Archive for the ‘#mymktg’ Category

A Day In The Life: Kristin Laux

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MK here from MKTG Chicago and welcome to this month’s edition of “A Day in the Life” featuring my friend Kristin Laux. I’ve known Kristin for about five years via various work situations and I’m so happy to know and work with her.

Kristin hails from Wisconsin, which is important to note because it’s at the core of her personality. Have you ever met anyone from Wisconsin? They’re basically the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and Kristin is no exception. She’s a peach.

This sweet midwestern girl joined the MKTG family about two years ago on the Nike team in Chicago. In the last year, she took the plunge and moved to New York City where she is still a proud member of our “Swoosh squad,” specializing in Running and Women’s Training events.

I took some time to sit down with Kristin on a recent trip to the New York office to learn more about her day-to-day and how it’s changed since her move. I’m glad I caught her when I did, because she was just about to leave for her first weeklong vacation where she’ll be road tripping between some of the nation’s most beautiful National Parks! (So jealous)

MKP: What time do you wake up on a typical work day?

KL: It varies. Sometimes I get up at 5. Well, twice a week I wake up at 5 to go to the gym. And otherwise it’s like 6:30 usually, if I don’t workout.

 

Ok, and you go to workout classes in the morning, like…

Rumble Boxing. I box every Thursday at 6, and I go to spin on Wednesdays and I try to go to at least 1 yoga class a week.

 

Ok, wow, and all before work?

Mhmm!

 

And all different studios?

Yeah, cause now I finally got ClassPass. It was like $19 to sign up for the first month and I tried to cancel it the next month and they were like “Oh! We hate to see you go!” and I told them it was too expensive and they said “Okay! We’ll give you another month at a discount.” So I was like, “Ok! That works!” And then I have a membership for the boxing gym.

[MK: I feel it’s important to note that K. Laux very politely invited me to boxing at Rumble the next morning. I didn’t pack workout clothes, but promised the next time I’m in NYC on a Thursday morning I’ll plan on it.]

 

So what’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you have a home routine?

Yep, I get up. I open the shades and look at the amazing view, because we look over the RFK Bridge and the east river. You can see the sunrise every morning because we don’t have a building in front of us. Then, I make the bed. I go and turn on the coffee machine, take a shower, I sound like a robot, haha.

 

No! no no. It’s very regular. It makes sense!

Yeah, I mean I just don’t sit still. I turn on the Today Show. I wake up with Matt and Savannah every day too, that’s what I have in the background.

She wasn’t kidding about that view.

 

Yeah I feel like that’s such a good choice. I wake up and watch whatever show I fell asleep watching and sometimes they’re very bleak and that’s a weird way to start the day. I feel like The Today Show can’t get that bleak.

Okay, so your day cannot be properly started without _______?

I guess I just need to make the bed because I feel so accomplished! It’s one thing I need to do. Colleen [our old manager at Nike Chicago] always told us this thing someone told her once, I think it was her dad and he was a drill sergeant or something, but she said that if you make the bed in the morning you can’t start your day bad because you already accomplished one thing. And they just talked about a study, on the Today Show actually, that said a lot of millionaires and successful people also start their day by making the bed. You start the day accomplished because you know you did one thing.

 

Well damn! Guess that’s the secret!

Haha, if that’s a weird answer you can just say coffee.

 

No! That’s a good one, that’s way more interesting. Let’s talk about your commute. How do you commute to the office?

Uh, the Q changed my life. I used to take the 6 and it was like 14 stops. But they just opened the Q in January and it’s right on our block. So I literally take the Q and it’s express and it takes like 20 minutes and you always get a seat! Seriously changed my life.

 

Kristin and Alyssa

Oh yeah, that’s amazing. At my old apartment we had an express bus that picked up right outside of our front door and it was amazing. So I know you wear headphones at your desk cause I saw you in your fancy Beats. Do you do that to block people out and concentrate? Are you listening to music or more of a podcast person?

I tried to get into podcasts, but there was too much stopping and talking to people throughout the day I couldn’t really follow. So I just switched to music and just listen to Spotify. Alyssa [Nike teammate] and I share music like all day long.

