W2O acquires entertainment and influencer marketing agency starpower. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, Starpower creates partnerships backed by data-driven social strategies for brands across health and wellness, consumer, lifestyle, entertainment and sport. It has worked with talent such as Serena Williams, Howie Mandel and Chrissy Teigen, along with networks of micro-influencers for targeted social campaigns. The Starpower team will operate under W2O’s single, integrated profit and loss operation. Matthew Lalin and Jared Weiss, who founded Starpower in 2007, will continue to lead the agency. “We’ve partnered with W2O since Starpower’s inception and have always shared similar philosophies about maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit, the power of data, and a passion for powerful human storytelling,” said Lalin. “Given the extraordinary growth in branded entertainment and influencer marketing, it’s a natural time for us to join forces.”


The Belfort Group launches BG Data Hub, a platform that utilizes real-time marketing and communications data to optimize clients’ businesses. The BG Data Hub’s capabilities include benchmarking campaign performance, using analytics capabilities to uncover trends, sharing insights through customizable dashboards and leveraging real-time data to counsel clients on key business decisions. It will be used across the Belfort Group’s core areas, including higher education, where it will help secure student enrollments at undergrad, graduate and executive education levels; professional services, where it will be employed to help B2B clients improve their sales pipeline and assist non-profit clients in optimizing fundraising campaigns; and public affairs, where it will show how clients can move the sentiment of decision-makers on proposed real-estate, public infrastructure or related municipality projects.

Mark Jones
Mark Jones

Former US Olympic and Paralympic Committee VP for communications Mark Jones unveils Agado Communications, a consulting firm that will primarily serve professional and international sports organizations and the brands that partner with them. Agado’s offerings include media and public relations, strategic counsel, issue and crisis management, public affairs, content creation and digital and social strategy. Before joining the USOC as director, communications in 2010, Jones was a senior account supervisor at Hill + Knowlton. He began his career in Washington as a senior aide and foreign policy advisor in U.S. Senate. The National Women’s Soccer League and Major League Lacrosse, both based in the United States, are among the agency’s initial clients.