Kevin Yoder is rejoining the National Research Group, where he had an influential 20-year run, as EVP Theatrical Strategy.
Yoder initially joined NRG in 1992 and rose to chief operating officer, developing the company’s widely followed tracking tools and steering studios on the release of hundreds of No. 1 box office openings. After leaving NRG, he was a managing director at rival research firm MarketCast and EVP Research and Strategy at Fox.
“I have worked closely with Kevin for the past five years when he led domestic strategy at Fox,” NRG CEO Jon Penn said in the official announcement. “He is a pre-eminent strategic advisor who thrives in solving complex marketing challenges. Our clients will benefit greatly from his wisdom and sharp insights.”
Yoder will serve as a strategic advisor to NRG theatrical clients “at every stage of a film’s lifecycle,” the company said. He will leverage NRG’s theatrical offerings from production and positioning strategy to campaign execution and management.
“I am thrilled to be part of the dynamic and fast-growing NRG team, unlocking opportunity for our clients by ensuring that campaigns are optimized to convey what is unique, accessible and theatrical about each film,” Yoder said. “It’s a process NRG is uniquely suited for as they are the leading research firm that works start to finish globally across the entire research process.”
NRG, which was owned for many years by Nielsen and is marking its 40th anniversary this year, was acquired by the Stagwell Group in 2015. Stagwell, a private equity group, is run by political strategist Mark Penn, who is Jon Penn’s uncle.
Politics and Hollywood have long been intertwined in the realm of research. NRG founder Joe Farrell did polling and advisory work for clients including the Kennedy family before becoming a seminal figure of the blockbuster era.