By Jeff Pryor*
To kick off 2020, the Los Angeles-based Priority PR expanded its client roster in Digital. New client assignments include Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., headed by media investors Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan.
Diamond Eagle, a Los Angeles-based publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, entered into a business combination agreement with DraftKings Inc. and SBTech. The result? The combined company would be named DraftKings and be publicly traded on Nasdaq.
Boston-based DraftKings is a digital sports entertainment and gaming company known for its industry-leading daily fantasy sports and mobile sports betting platforms, and SBTech is a global leader in omnichannel sports betting and gaming solutions.
Priority PR orchestrated a strategic campaign in light of the onset of COVID-19. In early April, a special meeting of the Diamond Eagle shareholders was scheduled, but due to the pandemic, which was especially devastating in New York, the meeting was postponed. Even with the absence of live sports, on April 23, the deal was approved by shareholders and the new DraftKings began trading the next day. It is anticipated that the combined company will have an equity market capitalization at closing of approximately $3.3 billion.
Upon conclusion of the DraftKings deal, Priority PR added Kast to its client roster. The San Diego-based Kast acquired the key assets from Rabbit, the industry’s dominant watch party solution, after Rabbit ran into financial difficulty. Kast is taking a first-mover advantage in creating virtual watch parties. Virtual watch parties let far-flung users in separate places watch and chat about movies together. Their popularity soared as the first social distancing and stay-at-home-orders went into effect.
After rebranding, Kast expanded its business plan to also capitalize on virtual events. Turning its attention to the festival scene, Kast signed a partnership agreement with the Denver-based SeriesFest, the international storytelling festival, to provide virtual events. SeriesFest events produced by Kast included the Opening Night Reception; A Late Night Comedy Party; the Closing Night Party; and Festival “Lounge Rooms,” where delegates created their own Kast party rooms and invited friends and business colleagues.
“The longer term effects on festivals and conferences due to the pandemic are leading organizations to revamp their program schedules as they adjust to business life in 2020 and beyond,” stated Mark Ollila, CEO of Kast. “Above all, SeriesFest is looking to Kast to also provide elements that will make their festival a more engaging and memorable virtual experience.”
Kast’s expansion into the festival circuit is a natural evolution right on the heels of its successful launch event in Finland. Kast partnered with a Finnish-American community of entrepreneurs and the Finnish Consulate to launch a Festival experience for Vappu, one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland. Kast’s digital celebration attracted over 2,000 people who visited its cocktail and karaoke party rooms to celebrate the holiday event marking the end of winter. Priority PR is the Agency of Record for Kast.
*Priority PR is a PR & Brand Strategy company, founded and headed by Jeff Pryor (a former journalist at The Milwaukee Journal and Advertising Age and a one-time head of communications at MGM Studios). Priority PR first began to work on digital initiatives as early as 1998 with its representation of Razorfish (“Anything that can be digital, will be digital”). Since those early days, Priority PR has been on the forefront of digital initiatives, guiding and advising top companies on how to take advantage of the changing landscape.