Shanté Bacon: 40 Under 40 2015

Founder and CEO, 135th Street Agency

Shanté Bacon’s communications and experiential marketing firm has racked up a number of high-profile entertainment clients in the decade since its launch.

She is known for an ability to connect and engage with diverse audiences. Her firm, 135th Street Agency, has worked on nearly a dozen top-grossing films, including The Avengers. The firm has also represented cable stations VH1, OWN, BET, and WE TV.

And entertainment isn’t the only area she excels in. Other top clients for her firm include The New York Times, the city of Miami, the US Postal Service, and the National
Education Association.

Bacon started her career at Island Def Jam Music Group, rising to senior director of marketing. At Def Jam, she worked with the likes of Kanye West and Ludacris, along with other artists, identifying and packaging album covers, video shoots, radio and TV commercials, and other marketing tools. She also oversaw retail-marketing campaigns and sought out creative synergies between artists and corporate product brands.

Even as she works to break down color lines in Hollywood, positioning 135th Street as a power player, Bacon takes time to give back by volunteering her time to causes she believes in, mentoring youth, and accepting frequent speaking engagements to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

"In an industry that lacks ethnic diversity, it is difficult for minority-owned agencies to compete for big-budget film and television projects," explains Saptosa Foster, 135th’s managing partner. "Limited resources and access to decision-makers are just a few of
the challenges that must be overcome to survive in Hollywood."

Bacon keeps active in the communications industry as a member of New York Women in Communications, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, a group that works to promote positive images of women in entertainment and society.

She’s picked up numerous awards along the way, including Jet magazine’s 40 Under 40 in Business in 2013 and four NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards.

Next up for Bacon? Expanding 135th Street Agency into more markets.

- Bacon mentors young women at Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network’s summer boot camp

- The firm counts 11 top-grossing films in its portfolio in just the last four years, including Transformers, Tangled, and Star Trek: Into Darkness

- Bacon leads PR each year for the fundraiser at the Global Language Project, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for students to learn second languages in public elementary schools

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