Archive for the ‘#mymktg’ Category

Vince Gangi and Skate for Steven

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When we heard that MKTGer Vince Gangi had pulled together a fundraiser for a local teen recently diagnosed with cancer, we needed to know more. Vince gave us the details about his Skate for Steven event last month and all of the awesome partners who helped him make the day a success.

Steven is my neighbor and always comes over to play with my boys. You would often see him skating in the streets with his brother. He’s the sweetest boy you’ll ever meet, polite, caring, respectful, the whole nine! Actually, the first thing he did after surgery was thank the doctors for making him better.  What 13-year-old does that?

When I heard the news that he had a brain tumor my heart dropped. My father passed away from cancer and that was hard to see, but seeing an innocent child go through this is unbearable. Right away I knew I had to do something for him and his family. I got the impression that his family were just getting by and trying to make ends meet so I wanted to raise money for them. I also wanted to do something that would be fun for kids and also have all his friends involved. My wheels were turning and I quickly came up with the idea of roller skating… the name “Skate for Steven” was created.

Coming from a large Italian family, we were always hosting parties, but this was my first public fundraiser event. Once I had the venue set I started advertising heavily on social media, on local sites and with home-made flyers. Then I started thinking about how to raise additional funds. I ordered “Skate for Steven” bracelets that were sold at the school Steven attended, a local pastry shop donated all the desserts for our bake sale and MKTG donated candy for our candy sale as well as signage items for our raffle. A variety of local businesses also donated gift certificates for our raffle and plenty of food and beverages for the guests. On the day of the event, dozens of family and friends came out to show their support. Even the Greenwich Press heard the news and came to cover the story for their paper. The event was definitely a success!

Read more about the Skate for Steven event at The Greenwich Free Press.

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

June 8th, 2017 at 10:09 am

Why In The Future All Advertising Will Be Experienced

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“Emerging tech is causing advertising to become increasingly multi-sensory and fully immersive as it moves off screen,” writes the MD of MKTG

Technophiles the world over are looking forward to a day when all forms of content are freed from its present confinement within the four edges of a screen; to be fully multi-sensory, 360-immersive, and at some point beyond the far off horizon, indistinguishable from the real world. The message will not be contained by the medium.

How far are we from such a horizon, and are we sprinting or strolling there are questions that a lot of clever people in white lab coats are posing.

VR may take us a few tantalising strides closer. Some will groan heavily at yet another mention of this particular tech, but if we move our focus away from the headsets and instead look at how the content can be deployed and enjoyed, then interesting signposts emerge.

Earlier this year I was at the launch of the Allianz-sponsored Drone Racing League. A world championship heat will be taking place in the capital as part of London Tech Week this June. Sky were also present to announce their ownership of the broadcast rights. They intend to show the proceedings from an entirely different perspective; those with a heavy dispensation towards all things geek will already know that drone racers pilot their craft through goggles linked to a Go-Pro camera mounted on the drone. This means that home viewers with a Sky package and VR headsets can get closer into the action in an immersive sense – a pilot’s eye view.

Read the rest of the article here

Article written by Michael Brown, Managing Director, MKTG

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A Day In The Life : Drew Ocon

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For this month’s edition of MKTG’s A Day in the Life, I had the pleasure of getting to know MKTG San Francisco’s Drew Ocon. You can call him Ocon, pronounced OH-conn. He works primarily on our B2B business for clients including Facebook, Shopify and Stripe. He’s a two-time MKTGer, having first worked for the company for about a year nearly six years ago. He then took a bit of a break and re-joined the family 18 months ago.

While he’s best known for his handlebar mustache, there is so much more to know about him. So much so, that it wasn’t until the end of our 40-minute conversation to learn that he started and sold a company that, at one time, was the 7th highest-funded Kickstarter campaign, AND was featured on Shark Tank! Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I had conducting it.

-Your friendly reporter, MK

What time do you wake up on a typically workday?

So, unfortunately, I can’t separate my weekend and weekday wake-up time. I’m not a big “sleeper inner.” So, no matter whether my alarm goes off or not, even on a weekend when I’m just doing my own thing, I always happen to wake up at 6:18. It’s kind of a random thing, but it’s when my alarm is set on the weekdays, and my body just continues to wake up at that time.

 

Oof! I can totally relate except my time is even a little earlier, which is rough. But I get that.

Yeah and I’m not somebody who hits the snooze-button, so if I ever wake up any earlier I just figure I’m ahead of schedule.

 

That’s a great way to look it! So, after 6:18, what do you do next? Do you have a morning ritual?

Not really. I just jump out of bed and I’m like “Okay, I have to start the day so I’m not going to hit the snooze button.” Then I just go directly to the shower to wake myself up. Majority of the time I am a cold shower taker so I can just jump into the day.

