Advertising, design, strategy, and production

Hub is a fully integrated strategy, design, advertising, and production company with a unique business model that has been called “the model of the future”.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2002
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • 39 Mesa Street / Suite 212
    San Francisco, CA 94129
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A's, University of San Francisco, Blue Shield of California, One Medical, LinkedIn, Google, Nike, Slingbox, Microsoft, Sephora, dropbox, Jawbone, Chevy's Fresh Mex, Nimble Storage

Reviews

Sort by

Digital Strategy & Brand Awareness for Hospital

“Since partnering with them, all of our metrics have improved.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication conducted research to develop an informed digital strategy and improve brand awareness. The plan was implemented over two years across various media (e.g. radio, TV, digital).

The Reviewer
 
1,000 - 5,000 Employees
 
Palo Alto, California
CMO, Healthcare Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication is open and transparent, maintaining constant communication. They provide insightful feedback and work hard to create the best products and services possible. Online traffic has increased by over 100%, and likelihood to recommend has grown by double digits.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CMO of a healthcare company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We needed to create a positioning platform and a series of marketing campaigns for our brand. We wanted a partner who could lead our digital strategy and help increase brand awareness, especially because we were opening up a new hospital in a few years.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We went through a discovery phase, where they began learning about the key constituents within our organization and how we were perceived by the public. They conducted market research to identify gaps in our brand and places we could improve. They have a metered and disciplined approach that’s allowed us to take small steps to change our positioning in the market. We then developed a strategic plan, which we implemented over the next 24 months. They’ve done work in video, TV, radio, social media, and even experiential advertising.

What is the team composition?

They have an account lead and creative lead who both have their respective teams. We also work directly with the principals.

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication?

I’d worked with them before and knew they’d be a good fit. They develop great strategies and write smart and effective messaging. Plus, they’re small enough to take my business seriously but big enough to have quality resources.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent more than $2 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We partnered in January 2016, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Since partnering with them, all of our metrics have improved. Unaided and aided awareness have increased, and we’ve seen a double-digit growth in likelihood to recommend for people who’ve seen our marketing material. Over the past two years, our online traffic has grown by more than 100%, and engagement is up too. There’s also been an increase in new patient activity at our medical facilities, as well.

How did Hub Strategy and Communication perform from a project management standpoint?

We have weekly meetings with their team and maintain close communication. We usually meet in person but also have virtual meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We always have access to the principals, and the entire team is dedicated to our project. They push back when they think we’re wrong and suggest improvements if they think things could be better.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I wish they could more easily engage with other parts of our company, but that’s more of a problem with us.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Help them understand your goals and objectives, and they'll create a better product.

5.0
Overall Score I couldn't be more satisfied with our partnership.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

New Brand Identity for Lending Marketplace

"They do an excellent job and are great brand builders."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Feb. 2019
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication created a new brand and a set of guidelines for that identity. Deliverables included a logo and an updated personality and voice.  

The Reviewer
 
100-200 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Alan Gellman
Former CMO, Credible Lending
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The brand designs were engaging and received positive stakeholder feedback. Hub Strategy and Communication achieved a unique identity by leveraging strong project management skills and responsive service. They complied with both the timeline and the budget.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the CMO of Credible Lending.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We needed a new brand identity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Both teams agreed to a scope of work. Hub Strategy and Communication then developed a new logo, personality, voice, and look and feel for our brand. The team also delivered brand guidelines, which would enable us to self-manage after the project ended.

What is the team composition?

We worked with their senior resources.

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We wanted to hire a nimble and strategic firm; the vendor needed to be efficient, effective, and reasonably priced. Our team received a referral for Hub Strategy and Communication and compared the team to approximately eight vendors. We selected them because they were collaborative, engaging, and fast-paced.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent a few hundred thousand dollars.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September 2017 and the partnership ended in February 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The creative deliverables received positive feedback from internal stakeholders for their compelling and distinct voice.

How did Hub Strategy and Communication perform from a project management standpoint?

The team stayed on top of all deliverables. They also set clear expectations and plans for any potential delays.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The senior leadership is accessible and deeply engaged. They achieved positive results by leveraging strategic resource allocation, creative thinking, and a flexible approach. From a service standpoint, the team was professional and responsive.  

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can’t think of anything. They do an excellent job and are great brand builders.

