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Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

Agency Ups Role in Client Work With Startup Stakes

Irvine-based agency INK is taking an active role in its startup clients. It launched an “equity based model for agency-client relationships” that enables it to acquire a stake in promising enterprises.

“We’ll map out what an overall engagement would cost for us to launch and activate a brand, and then for very select firms that we feel have both philosophical alliances with INK and also high probability for success, we’ll step in and take equity in exchange for a significant portion of those fees,” said Todd Henderson, president of INK, adding that the concept was inspired by the $1.4 billion sale of Ladera Ranch-based real estate investment trust SmartStop Self Storage Inc., a brand that INK “developed from scratch” in 2010.

The agency owns 10% of Aerodrome LLC, a Henderson, Nev.-based drone airport that offers unmanned aircraft systems flight training to commercial users. INK valued the branding and marketing services it provides to the startup at about $500,000. The agency also took an equity stake in The Fig, a mixed-use project in downtown Los Angeles developed by Irvine-based Spectrum Group Real Estate that combines retail, student housing, office space and a proposed 300-room hotel.

INK’s client list includes Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Dell Inc., Guidance Software Inc., Hoag Health Network, Sares Regis Group, TimeWarner Cable Enterprises LLC, Trammell Crow Co. and Yokohama Tire Corp.

Kobe Socks Competition

Stance Inc. in San Clemente, aka the official on-court sock of the National Basketball Association, paid homage to Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend who will retire at the end of this season, with three new sock designs.

His team, the Los Angeles Lakers, wore “The Final”—a design featuring the number two on the right sock and the number four on the left—during a March 6 game against the Golden State Warriors.

“K. Bryant” is “a casual sock that depicts a cartoon caricature of Bryant,” the company said, and “Kobe Faces … draws inspiration from Bryant’s Hero Villain line of merchandise.”

Check Out in Style

Montage Laguna Beach launched “Experience California” seasonal room packages that invite guests “to partake in exclusive West Coast adventures to destinations throughout the state.”

Luxury Coastal Picnic Experience, available this spring, kicks off with a private helicopter tour of the coastline followed by an afternoon picnic catered by Montage Laguna Beach chefs atop a cliff. The day wraps up with a “Coastal Shores Stone Massage” at Spa Montage.

National Park’s Centennial Experience, scheduled for the summer, enables guests to hop on a Jeep/ATV tour in Death Valley, a horseback ride in Joshua Tree, a “stargaze” in Yosemite National Park, or snorkeling on the Channel Islands.

Guests participating in the Sky High California Food & Wine Experience this fall will check into Montage Laguna Beach before taking a private jet to Napa Valley. A hot air balloon tour will be followed by a Champagne brunch catered by the hotel’s culinary team.

This winter, SoCal Beach-to-Ski Excursion will take guests via private jet to Mammoth Mountain for a day of skiing, and “in the evening, guests will indulge in specially designed après-ski treatments at Spa Montage to wind down and soothe sore muscles from the day’s adventures.” 

The hotel’s in-house marketing team created the seasonal promotion. China-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. owns the 250-room resort.

Bits & Pieces

Orange Label Art + Advertising in Newport Beach made three hires: Account Executive Kaleigh Teskey and Account Coordinators Janell Rowland and Jamie Allen. … San Clemente-based independent brewery Left Coast Brewing Co. hired Triangle Distributing Co. in Santa Fe Springs to distribute its bottles, cans and kegs throughout South Los Angeles County.

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