 800 of those people in need.

The experience as a whole helped the teams gain knowledge about the needs in their local communities and how they can help. We hope everyone can find some time this year to volunteer for an organization they are passionate about, as we did.

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Written by Kelly Lewis
Kelly Lewis

November 2nd, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Posted in MKTG 4 Good

MKTG wins Diageo’s ‘Breakthrough Performance’ Award at Supplier Awards

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Thrilled to share that MKTG was honored by Diageo North America for “Breakthrough Performance” at the 2017 Supplier Awards. Thank you to our long-time partners at Diageo, and to our amazing team for all of their hard work and dedication.

See here for the press release


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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

November 2nd, 2017 at 1:07 pm