Braun on stage at Tech Crunch Disrupt in 2010.
|Birth name||Scott Samuel Braun|
|Born||June 18, 1981|
New York City, U.S.
Scott Samuel "Scooter" Braun (born June 18, 1981) is an American entrepreneur, talent manager, investor, philanthropist, and entertainment executive. The founder of entertainment and media company SB Projects, Braun represents Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Martin Garrix, Psy, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band, Kanye West, and Tori Kelly among others. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016. Braun is also co-founder of the comic-film studio, Mythos Studios, along with Hollywood producer David Maisel.
In 2013, Braun was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2018, Braun co-organized March for Our Lives, the student-led demonstration for stricter gun laws which USA Today measured as the largest single-day protest in Washington, D.C. history.
Braun was born in New York City to Conservative Jewish parents, Ervin and Susan (née Schlussel) Braun. Ervin's parents "had barely escaped" the Holocaust, and lived in Hungary until 1956. Shortly before the Soviet Union intervened to suppress the Hungarian Revolution, they fled to the United States. Ervin grew up in Queens, and became a dentist; Susan Schlussel Braun was an orthodontist. After the couple married, they settled in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Braun grew up in Cos Cob, Connecticut and attended Greenwich High School where he was elected class president. He played basketball from age 13 to 18 in the Amateur Athletic Union with the Connecticut Flame. When Braun was 17, his parents adopted Sam Mahanga and Cornelio Giubunda, former members of the Mozambique junior-national team. Without a team at the time because of an athletic-basketball program that had soured, Ervin Braun recruited them for an all-star tournament. Mahanga and Giubunda became stars in the Greenwich High basketball team despite being heckled by fans—an experience that affected the Brauns tremendously. While at Greenwich High School Braun entered a video-documentary contest for National History Day with a 10-minute piece titled The Hungarian Conflict about Jews in Hungary before, during, and after the Holocaust. The film won in regional and state competitions and then placed third overall. A member of Braun's family sent the film to director Steven Spielberg's office, who, in turn, submitted Braun's video to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Braun has said Spielberg's affirmation was one of the most inspirational moments in his life.
Braun went to college at Emory University in Atlanta where he also played college basketball until his sophomore year. After Dupri asked him to become the head of marketing at his label, So So Def, Braun reportedly dropped out of university without a degree.
Braun began his career by organizing parties while studying at Emory University in Atlanta. In 2002, Braun was hired to plan after-parties in each of the five cities on the Anger Management Tour, featuring Ludacris and Eminem. This launch into the world of hip-hop led Braun to producer Jermaine Dupri, the director of So So Def Records. Braun was 19 years old when Dupri asked him to join So So Def in a marketing position, and 20 when Dupri named him So So Def's executive director for marketing. Still in his sophomore year at Emory, Braun was working at So So Def and operating his party promotion business. Some of his larger events included parties for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game and after-parties on Britney Spears' Onyx Hotel Tour. Braun departed So So Def to start a private venture including a marketing business, music label, and artist representation. He started his own marketing business by brokering a $12 million campaign deal between Ludacris and Pontiac; the music video for Ludacris' Two Miles an Hour would feature a Pontiac while Pontiac's commercials would feature the song.
Braun first encountered Justin Bieber when he saw a video of a 12-year-old Bieber on YouTube, performing a song by Ne-Yo. Braun contacted Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, who agreed to bring her son to Atlanta for a no-strings-attached trial period. Eventually, Braun convinced them to move permanently from Canada to the United States. After further online success, Braun pitched Bieber to two successful artists, Usher and Justin Timberlake; both expressed interest. Eventually Usher's mentor, music executive L. A. Reid, signed Bieber to a deal with Island Def Jam in partnership with Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG).
Film and television
Braun produced Never Say Never, a documentary on pop star Justin Bieber that MTV reported in 2011 as "one of the highest grossing music documentaries in domestic box-office history." The film's budget was $13 million and earned over $100 million worldwide as the highest-grossing documentary to date. Braun is also an executive producer for the Scorpion television series on CBS. His first attempt at a television show, Scorpion filmed four seasons and topped 26 million viewers in its premiere in 2014. In 2018, Variety reported that television studio FX ordered a pilot of an untitled comedy produced by Braun that includes actor Kevin Hart and rapper Lil Dicky.
