Established in 2013, SmartistU is a global educational media platform for music industry professionals, primarily artist managers and professionally self-managed artists.
2755 Yonge Street Toronto, Canada
Phone: +14168415336

Authentic Artist Branding & Market Trends (LIVE Q&A) With Steve Astephen, Manager of Machine Gun Kelly And Avril Lavigne

In this class we will discuss:

  • How to build an authentic brand with your artists in a digital world
  • Predicting market trends for artist branding 
  • The role of the artist manager in today’s music industry 
  • Can’t attend that day? Submit your questions in advance, and watch the recording afterward.

Must be a member of The Managers Club to attend.

Steve Astephen had an entrepreneurial spirit from day one, beginning his career owning ‘The Otherside’, an iconic snowboard shop in the early ’90s. The shop’s success, along with the loyalty and lifelong relationships Steve developed within the snowboard community, led him to his passion for managing sports talent.  In 1994, Astephen became the team manager of Lamar Snowboards and dominated the industry by signing some of the most powerful teams in the sport. 

Astephen then founded the first action sports agency, fittingly named, ‘The Familie.’ His success quickly grew a roster of over 30 of the world’s top action sports athletes, spanning across- BMX, motocross, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, and wakeboarding. By 1999, The Familie was established as the premier action sports marketing and athlete management agency with services that included marketing, public relations, creative, licensing, trend research, event activation, and consulting. 

In April 2003, Astephen partnered with Wasserman Media Group where he served as the managing partner for 16 years. Astephen was instrumental to the growth of  Wasserman as it became the largest athlete representation agency, growing to over 1,600 athletes and representing countless Fortune 500 brands. During this time Astephen was selected by Sports Business Journal as one of its coveted “Forty Under 40” in sports.  

With a desire to develop marketing and creative strategies authentic to the markets he represented, he created a full-service boutique creative firm within Wasserman called “The Agency.”Concentrating on all things sports, The Agency, under Astephen’s direction, produced several commercials with athletes such as Klay Thompson, Ricky Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Alex Morgan, and others.

Astephen left Wasserman in mid-2019 to revive his own agency, The Familie V2, a representation and brand-building agency working across sports, music, art, and media. The Familie’s music clients include Machine Gun Kelly, Avril Lavigne, Jimmie Allen, JXDN and Games We Play. Astephen remains an active investor and advisor today for brands such as Hoonigan Media Machine, Stance Socks, Kopari, Art of Sport, and Nixon. He currently resides in Cardiff, CA

Live Master Classes are for members only.

Members also receive:

  • The option to submit questions in advance & talk live on camera with our guests
  • Weekly Group Mentorship Calls (in addition to the Guest Master Class) with Grammy-level experts
  • 100’s of artist management company templates (an artist management company in a digital box)
  • SmartistU’s Method of Artist Management MASTERY, our signature day-to-day management blueprint
  • BONUS: On-Demand Master Class Library with dozens of Grammy-level music industry experts speaking on dozens of music industry topics
  • 24/7 private music community and support group

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