Chad Tons, CEO, Infinity Marketing Team

The story of establishing the Infinity Marketing Team (IMT) began at global powerhouses Nike and Adidas. Chad Tons, the CEO, was one of the original “Nike Student Representatives” at the University of Southern California (USC), collaborating with the university athletics program’s brand partnership to create Trojan + Nike branded events and campaigns. “Recognizing the creative event executions, I developed while just a student leader, Nike launched my career after graduation,” Tons recalls.

In Nike’s newly-established Sports Entertainment Department, Tons handled global entertainment productions, grassroots PR, events, and experiential marketing for top talent. “I learned from the best in crafting key sports entertainment campaigns,” Tons notes, citing projects like the Brazil Soccer Team World Tour, Track & Field Championships, Tiger Woods Japan Golf Tournament, and the Nike Basketball Global Tour.

Tons then transitioned to Adidas America, becoming their youngest Sports Marketing Manager. There, he conceptualized activations for renowned events like the 2000 Olympics, Boston Marathon, and the inaugural Women’s World Cup. “After a few years, I decided to take my learnings into an entrepreneurial venture,” Tons reflects.

In 2001, he founded IMT with the Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau as his first client. “I began literally setting up 20×30 booths and handing out Hawaii’s famous chocolate-covered macadamia nuts while registering thousands of participants in a database,” Tons reminisces.

During that first year, Tons also secured larger multi-million-dollar client contracts to execute bold, innovative campaigns, including an award-winning HP partnership that endures to this day. “With our ever-growing, global team of multi-disciplinary creative and technical experts, Infinity is now a leading industry trailblazer,” Tons asserts. “We’ve won over 150 recognized craft awards and are consistently recognized as a top Experiential Marketing Firm on annual industry lists throughout the last 20+ years.”

Pioneering Creative Excellence and Innovation

IMT is renowned for its exceptional Creative & In-House Innovation team, consistently pushing the boundaries of technology and art.  “Our creative and innovation team remains at the forefront of both technology and art,” states Tons. IMT’s Innovation team is known for developing Intellectual Property that combines clients’ latest offerings with emerging technologies to captivate audiences and impress clients. From digital scavenger hunts for millions of State Farm targets to pairing artistic LED flowers with the latest HP notebooks at festivals, IMT continues to set the standard for innovative campaigns.

“What sets us apart from competitors are the wildly innovative campaigns we produce,” Tons explains, “and what keeps clients returning is the flawless execution of our integrated full-service team.” IMT distinguishes itself by delivering a focused strategy for each client, consistently producing groundbreaking return on investment. “Experiential today is more than pretty stuff with a logo; it’s about results,” Tons emphasizes.

For IMT, ensuring that the experience is unforgettable for campaign audiences is paramount.  “In 2022, our campaigns—the State Farm Gamerhood Challenge and the HP REGEN at Coachella—have been racking up wins across the marketing and advertising, creative media, and gaming industry annual award shows,” Tons shares proudly.

The Evolution of IMT

When Tons launched IMT, the term ‘experiential’ in the marketing field was still relatively unknown.  “At the time, the world’s largest brands were settling for slapping their logo on an event or handing out unremarkable branded souvenirs,” Tons reflects. However, Tons believed that IMT could offer much more, prioritizing consumer affect and embracing technology and creative product integration. “We were competing with traditional advertising and public relations dollars to fund our campaign concepts,” Tons explains.

With each successful campaign, Tons gained the trust of world-class client partners, who entrusted him with budgets and creative license.  One such campaign, the YOU+HP Experience launched in 2006, sent seismic waves across the industry. “It was the most aggressive experiential mobile tour ever created,” Tons proudly states. “It housed over 40 HP products, had on-site sales that outsold HP partner stores, and was attended by over two million consumers during its run.”

The remarkable sales results of the campaign marked a significant shift in the industry. “It was the first time that strategies for national brand campaigns and public relations efforts all shifted to accompany an experiential platform,” recalls Tons, who is now proud to have led this change.

Shaping Experiential Marketing

IMT specializes in selling branded consumer experiences that captivate consumers through Experiential Marketing Campaigns.  “For those unfamiliar, experiential marketing is a specialized, multidisciplinary, technology-infused subfield within advertising and marketing,” explains Tons.