 

That’s awesome! Does she make the playlists or do you make them?

Well, we both like country music, really any kind of music that pops up, we’ll just share the songs a couple times a day like “listen to this quick.”

 

I love that so much. You need someone with similar music taste in your life, everyone does. Okay, here’s a fun one, what are your top five apps and why?

Hahaha, I keep thinking of Kevin’s from last month and I don’t know how to top that. Should I say mozzarella sticks? Okay, okay, let me think. Of course, Instagram. Probably Buzzfeed News and Huffington Post. Fresh Direct. Well, I do that on my computer but it’s an app I order food with at least once a week. And then of course Spotify.

 

Are there any places around the office that make your day? Like bars or lunch spots?

Umm, there’s not too much around the office. I’d say La Colombe because they have great coffee. Abbie [Nike teammate] just took me to Two Hands. Have you ever been there?

 

Nope!

You’ve got to go. They have the best avocado toast I’ve literally ever had. It’s just one street past Baked. Plus everything is Instagrammable.

 

Is there anything in the area that you live in that you love?

Not really, we mostly just go to Fillmore for subs, haha. We just go to the same places because it’s all in our block and close by. There are so many other cool places [in New York] but they’re convenient to get to from work or from home.

 

Oh yeah. This town is huge! Well, what about after work? Is there an activity that just makes your week? We laugh briefly, because Kristin and I both know we aren’t the “going out” types.

Well it used to be kickball at the Chicago office. Are you guys doing that again?

 

We are. We can’t wait. Though, I don’t remember when it starts, haha.

That was so much fun. They do softball in New York, but that’s not quite the same. Let me think. Well, I honestly just like to go walk in the park. We’re right either on the river path or on the park so you can go either direction, which is really nice. But I literally love it, like in summer, I would get off the train and walk home through the park which is close to two or three miles. 

This is Kristin and fellow MKTGer Ozzie’s pet bird Oliver Coconuts. She says she bird-sits sometimes when Oz is out of town.

 

That’s so nice!

Yeah, it’s really nice. So sometimes in the summer Danny [boyfriend] and I will run home. So I’ll meet him at the store [where he works] and we’ll just run home together through the park. But this isn’t the current activity. Literally, when I get home, I watch the nightly news with Lester Holt. If I’m home I mean. If I’m actually home by 6 o’clock, I watch the nightly news and then literally we watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune cause we’re 90 years old. [Laughs]

 

That’s great! Honestly I think in this job where we are so go-go-go it’s so underrated to have a night at home like that.

Yeah, honestly it’s just Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and then I pass out and go to bed.

 

Well you have to if you’re going to get up for the gym at 6am for boxing!

So you moved to New York from Chicago, is there anything like an activity or restaurant in Chicago that you just can’t get in New York?

Studio Three! That place became like my second home. You could go from a Yoga class to a Spin class and then step out and grab a smoothie, like that’s what I did every day before I left for like 6 months. And you could just grab a snack and go to work.

 

Okay yeah, and here you just can’t get all of that in one spot? Or is it that there’s too many options?

It’s that there isn’t a spot that has all three without joining an Equinox or something but that doesn’t have the same boutique gym feel. And we had this amazing Thai place across the street in Chicago that I loved and we just haven’t found the perfect Thai place. And we’ve tried places on Seamless but it’s like ‘ dude, this is not it.’

Kristin’s manicure game went up 15 points moving to NYC

 

Oh that is a struggle even just moving neighborhoods in Chicago.

Yeah, it’s just not the same. That and my nail place.

 

Well, hold on! You’ve been getting killer manicures since you’ve moved.

Haha, actually Alyssa and I are going tonight! That’s the great thing about coming here, the nail game is strong here.


Okay, is there something that if you ever moved back to Chicago that you’d miss about New York? Like something you wouldn’t have expected to love so much?

Probably my apartment here. The building is so nice, there’s a package room, Danny was good at picking it it’s definitely not typical for New York. I lived in the same place in Chicago since I moved there so this is huge upgrade. And I miss the Chicago lakefront but the view here and the park are the best. Central Park has so much to do and see, and also having the option to run along the river, compared to the lakefront in Chicago got tedious after a while.  The park gives so many different routes and never gets old. Coming from Wisconsin and loving being outside, the park has the only real grass in the city and it’s so nice just being out there. It’s hard to find that here without leaving the city.

