The shingle aims to help clients with marketing, branding and digital endeavors as well as traditional personal PR representation. Kay and Assad will serve as co-CEOs, with Kay based in Los Angeles and Assad in Brooklyn. Kovert will operate independently of WME.
WME-IMG chief content officer Mark Shapiro said Kovert would be a good complement to WME-IMG’s operations, from the core talent representation business to its growing portfolio of content and distribution initiatives.
Kay is a highly regarded PR exec known for specializing in comedy stars. Amy Poehler, Jimmy Kimmel, Jack Black, Will Arnett, Bill Simmons, Sarah Silverman and Rebecca Romijn are among the clients joining him at Kovert.
Assad is a digital maven who has most recently headed PMK-BNC’s Vowel digital branding unit. He’s credited with creating two memorable digital viral vids for Audi: 2013’s “The Challenge” with Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy,” and 2014’s “Barely Legal Pawn” featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
“Joseph and Lewis are experts in their field, who work with culture-defining brands and individuals,” said Shapiro. “They bring a completely unique perspective to branded entertainment, understanding the value that both creatives and brands bring to the table.”
Kay has been with PMK-BNC and its predecessors for 19 years, most recently serving as exec VP and chief operating officer of its entertainment division. Assad had been with the firm for 11 years, overseeing its New York office from 2004 to 2012.
“For us, the timing was right to create a company where we can focus on doing smart, cutting-edge work on a daily basis,” Assad said. “We have the proven formula of creating highly-engaging and successful campaigns for a host of clients across all segments.”
With the launch of Kovert, Kay said he is broadening his focus beyond personal PR to driving media and marketing strategies for clients with the clout and the skills to work in many arenas.
“Our talent clients are focused on success outside of being traditional celebrities. I am fortunate enough to be involved with creators who are working across multiple disciplines throughout our business,” Kay said. “Given how the landscape continues to evolve, this new company will position us to navigate all of their marketing and communication needs while also mining for synergistic opportunities with a broad group of like-minded creative individuals.”