NEW: Alex and Ani Launches Seven Swords Acquisitions, Partnerships
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Alex and Ani CEO, Giovanni Feroce today announced the official launch of Seven Swords Media along with its acquisition of RI companies Bella Consulting and Animal and partnership with RI's GoGo Cast, at a press conference at the company's downtown Providence location.
In March of 2012, Alex and Ani, LLC. purchased a majority interest in MediaPeel, LLC. which formed the basis of Seven Swords Media. Since that announcement, Alex and Ani has purchased the remaining shares of MediaPeel, thus acquiring the agency as a wholly owned subsidiary. In the last few weeks of 2012, Seven Swords Media acquired Animal, a design studio and video agency, and Bella Consulting and Events in order to round out the capabilities originally envisioned as a full service media and advertising agency.
“We initially entered into this arena because it made financial sense for us to utilize our own media company," Feroce said. "Since those early days, we realized that our numerous retail partners and other industry leading businesses would benefit from the same quality and quantity of our efforts."
"We are not a small-time player," Feroce said. "We're ringing the bell. We're ringing the bell around the world."
Acquisitions and partnerships
In announcing the latest moves, Feroce highlighted that both principals, Josh Backer of Animal Production Company is now in a new role as Creative Director and Rick Simone of Bella Consulting and Events is now Vice President of Events and Special Projects of Seven Swords Media. Amongst their expanding client base, Seven Swords proudly represents the Smithsonian Institution, The United States Navy, RISD, Brown University, Bryant University and the Paper Store.
"Seven Swords Media will establish new industry standards for creative and economic success," Feroce said, "while creating a significant number of new jobs in Rhode Island at the site of this press conference and the new home to Seven Swords Headquarters. The site, a building in downtown Providence on Weybosset Street across from Johnson & Wales, already contains a new Alex and Ani retail location. "Our devotion to downtown Providence is evident with our commitment of an additional $2 million in infrastructure capital expenditures here at 159 Weybosset," Feroce said.
"You keep growing and growing," said Jim Bennett, Economic Development Director for the City of Providence. "You are a great salesman," Bennett said to Feroce, "because you're sincere." Bennett thanked Feroce for his investment in Providence.
Chafee: "Like a meteor"
Governor Linc Chafee, who attended the press conference, described Alex and Ani as a meteor "blazing across the Rhode Island sky." Part of the formula of the company's great successes, Chafee said, have to do with Alex and Ani's ability "to taking advantage of the talent that we have right here in Rhode Island. You have students at Johnson & Wales, at RISD, at all our institutions," he said. "Young people, good energy."
Dennis Rebelo, the President of Alex and Ani University, saw the wisdom and creativity in Feroce's approach to collaboration evidenced by today's announcements. Giovanni is taking sort of a meta-organizational approach based on systematic thinking. "It's something we call ION," Rebelo, said, referring to inter-organizational networking. "Entrepreneurs function autonomously but still work with Alex and Ani. It fosters interconnections and shows how we can weave sustainable organizations together to form something fantastic."
Bella Consulting acquisition
Bella Consulting and Events, the Providence-based marketing, public relations and event production firm, will transition into Seven Swords Media, according to founder Rick Simone.
"Bella is excited to be joining with Seven Swords," Simone told GoLocalProv. "The services we will be able to now offer will be unparalleled." Simone founded Bella Consulting in 2008 and has been the event production company for Alex and Ani for two years.
"i never expected that our company would be in this position," Simone said. "We're very fortunate to be in the postiion we are in. The team that I'm joining is a fantastic team. We're thrilled to be a part of it."
Animal studio acquisition
Animal, a design studio and video agency based in Providence, was acquired in December 2012 by Alex and Ani, and brings the creative leadership of Animal founder Josh Backer, who is the new executive creative director at Seven Swords. Backer brings to Seven Swords significant partnerhips, including a prestigious strategic marketing, communications and media consulting account with the Smithsonian Institution.
"This is amazing for myself and all my creative collaborators," Backer said. "As a studio, we had so much potential but were lacking resources. I think this acquistion brought us those resources, enabling a significantly large creative community to get to the next level."
GoGo Planet Launch
GoGo Cast, the Rhode Island-based digital media and social mobile media marketing company, is partnering with Alex and Ani's Seven Swords Media to launch GoGo Planet, a new mobile app.
"We are very excited to be able to be able to offer Seven Swords Media access to the large, critical mass of consumers that the GoGo Cast suite of digital media and Social Media Mobile products reach," said David Paolo, CEO and President of GoGo Cast.
"GoGo Cast’s exclusive micro-targeted Social Media Mobile solutions offer the ability to extend a brand's reach from within the store, directly to the consumer, giving shoppers access to special events as well as meaningful and significant product offerings when and where they expect them," Paolo said.
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