PR Firm B/HI Acquired by Dolphin Entertainment

Dolphin Entertainment has acquired public relations firm B/HI (formerly Bender/Helper Impact).

B/HI specializes in corporate and product communications programs for interactive gaming, esports, entertainment content and consumer products organizations. As part of the acquisition, B/HI will operate as a division of entertainment PR firm 42West with Dean Bender and Shawna Lynch serving as co-presidents.

Founded in 1986 by Bender, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, B/HI’s clients, past and present, include Amazon Studios, Boat Rocker Media, CBS Home Entertainment, DC Comics, DC Universe, Fandango, Fathom Events, Fox Consumer Products, Fullscreen, Funko, Guinness World Records, HBO Global Licensing, HBO Home Entertainment, Konami, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, Nexon, Rovio Entertainment, Schell Games, Survios, Universal Brand Development, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, as well as esports organizations Immortals, Super League Gaming, Team Liquid, and Tempo Storm.

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Based on its work for the consumer product divisions of the major studios, B/HI developed a public relations specialty for the video game industry and also was an early esports pioneer by representing Major League Gaming and the World Cybergames.

Earlier, B/HI was a key player in the halcyon days of home video, representing a number of studios, including 20th Century Fox, Republic Pictures and MGM.

“The acquisition of B/HI provides a tremendous gateway into the last remaining large vertical of entertainment for our Super Group — video gaming and esports,” Dolphin CEO Bill O’Dowd said in a statement. “Video gamers are celebrities in their own right, and among the most popular social media influencers in the world.  We believe the opportunities to cross-sell services with B/HI will be numerous, as will be the possibilities to create original content and live events. Dean and Shawna are seasoned, well-respected entertainment PR professionals who share our collaborative culture, and we couldn’t be more excited that they and the staff at B/HI have joined the Dolphin family.”

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“It became immediately apparent to Shawna and me that by joining the Dolphin Entertainment Super Group of PR and marketing firms that we can really maximize our current client relationships as well as provide a wealth of uniquely-curated services to prospective clients,” Bender said in a statement. “We’ve always been aware of how dominant 42West is in the entertainment sector of public relations. It’s an honor to join Amanda and her team to be able to supplement and diversify the client roster.”

“Dean and Shawna have built a business with vision and relevance that could not be more at home at 42West,” Amanda Lundberg, CEO of 42West, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled they have chosen to bring B/HI’s valuable expertise in gaming, esports and consumer products to 42West.  This latest addition to the Dolphin collective of agencies will not only benefit existing and new clients but be a key step in our creation of assets.”

Warner Reorganizes PR and Marketing Teams

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group has undergone a reorganization of its public relations and marketing teams, cutting 15 jobs in New York and Los Angeles and promoting some executives, according to reports.

Variety broke the story about the cuts.

Warner is consolidating the marketing and public relations teams under Blair Rich, president of worldwide theatrical and home entertainment marketing, Variety reported, noting that the cuts were not related to the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

The studio is combining domestic and international publicity units under Michelle Slavich, head of global publicity and strategy.

“Back in January, we announced a restructure of our film and home entertainment businesses to enable us to remain competitive while facing an evolving business environment that grows more global every day,” Rich wrote in a memo to staff, Variety reported.

Dana Nussbaum will oversee theatrical media, Deadline reported, and will more closely align it with the home entertainment media unit. As part of the move, Jack Walker has been promoted to SVP, media and digital marketing, home entertainment, reporting to Nussbaum and Jessica Schell, EVP and GM, film at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, according to Deadline. Walker will work with Andrew Hotz, who oversees theatrical digital marketing and media, and Jeff Brown, who oversees home entertainment television, Deadline reported. Walker had previously reported to Schell and Brown.

Lynne Frank, president, international marketing and worldwide planning and operations for Warner Bros. Pictures, will be leaving the studio at the end of the year to pursue new professional opportunities, the studio announced Oct. 23.

Also leaving are EVP of international publicity Lance Volland and Ernie Johnston in promotions and field publicity, according to Deadline.