76 Sturgis RallyThe HomeSlice Group announced this morning that it has reached a deal with Snapchat through which Snapchat will cover the famous Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ via their Live product.

The Live Story will be a curated compilation of photo and video Snaps taken by Snapchatters on the ground at the 76th Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ on Sunday, August 7th. Content will be submitted from the City of Sturgis, HomeSlice, entertainers, performers, landmarks, concert venues and, most importantly, bikers themselves.

This year’s official partnership builds upon the conversations that took place last summer between HomeSlice and Snapchat. Last year’s Live Story, titled “Motorcycles in Sturgis”, reached millions of Snapchatters in the United States. “This year, we’re excited to go to the next level in partnership with Snapchat to give that community an official experience that accurately brands this event to the world.” said Andy Young, the HomeSlice executive in charge of the Snapchat relationship. “This is such a valuable opportunity to connect with the coveted millennial audience that brands nationwide are trying desperately to reach and communicate with.”

Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users that view over 10 billion videos on the platform every day and 60% of 13-34 year old smartphone owners in the U.S. also identify as Snapchatters. Young elaborated, “The media landscape is constantly changing, with new technology popping up every day. It’s important to keep your ear to the ground to make sure you’re putting yourself in front of your audience, wherever they may be.”

HomeSlice Corporation President/CEO Dean Kinney added “I am extremely proud of the relationship Andy has forged with Snapchat. I am particularly pleased that he is acting inclusively to get all the players involved. Part of what makes the Rally so special is that Sturgis is located in one of the most scenic areas of the country. It was important to us to highlight the major landmarks bikers visit and the many other great features the Black Hills have to offer.” Kinney concluded.

Rob Henry(Rapid City, SD) – The HomeSlice Group announced this morning that longtime HomeSlice Creative Director Rob Henry has joined its corporate staff as Vice President and Chief Brand Officer. The industry veteran will oversee the brand promise of six radio stations, the HomeSlice digital media unit – Rapid Digital Solutions, the Loud American Roadhouse, HomeSlice Concerts, musicians represented by HomeSlice Artist Management and numerous high profile ad agency clients.

Henry, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, with a minor in graphic design, from South Dakota State University, has provided creative work for HomeSlice since the company was founded in 1994 and joined the firm as Art Director in 2001. “From the beginning, almost everything we do around here has been about brand building, the brand promise and brand protection. We can’t think of anyone better suited to being our Brand Czar than Rob Henry,” commented HomeSlice CEO Dean Kinney. “He understands what our brands are about and our clients trust him with theirs. This new position, at our corporate level, underscores the importance our company places on brand marketing. It goes to the very core of who we are and what our clients expect from us.”

Though Henry works in all aspects of the business, he is probably best-known in the industry as the creative force behind the “Local” brand of Pioneer Bank & Trust, the live entertainment brand “A HomeSlice Concerts Production,” “Customers for Life,” on behalf of Scott Peterson Motors and the long-running “Legendary Steak Tip Dinner” campaign of HomeSlice-owned Loud American.

In the newly-created position, Rob will oversee all marketing, advertising, design, public relations and customer service for HomeSlice, a conglomerate of small businesses based in the Black Hills. “We have great programmers at our stations that know their brands inside out, managers at our businesses that live the brand each day, and clients that have spent decades building brands. I see myself as their resource, ally and friend,” Henry said.

MaryAnne Whittle to Lead Rapid City Radio Group

MaryAnne

(Rapid City, SD) – HomeSlice Media Group, LLC announced this morning that it has closed on its purchase of all of the radio station assets of Rushmore Media Company, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, Inc. The acquisition includes 98.7 KAT Country, 100.3 The Fox, 93.9 The Mix, and Hot 93.1. In 2014, HomeSlice purchased radio stations The Big 81 – KBHB and Smash Hits – KKLS from Rushmore. This deal reunites that 6-station cluster. Longtime Business Manager, MaryAnne Whittle, becomes the Vice President of Broadcast for HomeSlice Media and is the General Manager of the properties.

“One of the key things that made us want to do this deal is the quality of the staff,” commented HomeSlice President/CEO Dean Kinney. “Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to get to know them even better and my confidence in this acquisition has soared as a result. When Lia Green revealed she would not be staying with the radio group, she and I decided pretty quickly that MaryAnne was the perfect fit for the job.”

Ms. Green said, “It’s been my pleasure working very closely with MaryAnne Whittle for the last 25 years. I am convinced MaryAnne will always remember that we have two customer bases, our listeners and our advertisers. She will take great care of them both, and continue to grow the station’s dominance in the Black Hills.”

rapid digital solutionsSimultaneous with the closing, HomeSlice has also launched its new brand, Rapid Digital Solutions. “Digital media was already a big focus for our company, including social, mobile, SEO, search, display, retargeting, geo-fencing and so on. When you couple that background with the Rushmore Radio sales team and the strong customer relationships they have, many that go back decades, it is really going to be something special. A new RAB-Borrell Associates report has said that digital advertising will account for roughly half of all local advertising expenditures this year,” Kinney continued, “nationwide that is a 17 billion dollar business. It’s a space our customers expect us to be in and an existing expertise of ours. We will hit the ground running.”

Last year, Gray Television announced that it had struck an agreement to purchase all of the radio and television assets of Schurz Communications, Inc., which included Rushmore Media Company, owner of the radio stations and KOTA-TV. Gray already operates KEVN-TV and ultimately decided to divest all of the radio stations contemplated in the deal with Schurz, bringing about the HomeSlice purchase. “I owe much gratitude to Lia Green. She is a treasured mentor and friend. I also want to thank Kevin Latek at Gray Television and Marci Burdick at Schurz. Finally, my partners and I want to thank Kevin Whitelock, Jim Morcom and everyone at Pioneer Bank & Trust, our longtime banking partner,” Kinney concluded.

In addition to the radio stations and new digital brand, HomeSlice also owns and operates other local businesses including an artist management firm, a creative services business, a concert management company, and a popular restaurant and live music venue. HomeSlice is based in Sturgis, but emphasized that the radio stations will remain in Rapid City.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dean Kinney, President/CEO, HomeSlice Group – 605.347.5336
MaryAnne Whittle, Vice President/Broadcast, HomeSlice Media Group – 605.343.6161