Russ Axelrod leads branded entertainment at Awesomeness TV. Working on everything from custom content and show sponsorships to mall tours and mobile apps, he develops partnerships with brands looking to reach teens to develop integrated programs on the Awesomeness network and beyond.
Axelrod is the former Director of Brand Strategy for Microsoft Advertising's Branded Entertainment and Experiences Team (BEET), widely recognized as the leading team in the industry.
At Microsoft, Russ was responsible for heading up the team's efforts to develop custom branded content and experiences on behalf of key Microsoft clients looking to create deeply integrated programs across the Microsoft Media Network (MSN, Xbox, etc.) In addition to leading a national team of 5 strategists, Russ also spearheaded the team's relationships with its content and production partners.
Previously at Microsoft, Russ was on the US marketing team for the Xbox division. While there, he led the team's branded entertainment and alternative marketing initiatives, generating over 10 on-air shows in 2 years, for such networks as MTV, Spike and The Speed Channel to support the Xbox 360 and the 1st-party game portfolio (Halo 3, Gears of War, etc.) In addition, he worked with several of the team's strategic partners, including Pepsi, Comcast, Fox and 7-11.
Prior to Microsoft, Russ was the Director of Marketing and Promotions at Zilo Networks, a leading college entertainment company. While there, he led the company's live event division, producing over 75 sports, music and comedy events on behalf of such partners as General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola and the U.S. Army.
While attending NYU's Business School, Russ co-founded ProMotion Pictures, a groundbreaking branded entertainment initiative, where he brought together grad students from both the film (Tisch) and business (Stern) schools to create short films for advertisers. The program raised over $750,000 within the 1st 2 years, generating work for such clients as Volvo, Verizon, Heineken and Axe. Russ is still an acting member of the board and continues to help the current students in their sales and strategy efforts.
He holds a M.B.A in Finance, Marketing and Entertainment from New York University's Stern School of Business, and a B.S. Degree in Marketing from University of Maryland at College Park.
Speaking at: Bringing Branded Content to Life