If you want to live vicariously through Kristin’s National Park Road Trip Adventure, you can follow her on Instagram here.

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:27 pm

A Day In The Life | Kevin Collins

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The Collins Family

This month, for A Day In The Life, we are featuring America’s favorite former ice-sculpture delivery man. The famously bearded, and famously off-the-grid, Chicago Office Michael Scott, ahem, General Manager, Kevin Collins.  You may have met Kevin when he lived in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, London, or Chicago again. One thing we all know, if you have met him, you’re lucky. Cause he’s really cool.
—-
Name: Kevin Collins
Office Location: Chi-city
What do you work on?
All things Nike, Beats, Gatorade, NCAA, among others; I dabble in additional agency projects whenever and wherever I can.
What time do you wake up on a typical work day?
I typically get punched in the tummy by a small child around 6:30am CST every morning.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you have a routine?
First I try to drink a glass of water. Next, I use all my willpower to try and not look at my phone until I’m out the door and headed to the train. Finally, I make the bedroom rounds to get the little people up and ready to start their day.
Your day cannot be properly started without ______…
A shower. Pretty basic. But I guess if the key word is ‘properly’ then it would require making breakfast for my kids.
How do you commute to work and do you enjoy your commute?
I take the train. It’s enjoyable, yes. I typically go on the quiet car. The quiet car is the car where people must remain quiet.
Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
Sturgill Simpson tops the list this month.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
Sort of. I like Neil deGrasse Tyson and anything that explores the cosmos. Space fascinates me.
Name your top five apps and why:
Well #1 is easily mozzarella sticks. Love em. Any type of mozz stick really. #2 would probably be tots – any type of tot really. Rounding out my top 3 would be spinach artichoke dip. My 4th favorite app is the Poutine at Green Door Tavern. And my 5th favorite app is Twitter.
What are some restaurants or spots near your office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
There is only one spot. The Green Door Tavern. It’s an emotional wrecking ball – a watering hole with a great menu. I use the word emotional because it can play whatever role you need it to – a high five after a great day, warm hug after a not so great day. It’s an old school, mischievous haunt that I could not love more. Thanks for asking.
What after-work activity makes your week complete?  
What makes my week complete? Well I do like routine, so any week that involves bath and bedtime with my little people makes any week complete. I could say it was something healthier like yoga or crossfit but that’d be a lie.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? 
Eat less apps (see above).
Anything else we didn’t ask you that you really want to tell us about your life?
Gosh there are so many things. Um, I’ve had like 30 different jobs in my life. Here are some highlights: lawn maintenance, barista @ Nordstrom, stocked shelves in the Men’s Department @ Nordstrom, delivered pizza’s, delivered ice sculptures, delivered flowers, cleaned dishes in college cafeteria, Resident Advisor (RA – yep, that’s right).
What else. I have two beautiful kids – Rockey (daughter, 5) and Dodge (son, 2) and a third due in early April 2017; a stunning wife with a beautiful mind, Margot, who I met in 2003, married in 2009 and couldn’t be luckier to have in my life.
—-
It’s important to note that Kevin Collins is also the only person in America to never have ever had a Facebook or Instagram account, so there is no handle to suggest you follow. Remember when we said he was cool? Yes, he’s really “I’ve literally never had a Facebook” cool.
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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

