RPA Gets Into Branded Entertainment

LOS ANGELES Independent RPA is launching a branded entertainment discipline within its media communications group and has hired ex-Endeavor agent Steve Rossmann to run it.
 
Rossmann said his enterprise would go beyond product placement to include television and film promotion, event marketing, entertainment properties, co-sponsorship opportunities and digital custom content “to reach young consumers.”
 
“We’re interested in short-form content,” said Rossmann, who started at the agency as branded entertainment manager last week, reporting to Lisa Herdman, vp and associate director, network programming. “And in making it organic, not in-their-face advertainment, but a piece of entertainment content that will be passed along to peers.”
 
The Santa Monica, Calif., agency handles American Honda Motors, La-Z-Boy, Pharmavite’s Soyjoy, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and Pentax, as well as media duties for MGM, Lenox Financial Mortgage and Reily Foods.
 
Rossmann was most recently at the Gersh Agency. He started his career in 20th Century Fox’s theatrical distribution division and later worked in the domestic marketing group on promotions. His first of two stints at Endeavor began in 2001, when Rossmann joined the brand marketing team. He went into talent management, then moved to independent i-marketing agency Wirestone, Chicago, before returning to Endeavor as an agent in games, mobile and new technology. In 2005, he joined Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment on mobile marketing and promotions, then moved to Gersh, where he led branded entertainment and digital media.
 
Some of Rossmann’s projects over the years have included “America’s Party,” a special for Ryan Seacrest that included Joe Boxer, Miller and Canon among the partners; Maserati’s Spyder launch; a Golden Globe Awards pre-party featuring the Pussycat Dolls and Paris Hilton; the launches of the God of War and X-Men games; and the introduction of Faithmobile.com, which he said was one of the first “Christian aggregators.”
 
Rossmann said he was happy to make his home at the agency “because of the resources, the combination of media and creative, and ability to build campaigns from the ground up. We can work with various studios and any talent agency. We don’t have to worry about stepping on toes or being in a fishbowl.”