Top 50 Innovative Event Pros 2013: Vince Thompson

The president and C.E.O. of MELT is broadening brand engagement by taking major sporting and music events online.

By Anna Sekula June 12, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

Vince Thompson, president and C.E.O., MELT

Photo: David Dean Culbertson

Fascinated by the intersection of sports and television as a student journalist in college, Vince Thompson founded an Atlanta–based marketing agency in 2000 that has built a reputation for taking major sporting and music events online. For clients like the Coca-Cola Company and the Southeastern Conference, MELT (an acronym for marketing, entertainment, lifestyle, and trends) has broadened brand engagement by leveraging digital channels to create a two-way dialogue with consumers.

A key project in this approach was the Coke Zero-sponsored concert during the N.C.A.A.’s Final Four tournament in 2010. The show, featuring Daughtry and opening act Darius Rucker, was one of the first to be broadcast live on Facebook and delivered more than 50 million impressions on social media. Helping build that buzz was an integrated promotional effort via Facebook and Twitter, including having every men’s college basketball coach with a Twitter account remind their followers to tune in.

More recently, for the 40,000-person Hangout Music Festival in Alabama, the company produced a three-day Webcast and two TV shows for Viacom’s Palladia network. That’s no small feat considering MELT had to secure and get clearance to air performances by 35 acts.

“We have been able to take traditionally localized events and are now globalizing them,” Thompson says, “thereby increasing the reach of the event, fan engagement, and interaction with the brand.”

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