Job Title: Executive producer and CEO, Trixstar Productions
Why He’s A Top 40: He has created a niche working with TV personalities, athletes and rock stars to generate celebrity-driven buzz for marketing campaigns.
Key To His Success: “I’m honest. The stereotype of people in show biz and promotions is that they’re slime balls and bullies, but we’re the opposite. At Trixstar, we’re family people, caring people and we’re really creative.”
You’d expect a guy who rolls with celebs like Bret Michaels, Dog the Bounty Hunter and the hot guy from the Old Spice commercials to have something of an attitude. But Mike Anderson is the opposite of that – he’s humble, polite and even a little bashful.
Anderson started his event management company, Trixstar Productions, five years ago after a nine-year stint at NAIT as entertainment and marketing manager for the students’ association, a role that grew out of volunteering as an event organizer for the college while he was a student there. The first four years were full of big ups and downs, he says, but his business has skyrocketed in the past year.
Trixstar will have run 40 events this October and November. The company used to work only in Edmonton and Calgary; now it organizes events across Canada and has booked seven events in the U.S. this year.
In the beginning, Trixstar focused primarily on the music scene, bringing such names as Nickelback and Will.I.Am to Edmonton and helping organize concert festivals like the Big Valley Jamboree. Now the company has shifted to focus more on “celebrity event promotion,” meaning Anderson helps businesses tap into the power of celebrity to market events and generate buzz.
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Anderson runs a turnkey operation for the celebrities he deals with, booking them into venues, arranging media interviews, wining and dining them and showing them the city. “Come show time, I can ask for more of [their time] because we’ve developed a relationship, and they’re happy to give it,” he says.
Anderson arranged for UFC champion Chuck Liddell to appear at the opening of The Rack sports bar. He secured Bret Michaels for The Bear radio station’s Halloween Howler party and brought Dog the Bounty Hunter in as part of Trixstar’s own “Behind the Icon” celebrity lecture series three times. He also arranged for Dog to meet and speak to a group of troubled youth about how he overcame his own struggles to stay on the right side of the law.
Working with at-risk kids is something Anderson holds close to his heart. He has been a Big Brother for 10 years, one of only a handful of people in Edmonton to be a Big Brother for so long. “It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done outside of being a father – to have that kind of influence in shaping a young man’s life,” he says.
Anderson participates in Shinerama to raise money for cystic fibrosis research and Movember to increase awareness of prostate cancer. He volunteers for the Arthritis Society and 100.3 The Bear’s Children’s Fund. He is also donating his expertise to the 2010 Grey Cup Committee to help manage everything entertainment-wise except the halftime show.
He believes his volunteerism has contributed to his success, and he suggests others do the same to get where they want to go. “Find out who you want to be like and go volunteer for them … Put in your dues, make sacrifices and good things will happen.”