March 24th, 2017 at 12:43 pm

A Day In The Life : Kati Kasch

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In this month’s installment of A Day in the Life, we are featuring Kati Kasch, a director in the Sports & Entertainment team (formerly Team Epic) who lives on the road, but calls Denver home. Kati is one of the minds behind the Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Group that started at Epic and is going to be gaining steam across the US this year. Get to know Kati, her experiences, and her love for adventure below and by following her on Instagram. We promise, you won’t be sorry.
What do you work on? 
I help lead the charge on the IBM business, our longest client for over 20 years, overseeing teams across our hospitality, consulting and digital departments. I’m one of the lucky few who get to attend the Super Bowl each year for my work on FedEx’s NFL sponsorship and have dabbled with their golf sponsorship, too. A sucker for meeting new people and making connections, I am involved with our new business efforts from prospecting to pitching, acting as a subject matter buff on anything events, action sports, golf, food or outdoor lifestyle related. My biggest personal accomplishment is starting the women’s leadership and empowerment group alongside Samantha Bond which now spans offices across the country.
What time do you wake up on a typical work day? 
 6:00am…Okay fine, 6:07 after a quick snooze – I stick to East Coast work hours so I need to up and at ’em early.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you have a routine? Come on, tell us! 
Step 1 – Disable first alarm. Step 2 – Sleep for seven more minutes until second alarm rings. Step 3 – Wipe drool from cheek. Step 4 – Five minutes of stretching – nothing wakes me up like a good stretch! Step 5 – Check TheSkimm, Google Alerts (for news on clients) and ClassPass to figure out how I’m going to get my butt kicked later that day.
Your day cannot be properly started without ______… 
A stretch, strong coffee and a couple minutes of sunshine – it’s Colorado, people, we love our sunshine!
How do you commute to work and do you enjoy your commute? Details please! 
I take a treacherous 67 steps down to Kaschbucks (my kitchen coffee shop) and then 43 back upstairs to my office. I can’t complain…no traffic, nice people and small carbon footprint – a big difference from my commute when I lived in NYC that was an hour and 45 minutes each way to and from Connecticut. A lot of my work is on the road so my commute often consists of Uber and Delta to places all across the country.
Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
I can’t do anything without music – drive my car, work out, etc. However, when it comes to my work day the only thing I can work to is Explosions in the Sky. Who the heck are they you might ask? Well, they’re a quartet who plays only instrumental music and who you might know for curating the entire Friday Night Lights soundtrack. You’re welcome in advance.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? 
How I Built This on NPR
Name your top five apps and why:
OnTheSnow – it gives me the snow report for every ski resort across the world so I can chase powder all winter long.
All Trails – it shows you all the hiking, biking or snowshoeing trails based on your location. It includes directions to the tail head, info on distance, elevation gain, etc. and people review and upload photos.
Hotel Tonight – seeing as I spend a lot of nights away from home, and often at a minute’s notice, I like to book my hotels through Hotel Tonight. You can’t book until the day of your stay but I can get into some of New York’s hottest hotels for a fraction of the price.
Snapseed – because photos never do real life any justice, this app helps me enhance them to look almoooosttt as good. Admittedly, I am an Instagram addict.
Nextdoor – it’s a private social media network for your neighborhood community. After verifying your address you’re connected to your neighbors who can alert you if they’re selling furniture, if a crime has been committed in your neighborhood or simply to ask for a handyman recommendation.
What are some restaurants or spots near your (home) office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
I live in Five Points, a Historic Neighborhood in Denver which includes RiNo a section of town with breweries on every corner, innovative eateries and one of the largest collections of street art. Working from a coffee shop there or grabbing an Old Fashioned at night is the bees knees.
What after-work activity makes your week complete?
During the week I try to be as active as possible – from a surfing workout to hip hop to spinning, I like to try it all. Not to mention, my favorite is the wheelchair lacrosse team I play on – Go Rolling Mammoth! An every night MUST is to watch Jeopardy – complete with yelling answers at the TV. I’m working up the courage to apply one day. You can just call me the next Ken Jennings. On the weekend you can find me in the mountains or on a plane – I will do whatever it takes to be skiing, snowboarding, camping or traveling the world.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? (If you have one) 
Speak with conviction and advocate wholeheartedly for things that are important to me like women’s rights and the future of our planet.
——–
Follow Kati on Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter!
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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

January 30th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

TopSpin New York 2016

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screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-11-51-06-am

For the sixth year in a row, MKTG was proud to produce another successful TopSpin Charity Ping Pong event last night at NY’s Metropolitan Pavilion as part of our MKTG4GOOD initiative. TopSpin raises awareness and provides funds for exceptional nonprofits that provide educational opportunities for under-served youth.

Over 1000 revelers enjoyed bites from some of the city’s top restaurants, themed cocktails and took home some insane goods from the ever-popular silent auctions…all the while cheering on celebrities, athletes and industry executives as they as they battled at the tables to take home the coveted TopSpin trophy and bragging rights.

