An Interview with Kyle J. Kane the CEO of 180 South Group

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Kyle Kane is an award-winning entrepreneur, founding principle and CEO of 180 South Group, overseeing the multimodal marketing and production efforts, as well as client relations amongst many of the world’s premier artists and brands. As a thought leader in digital marketing and experiential brand integration, Kyle has budgeted, coordinated, and executed strategic branding and positioning campaigns for clients such as Universal Music Group, Capitol Records, MetLife Stadium, Samsung, Piaget, LVMH, and Brown-Forman.

Kyle’s role as Chief Strategy Officer included the development of strategic partnerships, the analysis and deliverance of market research to key decision makers, and assisting projects totaling over 30 million units, grossing roughly $400 million US dollars. Kyle’s focus on market traction and the development of new media created opportunities to build multi-million dollar production facilities in Fairfield and Princeton, NJ. His exceptional aptitude for assimilation across various demographics has opened up windows of opportunity for the growth and development of the studios, earning three Emmy’s and working with dozens of advertising agencies and production companies to produce original content. It was this experience that led to the creation of 180 South.

Beginning as a platform to provide solutions for artist and brand partnerships, and after multimillion-dollar deals with Katy Perry, Samsung, and MetLife Stadium, 180 South has grown into one of the world’s premier brand management firms. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies by Inc magazine, and #24 in global marketing and advertising, 180 South has received numerous awards, including SmartCEO’s “Corporate Culture” Award alongside Russel Simmons and Arianna Huffington.

Kyle is a highly motivated, personable, cooperative team player, experienced across all facets of business development. With over fifteen years of experience in brand management, Kyle’s expertise and entrepreneurial spirit has led to keynotes and speaking engagements at major events worldwide.

Kyle is also a NASM-certified personal trainer, a contributing member to the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, a board

Member of six non-profit organizations, and is involved with regional development initiatives throughout the northeast corridor of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Atlanta, Puerto Rico, and international territories through Northern Europe and Eastern Asia.

Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of work –and who were some of your influences growing up?

Sure! How far back shall I take it? My roots are in music, and I’ve built some amazing relationships while helping to develop the taste and tone of artists on the UMG roster. When it was time for me to do my own thing, I cashed in some of those relationships and formed a small team to construct a platform for artist & brand partnerships. Fast forward through a few years in health & wellness, and an exciting decade of original content production, you’ll find my last 18 months have been laser-focused on creating opportunities for consumers to experience innovation through live events. Our latest venture has a real chance at changing the face of American pop culture.

What kind of training have you had, if any?

My work today is a result of the sum of my life’s training and experiences. Classically trained in music and business, I attended a magnet high school called the Academy for Business and Computer Technology, followed by undergrad studies at University of Maryland where I cultivated my own major focused on Marketing Communications and Consumer Psychology. After college, I toured for a year as a recording artist, and completed post Entrepreneurship programs at the University of Pennsylvania before launching my own company.

What has been your favourite project to work on so far?

That’s like asking, “who’s you’re favorite child?” They all have both uniquely positive attributes, and come with their own set of challenges. I love all my projects. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t participate. Right now, “The Mothers Ball” has my heart. It’s an annual celebration of every woman’s capacity to advocate for herself, her family, and her community. It will take place in NYC on December 14th & 15th at the Jacob Javits Center.

What sports do you enjoy watching?

I enjoy watching many sports, including football, basketball, boxing, and volleyball; any spectacle of fierce competitors battling for the top spot will interest me.

What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?

My team would say that the first Emmy award was the most special, but to me, my biggest accomplishment was being ranked #13 Fastest-Growing Company on the Inc 500 list, and #24 in Global Marketing and Advertising; not because it’s a huge accomplishment in itself, but because that moment signified the first time we were recognized for our thought leadership, and the last time we ever had to “market” ourselves. A close second is winning the Corporate Culture award alongside Russel Simmons and Ariana Huffington. Sharing the stage with those two giants was very humbling and inspiring so early on in my career.

If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?

This is actually the most difficult question you’ve asked me today. I’ve been so blessed to have met and worked with many of my favorite artists, athletes, and personalities, but there are a few interesting entrepreneurs whom have yet to cross my path. For my ideal private breakfast, it’s a toss up between Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. Both are bold visionaries whom I admire. Sir Richard has done such an incredible job with global brand extension, consistently adapting and disrupting verticals from record stores to spaceships and beyond. I’m leaning a bit more towards Jeff though, as I’d love some insights into his plans, not just for Amazon or Blue Origin, but for all of humanity. I’d like to hear about the times when things were not as good, and what he did to overcome the negativity as Amazon pushed to become profitable. Lastly, I’d suggest a unique collaborative effort that would leverage my keen ability to drive conversions using innovative strategies in consumer psychology for effective emotional resonance. If anyone can appreciate my crafty go-to-market strategies, it’s Jeff.

What projects do you have coming up?

Unfortunately, the most exciting venture is the one I can talk the least about. I’ll give you a hint though: it’s a live event experience based around an interactive multi-day festival, and it’s something that can never get “old”. I’m hoping this is a project I can spend the rest of my live continuing to cultivate. One thing I CAN share with you is that I just returned from a life-altering trip to Korea, whereas I’ve been asked to consult on and participate in a new venture to aid in the development of emerging markets as a solution for a critical economic concern. On this last trip, I met some amazing people and received a gift from the Blue House via the President of the Republic of South Korea, which is now one of my most highly regarded mementos. I’m also working with one of my best friends and a well-respected colleague to develop an innovative platform for artist and brand developed called Manchester Atlantic.

That’s it, folks. Once again, you can find Kyle J. Kane on LinkedIn, Facebook, and you can also visit his website here.

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