HIRING

One iTunes Sensation and Growing: 1st Round

After signing break-out rap artist Sammy Adams, this fledgling record label and entertainment firm is hoping for more wins.
(From left) Sterling Brewster, President of 1st Round Sports; Teague Egan, CEO and Founder; Zack Johnson, President of 1st Round Records. In the background are the original sketches of 1st Round.

Courtesy Company

"Luvi Inc," 1st Round artist recording in the studio.

  • Founders: Teague Egan, 23; Zack Johnson, 23; Sterling Brewster, 24; Riley Egan, 22
  • Year founded: 2009
  • Location: Marina Del Rey, Calif.
  • 2011 Revenue: $645,000
  • 2012 Projected Revenue: $1.5 million
  • Employees: 5
  • Website: 1stRound.com
  • Facebook: Facebook.com/pages/1st-Round/199373456742207
  • Twitter: @1stRound
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Teague Egan isn’t one to walk away from a challenge; if anything, he charges after them. Teague will relentlessly and unapologetically pursue what he wants—a quality that has factored into the success of his young company, 1st Round

1st Round is essentially an entertainment company that reaches into sports, music, and film, founded in 2009 by Teague, Zack Johnson, Sterling Brewster, and Teague’s younger brother, Riley Egan. Early on, the trio made some smart investmentsthey were not only investing in start-ups, but also bought a bunch of Apple sharesthat have yielded great returns. And today, the company's focus is as diverse as the founders' sporatic and ever-changing interests.

With most founders post-graduation (Riley still attends the University of California-Los Angeles), they have been concentrating their efforts into growing the company. And, well, living out their entrepreneurial dreams.

“To me, its all about the adventure,” Teague says. “Its all about creating opportunities for myself and my friends so we can live a life we please.”

From the beginning, 1st Round has done things a little off the cuff. On a whim, while he was still a student at USC, Teague decided he'd launch a sports arm of the company by becoming the youngest certified NFL agent (he has yet to represent any athletes). Another whim: The group decided to create a record label when a rap battle broke out on a Nantucket beach, where they were spending the Fourth of July weekend. They signed artist Sammy Adams shortly after. Adams's Boston's Boy EP went on to debut at No. 1 on the iTunes hip-hop chart in its first week in March 2010.

“We definitely try to create this cool, laid-back culture founded on the principles of winning and fun,” says Teague.

According to Teague, the company brings in revenues of more than $1 million a yearmostly from its music artists and investments. Growth plans include expanding into additional sectors of the entertainment industry. Since Sammy Adams, 1st Round has signed two other artists and is currently in the process of developing an athletic apparel line (expected to be released in 2013) that allegedly will be used to help athletes increase their power, speed, and endurance by incorporating new technologies. Yes, these guys want to do it all.

“We are looking to create a culture where all the aspects of our creativity are involved,” says Teague. “We want to cover the whole spectrumincorporating all levels of the company, with each separate division linked in some way to all the others.”

Right now, the company’s most premature division is film, but Teague says it's one he hopes to grow in the not-too-distant future. The company is working on a television show based on their lives, which they're calling 1st Rounders. Judging by the way they talk, they're already primed for reality TV.

“Our company motto is ‘go higher’ and that’s what we try to do everyday. We try to win the dayeveryday,” says Teague. “That pretty much embodies everything our company is all about.”

For more, check out this video, which was created by and submitted to Inc.com by 1st Round. 

One iTunes Sensation and Growing: 1st Round

After signing break-out rap artist Sammy Adams, this fledgling record label and entertainment firm is hoping for more wins.

IMAGE: Courtesy Company
Last updated: Mar 4, 2012

ABIGAIL TRACY

Abigail Tracy is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.




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