Since founding Jacob York Presents, entrepreneur and promotions guru Jacob York has built his brand on principles of integrity, business-savvy and outside-of-the-box thinking. Having produced major events over the past ten years in places like Cancun, Miami, Atlanta and New York, the promotions guru has learned the dos and don’ts of the industry. And he’s actually done his part to write some of the rules that the game still lives by. Having started promoting as far back as high school (when he and his older brother would pass out flyers for movie viewings at their dad’s event hall), York understands people and he understands why so many others only find limited success attempting to do what he’s done. “I did it at a time when the business didn’t quite exist and we were writing the book on it,” York explains.
Having worked in the music industry, York was able to maximize his experiences as he transitioned into a different field. “The re-branding side of that was a lot easier because I had years of being on labels managing artists and I had a lot of relationships — with venues, with talent, with sponsors — so it wasn’t really difficult for me to take the promotions business seriously,” he says. “A lot of people in our business are very insecure. They have this perception that there can only be one guy on the block. I admire working with young people and tapping into people’s strengths and weaknesses. A lot of promoters that come in don’t want to work with other people. And they wonder why they’re not making any money.”
For York, everything has to be balanced. While some throw parties for ego gratification, he makes sure that the bottom line is never forgotten. “We operate as a business. It’s checks and balances. The most important thing to me is the experience and the profit margin. What’s the point of putting 2000 people in a room and making no money doing it?” he says. “Red flags are people that think money is promotion. That’s a red flag to me immediately. I don’t go into business with them. You can look at their Twitter page, their Instagram page, and see their influence. [I don’t work with] just anybody that says, ‘Hey, I have money, do business with me?’ I have money; I don’t have to do business with you. It’s about what you’re bringing to the pie. None of that matters to me.”
“I’ve [had moments] in life where I looked at success as what I achieved, but now I don’t,” says York. “It’s not physical for me anymore. It’s about legacy for me now.”
“I always liked building things. To really sit back and put together a weekend and watch it come to fruition — that’s the satisfaction for me,” York adds.