Leonard Armato – Founder and CEO
Leonard Armato has distinguished himself as a ground-breaking marketer, brand strategist, and entrepreneur, launching some of the world’s most renowned cross-industry careers, such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar de La Hoya and current client and 4-time Olympic medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings. For years, he has been at the forefront of the convergence of sports, entertainment, marketing and technology. As Mr. Armato was the CMO of Skechers and President of Skechers Fitness Group, he orchestrated Skechers marketing campaigns that launched Skechers Performance Division utilizing celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Brook Burke, Joe Montana and Wayne Gretzy, and masterminded two Superbowl campaigns seen by hundreds of millions of viewers. Armato has recently focused on using music as an engine to build value in brand platforms, including artist and lifestyle brands and Armato has positioned songwriting/producing superstars “Rock Mafia” as an industry leader in this area. He has orchestrated some of the biggest brand campaigns in the world where music has been integrated in a groundbreaking way.
Armato also founded the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and served as the CEO and Commissioner for seven years. He established beach volleyball as the first “lifestyle sport.” While at the helm of the AVP, Armato grew AVP’s annual revenues from $500K to over $26M and secured over $100M in sponsorship deals. He also struck multi-year media deals with ESPN and NBC before Shamrock capital bid nearly $40M to acquire AVP.
He continues to consult for and maintain relationships with some of the world’s most powerful Fortune 500 companies. With his keen eye for opportunity and ability to architect and execute highly sophisticated strategies, Mr. Armato consistently achieves extraordinary successes for MPE’s properties and select family of clients.
MPE created Digital Media Campus, a 55,000 virtual city that provided all the necessary tools required for entrepreneurs to launch digital business in the Sports and Entertainment space. Investors in DMC included such tech luminaries as Larry Ellison, Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, and Ron Conway as well as sports and entertainment icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Quincy Jones, Shaquille O’Neal and Oscar De La Hoya.
Armato developed the "Golden Boy" trademark and helped position the brand for future success in the boxing promotions business. He also helped De La Hoya create a Music Label, which included a Grammy nomination for Oscar as a musical artist.
Leonard Armato represented Shaquille O’Neal for nearly 10 years, from 1992 to 2001. In the process, Armato orchestrated deals totaling $250 million, including one of the largest free agent signings in NBA history, a seven-year deal worth over $121 million to become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. As a Laker, O’Neal flourished during the best years of his career, including three world championship titles and one league MVP. Armato has established himself as one of the best entrepreneurs and marketers by creating a formula for converting Celebrity into "brand" by launching and building Shaquille O'Neal's brand with a powerful coalition of marketing partners and positioning Shaq as a "tech influencer".
In 2013, Armato created the World Series of Beach Volleyball, the biggest sports/music/beach lifestyle event of its kind, with partner NBC Sports and sanctioned by the FIVB and USAV. This unprecedented event brings the world’s greatest beach volleyball players and their fans together in a way that’s never been seen before. The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball is the premier event in the sport plus more; it’s a week-long festival celebrating “all things beach,” including sports, music, culture and community.
An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones’ career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. Quincy’s creative magic has spanned over six decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era and continuing through today’s high-technology, international multi-media hybrids.
Antonina Armato and Tim James have written and produced hit songs for top artists including Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Wyclef Jean, Selena Gomez, Gwen Stefani and many more. In addition to writing, producing and curating music, Rock Mafia has fueled multi-billion dollar programming and merchandising as well as products and marketing campaigns for numerous mega-brands such as Coke (FIFA World Cup & the Special Olympics), NFL (Anti-Bullying campaign), Disney, Viacom, EA / EA Sports and the NBA.
In 2006, MPE management played a valuable role in developing Crocs into one of the fastest growing shoe wear companies in America. Since becoming the Title Sponsor of the AVP Tour in 2006, Crocs had become one of the hottest brands across the globe. Utilizing the AVP as their primary marketing platform, Crocs had experienced unmatched growth from a revenue and market share standpoint and has more than doubled in value. Crocs growth since partnering with the AVP
From 2010 to 2012, Armato served as CMO of Skechers where he oversaw the company's creative agencies and orchestrated two Super Bowl campaigns. In 2010, Skechers became the fastest growing footwear company in the world, increasing sales from $1.4 billion to over $2 billion. Armato also served as President of Skechers Fitness, launching the company's performance division.
As sports and entertainment consultants to LA Gear, we developed strategies and negotiated LA Gear’s agreements for such entertainment icons as Priscilla Presley, Heather Locklear, Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson.