• Donny Willis

AGI Displays Its Signature,  Make a Representation with BrandMark

The BrandMark Agency, a wholly owned sponsorship and branding company run by DWP's evp Maureen Valker-Barlow, who will now serve as president of BrandMark, has signed Artist Group International.

AGI is BrandMark's first major signing, and the company will work with them to develop strategic alliances, endorsements, tour sponsorships, and media resources that complement their roster's diversity. With a roster that includes Billy Joel, Metallica, Rod Stewart, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Hall & Oates, Neil Young, and Elvis Costello, among others, AGI is headed by chairman Dennis Arfa.

“AGI President Marsha Vlasic and I have long pursued the right strategic partner in the branding and sponsorship field for our prolific roster of talent, and we have now found it in Maureen and her team at BrandMark,” said Jarred Arfa, the company's newly elevated chief operating officer. Maureen's track record of success in representing brands, artists, and major music festivals speaks for itself and sets her apart from the competition. We're ecstatic to be able to provide these new resources to our customers, who will be able to leverage brand/commercial partnerships to increase visibility for their tours and other ventures while also gaining additional financial benefits.”

AGI agent says, “Having a good branding and sponsorship partner has become increasingly necessary as artists seek to not only increase their sales potential, but also to raise their profile. BrandMark is going to be a fantastic addition to the AGI family. I'm looking forward to working with Maureen and her team.”

Valker-Barlow came to DWP in 2019 after working at record labels and agencies with clients such as Anheuser-Busch, BMG, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Cantu Beauty, Jack Daniel's, KAMP (K-Pop Festival), Kona Brewing Co., Manic Panic, Proof Media Mix, Rockstar Energy Drink, Shelter Music Group, and Zenni Optics.

"Maureen has transformed an in-house department into a fully functional corporate enterprise since joining us 18 months ago. It was a natural extension of her leadership and business skills to give her the freedom to plot BrandMark's path in line with our festival needs "Danny Hayes, the chief executive of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), says "During COVID-19, her ability to generate business and opportunities for our partners inspired Danny Wimmer and me to invest in Maureen's next logical step in her career."

Valker-Barlow began almost 20 years ago as a chef on the Vans Warped Tour, catering to touring musicians and staff, and has since secured and executed artist sponsorships for artists such as Excision, Future, Kaskade, Lil Yachty, and Slipknot, among others. She transitioned through various sales positions at record labels and agencies before landing in her position at DWP after quickly realizing that the music industry was her road to personal development and success.

Arfa continues, "They essentially act as our representative for all branding and collaboration agreements. We've never had a business division that did that before. We've wanted to be in this room for a long time, but we're still hesitant to bring anyone in, but when the pandemic struck, we re-elevated our stance and decided to be proactive. We are excited to partner with Maureen because she has a good track record in music and can offer new partnerships and opportunities to our clients."