|Peter Levin, co-founder of Quattro Media, is co-owner of the Chicago Rush, an Arena Football team.
Credentials: Mr. Levin was formerly managing director of Lynx Technologies, a technology consulting and investing vehicle. Investments included Gamespy Industries, which was sold to IGN last year, and Applied Semantics, which was sold to Google last year as well. He also led Michael Ovitz's unsuccessful attempt to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles.
What types of Madison & Vine deals have you put together? Through Quattro, Mr. Levin recently brokered deals to tie its animation clients such as Angry Alien to MSN and Loews theaters, and launch a series of holiday cards on AG Mobile that were created by X-Men 2 and Superman co-writer Mike Dougherty. But it's arena football that is starting to generate some serious traction among advertisers as an entertaining way to reach consumers.
What types of companies are finding the sport attractive? "Several of our recent partnerships have included Nike for apparel, Upper Deck for trading cards and EA Sports for video games -- three market leaders in their categories and tastemakers of an entire generation."
Why is the Arena Football League just now starting to get on people's radar and attract major advertisers? "The sports landscape has changed dramatically in the past five years. The proliferation of PVRs and emerging platforms has driven marketers more than ever to the static audience sports has to offer. The AFL is 20 years old. The athletes are approachable, the entertainment is affordable and the serious and contextual marketers are paying attention to a value-centric content proposition with extremely compelling demographics."
What can the sport offer brands? "National exposure via NBC and our regional cable partner Fox Sports Net. The ability to tap into the elusive young male, video game-engaged generation of sports fan."
Is that any different from what the NFL can offer? "The NFL is one of, if not, the premiere global sports brand. Many companies in multiple categories are priced out of such opportunities."
What's next for the sport? "International is very much on our radar. The game is more portable than most and has an electric energy to it that we feel will play very well in Asia and Latin markets. Our young demos speak to emerging distribution platforms -- video games, mobile phones, broadband, etc. As marketers become more aggressive chasing down these consumers, we feel the AFL is an ideal product to leverage that type of activity."
How could that growth benefit advertisers? "In a sport that is very much finding its stride, I liken the benefit to the Howard Stern/Snapple effect. Snapple became what it became by engaging a media property, Howard Stern, at a unique moment in time ... he was on a rocket ship trajectory and they went along for the ride. Ours has been a more steady and deliberate ascent, nonetheless, an impactful one for our partners.
Arena football is just one area that you're focusing on. What other businesses have attracted your attention? "Our collective portfolio of business activity revolves around pop culture. Comic books, video games, toys and sports are businesses we are deeply involved with across varying platforms. I like to say I am in the 'arrested development' business. I get to read comic books, play video games and call people 'coach' for a living."
What do you do on your downtime? "Play video games, run, play golf -- badly -- and read."
What video games are you currently playing? "I'm still very into 'Halo 2.' Xbox Live rocks!"