The award-winning ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Creed’ star and his partner, Chad Easterling are working to foster more equality in entertainment.
Actor and producer Michael B. Jordan and his partner Chad Easterling have joined forces with Endeavor’s cultural marketing agency 160over90 via their Obsidianworks label.
Jordan and Easterling’s team at Obsidianworks includes nonprofit advisor René Spellman, formally of CAA, and veteran marketing guru Bobby Moore III. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Obsidianworks, dubbed a “culture-powered marketing agency,” has worked with powerhouse brands such as Coach, Amazon, Piaget, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In a new interview with Variety, the Black Panther star explained how his latest move aims to foster equity in the industry.
“I think it continues the conversation on a different scale with this partnership,” Jordan tells the publication. “To be able to reach brands, to be able to continue that conversation across the board, I think is really important. We’re present in these rooms to be able to call bullshit, to be like ‘Hey listen in our humble opinion, this isn’t authentic, this isn’t real.’”
“Sometimes when you’re changing systems, and you’re disrupting things, and you’re evolving something into different, sometimes it’s easier to lead by example,” he adds. “It’s about just going out and doing it, and just building it.”
Easterling, Jordan’s Obsidianworks co-founder, is a longtime marketing executive with Nike and the Jordan Brand. According to the report, the duo has been building their Obsidianworks client roster since 2018.
“Chad and I have been building the foundation for Obisidianworks for years, and I’m thrilled to be finally taking this venture to the next level,” said Jordan, who serves as executive chairman of Obsidianworks. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between clients and culture. We will look to elevate new voices and fresh perspectives in everything we do. 160over90 was the perfect partner to help further our commitment to a new era of storytelling that opens the door for more inclusive, authentic stories and campaigns.”
“I think having that period of going through the soft launch, gave us the time and the ability to work through the kinks and think about how we want to position ourselves, how we want to come across, come through, work with brands, service brands, and then also allowed us to figure out with who and how do we want to partner,” Easterling says.
“We created Obsidianworks to offer ambitious brands something new, brave and different. An agency that reflects the diverse community that we belong to, and reminds the industry that ‘multicultural marketing’ is mainstream marketing. We are proud to be partnering with 160over90 to expand our capabilities and help brands and talent benefit from a wider range of stories and storytellers, and reach vital communities, especially Gen-Z and millennials, in new ways,” says Easterling.
When it came partnering with 160over90, Easterling says, “We felt like 160, and Endeavor as a whole, really worked well in regards to what we’re trying to get after, and they would really help us to not only accelerate what we’re trying to do with Obsidianworks but focusing on growth and development. We felt like they were an amazing partner to help us achieve all those goals.”
Being a Black-owned marketing agency is part of what makes Obsidianworks unique.
“Once you begin to see more Black people on this side and you begin to see how we provide strategy, execution, counsel, direction from a strategy and a brand standpoint, I think that is what begins to normalize that conversation,” Easterling says.
“Obsidianworks has the ability to bring a different perspective, a different voice to speak with communities in ways that brands so desperately need,” 160over90 president Ed Horne added. “The ability to marry that perspective that Mike, Chad and the team have, with the scale and the reach and scope that that 160over90 has, it just feels like such a natural marriage. We already know from conversations with clients and brands, it’s such a necessary service and ability.”
Source: The Grio