5.0
Overall Score We couldn't be more pleased with the work or the collaboration.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We changed timelines once when we agreed to make that adjustment.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We received excellent value for the price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were on time and on budget.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Positioning & Marketing for English Language Learning Co.

"They're responsive, creative, and critical thinkers."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2017 - Jan. 2019
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy provides branding and media planning services, including targeted ad campaigns and creative production of commercials, digital ads, and billboards. 

The Reviewer
 
1,000 - 5,000 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Sr. Brand Manager, E-Learning Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hub Strategy exceeded brand awareness goals through strategic, highly creative campaigns. In addition to the quality of their work, their team is very responsive and excels in coming up with creative solutions to help clients meet goals. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the senior brand manager for an e-learning company that pairs Chinese children with English teachers in the U.S. or Canada through an online platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy & Communication?

We engaged Hub Strategy for some branding and marketing services. We were looking for a way to regionalize our existing brand in North America in a way that made sense to the demographic we were targeting without disengaging from our Chinese brand. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started discussing branding challenges and solutions with Hub Strategy in the beginning, going over our demographics, messaging, and the type of branding guidelines we wanted to put in place in the U.S. and Canada. After that brand development phase, they developed a marketing campaign in four cities, providing the creative production of assets that included commercials, digital ads, and billboards. 

What is the team composition? 

We mostly worked with an account director but also worked with a senior account manager, the CEO, president, and creative director. 

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy & Communication?

They were the first vendor to come to mind because I used to work at Hub Strategy and I knew they provided quality, creative work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from the end of 2017–January 2019 on the initial branding work, but we continue to work with them to develop campaigns and miscellaneous creative as needed. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Hub Strategy grew our brand awareness by over 20% in cities they conducted campaigns in, exceeding our goals. We also experienced a significant increase in actual visitors to our website during that time. 

How did Hub Strategy & Communication perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very responsive. I reach out to my main point of contact by text or email regularly, but we also have status calls each week. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're responsive, creative, and critical thinkers. They also provide valuable input and feedback on areas they feel could improve the end product. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

While their creative is very good overall, there's room for improvement in their media planning and buying services.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be open to their feedback when it comes to ways to potentially improve your brand strategy or certain creative elements because that's what they excel at. 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're good about meeting deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide a lot of value.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They excel creatively, but could use a little improvement on the media planning side.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Campaign for University

“I was impressed by the team’s ability to understand our position and think strategically.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
May 2013 - May 2015
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communications led a three-year branding campaign to promote local visibility for a university. The team handled media strategy, content creation, ad production, and ad buying and placement.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Dave Macmillan
Former Director of Communications, University of San Francisco
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to their strategically provoking headlines, the campaign generated a significant amount of audience engagement. Site traffic to the admissions page also increased with each marketing flight. Hub Strategy distinguished themselves from competitors with their strong copy and flexible team.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there. 

I’m the former vice president for marketing communications at the University of San Francisco.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication? 

We were planning to conduct a brand campaign to promote our university but learned that we weren’t as well-known in our city as we’d thought. Hub Strategy and Communication came onboard to help develop and execute a creative strategy for our venture.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement? 

Hub Strategy and Communication supported a branding campaign to reinforce our university’s local presence. It was a three-year venture with seasonal flights in the fall and spring. They initially presented a summary of our position in the marketplace before pitching a creative and media strategy. Once we approved, they developed all of the creative materials, including both digital and out-of-home pieces.

The ad campaign used attention-grabbing headlines that positioned our university as a top academic institution while also emphasizing our past Jesuit values. For each flight, the team would develop 50 catchy headlines, out of which we would shortlist about 10. They’d then manage the production, media buying, and ad placement. There were billboards, bus sides, news racks, taxi tops, and light pole banners as well as digital ads on Facebook and the like.  

What is the team composition?  

Overall, we interacted with about 10 resources, including an account manager, a lead designer, and a design team. We also worked directly with DJ (CEO, Hub Strategy and Communications) who is an amazing copywriter. To keep their overhead low, they maintained a smaller staff and managed a number of freelancers to work on our headlines. 

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication? 

We wanted to find a local agency because our primary target audiences were the citizens and business communities in San Francisco. Out of the eight proposals we received, three agencies came in to present. Hub Strategy and Communications was newer and smaller than the other more established candidates, but they understood our position, and their strategy fit us. The quality of their writing set them apart as well. 