In 2007 Braun established SB Projects, a full-service entertainment and marketing company encompassing a range of ventures including Schoolboy Records, SB Management, and Sheba Publishing, a songwriting firm. The group also includes RBMG, a joint venture between Braun and Usher. School Boy Records had a music distribution arrangement with Universal Music Group. In early 2013 Ariana Grande was signed to Scooter Braun's management and in 2016, Grande's label, Republic Records confirmed that Braun served as her main manager handling all aspects of her career. SB Ventures also handles television campaigns, branding, music-licensing deals, and tour sponsorships—including Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein endorsement for the 2016-2017 Purpose World Tour. The company also brokered a partnership between Kanye West and sneaker brand, Adidas.
Ithaca Ventures, Braun's holding company that includes SB Projects, raised $120 million in 2010 for venture capital including investments in Uber, Spotify and Editorialist. Fortune reported that Ithaca Ventures owns interests in seven of the country’s largest music-management companies. Media outlets reported that Ithaca, with $500 million under management as of 2018, would back GoodStory Entertainment, a collaboration between Braun and entertainment executive J.D. Roth, in acquisitions for unscripted, live event, and documentary films.
In 2018, The New York Times reported that Braun has joined David Maisel, founding chairman of Marvel Studios, to form Mythos Studios to produce comic-book movie franchises in live-action and animated formats.
100 Thieves Esports
In late 2018, Braun invested in 100 Thieves, a large e-sports organization, as it went through series A funding. The co-owner position of 100 Thieves was shared with Aubrey Drake Graham and founding CEO Matt "Nadeshot" Haag.
Braun appeared on the cover of Billboard in the August 11, 2012 "Forty Under Forty" special issue titled "Scooter Braun and Other Power Players on the Rise". Braun was featured on the ''Time'' 100 list for 2013. He also appeared a second time on the cover of Billboard in its April 20, 2013, issue, alongside Guy Oseary and Troy Carter. In 2016 Scooter won the award for “Best Talent Manager” at the 3rd annual “International Music Industry Awards” presented by Shazam at the 12th annual MUSEXPO in Los Angeles. In 2017, Braun appeared on the cover of both, Variety magazine’s Hitmakers issue and Success magazine’s Gratitude issue.
In 2018, Braun was honored with the Music Biz 2018 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic efforts in 2017.
Braun remains involved in various charities including the Braun Family Foundation. Many of the artists Braun signs also get involved in various philanthropic initiatives. Braun is best known for supporting Pencils of Promise, established by his younger brother, Adam Braun. The younger brother was inspired by the experience of asking a child in India what he wished for; to which the child answered "a pencil," prompting Adam Braun to found Pencils of Promise to build schools in developing nations. Braun and Bieber have worked in support of the organization. The charity has helped in building more than 200 schools in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Billboard reported that as of 2017 Scooter Braun—along with clients and his companies—have granted more wishes for Make-A-Wish than any other organization in the history of the foundation. Scooter Braun was honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 Billboard Touring Awards for his philanthropic support of Pencils of Promise, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Fuck Cancer.
In 2017, Billboard magazine called Scooter Braun the music industry’s "first-responder" when he organized and produced the One Love Manchester benefit concert and Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon within months of one another. In March 2018, George Clooney, Braun and his team organized March for Our Lives, a student-led demonstration for stricter gun laws that took place in Washington, DC. Vox reported that the march was the largest in the capitol’s history since the Vietnam War.
In 2013 Braun began dating Canadian health activist, philanthropist, and founder of Fuck Cancer, Yael Cohen. The couple wed on July 6, 2014 in Whistler, British Columbia. On February 6, 2015 they welcomed their first child, Jagger Joseph Braun, in Los Angeles. They welcomed their second child, Levi Magnus Braun, on November 29, 2016. CNBC reported that Braun has made a number of startup investments including Uber, Lyft, Spotify, DropBox, Grab, and Casper.
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The resulting joint venture, which took six months to come together, is a straightforward 50-50 split between IDJ and the newly formed Raymond Braun Media Group.
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