MELT was recently featured in Sports Business Journal in an article written by Michael Smith.

Published August 3, 2015, Page 8

MELT, the Atlanta-based agency that specializes in college marketing, is doubling down on the digital side of the business.

The agency recently acquired Ninja Multimedia, a small digital and technology firm that already has a strong foothold in the college space. Ninja, also based in Atlanta, and its five employees, including CEO Drew Pearson, will be folded into Melt. That will create a new digital and technology division for the agency. Pearson will oversee that piece of the business.

Ninja has been best known for creating mobile apps used by Bluechip Athletic Solutions, a recruiting aid for college football coaches. These apps include 360-degree tours of campus and athletic facilities, which are especially valuable for a coach visiting a recruit’s home.

Vince Thompson, Melt’s chairman, saw Ninja’s capabilities for app and website development and thought they could be put to use for the agency’s corporate clients as well. Melt works with Coca-Cola, Kia and Gildan, among others.

“What we want to do is enhance their existing investment in college,” Thompson said. “And at the same time, we’re looking to help evolve the fan experience at the game. We see technology playing a huge role in that. It has the ability to enhance everything our clients are doing.”

Thompson, an Auburn University graduate, said he bought season tickets for his alma mater’s football team for the first time in several years and found that the process had not evolved much over the years.

Instead, he thinks that ticket-buying experience could be a gateway to create a “year-round conversation with the fan,” he said, whether through a customized mobile app or some other interactive tool that connects fans with their team through a wireless device.

“We want to evolve the whole experience to a yearlong conversation with every fan of college athletics,” Thompson said.

The acquisition of Ninja comes on the heels of Melt hiring Snigdha Dhar from the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as the agency’s new manager of social and digital media. Melt now has 60 employees.