SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Hovhannes Avoyan, Kevin Benedict, Gilad Parann-Nissany

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Strategic Appointments Fuel Gameface Media’s Rapid Growth

Gameface Media, the largest provider of free sporting event photos in the United States, today announced three major appointments: Vice President of Production and Development Brian Walker, Chief Advertising Officer Mark Herlyn and EVP of Business Development Andrew Van Ogtrop. Each of these roles are critical in Gameface Media’s commitment to helping innovative brands and events create greater engagement with customers through free photos delivered via the company’s unique technology platform.

Brian Walker, Vice President, Production and Development

Walker brings extensive software leadership experience in delivering high-volume consumer web applications to Gameface Media. In his current role, Walker manages the company’s technology and production teams to create, aggregate and distribute the company’s signature event images. Prior to joining Gameface Media, Walker was VP of Engineering at Nutraclick, a technology-driven brand building company that focused on health and wellness consumer products. At Nutraclick, he led the technology team in both strategic technical direction as well as continual optimization of day-to-day engineering operations. Walker obtained degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from SUNY Fredonia and Clarkson University.

Walker has had to rapidly scale operations, as Gameface Media has struck partnerships with several major events including the San Francisco Marathon and Warrior Dash. Gameface Media is projected to deliver more than 20 million photos to 2.5 million participants in 2014 – a 25X increase from 2013. Walker’s operations and technology expertise will create a technology roadmap that improves the platform for event organizers, brand advertisers and, most important of all, consumers.

Walker is also an accomplished photographer who was recently honored by Northeastern University’s Boston Marathon Digital Archive Project. Two of Walker’s 2013 Boston Marathon finish line photos were selected for inclusion in this exhibit.

Mark Herlyn, Chief Advertising Officer

Herlyn is responsible for managing the sales team and signing brand sponsors, key areas of growth for Gameface Media. Herlyn spent 29 years selling multi-platform campaigns to major brands at the New York Times Company including American Express, General Motors, Astra Zeneca and Diageo. As the Vice President of Advertising, Herlyn helped the news publication manage its transition from print to online and personally oversaw $300 million in advertising revenue. He managed 60 Ad Directors and Account Managers across the New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit national sales offices in this role. Herlyn is a graduate of St. Lawrence University.

Gameface Media’s highly shareable content is an effective tool for savvy marketers trying to reach an affluent and highly engaged audience. The Social Media Examiner’s “2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” reported that 70 percent of respondents said they planned to increase their use of visual images for their social campaigns. Gameface’s unique business model creates brand loyalty and engagement as people are given free, professionally-shot photos of themselves that can be easily shared over social channels.

Gameface Media’s effect on brand exposure is extensive and immediate. For example, if 5,000 race participants each have an average of 200 friends on Facebook and other social media, a brand logo on just one photo will be seen by approximately 250,000 people, assuming that 25 percent of participants share the image over their social channels. The reach of branded Gameface Media images is further amplified by the fact that photographers typically capture six to ten photos per participant in every race. Brands experience major increases in generating brand exposure, web traffic and leads through partnerships with Gameface Media.

Andrew Van Ogtrop, EVP of Business Development

Van Ogtrop is leading Gameface Media’s expansion into the youth sports market. He brings nearly 20 years of relationship management expertise crafted from Wall Street marketing, analyst and sales roles. Van Ogtrop was most recently the Director of Boston Institutional sales for Investment Technology Group and the Global Head of Research sales for Weeden & Co., two leading providers of best-of-breed institutional research and trading. Andrew graduated from Washington College where he was a captain of the national championship runner-up DIII lacrosse team.

Youth sports are a major market opportunity for Gameface Media as research from the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission indicates that 35 million American children currently participate in organized youth sports – roughly 9 million more people than the state of Texas.

It’s hard to imagine a parent’s home or office that is not covered in photos of their kids. This phenomenon is prevalent in the digital world as well –Internet security firm AVG found that 92 percent of US children have photos of them posted online before the age of two. Van Ogtrop is working with Gameface Media to capitalize on this enthusiasm by offering a value-added service to youth sport organizers in a wide range of sports including skiing, soccer and lacrosse. Gameface Media captures kids looking like their favorite athletic heroes and creates images that are great souvenirs and also attract a ton of attention from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to repost, ‘Like’ and comment upon.

“We are excited to see the market respond so enthusiastically to Gameface Media’s powerful images,” said Gameface Media CEO David Lavallee. “Brian, Mark and Andrew are critical in helping the company continue its rapid growth and take advantage of the most compelling digital content in the world.”

About Gameface Media

Gameface Media is the largest provider of free sporting event photos in the United States. Gameface enables brands to make a deep connection with event participants by providing free photos of them participating in obstacle races, triathlons, running races, golf, skiing and youth sports. Our social media technology drives participants to an advertiser's website or Facebook page where they may be greeted with customized offers aimed at immediate conversion of these visitors into customers. The photos, branded with the company's logo, may be downloaded, saved and shared on social media outlets for free. Because Gameface Media provides all of the technology and professional photography services that enable this experience, the brand company is not required to send printed promotional materials, tents, staff or samples to the event site.

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