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Since founding Sistole in 2004, Ricardo Leyva has been blazing the trail for what he calls “experiential marketing.” While the industry refers to this practice as below-the-line advertising, Ricardo views this nascent industry segment as a transformative movement.
Always a risk-taker with entrepreneurial instincts, Ricardo left Javeriana University after three semesters as an Industrial Engineering student to act on his enthusiasm for marketing. After working for several brands, he ended up as the General Director of Consumer Products at L’Oreal. He left in 2003 to pursue freelance marketing. He was incredibly successful and the owners of Sancho BBDO, which owns Colombia’s largest portfolio of advertising agencies, offered to partner with him to create a new company.
Experiential marketing is quickly making itself an indispensable component of advertising because of its attractive returns. Sístole has made a business of it: services for outside clients generate the majority of revenue. Coolture marketing accounts for the rest of the company’s revenue through ticket sales, merchandise and corporate sponsorships.
As Sístole has scaled, it has surpassed the reach of a single man’s talents. Ricardo deliberately cultivates a company culture that is process- and team-oriented. Sístole is the rare BTL agency that has the creative discipline and the model required to cross geographic boundaries.
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