A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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How marketing maven Brian Feit is making waves with celebrities and St. Louis students

Brian Feit is a Parkway Central and Camp Sabra alum, his go-to gift is a tree in Israel and his New York City home is a converted synagogue. He started his company with friends from his Jewish fraternity at the University of Illinois. He also works with some of the biggest celebrities in the world.

And in his “down time,” he returns to native St. Louis to mentor Webster Groves High School students through an entrepreneurship program the district established to help students, “Shape a future where innovation thrives.”

Twenty years ago, Feit created his strategic marketing agency, BMF, with the idea of connecting music artists with top brands in travel and tourism, fashion and beauty, hospitality, luxury, wine and spirits, entertainment and streaming services, among others. The agency employs around 75 people in various creative fields. Recently, BMF helped produce the launch of Beyonce’s new haircare brand.

“It’s been quite a journey,” Feit, 45, said. “We have a really great reputation in the industry, and we’ve grown a lot.”

Feit’s success ties back to growing up in St. Louis, where he was an only child and often spent time in his art room writing his initials –BMF — and later the name of his company, all over his projects.

“I was a fan of Madonna growing up. I watched ‘Truth or Dare’ (the Madonna documentary), and I saw her manager in the movie and I was like, wait, I’m not going to be a pop star, but I want to be in the music business,” Feit said. “So my stepdad bought me a copy of Billboard, and I started reading Billboard from (age) 13 on.”

Feit worked at the former Musicland record store in Chesterfield, interned at radio station Y-98, and was on the Mercury Records College Street Team. He attended the University of Illinois for two years, and while he was there, he spent time writing letters to various music industry CEOs expressing an interest in the music business and inquiring about internships. One lucky day, a response came in the mail from renowned music producer Clive Davis, who started Arista Records and is a credited with launching the careers of Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, and so many more.

“Clive Davis wrote back to me saying he was impressed with my resume and that I could come intern for him. So, I transferred to NYU for my junior and senior year,” said Feit. “It’s kind of incredible that Clive wrote back. He is, by far and away, the best, most legendary music executive that there ever will be.”

Upon interning for Davis’ Arista Records and graduating from NYU, Feit’s first job was at a small record label called E-magine Records. After a few years there, he debated between going to law school or starting his own company. After getting an opportunity to work on a side project for Madonna’s label, Maverick Records, he decided that officially launching BMF would be his next move.

“I’m very glad I did BMF,” Feit said. “Celebrating 20 years and thinking about the body of work over the last 20 years is mind-boggling, and I’m really, really proud of it.”

Feit and his team started the business by creatively packaging an artist’s CDs and sending them to brands. When Valentino got ahold of one of Feit’s bands’ CDs, the luxury fashion brand reached out to work with BMF.

“Valentino ended up asking us to plan the event, which was a rock concert at Bergdorf Goodman featuring the band,” said Feit. “We planned the catering, the audio visual and from there we turned into an event company.”

Soon after, BMF created a successful “music lounge” program, which ran during music festivals. It was a place where artists, when they weren’t on stage, could relax, interact with brands and attend exclusive brand parties.

“Everybody was catering to the movie stars with gifting lounges during the Oscars and all that, but who was taking care of the music artists when they weren’t on stage? So, we created the Music Lounge program,” Feit continued. “The first one we did was in Chicago at Lollapalooza, and we took over the Hard Rock Hotel. The program ran for 11 years.”

The music lounge also incorporated invite-only performances by artists before they made it big – Ke$ha, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, to name a few. BMF’s Raleigh Hotel for Armani Exchange Music Lounge during the 2008 Winter Music Conference in Miami was actually Lady Gaga’s first live performance ever in the United States.

“It was the place to be. We would get almost as much press attention as the actual festival,” Feit said. “Brands really started to wake up to sponsoring music festivals after that.”

Since the impact of the music lounge, BMF has continued to work with artists but has also moved into other areas.

“We’ve evolved into four things, events, strategy, PR, and digital social. And we work with amazing brand clients, everyone from Spanx to Lamborghini, Gucci to Disney.”

Brian Feit, co-founder of the social marketing agency BMF, pictured with Thrive students in front of Webster Groves High School.
( Ursula Ruhl of The Webster Kirkwood Times)

Feit’s current home base is in Miami, but over the last several years, he has spent time giving back to St. Louis students through the THRIVE Entrepreneurship Incubator, a program of the Webster Groves School District. The students travel to New York City, and Feit makes visits to the school back home in St. Louis, as well. The director of the THRIVE program was introduced to Feit around eight years ago.

“As an educator, I’m always trying to connect students with real-world experiences, like our annual trip to New York City. Brian’s role on the trip is crucial. He consistently offers valuable insights and support,” said Kara Siebe, THRIVE Entrepreneurship program coordinator. “He even went the extra mile by traveling to St. Louis to meet with us when our trip was canceled in 2020 due to COVID. He motivates students to be their best selves, encouraging them to persist politely and work towards their goals.

Siebe says Feit’s impact doesn’t end with these trips.

“Brian shares his contact information, allowing students to seek advice whenever they need it,” she continued. “Several students seek his counsel, and some are inspired to follow his example and give back, mirroring his generosity towards them.”Early on in his career, Feit also volunteered for the Music for Youth Foundation through UJA.

“It was a group of mostly Jewish music executives, and we gave back to elementary music education programs. So that was a great connector for me, you know, to be in touch with more people who are in the business and Jewish as well.”

His Jewish roots also keep him from parting with his former full-time NYC residence, which he fondly calls “The Temple.”

My apartment in New York is in a converted synagogue,” Feit said. “It’s a 1908 Jewish Hungarian synagogue. I kept the place because it’s so special. And I struggle with like, that apartment in New York sitting empty, but I didn’t want to get rid of it because it’s so special. I lived there for 12 years.”

BMF is headquartered in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, London and Feit’s new home base of Miami, but Feit still makes time to come back to St. Louis a few times a year. He credits his St. Louis upbringing as well as the local Jewish community for helping him to evolve and succeed.

“I grew up at the Jewish Community Center Association, and I went to Camp Sabra for 10 years and then became a counselor. I went to United Hebrew, B’nai Amoona, and Nusach Hari. And I think being part of such a rich Jewish culture helped me become who I am today.”  Feit said. “I love St. Louis and I’m super proud to be from there. I think it’s a very special city.”


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