How much have you invested with them? 

We spent between $1 million–$5 million. 

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work lasted from May 2013–May 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

The campaign created a real buzz in San Francisco, which greatly improved our visibility with our target audiences. We conducted a post-test survey to gauge people’s awareness and familiarity with our university and compared it to our pretest results. While the sample sizes weren’t exactly the same, the results indicated that our visibility (i.e., unaided awareness) jumped around 15%. Our website also saw increased visits, especially to our admissions page.

In terms of anecdotal feedback, we received several positive comments from our alumni, faculty, and staff. Even our current students were very proud of the campaign. A couple of our headlines were a little controversial and attracted the occasional critique. However, we wanted to be a little bit risky and edgy to catch people’s attention, and we got it.

How did Hub Strategy and Communication perform from a project management standpoint?

Hub Strategy and Communication managed the campaign well, meeting most deadlines. The account person, in particular, was very capable and kept in touch constantly. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

I was impressed by the team’s ability to understand our position and think strategically, which is also evident in other campaigns they’ve done. On top of that, their copywriting was exceptional. 

Are there any areas they could improve? 

No, I can’t think of anything. We would’ve loved to continue working with them, but we had a special budget allocation. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers? 

Make sure you’re talking to DJ since he’ll be the one guiding the strategy.

5.0
Overall Score This campaign was one of the highlights of my career.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There were some issues that came down to the wire.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not the least expensive, but they gave us the value we were looking for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them to several people. They saw a great increase in clients as a result of this campaign.

Brand Repositioning & Advertising Strategy for Major Insurance Provider

"The team put together a superior creative product that earned numerous industry awards and media attention."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
May 2012 - Apr. 2014
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication executed messaging and advertising campaigns for brand repositioning. The team created a tagline and produced television spots and digital game content for targeted audiences.

The Reviewer
 
5,000 - 10,000 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Susan Deleeuw
Former Sr. Director of Brand Marketing, Blue Shield of California
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The exceptional results generated praise from internal and external stakeholders. Brand awareness increased as a result. Agile and efficient, the team led a cutting-edge campaign while reacting quickly to ongoing decision-making. Expect to achieve impressive results with sufficient preparation.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the senior director of brand and advertising for Blue Shield of California, a major health insurance company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We hired them to support our brand repositioning and advertising efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, we reviewed our current customer portfolio and the areas of expansion from a business strategy standpoint. We then did quantitative and qualitative customer research, and shared that data with Hub Strategy and Communication. Next, the team generated a new tagline and introduced it to the market with a mass media advertising campaign. They produced over 10 television spots and dozens of digital assets for social marketing. The partnership focused on the message architecture for the overall brand and individual product portfolios. Advertising targeted Medicare customers, singles, young families, and those with PPO and health maintenance organization plans.

What is the team composition?

The core team comprised eight people including the head of account services and a variety of production resources.

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We had an introductory meeting with the team. Having extensive experience with a variety of brands, Hub Strategy and Communication was able to bring a fresh perspective to health insurance advertising. We then gave them a test project and were pleased with the results.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent nearly $3.5 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in May of 2012 and the project finished in April 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Overall, the platform was wonderful for our work with hospitals and medical professionals. The results resonated internally as well as externally—an important metric in our category. Our senior leadership said it was the best work they’d seen. Likewise, brand awareness and brand favorability increased.

How did Hub Strategy and Communication perform from a project management standpoint?

The team was incredibly responsive and helped us get into new spaces, such as digital game content. They focused on areas we hadn’t traditionally been in due to our category’s conservative nature.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their speed to market was noteworthy, even with our last-minute directions. The team put together a superior creative product that earned numerous industry awards and media attention. Hub Strategy and Communication was a great team to work with. They were efficient and agile, when we had to pivot quickly on social media.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I loved the partnership and would work with them again in a heartbeat. I've recommended the team to colleagues because they ’re great.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

The better the client’s brief, the more likely the client will achieve stellar results in the market.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Awareness for Computer Networking Company

