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Q&A with psLIVE’s Peter Pearce

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Peter PearceFor this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Peter Pearce, who heads up the Atlanta office for our new sister agency, psLIVE. Hear how he got where he is, where he’s going and why he loves his job.

Tell us about psLIVE – how do you describe the company to strangers?
My elevator pitch usually starts with defining “lifestyle marketing” (sports, entertainment, grassroots, retail) and who our clients are. Then I describe the work we do: Large-scale sponsorship activation, event development, mobile tours, sampling, street teams, staffing. You take it for granted because you live it every day, but the usual reaction is “that sounds like a lot of fun,” and it is!

What differentiates psLIVE from the competition? 
I think it all starts with our values – we live them every day. We are fiercely competitive, and our reputation for “doing it right” has followed us since inception. Secondly, the Dentsu Aegis push to collaborate across agency brands is a huge advantage – shared insights, tools and resources are a great business driver. Finally, we’re not just a creative, client-service and production agency. We are vertically integrated, with assets and services inhouse that many agencies outsource. This allows us to achieve budget efficiencies and get to market quickly.

What three words would you use to describe your staff?
Best. In. Class.

How did you get into this industry?
It’s sobering to realize I’ve been in the business for 18 years! I finished school and worked for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games after school, then I began in the agency world at what is now CSE (formerly Career Sports Entertainment). After five years, I helped open the Atlanta office of Strategic Sports Group, where I spent another five years building that business. I’ve now been with psLIVE (formerly Vivid and Team Epic) for eight years, and it has been a great ride so far.

Looking back at 2014, do you have a few favorite programs or campaigns your teams managed?
That’s hard because we emotionally invest so much in all our clients, but a few programs stand out. Our work on ESPN’s Heisman House is remarkable because of sheer scale, complexity and inherent logistical challenges. Our USTA work, which showcased the US Open of Tomorrow exhibit, really pushed the design envelope. And our work for AT&T is constantly evolving to keep pace with technology and continue to integrate into the consumer experience.

How has technology changed the way you approach the business? 
The smart phone has dramatically changed the event landscape, and we’ve leveraged technology in creative and compelling ways. We strive to design a pre/during/post-event engagement via mobile and social channels because mobile technology shortens the time between brand engagement and purchase. I see a bright future for two-screen interactive experiences at events, where you use your personal device to play on larger screens, or to create physical action onsite. You’ll also see more photo opportunities designed for selfies, and a decline in green screen/photo booths. Finally, I think beacons, NFC and other pushes to mobile engagements will become more prevalent in 2015.

What publications/website do you find most relevant?
I always try to stay current with AdWeek, MediaPost, BrandWeek, etc. to understand the broader media world. I also read traditional Lifestyle Marketing media like Event Marketer, Sports Business Journal and BizBash. However, I think the single most relevant website I visit frequently is Reddit – it’s truly the “front page of the Internet.” Although it’s not always totally PC, no other website captures the current cultural zeitgeist like Reddit.

What are your favorite apps?
The ones I use routinely are pretty limited, but my essentials are Uber, Spotify, Delta Airlines, Waze (traffic in ATL sucks), Open Table, GolfNow and Instagram.

What excites you about psLIVE’s integration with MKTG INC?
I’m most excited about the combined potential of two agencies coming together. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, and I’m looking forward to what 2015 holds. We’re so culturally similar: the type of work we do, how we do it, and everyone I’ve met along the way has been great!

What do you do to relax?
With this job, and two active kids under 10 at home, relaxation comes in small doses. I’m a formerly avid golfer, fisherman, skier and sailor, so I try to vacation where I can combine at least a few of these. Also, cocktails.

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