San Diego-based Marketing Design Group (MDG) has been purchased by Kimberly Hardcastle, formerly the executive vice president of MDG, and Vincent Polito, president of event management firm VP International (VPI).
Hardcastle declined to disclose the terms of the sale.
MDG will remain focused on its core competencies of event marketing, according to Hardcastle, but one of her central goals is to attract more business by raising the company’s public profile. In effect, the partnership with Polito has already done that.
“I feel like the agency has been flying under the radar for quite some time now,” Hardcastle says. “Before I began at the agency, there was little to no new business development being done, so all of our business was coming through word of mouth referrals. Having Vinnie Polito on board as a partner is a critical step. He has a very high profile in the industry and is very well respected for his work.”
MDG has served as the marketing arm of VPI-managed shows in the past and will continue to do so going forward. Hardcastle believes the relationship will expand as Polito and VPI begin work on more shows in the coming months.
Hardcastle, who began at MDG 2001, first expressed interest in purchasing the company five years ago.
“It’s been in the works for awhile now,” she says. “Denise (Paccione) founded the company 35 years ago and it was very important for her to maintain its legacy.”
Paccione will remain with the company as chief creative officer.
“Kimberly has been MDG’s driving force for many years,” Paccione said in a statement. “Stepping into the presidency will bring to the forefront her expertise and heartfelt commitment to helping clients.”