Teall Investments has acquired Riddle & Bloom, a millennial-focused marketing agency. No financial terms were disclosed.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Teall Investments, a private equity company based in Winston-Salem, NC; Atlanta, GA; and San Francisco, CA, recently acquired millennial-centered agency Riddle & Bloom, via one of Teall’s portfolio companies. Riddle & Bloom, with its primary office in Boston, is a specialized “Ideas and Access” agency that helps its clients market to the growing demographic of Next Generation consumers: high schoolers, college students, and young professionals. Riddle & Bloom will continue to be led by Chip Rives as CEO and Darren Ross as President.
Teall Investments Chairman Ben C. Sutton, Jr., who is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders in the sports and entertainment industry, said Riddle & Bloom is a perfect fit for Teall’s growing portfolio.
Sutton founded ISP Sports in Winston-Salem in 1992, and after rapidly becoming the market leader in collegiate sports marketing, broadcast, publishing, sponsorship services, ticketing and stadium seating, the company merged into IMG College in 2010. Sutton, who became chairman and president of IMG College in 2010 and had served as chairman emeritus since September 2015, left IMG College late last year to focus his efforts on Teall.
“Reaching the Next Generation population, which represents more than half of American consumers, is a significant challenge,” Sutton said. “I’ve known Chip, who is a fellow Wake Forest alum, and other leadership at Riddle & Bloom for years. They have the proven ability and strategy in place to market to the NextGen consumers. They are a true “ideas and access” agency, and all of us at Teall look forward to working closely with them to leverage their model and grow the business for Riddle & Bloom’s partners and clients.”
Following the investment of Teall Investments, Riddle & Bloom recently signed exclusive partnerships with three of the nation’s most significant organizations at the epicenter of collegiate campus life and entertainment, service and recreation. These partnerships – which help put the company on more than 1,500 college campuses nationwide with extraordinary and unique access – include:
A renewed and extended exclusive agreement with the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), which provides higher education members with programs and events focusing on student and professional leadership development, program planning, campus events, concert and event management, diversity and more.
An exclusive partnership with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, collaborating to deliver competitive, fitness, wellness, and recreational initiatives and activities on North American campuses that serve an estimated 10.6 million students.
An exclusive partnership with the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS), the leading organization that supports the non-academic segment of higher education responsible for generating business through a diverse array of campus services that students need and value – such as food services, bookstores, housing, and transportation.
Riddle & Bloom’s emphasis on ideas and access is seeded in its intuitive understanding of NextGen interests and passions through years of research into Millennial and Gen Z behavioral insights and trends. The agency has an “audience first” mentality across a broader audience, helps brands win fans through relevant, memorable experiential programs, digital and social media solutions and their continued strong student on-and-off campus programs. As part of Teall Investments, Riddle & Bloom will continue its work with leading brands to deliver rich and meaningful campaigns that resonate with this audience.
Prior to its evolution into Riddle & Bloom, the agency was known as Fluent, a national marketing agency originally built on exclusive college campus partnerships, deep consumer insights, and experiential marketing campaigns. Riddle & Bloom will continue to be based in Boston, with a University Relations office in Columbia, SC, and new offices in Atlanta, GA, San Francisco, CA and Winston-Salem, NC, with plans to further expand its national presence in the coming year.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to become part of Teall Investments team. Riddle & Bloom is uniquely positioned to reach Next Generation consumers who are very different than previous consumer audiences and have never-seen-before behaviors and expectations,” said Chip Rives, CEO of Riddle & Bloom. “Our group has the skills in place to develop ideas that resonate with this audience and the ability to execute the ideas through special access channels. The knowledge of Ben’s team at Teall Investments, as well as that of other investment partners such as Tailgate Guys enhances and broadens our collective ability to reach NextGen consumers.”
Teall has already announced the acquisition of a significant interest in Alabama-based Tailgate Guys. Since Teall invested in Tailgate Guys about nine months ago, that company has experienced meteoric growth. Tailgate Guys, which provides turnkey hospitality packages to fans, represented six universities – Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M – at the time of Teall’s investment. Since then, Tailgate Guys has added several PGA tour events, professional sports franchises and bowl games, as well as adding exclusive representation of 10 additional major universities: Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Florida, UConn, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Tailgate Guys is expected to announce another even larger round of university and professional sports partnerships in the coming months.
On the heels of the Tailgate Guys and Riddle & Bloom investments, Sutton said that he anticipates a continuing rapid growth track for Teall through additional investments focused primarily in the sports, media, marketing and entertainment industries.
“Teall Investments is a company that has a clear mission for our future and plans to announce additional acquisitions within a matter of weeks,” he said. “We have one of the best leadership teams in America at fostering entrepreneurs and building growth businesses. Watch for great things from this team!”
About Ben C. Sutton, Jr.
The founder of ISP Sports and former Chairman and President of IMG College, Ben Sutton was recently inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and is a member of the boards of the United States Olympic Committee, Ronald Reagan Presidential, National Football, and Naismith Basketball foundations. He also serves as a director with the Wyndham PGA Championship, the Falk School of Sports Management at Syracuse University, and at Wake Forest University, his alma mater. Sutton has received numerous awards including the Wake Forest University Distinguished Alumni Award, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine (highest civilian honor in North Carolina), induction into the NACMA hall of fame, as well as being named one of the top or most powerful sports executives in America by numerous publications.
About Teall Investments
Teall Investments is a privately-held set of investments in innovative, high growth potential lifestyle brands and services. The company’s leadership has extensive experience in sports, media, marketing and entertainment, and the group provides its operating companies deep expertise in a number of disciplines: corporate strategy, organizational management, culture and training, financial strategy, employee operations, recruiting, and expert legal diligence.
Teall Investments is led by Ben C. Sutton, Jr. and an executive management team that built and expanded four national market-leading businesses in the college sports space: IMG College Media, IMG Seating, IMG College Licensing and IMG Ticketing. Teall invests in complementary organizations that can strategically work together to realize greater value, sharing in expertise, thought leadership and networks.
For more information, please visit TeallInvestments.com.
About Riddle & Bloom
As an Ideas and Access agency, Riddle & Bloom specializes in helping brands connect with the Next Generation consumer. A leader in college consumer marketing over the last ten years, the agency’s new identity reflects its deepening mission to help the world’s leading brands understand and engage with the most puzzling, hardest-to-influence consumers: high schoolers, college students, and young professionals. Riddle & Bloom brings an integrated approach of behavioral insights and unmatched access to these audiences through, experiential marketing, digital strategy, activations and ecommerce solutions, and exclusive partnerships to the market, to help leading brands understand and engage with today’s next wave of consumers nationwide. Through its exclusive industry partnerships with NACA, NACAS and NIRSA, Riddle & Bloom has a network encompassing more than 1,000 colleges and universities, extending to post college Millennials and younger Gen Zs. Clients have included major brands in the Technology, Retail, QSR, Personal Care, Ride Sharing, Banking and Finance, Food and Snacks, Music, Gaming, Wireless and Apparel industries.
For more information, visit: riddleandbloom.com.