The transaction expands McKinney’s existing social and performance marketing services

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Creative and media agency McKinney announces today that it has acquired August United. August United is a top 10 influencer marketing agency, previously owned by Audacious Studios. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, they provide full-service influencer marketing capabilities from strategy to partnership management to content development and implementation. In addition, McKinney will also acquire the performance media arm of Audacious Studios, called Tailwind, to bolster its integrated offering. The move allows McKinney to continue to deliver a modern ecosystem for clients, with all capabilities under a single management team and P&L.

“The last few years have not only accelerated the use of social media in general, but also the time spent with user-generated content,” said Joe Maglio, CEO, McKinney. “Influencers are at the core of that growth, and as a result influencer marketing is becoming a more integral part of our clients’ marketing plans. Micro and mid-tier influencers in particular – August United’s focus area – have been shown to drive significant engagement and impact purchase decisions, and I’m excited to bring this expertise to our client partners.”

Influencer marketing was a $16.4 billion industry in 2022 and with buying power transitioning to Gen Z and Millennials, plus media consumption habits continuing to evolve, it’s critical for brands to have a focused influencer strategy – both IRL and ultimately in digital worlds. All of this adds up to significant opportunity for McKinney and August United to come together and help their collective client partners realize their untapped potential.

“We started what is now August United over two decades ago, and we’ve always been at the forefront of digital marketing,” said Margie Traylor, Co-Founder, August United. “When we refocused on influencer marketing in 2015, we knew that it would go from the fringe to the core of a brand’s social media strategy. As we scaled our offering, we decided it was time to take a bigger leap forward, and after our first couple meetings with McKinney we knew that their smarts and hearts were the right fit to take our offering to the next level.”

Named one of Adweek‘s fastest growing companies in 2019, August United has specialists across all aspects of influencer marketing. The company works with clients like Microsoft, Samsung, Nestle, Sam’s Club, Petsmart and P.F. Chang’s.

The acquisition will add 60 employees bringing McKinney’s base close to 300 people, and will expand the agency’s reach through an office in Phoenix, adding to current office locations in Durham, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York.

About McKinney

McKinney is a creative and media agency headquartered in Durham, NC, with locations in Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and New York. Part of the Cheil Worldwide network, McKinney’s footprint gives us direct access to Main Street America while being steeped in the latest in entertainment, emerging trends, and innovation. We partner with clients — from the top marketers in the world to nonprofits — to help them realize their untapped potential.

We’ve been recognized by Cannes Lions, Effies, The One Show, D&AD, ANDY, CLIO, LIA, the Shortys, and The Webby Awards, among others. McKinney works with brands, across a broad range of categories, to create and implement a modern communications ecosystem. Some of our current client partners include Blue Diamond Growers, Pampers, Little Caesars, Puma Running, Stop & Shop, ESPN, Samsung, Columbia Sportswear, Sherwin-Williams and Choice Hotels International, as well as pro bono clients Urban Ministries of Durham and the Ad Council. For more information, visit mckinney.com.

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SOURCE McKinney

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