Celebrity guests included US Women’s National Soccer Team star Megan Rapinoe, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Dexter McDougle and Darryl Roberts from the NY Jets, Guillermo Hernangomez, Kyle O’Quinn, John Wallace, John Starks and Larry Johnson, WNBA stars Stefanie Dolson, Sue Bird and Deveraux Peters and Ibtihaj Muhammad, musician Kevin Jonas and the American sabre fencer and member of the United States fencing team best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics.

Take a look below for photos from last night’s event! Or watch our video HERE!

 

 

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Written by Paige McConney
Paige McConney

December 2nd, 2016 at 11:16 am

Mahalo MKTG! Rewards Winner Rick Gonzalez’s Hawaiian Adventures

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Clockwise from top left: Rick and helicopter tour pilot Greg give the shaka sign, view from the helicopter, mile-long waterfall in Hilo, view from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Waikiki & dining on "loco moco",

Clockwise from top left: Rick and helicopter tour pilot Greg give the shaka sign, view from the helicopter, mile-long waterfall in Hilo, view from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kona & dining on Hawaiian favorite “loco moco”.

The MKTG Rewards program is designed for MKTG employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid international or domestic experience. 2015’s winners were announced in June, and lucky recipients have spent the remainder of 2016 taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. 

Rick Gonzalez is MKTG New York’s Operations Manager and spends the majority of his workday actively running around the office ensuring that everything is running smoothly. So, it’s no surprise that when he was one of this year’s MKTG Rewards winners for a domestic trip anywhere in the US, he picked a ten day Hawaiian adventure where he would be doing anything but sitting around. While most travelers associate The Aloha State with beachbums and honeymooners, Rick avoided the cliches and made the most of historical experiences and venturing to the extreme depths –  land and sea – of the Island’s dynamically volatile geography. From mile-long waterfalls to fiery lava pits to underwater exploration, Rick soaked in these amazing vistas via helicopter, submarine, Camaro SS Convertible, or more traditionally, by foot! Rick curated his trip to blend cultural curiosity and luxe living, ending each day with a priceless sunset at the Hotel Renew in Waikiki and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kona.

MKTG: What was the feeling when you were chosen as a MKTG Rewards winner?
RG: That was an unbelievable moment for me, I was in such disbelief. I am and will always be so grateful for the staff’s acknowledgement. That was a day I will never forget.

Why did you choose Hawaii?
RG: I have never been to Hawaii and it has always been the destination on the top of my bucket list. 
 
What parts of the island did you explore? 
RG: I explored a good portion of the Big Island – Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a two hour helicopter tour, rode in a submarine and drove around the whole island. I ventured around Oahu and Honolulu, climbed the Diamond Head State Monument crater and had a day touring historical landmarks: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Bowfin Submarine and USS Missouri Battleship.

How do Hawaiian beaches compare to other beach destinations you have visited?
RG: The beaches in Hawaii are pristine with remarkably large waves and rich turquoise waters. It’s so easy to be swept away by the beauty of the water itself.
 
You are always in the know of popular cocktails and drink trends! Were there any interesting cocktails you tried that weren’t of the stereotypical “bright blue flaming booze in a pineapple” variety?
RG: Unfortunately no! I stuck to Big Wave Golden Ale and Hawaii’s signature cocktails: Mai Tai and Blue Hawaii. 
 
Did you try any local Hawaiian dishes/delicacies? 
RG: I tried…Poke (Raw Ahi tuna with seaweed and a variety of Japanese veggies. LOVED IT! ), loco moco (hamburger patties served with gravy & topped with two fried eggs), Spam musubi (cooked, seasoned Spam on a bed of sushi rice wrapped with seaweed) and Poi (mashed taro plant root).

What was the most surprising or unexpected moment from your trip?
RG: I was not prepared to see millions of stars shine so brilliantly in the sky as well as an active volcano with lava splashing and flowing! 
 
What was one moment of the trip you will never forget? 
RG: I will never forget the helicopter tour around the Island. I saw parts of the Island that were inaccessible unless you flew by plane or helicopter. Seeing lava flowing into the ocean creating new land right before my eyes was a special moment, too.  

