The Shipyard is acquiring Jon Bond’s consulting shop Tomorro to combine their strategic, creative and data-centric expertise under one network. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 12-person Tomorro will become a consulting unit of The Shipyard. Tomorro is based in New York, while The Shipyard is based in the Columbus, Ohio area.
With the acquisition, Bond becomes co-chairman of the joint entity with Rick Milenthal, who is also CEO of The Shipyard. Bond, who has served as chief tomorroist at his company will retain that title as well.
“Chief Tomorroist is a key role at a time when tomorrow's new idea quickly becomes yesterday's dinosaur," says Bond. "My favorite way to start a meeting is asking: ‘What you are going to see that wasn't possible five years ago, and maybe not even two years ago?’”
This deal is designed to offer a "full suite" of consulting services to Shipyard clients, which include Nationwide Insurance, Scotts Miracle Gro, In-N-Out Burger, WD-40, CO-OP Financial Services, Angie's List, Fantastic Sams and Weleda.
The Shipyard, established in late 2013, advises on what it calls “marketing engineering,” says Milenthal. "We leverage Big Data analytics to drive greater impact in content, design and media. Jon is one of the world’s top thought leaders in this space. He always sees what is next.”
The Shipyard has offices in Columbus, Denver, New York City and Southern California. Before co-founding The Shipyard, Milenthal was CEO of the digital agency, Engauge, now part of Publicis Groupe. The company’s other co-founder, Ben Clarke, was previously CEO of People To My Site.
Bond is well-known in the industry, having co-founded Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, later acquired by MDC Partners. He also created digital media agency iballs In 2011 and became CEO of Big Fuel Communications that was acquired by Publicis in 2012.
Bond and Milenthal have known each other for 25 years. Their shops recently partnered together to create media company Mediopolis. After working together, they decided to combine their firms.
“In the '90s, brand planning created a symbiotic relationship with creative people that made the work better," says Bond. "We can foster that same kind of relationship with creativity and data.”