Flying high

Montreal-based wireless entertainment firm Airborne Entertainment has enjoyed big-league success over the past year.

Montreal-based wireless entertainment firm Airborne Entertainment has enjoyed big-league success over the past year.

In spring, it hired two industry heavyweights. Then in June, Japanese mobile media co Cybird acquired the five-year-old company for $90 million. And the expansion continues with the recent hire of Steve Hardy, the ex-business manager at award-winning mag Maisonneuve, as a creative producer.

Airborne CMO Adam Flick, previously director of marketing at Sony Pictures Mobile and one of the aforementioned heavyweights (the other is Brian McGarvey, VP, partner development and ex-director of marketing and content for Cingular/AT&T Wireless), says mobile entertainment is a huge growth industry, topping $500 million in the U.S. alone. Increasingly, consumers are seeking out ways to personalize and consume content on their cellphones, including games and video. And Airborne, which, in addition to Montreal and L.A. also has offices in Denver and Seattle, is right in the thick of things with clients that include Fox’s Family Guy and Dennis Publications’ Maxim, Blender and Stuff mags.

The next big push for Airborne is the upcoming season of Family Guy. Hardy, who as a creative producer acts as a brand manager of sorts, says that in addition to continuous updates of content on www.familyguymobile.com (downloadable for $2), he and a team of six producers are also churning out content for the show’s new season and DVD release in September. And the first Family Guy downloadable wireless game, called Stewie Griffin 2.0, which follows the dry-humoured talking baby as he rescues his family from a clone, will also be available

in the fall.

Hardy says his new post at Airborne is a natural fit given his media and brand experience at Maisonneuve and his two years at Calgary’s Trigger Communications where he was an account manager on clients such as a handful of dot.coms.