New Film Studio STX Taps Horizon to Support $400 Million Account

STX Recently Added Marketing and Communications Leads Including Former Mindshare Exec Amy Elkins

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Matthew Mcconaughey in 'The Free State of Jones,' an upcoming STX release
Matthew Mcconaughey in 'The Free State of Jones,' an upcoming STX release

The new film studio STX Entertainment has tapped independent media agency giant Horizon Media to support its $400 million media budget, the company said.

Horizon will handle all aspects of media planning and buying, including "strategic approach, market research and analytics, and partnerships and integrations" to support two films this year and 12 to 15 films annually in the future, the company said in a statement.

STX, which plans on being "a significant media buyer," said it will spend roughly $350 million $400 million a year in traditional and digital media.

"As a new and growing studio, we want our marketing and media imprint to be innovative, impactful and enterprising," said Oren Aviv, president and chief content officer for the STX Entertainment Motion Picture Group, in a statement. "There are many dynamic and imaginative ways to get your message out beyond the conventional :30 second spot. As we fine tune the media mix, bridging traditional outlets with digital, social and mobile, we believe we have found the right team and the most compatible partner to represent the STX Entertainment brand."

He added that the company originally met with many agencies.

Entertainment industry vet Robert Simonds formed STX Entertainment in 2014 with backing from TPG Capital and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, among others. Mr. Simonds produces the current TV series "State of Affairs" as well as the films "This Means War" and "The Pink Panther."

Among his new studio's upcoming films are "The Gift," "Secret in Their Eyes," "The Boy" and "The Free State of Jones."

STX also more recently added a number of lead marketing and communications executives from the media and film industries. Among the hires are strategic marketing and global communications lead Terry Curtin, creative advertising and brand development lead Keri Moore, media and marketing innovation lead Amy Elkins and worldwide digital marketing and technology head Andrew Runyon. Ms. Elkins had recently been a managing partner at WPP's Mindshare.

For Horizon, it's a sizeable account that plays to the shop's strength in media and rounds out a media-rich portfolio. The shop touts clients like A&E, The History Channel, Turner Broadcasting and NBC Universo and Telemundo.

The STX account will be overseen by Serena Duff, exec VP and general manager of the shop's Western region; Eric Geiger, senior VP and managing director; and Erin Foxworthy, senior VP and managing director for innovation and partnerships in Horizon's Los Angeles office.

"We know how competitive this process was and we are enormously proud to represent STX Entertainment and their diverse slate of motion pictures," said Horizon founder and CEO Bill Koenigsberg in the statement.

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