Issa Rae, key, success, Management Company, Pay Gap

Issa Rae Launches Branded Content Company To Teach Creators How To Get Better Brand Deals And Close Pay Gap

Issa Rae has a new entrepreneurial venture that aims to teach creators how to secure the bag in brand deals.

Issa Rae has a new entrepreneurial venture that aims to teach creators how to secure the bag in brand deals.

The Hoorae Media founder recently launched her branded entertainment company, Ensemble, to help creators and brands build “deeper relationships” with major companies and corporations, Business Insider reports. The newest endeavor to Rae’s growing business portfolio already has a network of 50 content creators, including Mark Phillips, Drew Afualo, and Leo González, who are all on the right track to aligning themselves with reputable companies like Pepsi, Chili’s, and Popeyes.

“The brands I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with understand that quality matters, inclusion works, and curation is essential,” Rae said in a press release. “That’s why we’ve built Ensemble with an ambitious and growing group of executives, creators, brands, publishers, and platforms who will all work together to build a more equitable and sustainable creator economy.”

Joining Rae on the management side are a trio of advertising veterans: Co-founder and President Ian Schafer, Head of Revenue Matt Berger, and Head of Revenue Operations Keith Lee. Together, the group works to aid their creators with properly packaging themselves to attract big brand deals.

“The proposition is that we have deeper relationships with the partners,” Montrel McKay, the president of development and production at Rae’s studio, Hoorae, said.

“A lot of people are just selling media impressions and matching them with creators. We’re going to teach you how to sell media to these brands and do it in a way that allows you to service your audience.”

Ensemble also works with up-and-coming content creators who are building their audiences and preparing for high-profiting sponsorships.

“We just see it as an evolution of the next generation of talent discovery, and the path is not obvious,” Schafer said. “People used to look at digital as the minor leagues. It’s very much the major leagues, but the thesis is that the future talent is much more likely to be discovered by audiences and financed by brands.”

Equity and inclusion are central to Ensemble’s deals, as the company aims to close the pay gap between white creators and creators of color.

“We want to go after media budgets. We don’t want to go after small allocations that are for diversity buys. That’s why it’s important to work with Pepsi out of the gate,” McKay said. “[W]e want to show the world, we’re just trying to drive popular culture.”

The new venture adds to Rae’s growing business portfolio, including her studio, Hoorae Media, talent management firm, ColorCreative, marketing company, Fête, and audio platform Raedio.