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Volume 23 No. 13
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Gordon eager to take agency to the next level

Engine Shop CEO Brian Gordon was vacationing out of the country in 2015 when he closed the sale of the agency to George Pyne’s Bruin Sports Capital.

Nearly a year later, Gordon was back in the same spot for his family’s annual vacation, still talking about Engine Shop. But instead of thinking about new ownership, Gordon articulated a vision for the next phase of the agency’s growth.

The one-year anniversary of Bruin’s acquisition seemed like a fitting time for Engine Shop to unveil an enhanced strategy for how the business will tap into new areas, such as a greater emphasis on measurement and research, original and branded content, and digital engagement.

For most of the four-plus years since Gordon co-founded Engine Shop, it’s been known as an event and experiential marketing expert for clients such as Mercedes-Benz and Anheuser-Busch, while also throwing ESPN’s annual Super Bowl party. With what the firm is calling a “brand refresh,” Engine Shop will look to build on those competencies by becoming more of a true full-service agency that has the flexibility to work in sports, entertainment, art, fashion or any other marketing platform.

The name will stay the same, but the agency is working on a new logo and company website that will better highlight its versatility and reach.

“It’s an outgrowth of the transaction we did a year ago,” Gordon said of the relationship with Bruin. “When we did the deal, we wanted a capital source and strategic partners that could help us build the business beyond what we were doing by ourselves. … All of this positions us to be a very different agency than what we were when we started in 2012.”

Gordon said Engine Shop has invested heavily into data, research and insights. While the agency’s 70-person head count has remained relatively flat this year, he expects it to surge again as the agency grows into more disciplines.