Capital Buzz: Feld Entertainment gets a new PR firm

Tysons Corner-based Feld Entertainment — think Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus — has signed well-known New York City public relations firm Rubenstein Communications to help promote Feld’s worldwide brands.

“Rubenstein has a long and distinguished history of working with leading brands,” said Feld spokesman Stephen Payne. “We reviewed proposals from a number of very qualified firms and at the conclusion, it was clear Rubenstein was the best fit for our business.”

Feld Entertainment Chairman Kenneth Feld has expanded his entertainment portfolio in recent years with the purchase of Feld Motor Sports, which includes Monster Jam, Nuclear Cowboyz and Supercross.

Feld, whose shows also include Disney on Ice and Disney Live, is also expanding the company’s presence in Mexico and South America, adding to the 5,000-plus shows it puts on in 70 countries every year.

Rubenstein, whose clients range from the New York Yankees to the Metropolitan Opera, replaces Hill & Knowlton, whose contract with Feld expired a year ago.

“We are thrilled,” said Amy Jacobs, Rubenstein Communications senior vice president. “There was great chemistry between two family businesses.”

More EyeBlack

Kensington-based EyeBlack.com, the company behind the black adhesives worn by athletes in many sports that reduce the sun’s glare during competition, is moving from its Kensington digs into a new 5,000-plus square-foot office in Rockville next month.

The company sold more than 5 million sets of the product last year and is looking to increase its staff of about 12 by 50 percent.

Founded by Peter Beveridge of Potomac, EyeBlack.com is an official licensee of Major League Lacrosse and in conversations to become a licensee of Major League Baseball.

Clients such as Nike, Cracker Barrel, New Balance and more than 400 collegiate programs throughout the United States help sell or distribute the adhesives, often with their logos.

EyeBlack.com products also have been sold by retailers such as Staples, Hallmark and Target, but most adhesives are sold online.

The Buzz hears . . .

•SnagFilms, the online free documentary site started by Washington sports mogul Ted Leonsis and filmmaker Rick Allen, was the fifth “Most Popular” free entertainment app on the iPad last week as rated by Apple.

Another home run coming for Ted?

•The Venga bus debuted last week at the D.C. Central Kitchen Sound Bites festival. The bus will be trolling the city’s streets as it promotes the upscale online restaurant site, whose backers include local tech entrepreneur David Steinberg and outdoor advertising mogul Chris Tavlarides.

The bus is a 1975  23-foot Ford school bus, which Venga bought off Craigslist for $1,000.

Schmooze-festing

Bethesda-based Consero, which organizes high-level networking events for senior executives, is moving into larger offices this week at its current address 4815 St. Elmo Ave. in Bethesda.

Consero will move a few floors down, doubling its size from 3,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet. The firm needs the new space to accommodate an employee head count that is expected to grow from 24 currently to around 40 next year.

Business is good, says co-founder and University of Maryland grad Paul Mandell. He is doubling Consero’s number of annual events from seven to 14 in 2012.

Carlyle watch

District-based Carlyle Group is scheduled to release its annual report today, May 23 . . . as a private company, that is. That means only select information is available.

If the firm goes public, as is widely expected, its next annual report will finally pull back the curtain on numbers that financial wags have been dying to see.

In the meantime, The Buzz got an advance peek at some of the details:

•Carlyle now has $106.7 billion under management, which means money at work in investments or money committed by investors that it can call on.

•The firm in 2010 invested $7 billion in cash in deals.

•It also returned $7.5 billion to clients, which includes their original investment and their profits. (Carlyle nearly matched that entire amount in the first quarter of 2011.)

•The firm’s employees have $4 billion of their own money in deals.

“The past year has been a period of exciting change and growth at Carlyle, with new people, new geographies and new businesses,” Carlyle co-founder David M. Rubenstein says in the report.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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