Bob Brand’s professional background in the entertainment industry reflects over thirty years of critical skills that determined the success of a multiplicity of projects in television, film, sports, commercials, music videos, documentaries and marketing. These skills including, but not limited to, the design, production, direction, marketing and business affairs of almost all of the projects he has been involved with did, in fact, contribute to their success.
Brand began his career in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency where within five years he headed the feature film packaging department. His responsibilities included negotiating domestic and foreign distribution deals between his producer clients and all major film studios. At William Morris he also represented major directing talent including William Friedkin and Bernardo Bertolucci as well as the National Film Board of Canada’s entire film library.
After eight years at William Morris, Bob accepted a senior executive position at Norman Lear’s company, T.A.T., to head up feature film development where he put into development two major feature projects, one based on H.G. Wells “The Man Who Could Work Miracles,” with Paramount, and the comedy “Easy And Hard Ways Out,” with Robert Altman to direct and Peter Falk to star for Warner Brothers. At that time the company had six television series on the networks plus ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” in syndication, so Bob was, in fact, in charge of all film development and production.
After four years at T.A.T., Bob accepted an offer to become a senior vice president at MGM where, among many projects, he advised on the TV distribution agreement for the broadcast rights of “Gone With the Wind” to CBS for $35 million.
After several years as a senior executive at various companies, Bob launched his own production company, BrandUSA, to design and produce a variety of different projects, meeting Matt Levine in the mid 80s. They included:
- the historic first sports music video for the NBA in a cross promotion with Universal Pictures to attract a teenage audience for the League and MCA, Universal’s record division, featuring the New Edition, his first collaboration with Levine. Brand negotiated the unprecedented initiative with Irving Azoff, MCA’s visionary president.
- Bob was also retained by the Harlem Globetrotters to present them in a new and unique light to promote all of their live events world-wide. In order to accomplish this, he conceived, wrote, produced and directed a music video with a new rock arrangement of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” their iconic theme song, introducing the first woman Globetrotter, Lynette Woodard, Captain of the U.S. Olympic gold-winning basketball team. Bob cast Academy Award-winning actor, Louis Gossett, Jr. to host a documentary called “Sixty Years of Magic: The History of the Harlem Globetrotters,” and three 30-second commercials — all of which combined to promote their world tour which generated their highest grossing revenues world-wide.
- Separately, NBA Commissioner David Stern asked Bob to design and produce as a live event the “Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration” of the NBA which included the fifty best players in NBA in history. The celebration also included a staged multi-media program called “The Fifty Year History of the NBA in Fifteen Minutes” with laser animation graphics, historical and current video of the NBA, narration and original music .
- For the San Jose Sharks, commissioned by Matt Levine, designed and produced the franchise’s inaugural season’s Opening Week at the Cow Palace. Designed laser animation introduction of Sharks logo, broadcast across North America
- For the San Jose Sharks, commissioned by Matt Levine, Bob designed, produced and directed the franchise’s inaugural season’s Opening Week at the Cow Palace, which entailed four separate opening nights. The shows included laser animation to bring the Sharks logo to life; it was broadcast across North America when evening news broadcasts picked it up and ESPN selected it as the “hockey play of the week.” The ensuing global excitement around the Sharks logo and new-to-hockey color array led to more merchandise being sold at retail in its inaugural year than the highly popular Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls or the Oakland Raiders.
- Two years later, for the Sharks at its new arena (now the SAP Center at San Jose), Bob was commissioned by Matt Levine to design, produce and direct Opening Night at the then-designated San Jose Arena, including design of the Shark Head tunnel, fabricated by a Disney contractor, the first major team entranceway in the NHL and still being used for the pleasure of the fans for the last 20 years.
- At the Salt Lake Winter Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Bob served as senior executive in charge of all business affairs and successfully negotiated approximately 275 contracts.
- For Mayor Bloomberg, the City of New York and the International Olympic Committee, produced an event having Nadia Comenici fly from the top of the Nasdaq building at night to a stage on Times Square in less than 20 seconds, carrying a flaming Olympic Torch. The project was produced in six days.
Brand’s work with Matt Levine has also included trade show programming strategy, booth conceptualization and production and a two-year collaboration with Strikeforce MMA advising on business, rights distribution and marketing issues.