"From a creative standpoint, their sharp, clever ideas made them stand out from others in their industry."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Aug. - Oct. 2017
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication created a marketing campaign strategy to support brand visibility. They managed the execution and optimization of the efforts, including video production and advertising.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Michael Hakkert
VP of Corporate Marketing, Silver Peak Systems, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The campaigns contributed to the business earning substantial increases in user engagement with their content. The click-through rates and video-completion rates have been substantially higher than industry averages. The Hub Strategy and Communication team’s innovation made them a strong partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of corporate marketing for Silver Peak Systems, a networking company in the technology business. I’m responsible for all brand communication, positioning, and advertising campaigns.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We’re a small company trying to compete with larger, established technology firms, so we needed help increasing our brand awareness. We wanted to determine an investment level that made sense for our efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

To begin the project, Hub Strategy and Communication helped us think of concepts that encompass our brand and vision. Once we had a few solid ideas, they presented six creative ideas and approaches for our project. We worked together to pick the most effective option.

From there, their team put together a campaign strategy to widely communicate our message. They created several tactics for us to take advantage of. Ranging from videos to native advertising, their team produced all the creative assets for us. They managed the media execution and optimization for our campaigns.

What is the team composition?

We worked with Mike (President, Hub Strategy and Communication). They also provided a dedicated project manager who worked with us on a daily basis. There were others involved who helped us understand our targets, added value to our creative processes, and gave us strong ideas.   

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication?

I prepared an RFP and engaged four different agencies. I included Hub Strategy and Communication because they had done work for me at my previous job. Ultimately, their team seemed like they could best fulfill my need to compete with larger companies because of their insight and creative work.

How much have you invested with them?

Overall, we’ve spent close to $3 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between August 2017–October 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They did a phenomenal job for us. Our click-through rate for the campaign materials is around 6%, compared to the industry benchmark average of 2%. The percentage of times viewers completed watching our videos contributed to our 80% video-completion rate, significantly higher than the industry norm. The interaction rate with our advertisements is close to 60 seconds, which we’re thrilled with.

How did Hub Strategy and Communication perform from a project management standpoint?

They handled the project very well. We received detailed proposals and timelines from their team. Along with multiple touchpoints per week, we also had biweekly calls to track progress and review success metrics. They were diligent in working with our media partners to optimize engagement rates and kept us informed throughout.

What did you find most impressive about them?

From a creative standpoint, their sharp, clever ideas made them stand out from others in their industry. Also, if they didn’t have the in-house expertise, they used a wide network of professionals to ensure we got the best talent for a project. In our experience, most agencies haven't offered such a well-rounded campaign that catches attention and drives engagement.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of any area where they didn’t exceed my expectations for the engagement.

4.5
Overall Score They were a pleasure to work with. They made an investment in our success and it showed.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If there was ever a delay, they over-communicated with us, but they almost always were on target.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Although they aren’t the least expensive option, the clever, creative work was well worth it.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’m impressed with their ability to translate creative input into their deliverables.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them numerous times to colleagues and organizations who need a nimble team.

Marketing Campaign for Cloud-based Camera Manufacturer

"They have an incredibly good understanding of who your customer is, how to reach them, and how to talk to them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
June 2012 - Jan. 2014
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communication provided print and digital marketing to raise awareness for a new iOT device. Their work alsdo included TV and radio ad production, media buying, and creative development.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
VP of Marketing at Dropcam
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Hub suggested focusing on location-based marketing, which led to clearer results and more nuanced analytics. They took the time to get familiar with the product. Although their production costs were high, their social media marketing led to an increase in brand awareness.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I worked for a cloud-based camera manufacturer.

What is your position?

I was the vice president of marketing and ran all the marketing services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Hub Strategy and Communication?

We were in a relatively new category, and we were trying to drive awareness of our product, which was a home monitoring camera and cloud service.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

We worked with them on creative development in media planning and buying. They were our agency of record for essentially all of our advertising, creative, and offline spend.

How did you come to work with Hub Strategy and Communication?

When I was hired as marketing director, my first task was hiring a new agency of record for the company. I knew of Hub's work, and had been impressed with what I'd seen, so I proactively called them up to participate in the RFP [request for proposal] process. It turned out that DJ, the creative director, was actually a Dropcam customer. It was fortuitous because he had used and knew the product.

