Media Agency & Content Studio in Southern Delaware

June 2009

…more clients of mine started asking “can you help me create a video we can play in our lobby” - “I am looking for a video we can play in our restaurant” - “I need a good video for my website” — & I thought - there could be a market I could serve with this businss. Knowing what equipment we used at the TV station, I took $5k and bought essential pieces of production equipment. Soon thereafter, I visited a friend who teaches video production at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown and asked about any talented graduating students, specifically for shooting and editing, that would be interested in for-contract workZ . A week later, three students met me for coffee at Arena’s on Rt 1 Rehoboth. One of the students was from Selbyville & stood out immediately as was proficient in all the equipment I had just purchased (brands of cameras, mics, editing equipment, etc). Over 2 years, we shot a lot of videos for Hotels, Restaurants, the Rehoboth Chamber of Commerce, Doctors, Hospitals...

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5 W’s : Who, What, When, Where, Why

SugarFly Studios - a history / Mark Leishear - Introduction / Clients



SugarFly Studios has been creating “content” since 2009. At the time, it was difficult for businesses to continually tell their stories; I wanted to help them - SugarFly was born. The name? First, the Sugar in the name comes from having a bakery built behind our home in Milton, DE.; it still operates, but from 2004-2014 we would occasionally order a literal ton of organic sugar - 2000 lbs, for ingredients (lot of 50 lb. bags to move when the truck came). As the bakery was making cookies, cakes, pies, sweet breads, etc - there was always… an abundance of sugar.

During the summer months at our home, you’ll also always… find an abundance of dragonflies; they’re beautiful (various sizes/colors). The story goes - after a 1-ton shipment of sugar in the summer of 2009 & thinking of a business, the possibility of a business, what would I name a business if I was to start a one - I remember walking around outside and specifically noticing a dragonfly perched on my car antenna in the driveway. I snapped a photo (with my then 1.2 mp cell camera) and asked a graphic designer friend of mine to sketch up something replacing the eyes of the dragonfly with sugar-cubes - the SugarFly was born. Why Studios? The business model was to offer video/photo/audio services - creating longer form content for businesses & other organizations - Studios, sounded official/and cool; there was nothing with Studios in the name in Southern Delaware/Delmarva - it fit. SugarFly Studios… with my SugarFly for the logo - I still love it. Side note: from day one, I have aspired to have the SugarFly animated: he flys in, perches on a cattail silhouette and twitches his sugar-cube eyes - logo appears. Anyone reading this and wants a stab at - go ahead, send me a preview.

Business owners are generally excited about their business & every business owner who is excited about their business, can and should be, creating content.

What’s content? Stuff you share.


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We know Delmarva

We live here - sadly, not Terry.

Mark Leishear - President, Executive Producer, Chief Propagandist

Ahhh Delmarva… it’s beautiful here. I grew up in Pocomoke City, MD; went to Elementary, Middle & High School there. Wonderful memories of small town living and growing up in and around Worcester County, Accomac/Chincoteague (VA) & some of Wicomico and Somerset County (MD). While in High School, a classmate helped me get a foot in the door at a local oldies radio station run by Choppy Layton & Wayne Powell - icons in Delmarva radio (100 KHI). This was my first foray into the airwaves - the media - the microphones - the excitement. After college in Ashland, VA, I moved to Richmond and from 1996 -2000 was part of the Jeff & Jeff Show, mornings on XL102 - a heritage Rock Station. I learned from the masters, Jeff McKee and Jeff Beck - how to run a successful morning radio show. Beck ran the board/controls, McKee was the creative genius who researched, and wrote content. I learned invaluable skills from each : from Beck I learned the fine art of recording, editing, polished production and running the board for a fast action/full produced radio show & from McKee, I learned theater of the mind, writing bits/skits/copy - probably the most creative person I have ever met. These Richmond Radio stories are GOLD, but for another time. Newly married, I moved back to the Eastern Shore in 2000 and was hired for a position that didn’t exist at WBOC-TV. After 2 weeks, that position moved into media sales, with my territory being the Delaware beaches (2 reps servicing the area left and there were accounts that needed to be handled). My family moved from Salisbury, MD to Milton, DE (pre-construction boom) - and I continued with WBOC in the role of media sales until 2011. During my years at WBOC, my passion for marketing grew, my knowledge of our market grew & my network grew.

