Name: Stuart Ruderfer
Who he is: Co-founder & co-CEO along with David Cohn of Civic Entertainment Group, a public sector-oriented promotions and entertainment marketing company based in New York.
Where he's from: After law school, Ruderfer got hooked up with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani through a friend, a senior adviser to the mayor, to create a public-private partnership initiative as director of marketing to fulfill the mayor's promise to improve recreation and entertainment services without using tax money to pay for it. Ruderfer was integral to the staging of country star Garth Brooks' concert in Central Park in 1997 in front of 250,000 people. Coca-Cola helped underwrite the project. After selling millions of dollars in sponsorships for the city of New York, Ruderfer launched Civic in 1999.
What he's done: A&E Network and HBO were early clients for Civic. Last year he brokered the deal between A&E and Southwest Airlines for the successful docu-soap "Airline," a show that looks at the daily challenges of running an airline. The show has been instrumental to attracting a younger audience to the network and has been renewed for a second season. CEG just finalized the Yahoo! Hot Jobs partnership with Showtime Networks, which includes brand integration into RJ Cutler's new series "American Candidate."
%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% What's next: Ruderfer's goal is to assist brands to better leverage entertainment within the civic-marketing platforms with a greater degree of sophistication. "The audience can tell the difference between a sponsor who is writing a check and one who really wants to invest in a community program or an entertainment-marketing program because they can add value to that program." He's currently negotiating two deals where CEG will be a producer for brand-driven TV documentaries.
Stock-in-trade: "We're adding another dimension to this entertainment marketing space by introducing the civic element. We're creating the intersection of Madison and Vine and Main."