Craig Nobles & Swagg Media: Talks Digital Essentials for Now & The Future

When new digital media influencer Craig Nobles launched Swagg Media back in 2008, little did the company CEO realize how much push back and resistance he would receive. He and his multi-digital platform may have slightly been ahead of its time. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were just coming to light, and terms like “QR Code” and
“Virtual Reality” were relatively new to the common layperson – let alone a reluctant
music industry barely getting to accustomed to MP3 downloads.

Fast forward to today, and Swagg Media is quickly becoming a significant player in the
arenas of digital content and digital delivery systems.

“It’s amazing how things have evolved in just over a decade,” says Nobles. “Back in 2008, I initially partnered with [former] NBA star David West, who played for the
New Orleans’ Hornets at the time. He invested $2 million into the company. Part of why I launched Swagg Media was to explore some of the cutting-edge things I was seeing in digital media. I had been introduced to the QR (Quick Read) Code technology which was rapidly gaining ground in parts of Asia, specifically South Korea.

“It inspired my imagination,” Nobles continues. “What if we partnered with various retailers and product-lines (grocery stores, concert venues, electronics, etc.) things that people need and purchase in their daily lives. Upon purchase, a consumer could activate the QR Code through their mobile phone and get a free Lady Gaga’s Greatest Hits album for example.

“The QR Code is an open source technology. It would become a digital wallet of sorts, where your cellphone houses things like your credit card and all of your personal information. You could pretty much do any type of transaction via your cellphone and
with the QR Code. For instance, you could book a hotel room, show up, scan your QR
reader, the door openS and everything is already paid for.

“The opportunities for marketing and branding are endless,” says Nobles. “But when I introduced it to clients, or the industry in general, it was too far reaching or too forward thinking for them. America was slow to catch on. Now, 10 years later, the U.S. is catching up to what much of theAsian market has been doing for more than a decade. The QR Codes are popping up everywhere.”

Swagg Media is resurging with its marketing efforts and with the QR Code as its base digital tracking source. According to Nobles, several major companies have signed on as marketing partners. His partnerships will soon include independent grocery store chains, record companies, a major movie studio, and more.

Craig pictured with longtime friends and colleagues Michael Concepcion and Magic Johnson

“It’s a coupon campaign, and blockchain technology,” Nobles further explains. “Swagg Media has a partnership with an upcoming animated film whose campaign will entail customers buying a certain amount of related products –and receive a free digital asset– which is connected to the feature film. Everything is distributed and tracked through the QR Code, which is on the box of the products.

Swagg Media has had longtime success in the area of Live Streaming—having recorded events for R&B Live, Monster Products, superstar Adam Lambert, the Basketball Ball Up Tournament, in addition to Music Conferences. “We’ve been able to offer high quality live streaming presentations due to our ability to provide multi-camera shoots,” says Nobles. “Also, live streaming concerts and music-related shows can be tricky because of the licensing issues involved. I stay ahead of the curve by ensuring that all parties have the proper licensing with the various performance rights organizations and that everything is set up properly on the back end.”

Swagg Media also prides itself in keeping up with the latest advancements in the
world of Virtual Reality. “We are at the forefront in the Virtual Reality and Hologram technologies,” says Nobles. “We are able to broadcast in 12k resolution, which is of the highest quality. It virtually puts the end user inside of the experience. Our V.R. initiatives allow us access to lots of partnerships with companies like Sony, Microsoft and a variety of gaming companies.”

Swagg Media is gearing up for its Basketball Ball Tournament, scheduled to take place on March 21 in Los Angeles. This event is expected to draw upwards of 10,000 hoops fans, along with players from the various street ball leagues around Southern California and in the neighboring region.

The tournament will feature a mock-up of the many Skills Challenges similar to NBA All-Star Weekend: a Slam Dunk contest, 3 Point Shoot-Out, Best Ballhandling to a Beat, and a Who Can Jump the Highest contest. Winners will be eligible for cash prizes, TBA. “This will also be a showcase to display all of the various technologies and partnerships that Swagg Media has,” says Nobles. “We’re also solidifying some high-profile performers for a concert to cap off the tournament.”

For Nobles, music has been at the core of his entire career. He started as a DJ back
in the ‘70s and ‘80s, spinning at some of L.A.’s VIP exclusive clubs. He learned a series of skill-sets from networking and club operations, to promotions, marketing, sales, and even A&R. This would lead to other projects including an assistant position with the legendary Harry Belafonte and the movie Beat Street, where Nobles taught the actors the DJ style of scratching. He also assisted in the A&R administration of the soundtrack.
Craig would later join Grand Jury Productions where he would handle much of the day to day operations along with deal negotiations on behalf of Grand Jury artists with major labels such as Interscope, Warner Brothers, and RCA.

“I guess you could say I’ve been associated with a lot of projects over the years,” says
Nobles. “For me there is no ego. I’m interested and fascinated by so many things –they just have to make sense before I truly involve myself. I’m about
getting the job done.

“Just look at what we do at Swagg Media – we specialize in a number of areas. Swagg
Media is still a place to see the latest in sports, view music charts, listen to Radio
Swagg, get entertainment information. It’s a place for information. We are also the new digital distribution platform. Anything that you can imagine, we’re already doing
it. We are the future, but that future is now.”

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