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 was founded by Rick Ford and Tim Campbell as an offshoot of Jim Host’s company Host Communications. In 1999, Ford and Campbell, then Host employees, had the idea to aggregate content and traffic all of the high schools in the country on one website.
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 their mentor Jim Host (sometimes referred to as the father of collegiate sports marketing), Rick Ford and Tim Campbell sought out to create a series of properties and events that that solved key problems for top brands and helped them reach their target audiences. 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 10, 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 its CEO Jim Host, along with outside investors. Ford and Campbell planned to create a website “home” for all high schools nationwide to aggregate content and traffic on a single network.
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 visited 60+ markets and 378 high schools and garners 73,613 high school participants. As a result, BRAINBOX made 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 created The Great American Rivalry Series. The first game of The Great American Rivalry Series was played on September 19th, 2004 in Houston, TX, at Northshore vs The Woodlands High School. Sam Goody, Universal Music Group, Winterfresh, Volkswagen, and the Marines sponsored the first Series.
In 2005, BRAINBOX launched FutureLab: The Innovation Expo to help Student Loan Finance Corporations 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. Nearly 1,000,000 students experienced the power of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational opportunities.
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 4,000 participants and 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 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Indiana high school basketball. In partnership with Converse and John Deere, BRAINBOX toured Indiana with a moving museum of basketball memorabilia, connecting with Hoosiers in malls, schools, and public spaces to celebrate 100 years of this storied championship. In those 100 days, the campaign maked 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 parade of 100 fire trucks carrying representatives from each of the 100 schools to win the state championship. They arrivd at Conseco Fieldhouse on a red carpet “Walk of Champions” and celebrated proudly at the “Legends Reception.”
BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing creates the “Bright Green Clean Team” Tour to raise brand awareness of Bright Green cleaning products 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 generated extensive media coverage.
The Los Angeles Times recognizes iHigh 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 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 withing 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 they decided they needed a name change to match. In 2015, iHigh became BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing to reflect the company’s willingness to think outside the BOX.
The Great American Fitness Challenge, an event that included a 10K, a 15K, and “Kentucky’s largest yoga class” according to the Herald Leader, is launched. It is run for two years at the Kentucky Horse Park, culminating in June 2017 at the University of Kentucky.
In 2017, BRAINBOX partnered with the Marines to create the USMC Sports Leadership Academy as a way for young athletes to how to command authority and responsibility yield influence. 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 for 33rd year of the event. That year, the race expanded its festival footprint and reestablished the event in the community for the 20th and final year of Baptist Health’s sponsorship of the race.
BRAINBOX Intelligent Marketing won a Sports Standard of Excellence WebAward in Web Development for the Great American Rivalry Series website after its redesign. By its 15th anniversary, the Great American Rivalry Series has now covered more than 700 games in 44 states throughout 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:
Interns and new college grads love us because they get to impact the company on day one. No mindless tasks here.
Seasoned marketing professionals love us because they get to work for clients of all sizes across a variety of industries.
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.