Before "sports bars" were ubiquitous and when special event marketing was in its infancy, "15 Minutes" Inc. (15minutesinc.com) was born in a tiny former farmhouse on 2nd St. in Northern Liberties. "There was an oven built into the brick walk in back," recalled "15 Minutes" Inc. President Nancy Becker. The agency's first office was a shared space in NoLibs now-trendy zone that had yet to be restored from industrial to artsy, but artists had already begun to take over the lofts and rustic spaces.
"15 Minutes" Inc.'s first big client was MCI, for which they set up "Free Long Distance Calling" centers in more than 90 events to sample the telecommunications company's then fledgling Friends & Family calling program. The agency quickly took on the city's launch of the RiverBlues Festival on behalf of their lead sponsor Philip Morris and became the go-to agency for bourgeoning independent film distribution companies such as Miramax, Orion, and Cinecom. They created memorable launches for The Sporting Club at the Bellevue, United Artists and IMAX Theatres, as well as Bleachers Sports Bar with a beach volleyball party that closed down Delaware Avenue. The bar's owner then opened The Beach Club on the river to carry the successful theme throughout the warm weather months.
Becker actually began "15 Minutes" in 1985 as an independent public relations rep while learning the ropes under Hal Weissman, an esteemed PR professional and founding board member of The Philadelphia Music Alliance. During her prior stint in the music business with a few local R 'n B labels, Becker befriended artists, and musicians who needed bios, blurbs and press releases, but were too small to bring into Weissman's entertainment public relations firm which represented the Valley Forge Music Fair, Guber-Gross theatrical productions, area businesses and hotels.
When Weissman was tragically killed in a fiery crash in 1987, Becker decided to open an agency with the help of her life partner Pam Derderian, who was on hiatus from representing Martina Navratilova and had begun her own sports marketing business after suffering career-killing knee injuries while at Temple University as a scholarship athlete. According to Nancy, "Pam just planned to help get the agency off the ground" but today, still leads client relations and business development as CEO of the agency, now based in Conshohocken, with a seven figure annual gross.
In addition to two D & D Expositions home shows run by the former manager of The Philadelphia Home Show, "15 Minutes" Inc. currently handles public relations and places media for several consumer events, including the Philadelphia Boat Show, Greater Philadelphia RV Show, Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow, The National Dog Show presented by Purina® and hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, as well as the venue that hosts these events, the Greater Philadelphia EXPO Center at Oaks.
The agency also represents the annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, Dining Out For Life®, held in 60 cities across North America. "15 Minutes" Inc. signed Subaru of America as host sponsor of this event, as well as Founding Sponsor of The Rainbow Card, a philanthropic credit card program backed by VISA® that the pair founded with Navratilova and sold to back her after a dozen years marketing the card to the LGBT community for which it raised over $2 million.
With longtime friend Billie Jean King and her life partner Ilana Kloss, Becker and Derderian co-founded GreenSlam (greenslam.net) to encourage major players in the sports industry to make positive environmental change. They engage "Greenterns" from NYU each August who assist in the greening efforts at the U.S. Open. The agency helped the Geographical Society of Philadelphia launch GEOfest last year, after working with their Executive Director Mary Carroll Donahue on the very first Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema hosted by International House in 1992.
"15 Minutes" is also Agency of Record for BARD Holding, Inc., (bardholding.com) an algae production company based in Morrisville, Pa, but with sights on global expansion. Derderian was recently named Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of BARD, which keeps the pair juggling daily responsibilities, including raising their daughter they adopted from China 14 years ago. For production of creative content and branded media, they operate a division of "15 Minutes" Inc. called "P. Girl Projects," short for "Philly Girl" and they gave their daughter business cards brandished with "C. Girl Projects" (China Girl) for her birthday last year to encourage her entrepreneurial spirit.
Keeping overhead low and management simple, "15 Minutes" Inc.'s core staff of five includes Pam's mother, Jeannette, who serves as office manager and bookeeper. Kristina Moore serves as executive assistant and art director and Laura Weber is a public relations specialist. Becker and Derderian's Boxer-Dalmation mix Bala is at the office each day with occasional visits by the staff's pups who chime in when they are huddled around the conference table for calls with their clients. "We abide by the principle that life comes first, and our work is always fresh if our environment is fun and our staff feels like they matter," adds Derderian.
How to Increase Sales Revenue Using Social Media
News Journal offices
Golf/Tennis Summer Outing
Radnor Valley Country Club