 

–Contributed by Rick Gonzalez, MKTG NY and MKTG Global Communications team

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MKTG Atlanta Women’s Leadership Group Hosts Interactive Career Day

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birney

MKTG’s Women’s Leadership Group Atlanta chapter ended their year’s roster of events hosting an inspiring career day with 60 5th grade girls from local Birney Elementary School. MKTG Atlanta has been partnering with Birney for over seven years, conducting reading/math groups, sponsoring their field day and much more.  So, it made perfect sense to host young ladies from the school as part of a final 2016 Women’s Leadership initiative.

The session kicked off with a conversational multimedia presentation exploring MKTG’s work and providing an industry overview. A tour of the office followed, leading up to the day’s final destination- the warehouse. Five interactive stations were set up demonstrating how MKTG activates sponsorships on behalf of our clients. To get a small idea of the fun they had, the girls rotated to each of the following stations experiencing…

Photo ops! The students learned about photo ops while enjoying the Wyndham photo station with a green screen- which printed out their photo.

Prizes! The OtterBox Plinko board was tons of fun as the girls slid a dummy phone through the Plinko board to try to win a prize.

Design production! The girls created their own socks at our heat press station where they selected one of the three designs and watched one of our HQ ladies create their product.

Ring toss! Testing their tossing skills, we had three of the large Wells Fargo horses serve as a ring toss (with hula hoops).

Virtual Reality! This station was by far the most fun. The girls were able to put on a VR headset, plus hand controllers- bringing an office setting to life by trying tasks like making coffee, putting an ink cartridge in a printer, opening filing cabinets, etc.

After a yummy pizza lunch, the girls had tons of comments like “What subjects do you take in school to do this kind of job?”, “I didn’t know jobs like this even existed!” and the most important- “Thanks for a great day!” Returning to Birney with a swag bag full of event premiums from various programs, MKTG’s Women’s Leadership Group was proud to close 2016 sharing such a fun, enlightening experience supporting local youth.

–Contributed by MKTG Atlanta

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MKTG Takes Home Some Hardware at Event Marketer’s Experience Design & Technology Awards

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gatorade

MKTG won top honors at the 2016 EventTech/Event Marketer Experience Design & Technology Awards in Las Vegas. The ceremony is the world’s largest and only recognition program honoring the brands and partners creating the best-designed experiences and the most effectively “wired” engagements. Amid 1,000+ of the industry’s top event marketers, MKTG was in full force to accept their big wins, including:

Best Consumer Environment
Gold Winner
MKTG
Campaign: Gatorade Fuel Lab
Client: PepsiCo

Best Permanent or Pop-Up Retail Experience
Bronze Winner
MKTG
Campaign: The Levi’s Lot
Client: Levi’s

Huge shout outs to our awesome client partners Gatorade and Levis for whom we brought to life the touring Gatorade Fuel Lab & The Levi’s Lot at Super Bowl 50. Much gratitude. 

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–Contributed by MKTG Global Communications team

 

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MKTG Chicago Cooks Up Kindness with MKTGood

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chicago
Last week MKTG Chicago sprung their community outreach plan into action taking part in the first monthly MKTGood Volunteer Outing. The Chicago team volunteered at the Inspiration Corporation, a Chicago-based organization that helps the homeless with programs that enable them to reach their fullest potential for self-sufficiency. Inspiration Cafe is one of their programs that allows the homeless community to enjoy a night of dining out and our team put their hospitality skills to good use. They helped dream up the menu, cook and serve delicious meals – a great start to giving back across the Windy City!

–Contributed by MKTG Chicago

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 31st, 2016 at 3:39 pm

A Day in the Life: Heikal Aliakber, MKTG NY

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 heikal

MKTG’s “A Day in the Life” series has spanned the US talking to our amazing colleagues. In this profile, we circle back to MKTG HQ in New York City and chat with native New Yorker Heikal Aliakber. Heikal works in Client Services on the R.J. Reynolds account, managing four mobile tours that conduct consumer engagement activity at music festivals, bars, clubs and retail locations. His days are full on- involving everything from working with major promoters to source/contract events, routing Brand Ambassadors to different locations based on strategic needs and managing on-site at client activations – from communications, creative ideation and sometimes rolling up his sleeves and hitting things with sledgehammers (seriously).