 

Now, that’s one way to jump-start the day! So what would you say you couldn’t get your day started without?

Well, see I have a very unique look. What I’m known for look-wise is my mustache. It’s something I’ve had for years and years. So it takes me a long time do my hair, like my face hair. Ya know, I have to get all groomed. I have it down to a science where it takes me like seven minutes to get ready. But it’s something I can’t do without whether I’m camping or on an airplane or just getting to the office.

 

I mean, that’s kind of a commitment! How long have you had this mustache?

The last day that I shaved was my wedding day, so it has been almost five years. And nearly every day I ask my wife “is it okay to have this?” because she has to look at me more than I do. And I think as long as she says it’s cool to have, I’m going to keep it. I feel like this is who I’m supposed to be as an adult.

 

Yes! I think that’s something cool to realize and, you know, ‘own’.

Exactly. It at least brings a smile to people’s faces. And I don’t know if they like it, but they like looking at it. So that’s good.

[Laughs] Now this interview will only be about me and my mustache.

 

Oh don’t even worry. I can totally relate. For me, my height usually is what hi-jacks the conversation. But at least people don’t forget who you are!

So let’s move along. What’s your commute to the office like?

I’m usually one of the first people here at the office. I get in at like 7:45, but my form of transportation depends on the weather; here in San Francisco you never know what the weather will be. So if it’s chilly out or I want to catch up on podcasts I take the bus. It’s super easy – about

First person view of Ocon’s ride to work

20 minutes to get downtown and then a 30-minute walk to the office. So I get a good amount of time listening to podcasts. But majority of the time I am a bike rider. I try to ride my bike to the office on a daily basis. But even if I take the bus in, I have an office bike here, so I am on my bike at least once a day.

 

Cool. We just learned the Westport office has office bikes and office razor scooters. We’re pretty jealous in Chicago.

Yeah, I feel like in San Francisco we should incorporate that into our daily life. It’s just so easy and the city is perfect for it. Plus, we don’t have so many food options by the office, so you’re kind of stuck with whatever is in walking distance and that just opens up the possibilities.

 

So I know you said you like to listen to podcasts. When you’re in the office, do you wear headphones at your desk?

I am not really a headphones user when I’m in the office. I sit smack-dab in the middle of the office in the front row. So I actually like to hear all the conversations and be a part of the conversations all day. Unless I have some major stuff to do, then I’ll zone out and go into headphone mode.

 

But yeah, that’s good, because then when you have your headphones on people know you’re ‘in the zone’ and don’t want to talk about “The Voice” finale or whatever the talk of the day is.

Yeah, and that’s really a big reason why I get in to the office so early. I’m in by 7:30, and most people get in about 9:30. And I feel like I get the majority of my work done in that two-hour span of time.

 

This is so funny, Drew, because I’m pretty sure if we worked in the same office we’d be buds. It’s very rare that I’m at the office after 7:30. We run on the same routine!

So which podcasts are your favorites?

I’m an award-winning listener to Pardon My Take. It’s a sports podcast by BarStool Sports and I listen to that pretty frequently. There’s a lot of design podcasts that are based here in San Francisco, like 99% Invisible, which is a great one about day-to-day life and the little design aspects that you walk by every day without realizing it’s functionality, and they talk about different parts of the country too even though it’s based here [in San Francisco]. I listen to NPR Politics, especially ever since the election season last year. It’s one of the main reasons I couldn’t ride my bike because I had to listen to the news every morning. And now it’s just a part of my every day life. I also haven’t been able to stop listening to NPR’s Houston Public Radio – “Classical Classroom,” especially episodes 4, 145, and 153.

 

So after your early start, and your day chatting with your colleagues, as the workday starts coming to a close, is there a specific after-work activity that completes your week? Or makes for a really good day?

Well, the nice thing is that we are a really social office. And we have that open office layout, but you still kind of sit with a group of people in your little open space. And it’s nice because we have a small beer fridge in my little “cell block” as we call it. So whether it’s celebratory or drowning our sorrows we try to do a cheers at the end of the day at least between a few of us. So that’s really nice. Especially because we’re busting our asses most of the time, and there’s not a lot of us that leaves right at 5:00, so that’s when it turns to a more social space. That’s something that happens at least once or twice a week.

And here in San Francisco, it’s very bike friendly, and there are a lot of more outdoorsy aspects to living here. So, one of my favorite things in the summer is to jump on my bike and make it up across the Golden Gate bridge in an hour or so to a campsite. I’ll be there for a couple hours see the sunset, pitch a tent, and then ride back in the morning. I do that at least every other week during the summer. It’s super easy.

 

Woah! That’s super cool. Do you do that solo, or is there a group from the office who goes?

I think this year I’m going to really try to push for a group of people to do it. Typically it’s just my wife and myself. There are some amazing views, and it’s like you’re totally disconnected from city life, but at the same time you’re just over the hill and you can get to work in the morning.

