Braun in 2020
Scott Samuel Braun
June 18, 1981
New York City, U.S.
|Organization||SB Projects, Ithaca Ventures, TQ Ventures, 100 Thieves|
|Title||Chairman of Ithaca Ventures|
Owner of School Boy Records and co-owner of Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG)
Scott Samuel "Scooter" Braun (born June 18, 1981) is an American entrepreneur, media proprietor, record executive and investor. In 2013, Braun was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world and in 2020 Fortune magazine named him to its "40 Under 40" list in media and entertainment. He is the chairman of Ithaca Ventures and co-founder of TQ Ventures.
Braun is also co-founder of the comic-film studio Mythos Studios, along with Hollywood producer David Maisel, and co-owner of the esports team 100 Thieves. 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, when 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 Cos Cob, Connecticut.
Braun attended Emory University in Atlanta, where he played college basketball until his sophomore year. After Jermaine Dupri asked him to become the head of marketing at his label, So So Def, Braun reportedly dropped out of college before completing his degree.
Braun began 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. Braun was also an executive producer for Scorpion, a weekly drama airing on CBS from 2014 until 2018. In 2018, Variety reported that television studio FX ordered a pilot of Dave a comedy executive produced by Braun that includes actor Kevin Hart and rapper Lil Dicky. In its first season, Dave was the second-most watched comedy on FX. In July 2019, SB Projects agreed to a first-look deal with Amazon Studios that includes television and film scripts.
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 June 2019, Ithaca acquired Big Machine Label Group in a purchase that included the masters to the first six albums of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Its founder Scott Borchetta remains with the company as CEO as a minority shareholder in Ithaca.
In 2018, The New York Times reported that Braun had joined David Maisel, founding chairman of Marvel Studios, to form Mythos Studios to produce comic-book movie franchises in live-action and animated formats.
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.
Braun was nominated a Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Purpose in 2016. 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. In 2019, Braun earned national recognition at the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in New York.
It was reported in 2017 that California Democratic Party figures were in discussion with Braun about a possible run for Governor of California in 2018, and considered the idea but declined to run for office. He had previously hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at his home in 2015. In 2019 he hosted a fundraiser for the Kamala Harris 2020 presidential campaign. Braun congratulated Harris after Joe Biden picked her as his running mate in the 2020 election.
Braun is involved in various charities including the Braun Family Foundation. He also assists with his brother Adam's charity Pens of Promise. Billboard reported that as of 2017 Scooter Braun—along with clients and his companies—have granted more wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation 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.
Braun coordinated a charity single, "Stuck With U" by Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, both of whom he manages, to raise money to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. All net proceeds from the song went to the First Responders Children's Foundation to fund grants and scholarships for children of first responders and health care workers who worked on the front lines during the pandemic.
In 2013, Braun began dating Yael Cohen, the founder of Fuck Cancer. The couple wed on July 6, 2014, in Whistler, British Columbia at Cohen's parents' house. On February 6, 2015, they had their first child, Jagger Joseph Braun, in Los Angeles. They had their second child, Levi Magnus Braun, on November 29, 2016. On December 1, 2018, Cohen and Braun had their third child and first daughter, Hart Violet.
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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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