We met with them and got their pitch on what they would do for our business. We just felt like it was a great fit, in terms of their creative. I also felt like their team had a real appreciation for our product, understood the customer needs, and how to really bring that to life in the creative.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Including the media, it was probably somewhere around $5 million to $7 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them up until our acquisition by Google in January 2014, and then a little beyond. After that, the account transitioned to Google's agencies but, all in all, it was probably 18 months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We attributed a lot of Dropcam's marketing successes to Hub. One of the things they suggested that really helped us was to have a strong geographic focus for our campaigns. Their argument was, "If we use specific geos, we can really get the frequency and reach that we're looking for, and we can also do a better job of tracking performance in those markets." When we turned on our campaign in Seattle, we saw a very significant lift in our sales in Seattle, both direct on our site and through Amazon, and then ultimately when we turned on retail through our retails partners.

We also did a project with them in Canada. We did a radio and TV campaign in Vancouver, and we saw a three-times lift in retail sales in that market. In each market that we turned on Hub's campaign, we saw a significant increase in sales, and we were able to track that across channels. Our engagement with customers through social media also significantly increased with Hub, people talking about us and tweeting about us, some even talking about our advertising. We thought that was successful. People were actually emailing us and tweeting at us, telling us to post our TV and radio ads because they thought they were so funny. That's the dream in marketing.

What distinguishes Hub Strategy and Communication from other providers?

I think there are two things. One, I just think their creative is clever, and the quality of the creative is excellent. The real thing for me is, I think that they have an incredibly good understanding of who your customer is, how to reach them, and how to talk to them. I felt like they did a great job of understanding who is behind your our product, and then really targeting both the creative and the media buying strategy to that.

Also, just really recognizing who we were as a startup. I felt like they were just a great partner and an extension of our team. They understood our customer, understood our business, used our product, and built great creative to address that. All in all, they built up a great amount of trust from me. I've worked with a lot of agencies, and they don't necessarily take the time to immerse themselves in your product and your business. These guys did.

I think that Hub was a big part of Dropcam's success. From the time that I joined to the time that they were acquired, it really raised the sales, awareness, and profile and Dropcam became a much better-known brand. I think Hub was instrumental in that. I can't say enough good things about them.

Is there anything Hub Strategy and Communication could have improved or done differently?

I felt like their digital production was way too expensive for me, so I ended up doing that myself. I felt like I could do it for a quarter of the cost, and it would probably be 80 percent as good.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We were a startup...because they're expensive, but they're also good.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer them all the time.

Marketing Campaign for Professional Sports Organization

"With Hub, we've won the National Sports Forum's ADchievement Award, which is the highest award in our industry."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2009 - May 2017
Project summary: 

Hub Strategy and Communications created several major advertising campaigns. They managed brand strategy, created content, and produced ads for digital and print channels. This review was updated by the client on March 11, 2019. 

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Oakland, CA
Jim Leahey
Former VP of Marketing and Sales, Oakland Athletics
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The campaigns won multiple prestigious awards and gave the brand a strong market position. Through their efficient, flexible workflow, Hub Strategy and Communications delivered innovative material and exceptional results for several years.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

I work for a professional sports team.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I'm the vice president of sales and marketing. That encompasses three main areas – our corporate sponsorship sales, ticket sales, and outbound marketing activity, so promotions, events, and advertising.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Hub Strategy and Communication?

I think Hub has been with us for five or six years, and the business challenge for sports teams is pretty simple. It's primarily ticket-driven – you want to get as many people to the ballpark as possible. There's some long-term goals that go along with that obviously: building the brand, creating brand identity, generating interest in the team, identification with the culture and organization, and all the things that go along with it. When we first began talking with Hub, I'd say that was five years ago, around 2009 or 2010, the team was down, the economy was down, and there were some other headwinds we were facing. It was a time when we really needed help getting people interested in coming to the stadium.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

I think it's fairly traditional, although some sports teams don't do as much TV-oriented work as we do. We have a long history with fun, irreverent, high-impact TV commercials using our players. They do all of our TV production for our commercials: writing, production, editing, and so forth. We do about eight of those in the preseason and those run throughout the course of the year. Some of them are brand-oriented, some of them are promotional oriented, and some of them are a combination. We also do typically film one or two more in season, depending on what topics are hot.

In addition, they produce our print advertising, although obviously that is quickly shifting to digital. Generally, the campaign has been running fairly similarly for the past few years, the tagline and the general theme of the campaign, albeit with some changes to the look and feel of the execution.

