Ryan Seacrest's Civic Entertainment Group Acquires Marketing Agency Culture Shop

6:00 AM PST 05/08/2014 by Lacey Rose
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Ryan Seacrest

Since its launch in 2009, Nate Schreiber's Culture Shop has done work for brands including Verizon, Farmers Insurance and USA Network, among others.

Seacrest Global Group is expanding its marketing practice.

It's Civic Entertainment Group, a strategic marketing agency that SGG scooped up in 2012, has acquired Nate Schreiber’s marketing and PR firm Culture Shop. The company will merge its operations into CEG, with a plan to maintain Culture Shop as a specialty practice able to provide the agency’s clients access to research and analysis of the latest marketplace trends. The combined entity will be jointly led by Schreiber and CEG co-founders and CEOs Stuart Ruderfer and David Cohn, with Ryan Seacrest available to provide content, platforms and access to his enviable Rolodex.

“The acquisition of Culture Shop further diversifies CEG’s service offering in media and entertainment, helping leading brands create strong emotional connections with consumers,” said Seacrest and Rich Bressler, principals of Seacrest Global Group, in a joint statement. Added Ruderfer and Cohn: “We’re grateful to SGG for their confidence in our vision and commitment to provide industry-leading client services and to build a world-class company. This move helps accelerate our ability to deliver at scale, expands our service offering and extends our presence in L.A.”

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Since its launch in 2009, Culture has done work for brands including Verizon, Farmers Insurance and USA Network, among others. Among their notable campaigns: Verizon’s innovative live-stream broadcast of Lady Gaga’s performance to commemorate the closing of the Roseland Ballroom, and the Farmers Insurance Love Float that culminated in the nationally televised live wedding during the Tournament of Roses parade.

For its part, CEG has continued to grow its creative practice since its acquisition two-plus years ago, having produced a sold-out Game of Thrones fan premiere at Barclays Centre and other live events at Sundance, the Super Bowl and SXSW. Next week, CEG will produce the second annual Fox FanFront outside of the network’s upfront presentation at New York’s Beacon Theater.

Ruderfer and Cohn's relationship with Schreiber dates back 15 years, when the pair was working for the City of New York on Central Park concerts and Schreiber was working with the brands and artists. The trio has remained friends, even after Schreiber relocated to Los Angeles.

“Joining forces with CEG provides us with the unrivaled ability to connect brands to cultural moments with true emotional resonance and authenticity,” noted Schreiber, who served as president of brand consulting group PMK/HBH before founding Culture Shop. Prior to that, he spent 14 years at Momentum Worldwide/McCann Worldgroup, where he worked with clients including American Express, AOL and Xbox.

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The news comes as SGG, the independent investment arm of Seacrest’s media and entertainment holdings, has continued to make investments. In addition to Civic, the company has invested in startups including Pinterest and FlightCar. Seacrest, personally, has also invested in smartphone accessory company TYPO and the cable network AXS TV. He is set to launch a tailored clothing collection, Ryan Seacrest Distinction, at Macy's later this year.

Financial terms of the Culture Shop transaction were not disclosed. LionTree Advisors served as the financial advisor to SGG Civic; Bank of America provided financing.

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