Tag Archives: matt silverman


Local small biz “LaunchPad Project” returns for second year

R&R Partners, an integrated communications agency in Phoenix, announced that it is bringing back its successful “LaunchPad Project” to help Arizona businesses and local entrepreneurs  take their company to the next level with free marketing and advertising services.

R&R’s second annual LaunchPad Project kicked off in August and applications will be accepted through September 24. The project is designed to help for-profit businesses on the verge of greatness reach the next level through $25,000 in free R&R Partners’ services, including branding, advertising, marketing, public relations and creative services.

As one of the longest-standing, full-service advertising agencies in the Valley, R&R Partners began the LaunchPad Project as a way to further invest in its local community that it has served for close to 20 years, helping to foster and grow our local entrepreneurial community.

“Seeing the impact of our work on businesses in our community is rewarding,” says Vice President and Managing Director of R&R Partners, Matt Silverman. “We look forward to watching more Valley businesses grow through our guidance and full-suite of marketing services.”

LaunchPad applicants must be established and currently operating in Arizona, have a clear competitive advantage, and have the infrastructure to support breakthrough growth.

In March 2015, R&R named three local businesses as winners of its inaugural LaunchPad Project, each receiving $25,000 worth of services from R&R Partners including, Arizona Distilling Company, Broken Plate Concepts, and State Bicycle Co.

“As a locally owned and operated business, the LaunchPad Project was a terrific opportunity for us to receive expert consultation and advertising services to help grow our business,” said Jason Grossmiller, co-owner of Arizona Distilling Co. “The LaunchPad Project allowed us to focus on running our distillery and business operations, while R&R identified and implemented opportunities to strengthen our brand and company presence, including redesigning our new website, announcing and securing media coverage for our 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition awards, and developing our retailer and distributor presentation.”

Silverman says the Launchpad Project opportunity is ideal for companies that have a well-established product or service, but need help expanding brand awareness and increasing company visibility. As a full-service agency, R&R Partners will use the $25,000 towards any mix of marketing, public relations, digital strategy, social media or brand development to meet the LaunchPad client’s specific needs.

Finalists will be selected in Q4 2015 and will be invited to present in-person to the LaunchPad Selection Committee at R&R’s Phoenix office.


Phoenix Warehouse District becomes salvage yard

The downtown Phoenix Warehouse District is no longer just for storage. The area from Jefferson to Grant streets, between 7th Avenue and 7th Street, is growing in a direction away from its history as a warehouse district.

Case in point: The Ong Gyut Wholesale Warehouse. Built in 1926 as a grocery storage warehouse, it’s now the new Phoenix home of Las Vegas-based advertising and marketing firm R&R Partners. The company moved into the building in November 2014, after renovating the historic building with the help of CCBG Architects.

Matt Silverman, vice president and managing director of R&R, saw the potential in the building years ago and held onto the building, waiting for the right time to renovate and move in.

A half-underground basement worked for cargo loading from rail cars but made for a challenge when deciding how to accommodate the space for the company. To make the lower level habitable for the creative team, a hole was cut in the second floor – now a stairwell – allowing light from the building’s six original skylights to flow downstairs.

DSC_0686R&R wanted a creative and flexible space to encourage engagement. Lounges, several small meeting rooms and a break room with a Ping-Pong table and Putt-Putt golf set this company’s space apart.

In designing the building, CCBG Associate Martin Ball wanted to make sure homage was paid to the building’s history.

The ground-concrete floors keep the building’s industrial feel, as a reminder of the its original use. Even the freight elevator shaft was saved, now a nook in the hallway. The original owner’s son, Henry Ong Jr., was involved with the renovation, and, at 92 years old, rediscovered family history in the building his father built.

With limited space available, satisfying modern parking standards for offices becomes difficult. Retrofitting an old building isn’t easy or cheap, experts point out, and many smaller companies won’t have the resources to accomplish it.

Though only a few blocks from downtown, many people aren’t familiar with the area and just need to be introduced to it, says Brian Cassidy, president of CCBG Architects. Cassidy also serves as president of the Warehouse District Council.

DSC_0722“We’re actively recruiting people to come down here and discover it,” Cassidy says. “Almost every day, I meet somebody new and I walk them through the warehouse district or drive them around and look at a building or two.”

With buildings for sale and the potential of a growing district, the adaptive reuse of these old buildings may just be starting for those with a vision.

“We wanted to help shape it. We don’t want it to be an accident,” Silverman says of R&R’s part in the district’s revamp.