When back home in NYC, Heikel maneuvers his hometown with a nonplussed sense of know-how only true New Yorker’s can encompass – a skill that tourists must definitely gaze at with wonderment.

MKTG: What time do you wake up on a typical work day?
HA: This is highly dependent on where I’m waking up.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you have a routine?
HA: I’m the world’s worst morning person. Seriously. I could go to bed the following night, knowing that the next day will be the best day in recorded history, and I will still wake up and shake my fist in the air while yelling incoherently (like Grandpa Simpson). I feel like my brain doesn’t wake up until about 10AM, and that only happens if I do the following:
1) put food in my stomach prior to trying to actually get things done
2) shower (which may or may not serve as a platform for me to warm up my vocal cords so that I don’t grunt on the first few phone calls of the day
3) catch up on current events and anything that transpired over the period of time I was asleep. In our business, knowledge is power (but also, FOMO is real).

Your day cannot be properly started without ______…
HA: A huge bowl of oatmeal.

How do you commute to work, and do you enjoy your commute? Details please!
HA: I was born and raised in Queens, so dealing with NYC public transit isn’t anything new to me. I’m constantly traveling between Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island (where my fiancée currently lives), so suffice it to say, commuting is a major part of my life. Whether I enjoy it or not depends on the characters I meet. The dude who blasts relaxing string quartet music through a boombox on the Staten Island ferry, while doing his morning yoga routine? I’m cool with that. The dude that carries two live, noisy chickens in a puppy crate onto the E train at rush hour, while man-spreading against the pole that I’m trying to cling to? NOPE.

Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
HA: My typical day oscillates between rap, reggae, international music, heavy metal, movie scores and slow jams. My current obsessions? “Amazing” – Spit Syndicate (Australian rap group), “Picture Perfect” – Culture Shock (hip hop/bhangra group), “No Leaf Clover” – Metallica, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” – Kendrick Lamar, “Made You Look (Remix)” – Nas ft. Ludacris and “Time” – Hans Zimmer.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
HA: Anything NPR-related I find to be gold. But I also enjoy listening to The Joe Rogan Experience, and Anna Faris is Unqualified is charming.

Name your top five apps and why.
HA:
1) Venmo – because I’m always leaving my wallet somewhere
2) Delta – checking in early is a nervous tick of mine
3) Netflix – because I hate doing cardio, and watching new series “The Get Down” while slaving away on a
treadmill is the only thing getting me through it currently
4) Spotify – perfect for tuning out the chicken-carrying denizens of the NYC public transit system
5) News – to get my daily dose of what’s real in this world

What are some restaurants or spots near your office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
HA: The fish tacos at Belle Reve are fantastic. But, I’m a Queens kid at heart, so most of the places I know aren’t local to the office, and are more often than not hole-in-the-wall establishments.

What after-work activity makes your week complete?
HA: I like picking heavy things up and putting them back down.

–Contributed by Heikal Aliakber, MKTG NY & Global Communications team

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 28th, 2016 at 10:20 am

MKTG Presents: Pairings // An Art x Music Experience

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pairings1

Last week, MKTG New York held our first Pairings // An Art x Music Experience, an exclusive series promoting creative artists and cultural inspiration. Our launch event featured art by Ralph Miller and music by DJ Zev, who spun beats among our office’s chic, pop art-infused space- a fitting backdrop as MKTGers and Dentsu Aegis Network partners sipped Diageo brand cocktails.

Growing up in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, Ralph Miller was influenced by Central American and Caribbean Art. For the past 30 years, Ralph has created cutting-edge experiential media and attractions. DJ Zev, a native of Brooklyn, New York, has spun at some of the most recognized clubs and events around the world; and for celebrities and brands such as Nick Cannon, Fergie, Eva Mendes, Red Bull, MTV, Porsche, Macy’s and Disney.

 

–Contributed by MKTG Global Communications team

 

 

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 26th, 2016 at 4:48 pm