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Issa Rae Launches Management Company to Boost Creators’ Brand Deals and Address Pay Inequality

Issa Rae Launches Management Company to Boost Creators' Brand Deals and Address Pay Inequality

Issa Rae has taken a significant step forward in her mission to empower creators with her latest entrepreneurial venture, Ensemble.

The new management company is designed to help creators forge lasting and impactful relationships with major corporations and secure lucrative brand deals, according to a report from Business Insider.

Ensemble, which is part of Rae’s expanding business empire, includes a network of 50 content creators such as Mark Phillips, Drew Afualo, and Leo González.

These creators are already making strides in aligning themselves with reputable companies like Pepsi, Chili’s, and Popeyes, setting the stage for long-term partnerships.

Issa Rae is not working alone in this endeavor. She is joined by co-founder and president Ian Schafer, head of revenue Matt Berger, and head of revenue operations Keith Lee, all of whom bring a wealth of experience in advertising.

Together, the team focuses on helping creators package themselves effectively to attract substantial brand deals.

Montrel McKay, president of development and production at Rae’s studio Hoorae, emphasized the unique approach Ensemble takes. “The proposition is that we have deeper relationships with the partners,” McKay explained. “We’re going to teach creators how to sell media to these brands and serve their audience in meaningful ways.”

Ensemble not only assists established creators but also supports emerging talents who are building their audiences and aiming for profitable sponsorships. Schafer highlighted this as an “evolution of the next generation of talent discovery,” noting the shift from viewing digital content as a minor league to recognizing its major league potential.

The company also prioritizes equity and inclusion, seeking to bridge the pay gap between white creators and creators of color. By working with major companies like Pepsi from the outset, Ensemble aims to challenge traditional spending patterns and drive cultural impact.

Ensemble adds to Rae’s extensive portfolio of ventures, which includes Hoorae Media, the talent management firm ColorCreative, the marketing company Fête, and the audio platform Raedio. Through these initiatives, Rae continues to pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous creative industry.


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