AfterShock Deploys Its Army of Direct Market Ambassadors

by James Ferguson

AfterShock Comics has been hard at work recruiting and training the first wave of the AfterShock Army. The first nine team members have been announced, with plans to grow to at least 30 brand ambassadors in 15 regions across North America. Each one will work one-on-one with comic shops in their communities to open better lines of communication between the publisher and the retailer, along with maximizing opportunities to increase sales and build business with the titles coming from AfterShock.

AfterShock Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Joe Pruett says:

Shortly after founding AfterShock a little over four years ago, I personally visited more than 80 stores to establish a dialogue. In our first two years, we’ve reached out to close to 300 stores in this way and the information we’re able to share with each other has proven invaluable to our growth. That’s what we’re looking to replicate with this program.

This is a pretty ambitious and inspiring program. It shows AfterShock’s commitment to the direct market and its efforts to help it grow. Plus, it’s a pretty cool thing for an ambassador to have on their resume.
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Steve Rotterdam added:

More and more, we’re seeing that success for a publisher like us – one that’s been surgically aggressive in bringing fresh creator-owned content to market – is reliant on relationships at the shop level. No two comic shops are exactly alike – even ones owned by the same retailer. That’s why we sought out service-oriented ambassadors who were as good at listening as they were at promoting.

Introductions will be made between the ambassadors and stores in their regions this week and AfterShock folks will serve as support. Here are the first nine recruits:

  • Chris La Torre – Southern California
  • Bill Noftz – Seattle, Washington
  • Stacy Lott – Southern California
  • Ben Freeman – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Matt Rector – Northern Virginia/Washington DC
  • Daniel Kibodeaux – Pacific Northwest
  • Jean Grey – Central Florida
  • Tony White – Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Ed Catto – Central New York

Senior Retailer Relations Manager RuthAnn Thompson says:

Being a legitimate comics fan was a primary requirement. Knowledge, passion and charisma were also traits we were looking for. But connection to the community was also critical.

I saw Thompson speak about this on the Vulture Presents: The Business of Comics panel at NYCC and it’s some interesting stuff. I’m very curious how this will all pan out. Recruitment is an ongoing initiative so if you want to learn more and sign up, you can do so at the AfterShock website.

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