Former Echo Execs Launch Sponsorship Agency

Rockhouse Partners (l-r): Tawn Albright, Kevin Brown, and Joe Kustelski

Former echo/Ticketmaster executives Tawn Albright, Kevin Brown and Joe Kustelski have formed sponsorship agency Rockhouse Partners, which officially launches today (2/2) with a full slate of clients. The Nashville based company will focus on connecting sponsor brands to consumers in the music and sports industries through digital marketing strategy, online/offline activation programs, and new digital products, along with data aggregation and analysis.

Rockhouse Partners’ initial clients include C3 Presents (Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival), Lance Armstrong and the RadioShack Pro Cycling Team, Next BIG Nashville, the Tennessee State Fair, Nashville agencies like redpepper, and other entities across the entertainment vertical. The company’s target clients are sponsorship brokers, live entertainment properties, brands and their agencies, sports entities, advertising/marketing firms, and media companies.

In addition to Rockhouse Partners’ initial clients, the company has formed partnerships with Nashville entities including American Songwriter magazine and email marketing firm Emma; along with Austin-based design/development shop Smith & Robot.

Co-founders Albright, Brown, and Kustelski bring to Rockhouse Partners over 40 years combined experience in technology, digital media, consumer products, ticketing, live entertainment, artist management, promotions, start-ups, advertising, and Fortune 500 brands. The trio met at Echo, Ticketmaster Entertainment’s digital marketing firm, where Albright served as CEO, Brown led Strategic Marketing, and Kustelski was Vice President of Product & Technology. While collaborating at Ticketmaster/Echo, the Rockhouse Partners founders fine tuned their eye toward data by managing 15 million consumer database relationships, 200,000 paid fan club subscriptions, one million mobile fan records, and more than $25 million in ticket sales annually.

“From my days at The Coca-Cola Company in corporate development to Ticketmaster and Echo where we managed the digital presence for more than 250 artists, festivals, and properties; sponsorships have become the glue in connecting brands to the entertainment industry. The way the industry is moving, brands are demanding more value in the form of measuring data and proving ROI. We see a major opportunity to activate brands and fans in a meaningful, relevant, and interactive way,” stated Albright.

“We launched this venture hell-bent on not creating just another digital marketing firm. We’re creating scalable technology products that address specific business opportunities, we understand the value of data, and we bake measurement into everything we do,” said Kustelski.

“The response so far to our unique model has exceeded all expectations. We’re busy growing the team, building out our technology platform, and we’re beyond excited to take this next step,” said Brown. “2010 looks bright as we’ll be focusing on business development, with programs planned at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin and the annual IEG Sponsorship Conference in Chicago.”

“We can’t say enough great things about Rockhouse,” offers Courtney Graber, Director of Sponsorships for C3 Presents. “They have the unique ability to grasp digital strategy and technology at the highest level, combine that knowledge with an in-depth understanding of brand sponsorships, all the while being able to manage and measure the most critical success metrics.”

Contact Rockhouse at [email protected] or 615-772-4326. The Rockhouse offices are located at 2120 8th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37204.

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About the Author

Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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