BEVERLY HILLS (News4usonline) – Melissa McAvoy has had years of experience of schmoozing and connecting name and luxury brands to clients like professional athletes and celebrities.
So, it’s no surprise that after padding her resume working for and alongside high-end luxury vehicles like Rolls Royce, McAvoy has transported her marketing and brand development skillset into being her own boss.
“I started doing this about five or six years ago,” McAvoy said in a phone interview. “My background is in PR (public relations) and marketing, and business development. And I was in the luxury space as well as far as events with Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Lamborghini. That’s when I transitioned into doing the celebrity, professional athlete gifting experiences.”
McAvoy seems to have found her niche with the luxury brand business. After a lengthy career promoting brands for companies like Chic Metropolitan Magazine, CSQ Magazine, and TGIC, McAvoy is the founder of the Luxury Experience & Co., a brand gifting experience for celebrities and professional athletes.
“I look at the events as more of business development for the celebrities and athletes, but then also the brand,” said McAvoy. “Athletes, celebrities and influencers are looking to partner and work with different brands, especially during [Covid-19] when there were no events. It’s harder for them to connect and meet with brands and me talking with the right people with brands. But then also on the brand side, is that the brands had the same issues but on the other side, trying to filter through and trying to connect with the right talent that each brand was targeting.”
So far this year, the frenetic pace of the business has been almost like a smorgasbord for McAvoy and Luxury Experience & Co. With Covid-19 numbers dissipating and counties and the state of California opening up more and doing away with required mask mandates, entities like Luxury Experience & Co are beginning to flourish as they did pre-pandemic.
As they gear up for their Oscars Gift Lounge, McAvoy and Luxury Experience & Co. hosted two events in February. First up on the plate was a pre-Super Bowl gift lounge at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Brands such as Crown Point Vineyards and Winery, NEFT Vodka, Major League Socks, Green Haven, Farans Fine Art, and Snoop Dogg’s Indoggo Gin, among others, made their way into the hands of Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers, New England Patriots linebacker Matt Judon, and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver RayRay McCloud.
“LE & Co was excited to partner with the Petersen Automotive Museum to celebrate the Super Bowl coming to Los Angeles,” McAvoy said. “We celebrated the Super Bowl wrapped in the most amazing venue which includes a historic collection of the automobile history.”
Two weeks later, the Luxury Experience & Co. and McAvoy were back at it again with a gift lounge dedicated to women and health and wellness in an event that took place at Spring Place in Beverly Hills. Yes! Athletics, Protege Footwear, Dawn of the Earth Tea, Nu Estetica Spa, and other noted brands were busy introducing themselves with former Olympian Kim Glass and Latin Grammy winner Pauline Aguirre.
Dr. Jen Welter was also among the attendees at this event. Welter made history in 2015 when she became the first woman to be tabbed as an NFL coach when she was tapped by the Arizona Cardinals to help out with the linebackers as an intern. Welter said she attended the gift lounge because she thought it would be a great networking forum for her.
“I have friends who do great business out here in Los Angeles,” Welter said. “I love to support their local businesses and all the great things out here. I think it’s the best way to get to discover new talent. We coaches, we’re all about discovering and collecting talent. If I can get some local talent that’s what I’m going to do. And so it’s really fun to meet all these entrepreneurs and see their passion close up and personal.”
OCA energy drink hit the retail market in 2020. In 2021, the plant-based drink was distributed into more than 2,000 Kroger stores nationwide. OCA is an example of the top-notch brands that McAvoy and Luxury Experience & Co. are able to attract to these gift lounges for celebrities and professional athletes.
OCA made a huge splash at the Luxury Experience & Co. Celebrity Women’s Health & Wellness Gifting Lounge. OCA Senior Brand Director and co-founder Gabriela Ramírez talked about what’s different about her company from other energy drinks out in the market.
“The most important thing is that we incorporated this with consumers,” said Ramirez. “We sat down with consumers. We learned what they wanted, what they didn’t like about the energy drink industry as they knew it, and we presented a different solution for them. We got a lot of insight from them.”
Each event brings about a different vibe to it. That’s exactly what McAvoy wants. Brands like OCA allow the Luxury Experience & Co. to maximize its value to bridge brands with potential pitchmen or pitchwomen.
“Every event we try to create a new experience,” said McAvoy. “My biggest thing is that I never want to feel like they’re walking into a banquet room.”
With much of the world going dark during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, McAvoy kept the Luxury Experience & Co. going, holding gifting lounges virtually.
“We would work with 15 to 20 brands and we were able to put together our gift boxes and ship the gift boxes out to the talent,” McAvoy said. “So then the talent, instead of being on sight, they were posting on their social media. They’re unboxing and tagging all the brands and talking about the experience.”
Now that things are back live again, McAvoy is ecstatic.
“[it’s] like an elephant just went off my shoulders,” McAvoy said. “The biggest thing for me is the interaction, the relationship. You build these relationships…it’s exciting to see. It’s one thing to do a virtual gifting [lounge], but when the brands and the talent are actually meeting face-to-face in building that relationship, it’s just a whole different animal.”
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, MLB, racial and social justice, civil rights, and HBCUs. Dennis earned a journalism degree from “The Mecca” aka Howard University. “I write on what I am passionate about.”