HY Connect acquires Chicago marketing firm

HY Connect, an independent marketing and communications firm with offices in Milwaukee and Chicago, has acquired lonelybrand, a digital marketing agency operating in Chicago.

The move augments the HY Connect’s social media and content marketing service, while supporting its rapid path of expansion.

“At HY Connect, we’re focused on developing integrated solutions driven by strategic insight, artistry and technology, resulting in metrics driven campaigns that help our clients build their brands,” said HY Connect president Dave Sheehan. “Our acquisition of lonelybrand, combined with our own award-winning social media offering, further solidifies our foothold as a top-notch social media and content marketing resource, and our ability to offer best-in-class stand-alone service with the convenience of a full-service agency under one roof.”

Lonelybrand’s robust digital ecosystem first caught the eyes of HY Connect’s leadership. Pioneers in the process, lonelybrand perfected the art of creating, sharing and monitoring engaging content that lives and breathes across multiple online platforms including social spaces, media outlet sites, industry news sites and of course their own website.

Nicholas Kinports, lonelybrand’s founder, joins HY Connect as vice president and director of social media. He is joined by the rest of his lonelybrand team.

“As we became more and more familiar with lonelybrand, not only for their outstanding services, but for their ability to use their strong digital presence to garner business, we saw great potential in bringing them aboard to augment our already robust social media offering,” said Troy Peterson, HY Connect chief executive officer. “Ironically, considering our future social media partnership, we initially contacted Nick through LinkedIn.”

“While working for an agency my vision for digital offerings was evolving faster than the agency’s capabilities,” Kinports said, “I saw an opportunity to do more and to do it better – that’s when I decided to start lonelybrand…I see this acquisition as a win-win; it allows us to provide all of the HY Connect services to our current loyal client base and at the same time we will be able to take our social media marketing practice to the agency’s national and global brands.”

In the past four years, HY Connect has nearly doubled in size and income/billings. The addition of lonelybrand is projected to add $5 million to HY Connect’s bottom line, as the company expects 2013 billings to break $155 million.

This is HY Connect’s second acquisition in two years. The company acquired Houlihan Madison Most last spring.

“Our clients are taking notice of the need for content marketing and the influence social media platforms can have on their business, and now with our combined talents, we’ll be able to offer a new level of support that encourages overall success. We know great work will come from this collaboration,” Sheehan said.

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