The Viscount Of Vapidity’s media empire just keeps expanding. Now Ryan Seacrest’s investment company Seacrest Global Group made its first investment — a controlling stake in strategic marketing agency Civic Entertainment Group which has annual billings of $40M — to complement his production unit Ryan Seacrest Productions. The New York Times reported the deal before it was announced today. Seacrest is looking to create live TV events next and told AdAge he plans to use CEG for that. In turn he wants to use his connections in the industry to bring more clients to CEG. It has clients including NBC, HBO and CNN and specializes in “experiential marketing,” a method of connecting audiences with brands through participation in personally relevant and memorable encounters. (The firm recently produced a series of restaurant spaces for the CNN Grill at the Republican and Democratic conventions, helped Lifetime turn NYC’s High Line Park into a virtual runway to promote the 10th season of Project Runway, aided NBC News create Education Nation, a now-annual event of summit meetings, and also participated in HBO’s campaign around Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire.) Seacrest told the NYT, “Part of my overall goal in the business is to connect content, brands and consumers. I think that this is a great opportunity to do that.” He called the deal the first “of what I hope to be many.” CEG co-founders Stuart Ruderfer and David Cohn will continue to run the 45-person business independently out of New York. He anticipated deals growing out of his associations with AXS TV, the cable-channel venture with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, talent agency CAA, and events promoter AEG. And he wants to go global.
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