When Greg Carney starred in the MTV reality series "twentyfourseven" viewers at home could easily see that the ambitious club promoter was much more than an L.A. party boy. Soon after the series, which he created, produced and starred in, the 24-year-old launched KG2 Productions, Inc. Carney used the network of celebrities he developed as a promoter to market his new company.
While he ensured their comfort and bottle services at L.A. hotspots, he knew these connections would one day come in handy. His 30,000 square foot headquarters in North Hollywood, Calif., houses beverage companies, fashion lines (Freedom United Clothing, Pink Taco Salad Clothing) as well as separate promotion companies for films, television and music production.
"The company came about when friends and I figured out how to delegate and collaborate instead of compete," said Carney. "We could get more done by putting all our companies and talents together, then cross-promote."
Carney uses "cross-promotion" as a marketing technique. For example, he hands out his Freedom Energy Drinks and Freedom H2O at Hollywood nightclubs. Or he gives his artists airtime on the KG2 beverage website, where you could hear the latest singles from the Prom Kings, his older brother Chris’ band, or solo artist Gregory Cipes. Both Chris and Cipes were featured on "twentyfourseven." His connections with celebrities have also become useful. KG2’s Big Punch Energy Drink scored an endorsement deal with Good Charlotte’s Benji and Joel Madden.
All of Carney’s business partners are 25 years old or younger and hired many of his long-time friends. However, he found that a young and creative group has its disadvantages because many lacked professionalism. But he still prefers hiring close friends solely because he trusts them. "I understand not everything will run smoothly but as long as there are no people coming in to sabotage the company, everything will fall into place," said Carney. "A few years from now I am confident that my guys will be the sharpest in the industry."
Carney’s blueprint for KG2 Productions focuses on outsourcing management among young and innovative business partners. "We know how to speak to our generation so we could come up with what our generation likes," said Carney. To Carney and friends, KG2 is more than a multi-faceted company, but a brand for a lifestyle that is pro-collaboration and anti-greed.
"Our generation has become stingy because we’re taught to take things so serious and I’m trying to break that," said Carney. "We’re not working for the money; we’re working for a higher purpose." He is bothered by the youth’s fixation on making money, as opposed to helping others. Hoping to lead by example, all the different companies under KG2 give about 10% to charities such as Harvest and Work & Witness. When Hilary Duff started a one-year anniversary special for Hurricane Katrina in 2006, KG2 donated 25,000 cases of beverages to the cause.
His dedication to give to the less fortunate is what he calls a "Conscious Revolution," the company’s mission statement. To express the KG2 mantra, each bottle comes with a reference to a biblical passage. He hopes to continue charitable work with a long-range goal to build 10-20 schools a year in third world countries, while remaining dedicated to environmental initiatives. "It sounds crazy, but my ultimate goal is to end world hunger," he said. "I actually have a business plan."
It wasn’t always glitz and glamor for Carney. Long before a club owner discovered the charismatic promoter, he had years of roofing and restaurant waiting under his belt as a teenager. Also, his humble religious background inspired his philanthropic approach to young entrepreneurship. As the son of missionaries, he grew up constantly traveling to several different states and countries, including Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Now that he has settled in Hollywood, he hopes to give back to the places he came from.
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