For the past three decades, Steve Carbone has been a leader in the convergence of advertising and entertainment, serving as an entertainment strategist for the advertising and corporate communities.
Carbone has served as a consultant to some of the nation's top ad agencies, including DDB, Lowe and Partners, Leo Burnett and IPG. He has worked as an entertainment strategist for corporations such as Hallmark, Burger King, Starbucks, Northwest Airlines and Max Factor.
In 1997 Carbone conceptualized and helped negotiate the landmark acquisition of Addis Wechsler (now Industry Entertainment), one of the premier personal management/ production companies, by IPG (Interpublic Group of Companies), the giant advertising holding company.
Next, he introduced Pat Kingsley's high profile entertainment PR firm, PMK, to McCann Erickson and negotiated that acquisition.
In November 1999, he orchestrated the acquisition of BWR (Baker/Winokur/Ryder), another high-powered entertainment PR firm, by Ogilvy PR, a member of the WPP group of companies.
In December 2000, Carbone continued to merge the worlds of advertising and entertainment when he successfully negotiated the acquisition of Bragman/Nyman/Cafarelli by Weber/Shandwick, one of the IPG family of companies.
In January 2001, Carbone was retained by McCann Erickson to merge PMK with Huvane/Baum/Halls and successfully completed that transaction in April.
In February 2001, Hallmark asked Carbone to find, assemble and lead an entertainment team, whose task was to take the one dimensional Hallmark card icon "Maxine" and bring it to life in the form of a series of network television specials.
In June 2002-2003, Carbone was retained by the Burger King Corporation to be their entertainment strategist. In that capacity, he was the talent and entertainment brand lead interacting with all of the corporation's marketing and advertising agency partners.
In August 2004, Carbone expanded his relationship with Hallmark and was retained as the entertainment strategist for the core greeting card business in Kansas City. That relationship continues.
Carbone partnered with Richard Zanuck and Twentieth Century Fox for a feature film project depicting the life story of the first man to break the sound barrier, legendary test pilot and WWII ace General Chuck Yeager. Carbone personally represented the General for over twenty years.
Prior to his consulting business, Carbone was the head of CAA's commercial division, where he was responsible for securing lucrative endorsement and licensing opportunities for the agency's "A" list of TV and motion picture actors and directors.
He also founded and built the commercial department at International Creative Management (ICM). During his sixteen-year tenure, he rose to executive VP and worldwide head of ICM's commercial division, and was part of the company's senior management team. There he broke new ground in the commercial business by obtaining benchmark endorsement deals for artists that heretofore had never considered being associated with consumer products.
The list of artists that Carbone convinced to do this type of work reads like a who's who in the entertainment business. A partial list includes such classic actors as Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, William Holden, Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Gere, Sigourney Weaver, Woody Allen, Meryl Streep, Leonard Nimoy, Liza Minnelli, Jackie Bisset, Jodie Foster and Sharon Stone.
He and his division also found endorsement deals for virtually every major star of network TV represented by the agency during his tenure. In redefining the nature of the endorsement business, he either personally made or oversaw the negotiation of more than 3,000 deals in this category.
Decades before Michael Ovitz and CAA were hired to work with Coca Cola, Carbone broke new ground when he was picked by the Polaroid Corporation to represent them in their entertainment endeavors. Unheard of at the time, he negotiated benchmark commercial deals on the corporation's behalf with such artists as Lawrence Olivier, James Garner and Mariette Hartley, Danny Kaye, Liv Ullman, Christopher Plummer and the Muppets, including of course, Miss Piggy.
Additionally, he was instrumental in bringing together Visa's corporate sponsorship of the Paul McCartney Tour ... a first for its time.
Carbone started his agency career in the New York mailroom of GAC (predecessor of ICM). After a short stint there he was hired at APA, where he quickly rose to be the youngest agent ever to run a Variety Television department in a major agency.
He then was picked by Harry Abrams to join him in opening the New York office of Abrams Rubaloff, then one of the top commercial agencies in the country.
A native of New York City, Carbone received a classical Jesuit education at Loyola Prep School and Holy Cross College.
After college, he was accepted as a scholarship student in the professional class of the legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner at the American Academy of Performing Arts.