Here's How Kastner & Partners' Creative Chief is Tapping into Sneaker Culture

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Snkr Inc founders (left to right): Ivan Dudynsky, Audrey Morrissey, Dermot McCormack, Brandon Rochon
Snkr Inc founders (left to right): Ivan Dudynsky, Audrey Morrissey, Dermot McCormack, Brandon Rochon Credit: Courtesy Snkr Inc

Sneaker heads, unite: There is now a video platform, founded in partnership with Kastner & Partners' Brandon Rochon, dedicated to highlighting the $60 billion industry and its culture.

The other founding members alongside Rochon, who will retain his role as managing chief creative officer at Kastner & Partners, include: "The Voice" Emmy award-winning executive producer Audrey Morrissey; TV director Ivan Dudynsky, known for "Celebrity Name Game" and "Hollywood Game Night"; and Dermot McCormack, veteran digital strategist, who has previously held the posts of president of video at AOL and executive VP of digital at MTV/Viacom.

Snkr Inc, with eight full-time staffers and offices in New York and Los Angeles, is a combination of a content studio and brand agency, with the mantra "while every sneaker has a sole, every soul has a story."

Some of its initial original content includes an animated series dubbed "The Come Up" about celebrities in the sneaker world; a series about powerful women in sneaker culture named "Shine"; a weekly podcast called "The KickBack;" and a roundtable debate between sneaker influencers entitled RVLVR.

The content is available on Instagram and Roku and the company is getting ready to launch on Apple TV and is playing around with Facebook. All of the content, which ranges from seconds in length to 30-plus minutes, will live on "small screens" rather than TV, says Rochon, because the new wave of media companies will "look nothing like ABC or Fox."

At the moment, Snkr Inc's content is being self-funded because the company wants to make sure its stories are authentic and relevant, and then "the advertisers will come," says Rochon.

On the advertising side, Kastner & Partners will work with its own clients to create compelling branded content for the platform, while other marketers can go directly to Snkr Inc to work with the team on videos. Kastner & Partners does not have stake in the company, unlike Rochon.

In the future, Rochon says Snkr Inc is looking to hold events, because "experience is everything." One of the ideas being thrown around right now is a tentpole sneaker auction for charity.

When it comes to splitting his time between Kastner & Partners and Snkr Inc, Rochon says it won't be an issue because he's figuring out ways for the agency and its clients to work with Snkr Inc. He believes the future agency model will be about becoming "a cultural influencer within a sub-culture," like that of "sneakerphiles" worldwide.

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