IMT’s globally renowned corporate clients sell futuristic and everyday products and services, utilizing experiential marketing to embed products, brand ethos, and advertising throughout consumers’ lives. “We prioritize memorable experiences that create instinctual and conscious associations with brands and corporate goods,” Tons states proudly.

Over the last two decades, Tons and his team at IMT have led the shift in the marketing world towards experiential marketing.  “As the industry grew, the importance of quantifiable results and ROI mechanisms continued to grow,” Tons notes. “We’ve evolved from simply focusing on ‘brand visibility’ to strategically targeting touchpoints, registration, tie-ins to martech stacks, consumer surveys, and pinpoint accuracy on defined target markets.”

IMT sets the bar high with each project, aiming to conceptualize and produce groundbreaking campaigns recognized as industry game changers. “Luckily, my in-house talent and contracted partners are unparalleled in their creative genius, diversity of experience, and engineering capacity to deliver the best of the best,” Tons adds. Throughout the journey, Tons works closely with clients and his team to exceed expectations and adapt to any challenges.

Groundbreaking, innovative, and disruptive—these principles guide IMT in every strategy and campaign produced. “The name Infinity captures our ongoing drive to harness exponential shifts in technology, society, culture, and diverse consumer trends,” Tons explains.

IMT boasts best-in-class Creative and Innovation teams, complemented by an in-house Fabrication team of creative engineers and builders. “Our project ideation, management, and execution expertise have ensured returning clients and global accolades over the last two decades,” Tons proudly states.

With over 5,000 annual groundbreaking events, tours, and activations and a client roster spanning entertainment, education, fashion, technology, food & beverage, automotive, travel, and finance, IMT possesses a breadth of industry awareness and depth. “We produce wow-generating, tech-infused experiences to captivate audiences while consistently delivering a jaw-dropping 300% return on investment for clients,” Tons adds confidently.

Redefining Experiential Marketing Through Game-Changing Campaigns

Throughout the years, IMT has consistently stayed at the forefront of the industry, pioneering campaigns that disrupt the norm and elevate clients’ brands with wildly successful marketing results. “We help clients make bold decisions with big results,” Tons affirms.

In 2012 at CES, IMT made a groundbreaking decision with HP and Intel to create their entire product experience off the traditional show floor. “It was the first tech art-meets-EDM interactive environment ever developed,” Tons explains. Despite not having an official presence, multiple HP and Intel products won ‘Best In Show’ at CES, showcasing the power of IMT’s industry influence.

In 2017 at Coachella, IMT conceptualized and enacted the first-ever tech-brand ‘festivalization,’ initiating HP’s 7-year partnership with the festival. “Our landmark Antarctic geodesic dome and jaw-dropping tech-art installation became the crown of the festival, winning numerous industry awards,” Tons proudly states.

In 2022, IMT advised State Farm to shift from traditional sponsorships to creating their own proprietary eSports event, resulting in the State Farm Gamerhood Challenge. “It garnered 1 Billion impressions and won multiple awards, including ‘Brand of the Year’ at the Tempest Awards,” Tons recounts.

In 2023, with the Super Bowl held at State Farm Stadium, IMT urged State Farm to redefine how a company leverages naming rights. “State Farm took their spot to TikTok, competing with the event’s massive live viewership with a viral TikTok post,” Tons explains. Partnering strategically with the World’s #1 most-followed TikTok Creator – Khaby Lame, the post garnered over 220 Million viewers, surpassing the Super Bowl’s live viewership.

Uniting East and West for Global Innovation

The acquisition of a stake in IMT by Pico Corporation marked a significant milestone, bringing together East and West under the new IMT-Pico umbrella. “Under the new IMT-Pico umbrella, our offerings have expanded significantly,” Tons explains. “We now boast 2,000+ event professionals on staff, offices and facilities in 44 cities globally, 5 million sq meters of gross exhibit space, and 100,000 sq meters of production facilities.”

With the merger, the greatest creative minds in the world now collaborate together, driving innovation and pushing boundaries. “For me personally, the plans are to continue innovating and changing the game,” Tons asserts. “The future is gamified – virtually augmented and immersive, strategically integrated across platforms and consumer experiences.”

Tons emphasizes the importance of making space for the diversity of consumer segments to feel empowered, meaningfully engaged, and interconnected.  “Here at Infinity Marketing Team, the future is NOW, and we’re just getting started,” Tons concludes confidently.

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