R&R Partners selects 3 LaunchPad project winners

The R&R Partners Phoenix office named three local businesses as winners of its inaugural “LaunchPad” project, which was developed by R&R to elevate up and coming Arizona businesses.  Arizona Distilling Company, Broken Plate Concepts, and State Bicycle Co. will each receive at least $25,000 in free marketing and/or public relations services from R&R, an integrated communications agency.
R&R intended to choose just one winner and found that the quality of the applicants was so high; it wanted to extend the opportunity to more companies.
“We love the passion and authenticity of these three exciting, local companies,” said R&R Partners Vice President and Managing Director, Matt Silverman. “Our team can’t wait to lend our guidance and expertise to these businesses.”
Launchpad is Silverman’s brainchild. Sixteen Arizona companies applied for the inaugural project and five were chosen as semi-finalists. The project is designed to help elevate for-profit businesses that are on the cusp of great success Launchpad also provides an opportunity for R&R to invest directly in the community it has served for nearly 20 years.
“We are thrilled to be working with the talented folks at R&R Partners,” said Jamil Naser, marketing director at State Bicycle Co. “As a growing and agile company just hitting its stride, we know there is an endless stream of untapped potential ahead as we seek to make a dent in the public sphere.”
About the winners:
Arizona Distilling Company
Arizona Distilling Company is a community-based micro-distillery dedicated to manufacturing premium, small-batch craft spirits. Working exclusively with local farmers to secure all grains from in-state, their products are rooted in Arizona culture and history. Website: http://www.azdistilling.com/
Broken Plate Concepts
Broken Plate Concepts encompasses three popular Valley restaurants including The House Brasserie, Zinc Bistro and The Mission. Executive chef, Matt Carter, was ranked 2014 top chef in the Valley by Arizona Foothills Magazine.
State Bicycle, Co.
In 2009, State Bicycle Co. was launched by three Arizona cycling nuts with big dreams. Tapping into the trendy culture that is fixed gear/single speed cycling and accessories, their commitment to supporting both the local rider and greater riding community has increased their popularity in this fiercely devout community base.
To learn more about R&R Partner’s LaunchPad Project, please visit http://www.rrpartners.com/launchpad/.

R&R Partners expands into Mexico

R&R Partners has announced that the independent marketing communications firm would make its international debut, opening its ninth office through an ownership stake in CMV, a full service agency based in Mexico City.

CEO Billy Vassiliadis will make the formal announcement September 12 during a keynote address entitled “Translating Success – Learning to Do Business Across Cultures” at Austin’s BonusMX@ATX, a forum for creative industry executives in the United States and Mexico.

Mexico City marks a long anticipated move by R&R Partners into Latin America, and represents the firm’s fourth new office in six years behind Austin, Denver and Los Angeles.

“When you look at American brands like Microsoft, Pfizer and Wal-Mart, which are well-established in Mexico, you’re seeing how 20 years of NAFTA has helped erase many of the old trade barriers,” said Matt Silverman vice president and managing director of the R&R Partners Phoenix office. “R&R Partners is particularly well positioned to help international partnerships that already exist and are forming in Arizona and Mexico,” added Silverman.

Under NAFTA, intraregional trade in North America jumped from $290 billion in 1993 to $1.1 trillion in 2012, roughly half of which crisscrosses the U.S./Mexican border.

Vassiliadis sees opportunity in the 2014 Global Attitudes Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, which found that six in 10 Mexicans are dissatisfied with their country’s economy.

“Mexico is at a critical point economically, politically and culturally and our skill set and partnership with CMV can have a real impact there,” said Vassiliadis. “Together, we bring an authentic Hispanic vision and voice and a proven track record in communications and government affairs work that will guide clients through this period of rapid change and growth.”

R&R Partners has long had a footprint in Mexico through their Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority client, which markets the Las Vegas destination there. In addition, R&R Partners serves international clients in West Africa, Central Asia, and Europe, as well as U.S.-based clients like Boeing that reach across the globe.

“R&R’s investment in CMV grew out of the recognition that our two agencies share a similar passion for tackling the tough issues, delivering key insights to our clients and building a strong internal culture of excellence,” said Diego Velásquez, founding partner and coach general at CMV. “It’s an ideal match that will continue to deliver top quality results across borders and languages.”

CMV/R&R Partners will use its deep experience in regulatory issues, public relations, crisis communications, research, media and branding to assist industries that face complex challenges in Mexico and Latin America. Areas of specialty include energy, telecommunications, packaged goods, technology, aerospace and travel and tourism.

“Being independently owned allows us to react quickly and guide our clients through the challenging regulatory environments they will find in Mexico,” said Vassiliadis. “It has also allowed us to pursue a rapid growth plan as an agency. International expansion was the next logical step for us.”

effie award - public transportation education

Valley Metro Education Campaign Wins Effie Award

The 2012 North American Effie Effectiveness Index rankings were revealed at the 44th annual Effie Award Gala in New York City. Among the winners was Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority’s “Notes” campaign, which educates new riders on how to use public transportation. The campaign grew out of research conducted by R&R Partners, Valley Metro RPTA’s agency of record, who also conceived and produced the campaign.

“Winning an Effie Award is one of the highest honors an advertising agency can achieve,” said Matt Silverman, managing director of R&R’s Scottsdale office. “We are incredibly proud of how our work for Valley Metro has helped increase bus and train usage by 5.1 percent during the first year of the campaign, which is three times the national average,” he added.

In order to be included in the Effie Effectiveness rankings, Effie Award finalists and winners supplied detailed case studies outlining the challenges they faced and the significant results that were achieved, which were then rigorously evaluated by two rounds of industry experts.

For the Valley Metro “Notes” campaign, R&R Partners conducted research to uncover roadblocks to ridership, then used that data to educate potential commuters that riding the local busses and trains is quick, simple and entertaining—and something people should want to do. To appeal to a broad demographic, R&R Partners recruited five local bands that wrote and recorded eight original songs on how to use public transportation. Original animations were then designed around the music and lyrics and Valley Metro “Notes” was born.

The videos can be seen online at www.ValleyMetro.org/notes. This low cost, multi-year campaign began in November 2010 and was designed to bridge the adoption barrier that too often keeps good candidates for public transportation from making the leap away from car use.

“We listened and responded to the needs and concerns of our citizens by creating a fun and engaging campaign that demystifies riding transit and helps make it a viable option for more people,” said Heidi Gracie of Valley Metro. “The results have been incredible, even with a 30 percent cut in bus service routes we saw ridership gains and an increase in customer satisfaction.”

For more information on the Effie Award, visit their website at www.effie.org.