What was your process for selecting Hub Strategy and Communication?

We had been with another agency for a few years. That was the agency I sort of inherited when I came to the club about eight years ago. After a very successful term with them, we just decided it was a good time to open up the account and consider a change, especially with some of the business challenges we were facing.

We collected a group of agencies to bid, pitched the business, and I think Hub came to us through a friend of mine that worked in a digital advertising, SEO [search engine optimization]-type of business. I was asking him who some of his clients were, and he put me in touch with one of the guys in his firm, and they recommended Hub.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project?

Their quality is excellent, and we've been very happy with the results. Otherwise, we would not continue to use them. 

There are a lot of factors that affect attendance in sports, so not all of our gains in ticket sales can be attributed positively or negatively to your ad campaign. But, in the five years we've been working with Hub, our attendance has increased every year.

Do you have any statistics or metrics on the project?

With Hub, we've won the National Sports Forum's ADchievement Award, which is the highest award in our industry, and have gotten second place a couple of times. In our work with Hub, we've won the TV category a couple of times as well as the outdoor category various times. There's a whole host of awards that we've won through the NSF ADchievement.

Hub has also entered our work into the Telly Awards and the American Advertising Awards, and a bunch of other awards that we've won. So, from a creative point of view, from the advertising industry, we've won many, many awards. I think we're recognized within the sports world as being one of the most creative, high-impact organization in terms of sports advertising. We're not afraid to go out on a limb, and hub definitely supports and strengthens us in that.

Is there anything unique or special about Hub Strategy and Communication that really makes them stand out?

First of all, agencies are really the people, and Hub has a great core of people led by DJ [O'Neil], the founder and creative director. One of the unique things with their structure, which I'm sure they would explain to you better, is that it's a relatively small agency, so you can get the personal attention from them, that you might not get from a much larger agency. Yet, because they structure themselves like a hub, they have a network of resources that they can call in when we need something special or specific. I think that also helps keep the work fresh because they have different writers and creatives they use, and that's important.

A final point is because DJ is both head of the business and the creative director, it allows for a smoother line of communication between the business and creative side of things. We're not dealing with outside people who get brought into the process late, and who may not understand the strategy, or it may be more difficult to get them to adjust on the fly, or anything like that.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

No. We're very pleased with Hub. They've been great to us and a really good partner.

Updated Review

This review was updated on March 11, 2019, by the client. The original star ratings were: Overall - 5, Quality - 5, Cost - 4, NPS - 5. New content is below. 

Please describe your company and your position there.

I was the VP of marketing and sales for the Oakland Athletics for 10 seasons.

For what projects/services did your company hire Hub Strategy and Communication?

We hired Hub Strategy and Communications as our advertising agency.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to create a unique brand personality that generated loyalty among fans and ultimately drove interest and ticket sales.

How did you select this vendor?

We collected a short list of agencies that were talented enough to deliver the world-class branding we desired, but small enough to give us the attention we wanted. We created a competition where agencies pitched their ideas. Although we had several good entries, Hub Strategy and Communications understood what we were trying to accomplish and delivered the creative energy we sought.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

They handled brand positioning, strategy, and identity. They also created content, including campaigns and taglines, and scripted, produced, and edited TV spots. They wrote content, including headlines, for outdoor, digital, print, and select social media ads.

What was the team composition?

The team included the founder, creative director, design director, account manager, and support staff.

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We achieved much together, winning the most prestigious advertising and sports industry awards. We had a clear and unique market position. Our team exceeded our 2014 goal of 2 million attendees.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

They were outstanding partners with excellent communication and open leadership. We had a complex production challenge in dealing with professional athletes and tight, uncertain schedules.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

A strategic partner, the team understood our needs. This wasn't advertising for the sake of advertising; their design and production got results. We appreciated their streamlined communication and the freshness that they brought, year after year. Their formal systems buttoned up production, avoiding bureaucracy and effectively eliminating layers in the creative process.

Are there any areas for improvement?

We were satisfied. It was challenging to create fresh content for eight seasons, but they did a great job.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    That's a tougher one. I think they do well in comparison with other agencies we've worked with, or who have pitched the business. You're always looking for more efficiencies from anyone but, overall, we're very satisfied with the cost aspect as well.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer