NRG Experiential Marketing creates meaningful experiences with a positive impact
By Haley Beyer
Scotland native Gavin Smith was on vacation in Colorado when he was overcome by the state’s beauty and activities.
“Scotland was a great place to grow up, but I fell in love with skiing when I visited Colorado, so I decided to move there,” he said.
His journey took him to Los Angeles, where he founded NRG Experiential Marketing, which has worked with top brands like 2K Foundations, Timberland, Red Bull, Nike (NRG’s first major client), The North Face, Globe, Tommy Bahama, Herbalife Nutrition, Microsoft, Apple and Beats.
Although the pandemic was rocky, the company survived and is poised for a comeback with the 2K Foundations on educational initiatives, mobile sampling tours and golf tournaments to benefit low-income youth trying to get into the sport.
Some of the projects NRG is most proud of are 2K Sports: NBA2K20, Timberland: Timber Truck Tour, Red Bull: Illume, Globe: Unemployable, TNF: Speaker Series and 2K Foundations: Loiza.
After relocating to Colorado in 1997, Smith frequently hit the slopes.
It was there that he was introduced to TV work. Smith worked for Eclipse TV, where he created more than 30 hours of action sports programming for a variety of major networks with a focus on snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking events.
From there, Smith moved to Idaho where he continued with TV work on the “Incredible Dog Challenge.”
Eventually he made his final move to Los Angeles.
“I did what everybody does when they’re moving to this area,” Smith said.
“I went straight to Hollywood and soon realized that was not exactly where I wanted to be. Santa Monica felt right.”
Once in LA, Smith began freelancing, which evolved into NRG in 2003.
NRG started as an event production company, but soon evolved into a brand activation and experiential marketing agency.
The company does everything from event production, product launches and sampling, brand activations and installations, store openings and pop-ups to community engagement, mobile and field marketing, as well as Esports and gaming.
NRG focuses on brands that stem from sports, art or music, but it doesn’t limit itself.
Because many of the events are sports related, NRG has also worked with well-known athletes like LeBron James, Paul George and Anthony Davis.
The athletes’ publicity yields larger turnout at NRG’s events.
“I wanted to create a space that was a positive experience for everybody, a company with good energy, hence the name,” Smith said.
NRG’s mission is to create, produce and deliver exceptional experiences for brands that have the ambition to push boundaries and challenge convention.
“Basically, we want good people doing good work with good people for good people,” Smith said.
One of the most impressive parts of NRG’s projects is that they take place nationally. Smith and his team are working on multiple projects.
There is a mobile marketing tour for recreational vehicles, so NRG can create its version of Airbnb, and A Shoc energy drinks.
There are multiple basketball court refurbishments, an event that has become common with NRG.
Gameheads in Oakland will open a gaming/learning center, thanks to NRG.
The YMCA in New Orleans created a music studio for kids to learn the art of producing and writing music.
Sharing its message
NRG creates tailor-made and purpose-built projects for the brands it works with to create a real connection.
To accurately get the brand’s message across to consumers, NRG combines strategic creativity with the latest technology to deliver experiences that live well beyond that moment. No matter the project, NRG tries to go above and beyond to make the event the memorable and meaningful.
“We love what we do, our goal is always to do more good,” Smith said.
NRG staff isn’t afraid to tackle a challenge. That’s why its goal is to be part of the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
“We want to play as large a part as possible to help brands be part of the Olympics, especially when it’s in the city where we live,” Smith said. “We love being part of this community.”
The bottom line of any project is that the brand has something to say, and NRG’s staff believes it can give the brand the voice it needs by creating meaningful experiences.
They know brands shape and influence the world and want to make sure everyone they work with leaves a positive impact on society.
NRG Experiential Marketing madewithnrg.com.