If you are involved in the world of content, entertainment, and e-commerce, then at some point you have probably seen something from NTWRK pop up in your social media scrolling. The North American premier live stream platform has become the go-to incubator for diverse, world-class creators, catering to the growing digital-native consumer market while also partnering with multicultural creatives and brands to amplify both their stories and products. NTWRK focuses on a target audience of Gen Z and Millennial consumers actively zooming in on partnerships that allow them to grow as creators while bringing in revenue.
Why Diverse Creators Are Choosing NTWRK
We spoke with NTWRK CMO Jason Brown about the rise of the platform
Simply put—NTWRK is a creators’ dream regardless of which level you’re currently at in your journey. The company has already achieved several monumental milestones, including being named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and Ad Age’s Hottest Brands, and is only getting started. NTWRK continues to partner with a wide range of diverse collaborators, including Bad Bunny, Sophia Chang, and J Balvin.
Recently coming off their latest partnership with DJ turned jeweler Ben Baller for an exclusive MTV chain, the company has big plans for the remainder of 2021. We spoke with NTWRK’s CMO Jason Brown on why creators, specifically those of color, are choosing the company as their e-commerce platform of choice.
ONE37pm: How did the concept of NTWRK come to fruition?
Brown: Actually, the funny thing is I’ve personally only been here for 60 days, but I’ve been on the outside looking in for a while because I’ve had a close relationship with the CEO Aaron Levant dating back to the early days of their comic book store on the Hollywood Strip when I was the head of marketing at Foot Locker. So I’ve always been on the outside looking in.
ONE37pm: How do you feel your previous career experiences have helped your new role at NTWRK?
Brown: All of my career experiences have helped in a number of ways, as well as the life that I’ve been living since I was five years old. I’ve always been enamored with culture, sports, music, and entertainment, even before I officially entered corporate America. So this is like everything coming together along with tapping into my life experiences.
ONE37pm: NTWRK has received numerous accolades already. What do you feel has contributed to that quick growth?
Brown: A couple of things. First, I would say it’s the vision of our CEO Aaron Levant, who understands the white space in the culture. Then it’s all of the people that work at NTWRK, which is over 100. One hundred employees might sound like a lot of people, but their execution and team effort is needed and have helped with our growth.
ONE37pm: You guys have done a lot of partnerships with world-class multicultural creators to tell their stories and showcase their products. How has that been?
Brown: Many of us here at NTWRK have similar lifestyles to these creators in terms of our passion, and some of us had previous existing relationships with these same creators before coming here. NTWRK is one of the most curated platforms in the world. People see what we’re doing and want to join us, for example—our Ben Baller partnership. We knew Ben Baller before becoming a jeweler. He was previously a DJ and lived the cultural lifestyle in a very different way than what he does today. It was definitely a full-circle moment!
**Korean-American Ben Baller comes from a family with 35 years of jewelry-making history. The self-proclaimed "best jeweler in the world” has a clientele that includes Mariah Carey, The Weeknd, Kanye West, and even Michael Jackson.
**Bad Bunny, the chart-topping Puerto Rican singer, rapper, and producer based in San Juan is a dominant voice in Latin trap and a general trendsetter for música Urbana. The multi-faceted artist has graced the cover of Rolling Stone, won a Latin Grammy, and received Variety’s Achievement in International Music Award in 2020.
**Award-winning Colombian Urbano singer J Balvin is a chart-topping recording artist whose polished urban singles and multi-platinum-selling albums have made him a top-tier Latin pop crossover act.
**Jeff Staple (born Jeffrey Ng) is a creative visionary with work encompassing graphic design, fashion design, footwear design, and brand marketing. He is the founder of the streetwear brand STAPLE, the creative agency REED ART DEPARTMENT, and the creator of the infamous NIKE x STAPLE PIGEON DUNK. Jeff has worked on creative projects ranging from startup brands to Fortune 100 companies.
ONE37pm: You sort of covered our next question! We were going to ask why you think creators are choosing NTWRK, but is there anything else you want to add?
Brown: Part of our ability to book talent is definitely NTWRK’s credibility, but it’s also the steam we’ve been able to build on our own too, like with the Cheetos x Bad Bunny capsule. People are much more inclined to work with us because they’ve seen our body of work. We also make a conscious effort to provide a platform for multicultural creators and amplify their voices while giving them a unique avenue to profit from their passions.
ONE37pm: What else is NTWRK bringing us for the rest of the year?
Brown: We have a handful of plans starting with our TRANSFER festival with Edison Chen, which is all about design culture. Then we have our second iteration of “Beyond The Streets'' which is a digitized way for artists and creators to celebrate their work. That’s as close to “IRL” we’re getting this year, but we will also be launching our first official NTWRK campaign.
It sounds crazy, but we haven’t had a consumer-facing brand introduction in nearly two years, and there’s still a lot of people who don’t know who we are or what we do. We want to introduce ourselves and have conversations about creators who aren’t Ben Baller or Sophia Chang. Also, I can’t reveal too much yet, but we will have a NTWRK gift guide coming out in November for the holiday season so we are looking forward to that as well.
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