BRAINBOX In a Nutshell…
BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing is an experiential and digital marketing company based in Lexington, Kentucky with a 20 year record of connecting brands with their target audience. We’ve become experts at adapting to new trends and technology to help our clients thrive, no matter their industry.
BRAINBOX (then iHigh.com) was founded by Rick Ford and Tim Campbell as an offshoot of Host Communications, a national leader in Collegiate Sports Marketing. In 1999, Ford and Campbell, then Host employees and developers of the first NCAA Final Four, SEC and several university websites, proposed the idea of aggregating content and traffic for all of the high schools in the country on one central website in partnership with the National Federation of High Schools.
All this was four years before the founding of Myspace and five years before Facebook.
It was this big picture, forward thinking that allowed this internet startup to adapt and thrive long after the dotcom bubble burst.
Drawing on the experience of Host CEO and mentor Jim Host, a visionary in collegiate sports marketing, and Host President Chuck Jarvie, Rick Ford and Tim Campbell sought to create a series of properties and events that solved key problems for top brands and helped them reach their target audiences in new and innovative ways. And thus the experiential arm of the company was born, as well as its reputation for excellence in family marketing.
Since then, BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing has expanded to provide clients holistic marketing services, including digital marketing, that can stand alone or complement an experiential campaign. Check out the timeline below to learn more about our history.
Our Highlight Reel
- July 1, 1999
- April 10, 2004
- September 7, 2004
- April 7, 2005
- December 1, 2006
- December 18, 2009
- February 4, 2011
- March 15, 2011
- September 12, 2014
- June 13, 2015
- March 18, 2017
- August 12, 2017
- September 11, 2018
BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing (then known as iHigh.com) is founded by Rick Ford and Tim Campbell. iHigh is initially funded by Host Communications and supported by its CEO, Jim Host, and President Chuck Jarvie along with outside investors. Ford and Campbell’s plan was to create a website “home” for all high schools nationwide to aggregate content and traffic on a single network. By 2001, over 10,000 schools called iHigh their website home.
BRAINBOX created the Navy Fitness Challenge, a three-part physical fitness test, to reach high school students and emphasize the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle in thwarting childhood obesity. This event fostered an impactful environment for the Navy to showcase the power of physical fitness and start conversations with thousands of high school students. In five years, the Navy Fitness Challenge visits 70+ markets and 378 high schools and garners 73,613 high school participants. As a result, BRAINBOX makes a name for itself as a company that understands youth, fitness, and the military.
WE KNOW FRIDAY NIGHTS.
To celebrate the passion, rivalry, and tradition in American high school football, BRAINBOX creates The Great American Rivalry Series. The first game of The Series was played on September 7th, 2004 in Louisville, KY, at the DuPont Manual vs Trinity High School football game held in Manual’s Memorial Stadium in front of 10,000+ fans. Sam Goody, Universal Music Group (UMG), Winterfresh, and Volkswagen sponsor the first Rivalry Series. UMG Artist O’Ryan was featured as a pre-game concert at all six games in season one.
In 2005, BRAINBOX in conjunction with the Institute for Global Futures launches FutureLab: The Innovation Expo to help the Student Loan Finance Corporation reach high school students in need of financial assistance for college. During 10 years of active touring, the science and technology-focused expo traveled over 70,000 miles across the country to visit 36 states, 72 cities, and 382 schools, as well as several robotics and science fairs—including the national robotics championship, the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Competition. In addition to founding sponsor SLFC, Toyota launches the new Scion brand on the Tour and additional sponsors over the 10-year run include the U.S. Air Force, VEX Robotics, SmartBoard Technologies among others, Nearly 1,000,000 students experienced the power of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational opportunities through the annual tours.
Spurred by the success of the Navy Fitness Challenge in high schools, the Navy turned to BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing (then iHigh) to bring the S.E.A.L. community into the physical fitness world. The S.E.A.L. fitness challenge mirrored the physical qualification test required for an invitation to the Navy S.E.A.L. training program. Over the course of three years, the Navy S.E.A.L. Fitness Challenge reaches over 4,000 participants and in excess of 10,000 spectators, demonstrating Navy S.E.A.L’s belief that fitness is not a single workout but an ongoing lifestyle.
BRAINBOX launched the 100 Years IN 100 Days Celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Indiana high school basketball. In partnership with Converse and John Deere, BRAINBOX toured Indiana with a moving museum that included eight trophy cases of basketball memorabilia and the opportunity to capture video memories at each stop for display on the “100YearsIN100Days” website, The Tour connected with Hoosiers in malls, schools, and public spaces to celebrate 100 years of this storied championship. In those 100 days, the campaign made 60 stops in 30 cities, interacting with over 65,000 people in person and over 200,000 online through webpages and media stops. The tour culminated in a parade through Indianapolis of 100 fire trucks carrying representatives from each of the 100 schools to win the state championship. The parade included all-time great Oscar Robertson and members of the Milan Miracle team made famous in the movie “Hoosiers” with Gene Hackman. They arrived at Conseco Fieldhouse on the Converse Red Carpet “Walk of Champions” and over 700 former players celebrated proudly at the “Legends Reception.”
BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing creates the “Bright Green Clean Team” Tour to raise brand awareness of a new Safeway brand, Bright Green, the company’s eco-friendly cleaning products that were launched in strategically targeted Safeway markets. This marks the first of many brands activated through BRAINBOX and Safeway’s collaboration. These tours allowed for one-on-one product education and testing, and in-market public relations campaigns generating extensive media coverage. Follow on products and services launched by BRAINBOX Marketing included Safeway Select Coffee, Primo Taglia Deli Meats, a full line of Hispanic food products and home delivery of Safeway groceries.
The Los Angeles Times recognizes iHigh.com, under the direction of CEO Tim Campbell, for having the first-ever live video stream of a major high school event on mobile smartphones. Within the next six months, iHigh would become the third largest live video streaming company in the United States. The company went on to deliver over 65,000 live events on the web and mobile phones and obtained the first patent for streaming video and the development of the first laptop-based production software for live video, Production Truck.
To help AT&T spread the message of safe driving to teens nationwide, BRAINBOX created a Twitter campaign across the 42 schools in conjunction with the 2014 Great American Rivalry Series. The school with the most tweets featuring the “#X – It Can Wait” message won an on campus concert from the popular band Rixton. The campaign used both social media and on-site connection at games to create an unforgettable experience for both BRAINBOX’s clients and competing schools. In a two week window, the message is delivered to over 135,000 people in attendance at 21 games and 4,241,834 digital users through 1,472,988 tweets. AT&T considered it their most successful activation within their Don’t Text and Drive messaging campaign.
Well over a decade earlier, iHigh, Inc had made the transition from specializing in high school marketing to being experts in holistic marketing that reached a variety of audiences. So, in 2015, they decided they needed a name change to match. iHigh then launched BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing to reflect the company’s willingness to think outside the BOX.
The Great American Fitness Challenge, an event that included a 5K, 15K, a 3-mile Obstacle course over horse jumps and “Kentucky’s largest yoga class” according to the Lexington Herald Leader, is launched. It is run for three years, beginning on the Cross Country riding course at the Kentucky Horse Park and culminating in June 2017 on the University of Kentucky campus where the 5K becomes the first of its kind run on the UK campus. The 5K is now an annual event on the UK campus.
In 2017, BRAINBOX partnered with the Marines to create the USMC Sports Leadership Academy as a way for young athletes to gain high-level skill training in six different sports while learning how to positively command authority and accept responsibility as well-rounded leaders. Since then, The USMC Sports Leadership Academy has impacted more than 10,000 young people nationwide through multiple athletic events, including basketball, wrestling, football, soccer, volleyball and lacrosse.
Under BRAINBOX, A Midsummer Night’s Run hit a new record of participation for the 33rd year of the event and its title sponsor, Central Baptist Hospital. That year under BRAINBOX’s management, the MSNR race day expanded its festival footprint to include two live bands as well as multiple food and souvenir vendors to reestablish the event as the place to be in the community for the 20th and final year of Baptist Health’s sponsorship of the race. Complete with a race Pace Car sponsor, a 1K fun run/walk, the annual Fastest Kid in Town races and the nighttime through Lexington 5K, BRAINBOX made this iconic race into a revitalized community event that is still continuing today.
BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing wins a Sports Standard of Excellence WebAward in Web Development for the Great American Rivalry Series website after its major redesign in 2018 . By its 15thanniversary, the Great American Rivalry Series had now covered more than 850 games in 44 states throughout the country. The new website captured the massive scope of the Series and its 15 year impact on high school football across the country.
We’re a solutions company. When challenges arise, we expect everyone to look for an answer. Because of this we, we hire carefully and invest heavily in the people who work for us. From monthly workshops to conferences, we work hard to make sure that our clients are serviced by experts in the experiential and digital marketing world.
4 Reasons Why We’re A Great Place To Work:
Seasoned marketing professionals love us because they get to work for clients of all sizes across a variety of industries.
Interns and new college grads love us because they get to impact the company on day one. No mindless tasks here.
Vets love us because we offer a great way to transition to civilian life and still work with the armed forces.
Outside the BOX Thinking, After Hours
Once a month, BRAINBOX hosts “Thought Leader Thursdays,” meetups for employees and managers to discuss everything from work, to sports, to Game of Thrones over a beer (or bourbon, or soda).
It’s team building at its chillest, allowing everyone to get to know each other better and to talk about work in a relaxed environment.
Interested in joining the team?
We’re always looking for event leads and digital marketing wunderkinds.