Current helped MrBeast and Airrack build their careers. Now he’s looking to fund his next big star.

Want to learn the ins and outs of influencer marketing? Just ask the guy who gave MrBeast his first contract with a brand.

adam hadi was working for the Quidd digital marketplace when he struck a $10,000 deal with an up-and-coming creator from North Carolina. Now he is vice president of marketing in a banking company Fluent, but he still uses his innovative approach to influencer relations. As MrBeast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) the dish, Hadi is a “cheat code” for any brand that hires him. He is friends with many creators and has a deep understanding of their ever-expanding “economy”.

Current, which attracts millennials and Gen Z moneymakers, recruited Hadi in 2019 as he advanced into the world of influencer marketing. It wasn’t long before the executive turned to his pal Beastly in hopes of securing another marquee deal. Donaldson became an investor in Current last year and has worked closely with the company ever since.

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Looking at Hadi’s presentations to his top partners, we can see how he negotiates the influencer marketing field. He wants to go beyond the simple sponsorships you can find all over YouTube and TikTok. Its goal is not just to create branded content, but to “enable great content” through payments to videographers who come from “humble means”. In Hadi’s first deal with Donaldson, the $10,000 paid to the creator directly funded a heartwarming MrBeast video in which he donated his sponsorship earnings to a homeless man.

By the time Hadi arrived at Current, MrBeast was a much bigger deal than it had been two years ago, but Donaldson could still use his corporate connections to fund some amazing videos. The banking company was the official sponsor of a clip in which Donaldson challenged his fans to steal a safe.

This type of brand-creator relationship pays off for both parties. The creator avoids the “monetization rush,” as Hadi puts it, by ensuring that its content operation and financial situation evolve at a similar pace. For Donaldson, the current partnership is “not just a brand deal, but a tool” that can enable growth and audience engagement. And the brand gets a boost because its referrals become more than just reading standard ads.

This strategy has caught the attention of Eric ‘Airrack’ Decker (pictured above) as he was looking for the money he needed to film a new series of videos. “I first heard about Current from a friend and reached out to them when I was looking for a brand to help finance my Logan Paul Couch series,” Decker said. Tubular filter. “Almost every other brand didn’t see my vision and weren’t willing to give me a chance, but Current understood what I was trying to do and helped me. This deal literally changed my career on Youtube. “

In search of the next generation

Hadi’s strategy works so well because he is so well connected to the creator community. He was able to forge relationships with Donaldson and Decker while they were still starting out on YouTube, and because he cared for them, they’re looking forward to working with him at Current. This led to a unique partnership between Decker and Hadi that gave the executive a chance to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of influencers.

Decker is the force behind Creator now, a digital classroom that educates newcomers on the ins and outs of the online video industry. The course is divided into “seasons”, with 300 creators participating in each. For the final season, Decker tapped Hadi and brought him in as a guest speaker who could talk about the experience of influencer marketing.

“Adam wasn’t afraid to tell creators in our community when their embeds needed work and why he felt that way. This honest and blunt feedback is what makes Creator Now so special,” Decker said. Tubular filter. “No one is here to give/receive participation trophies or to hear that their videos are amazing when they aren’t and Adam has done a great job teaching our community what brands want to see when they are. partner with creators and how to succeed when you have the chance to partner with a brand like Current.

Hadi also practiced what he preaches by turning his Creator Now appearance into a sponsored content opportunity. Current pledged $5,000 to the student who could make the best branded video. The turned out to be LeRealJaredwhich gained the backing of the banking company while demonstrating how these transactions can be mutually beneficial if both participants go above and beyond the bare minimum.

For Creator Now students — who are “very serious about becoming full-time creators,” according to Decker — the benefits of a conversation with Hadi are clear. But the executive also benefited from his guest appearance. He felt it was a “privilege” to talk to “incredibly talented and incredibly dedicated creators”, and he was also able to “get into their careers early”, just like he did with the Creator Now founder . “We really care about our perception as a brand within the creator community,” Hadi said. Tubular filter.

Roadmap for an “undervalued” industry

According to Hadi, any marketer who wants to get the most out of their influencer campaign should pursue these personal relationships. They should be “building things for the creators and for their fans” rather than giving them the money and stopping there. Brands don’t always heed this advice, and those that don’t underestimate designers and overpay them, says Hadi. “Most brands don’t leverage as much as they could,” Hadi said. tubefilter.

So what does that extra leverage look like? To find it, you have to go beyond the videos themselves and look at the full picture of digital media. Donaldson’s pact with Current has resulted in exclusive merchandise and surprise giveaways, integrating the brand into the community it serves. Fans don’t just see Current as a name tied to sponsorship; the banking brand seeks to promote the culture from which it benefits.

This philosophy is on display in the latest sponsorship deal announced by Current. The company’s partnership with FaZe-Clan will unlock financial opportunities for video game creators while encouraging these stars to “give back” $250 to their fans. While some brands rely on relationships with influencers, Current is also building its status with individual followers.

It’s Hadi to a T. He’s still looking for the little guy and thinking about how he can support their next big move while advancing his company’s motives and agenda. Even as he watches his partners grow into YouTube’s biggest stars, he keeps thinking about how they can get even bigger. Decker said he wanted Current to send him into space one day. “That would be pretty cool,” he said Tubular filter. “Adam, we can make this happen, can’t we?”

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