 

That is so cool. I didn’t even know that’s a thing!

Yeah, haha. It’s like a little getaway, especially because it doesn’t really get dark until 8 or 9 o’clock. So if you get somewhere by like 5 or 6 you still have plenty of time to drink wine and watch the sunset. It’s pretty awesome.

I’d sleep outside for that view, too.

 

Wow, that’s amazing. That’s why California is so awesome.

Yeah, that and then at the end of the day, I’ll go play softball a few nights a week. I’m not someone who goes to the gym to exercise, so I’m on a lot of athletic teams. Not that it’s a sport, but I am in a pinball league too.

 

Haha, yes, but it’s still good to have things on the schedule that hold you accountable to a life! This is a question that I keep asking because I’m always so curious. But do you have a current obsession right now? Or, like, something you can’t stop talking about?

Hmmm.

[He thinks, and I provide my own example. I’m currently obsessed with Selena Gomez]

I’m really trying to learn new skills. So right now I’m doing a lot of sewing. Like reupholstering things. So at my house I have a little workshop, and I’ve been doing that and I’ve been doing a lot of woodworking. Does that count?

 

Oh, making stuff? Totally! I also recently took up sewing. Was ‘taking on new skills’ your New Year’s Resolution?

Something I’m always trying to do, rather than a New Year’s Resolution, is to challenge myself to do something new. Sometimes it’s taking something out of my diet like “I’m never going to drink soda ever again…starting today.” I just up and decided to do that

And it happens sometimes that I there are projects to do in my personal life where I’m like “I know I could do this,” so I know I need to learn how to do it, and it just takes me a lot longer than if I just paid someone to go do it but now I have the skill to do it on my own.

I feel like a lot of people here at the San Francisco office are very entrepreneurial. So it’s kind of cool because we’re always talking about “what’s inspired us this week” or “what is the next project that we could make”. I could talk about this forever because the time I left MKTG, I was really well known for having projects funded on kick-starter and a company featured on Shark Tank. So –

 

WAIT WOAH!

But I know that’s not “day-to-day” life

 

Wait. I want to know all about this. Because I was going to ask next: Is there anything else about your life that’s interesting that you’d want to share? And if I asked that and you didn’t’ talk about Shark Tank that would be super lame. Let’s hear it!

Ok. So after I left MKTG about six years ago I was at this point in my life where I was like “okay, what do I want to do next? Do I want to go back to school and get my MBA or do I want to get some more real world experience?” I was working with some of my buddies from high school that were in school getting their MBAs and one of them was down at Stanford getting his Doctorate in electrical engineering. We had to make a business plan for my buddy who was getting his MBA. So we were working together and found a product that didn’t have any patents around it, and it was potentially something that we could start. So we began re-designing the bicycle light. We started a company, put it on Kickstarter back in 2010, and raised $300,000 there. Through out the years we probably did four other campaigns and raised over a million dollars worth of crowd funding. It was a crazy four years.

Yes, that’s a headline about their product on CNN.

So we did really well. We were really well known. At the time we were the 7th highest grossing project on Kickstarter. It was cool. It was so inspiring. I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. We stuck with it, I quit all my jobs, focused on this and worked a couple years without pay and just lived off of savings. And one day we were like “we’re getting investment, we’re pitching to all these investors locally,” and Shark Tank came back to us and said, “Hi, we pitched to you back in the day and you said no. Would you be willing to come on the show now?” So we made the decision to go on the show, to have only one person on the stage and go in really low on the offer to start a bidding war. It was actually an exciting episode to watch and be a part of because we thought for sure we were going to start working with Mark Cuban. But he’s the one who started calling us out right away like he didn’t like us at all.

We ended up making a deal with Robert Herjavec. We ended up selling the company, I did some traveling, and came back to MKTG. And this industry is something I’ve known and loved for so long and it was such an easy place to land because I still knew a lot of people here and they were great friends. So I couldn’t really think of a reason not to come back to a place that I really enjoyed.

 

WOW WHAT A WHIRLWIND.

I know. It’s always interesting, because yeah, I’m a producer. But I really challenge myself to explore every aspect of marketing. So it’s really nice to be a part of the conversations that are about the bigger picture because I have that experience. It’s fun because you wouldn’t think by looking at me like, “Oh! This guy is really well versed in business!”

 

Yeah, I can imagine.

 

You can follow along with Drew Ocon on social media @sfocon

If you are wondering what the name of his company from the Shark Tank story is, it’s Revolights. Read all about ’em.

If you’re wondering if Drew Ocon has any other cool side hustle projects, he does. They’re Fellbury and High Boys (website in the works).

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

May 30th, 2017 at 3:32 pm

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.
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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.
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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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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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