Coming out of radio into television was an easy transition. To think, that the commercials I was used to voicing and producing, would now have a new element - video, was exciting. I was eager to go on production shoots - I wrote the scripts. I would fully produce the audio to my television commercials (Audacity since the early days) then email WAV & MP3 files to creative services; uncommon for a media salesperson. Writing scripts came naturally; influenced by the creative writing of my radio days, and later expounded upon by a mentor WBOC had hired to train me in media sales. Fred ran an Ad Agency in Lewes and introduced me to a style of ad-writing by Roy Williams - The Wizard of Ads. There is an art to writing and producing great ads & through television media sales, I was able to continually refine my craft. The more creative ads I wrote, the better response they received; word traveled among business owners.

SugarFly Studios was started while I was at WBOC. On weekends, after hours, holidays, the “other times” the 9-5 world typically doesn’t operate, but still operates - we operated. Restaurants are busiest at night, hotels are busy on weekends, events and festivals are on weekends as well. TV operates in the :30/:15/:10 second world - the content these businesses needed would require a longer time to tell, and no-one would want to pay after-hours/overtime rates to produce these videos. With my writing and producing ability, I decided to make a leap and start a side business that I could shoot projects outside the norm & have some fun. I contacted a friend who worked for Del Tech and connected with a student who was graduating that was perfect for the job. Andy Hensler brought a new level of video production to the scripts I wrote. The look, the lighting, the editing - everything… made our videos pop - but what made them stand out, was simply that they were being created. The look of amazement and satisfaction from the clients was/is very gratifying. Finally, content was being created off something other than a short :30 second commercial. We were traveling around, shooting video, creating content - having fun. That structure holds true today - we have fun in everything we create.

In 2014, my friend Bob Backman, received the NBC license for the Salisbury DMA - this would take over his RetroTV network, a lower power station he purchased in Rehoboth Beach, DE around 2005. With my relationships and contacts both in Coastal Delaware and around Delmarva, Bob asked if I would help him launch this new station here at the Delaware beaches. While still operating SugarFly, I took him up on the opportunity. Over a period of 4 years, WRDE rose from being a last-ranked market station, to one that was #1 or #2 in several key market dayparts (great programming also by NBC) and eventually purchased in 2018 by WBOC/Draper Media for $15.6 million dollars. We employed many Guerrilla Marketing tactics while at at WRDE; we also utilized a wonderful social media platform in Facebook Live. National Days - i.e. National Chocolate Cake Day, National Rum Day, National Waterpark Day, etc - all content that local businesses could easily & at a low cost, get involved with. Live broadcasts are a great way to promote events, special days, fun, conferences and more.

In my time of living here on Delmarva, I have come to know and be known by many business owners, political officials, organizations and more. I have been fortunate to work with many businesses here (both large and small), and I am honored to continue to do so. Clients of SugarFly are long-term clients. The relationships I build with you, your staff, your organization - are powerful. I am a student of marketing, a student of humor/comedy, a tech junkie, an idea generator, & I keep abreast of trends, culture and opportunities. As the President of a Studio, I get to go out and spend time filming things most people dream of as they sit in their office each day. As the acting Marketing Director of several businesses that are represented by SugarFly, I set/approve/spend marketing budgets. In that role, I make media recommendations based off what I know works in our market. This, is what sets working with SugarFly Studios, apart - real market knowledge, real marketing knowledge.

We know the business - we LIVE the business. We can help your business.

Clients 

It would be difficult for me to think of a business category, that I have not written/produced/directed or performed some sort of marketing services for. Doctors, Dentists, Eye Doctors, Hospitals, Various Types of Doctors at Hospitals, Attorneys, HVAC companies, Plumbing Companies, Electrical Companies, Restaurants, Hotels, Bars, Corporate Clients, the Automotive Industry - all areas, Hospitality, Government Agencies/State Agencies, General Retail, Professional Services i.e. from Carpet Cleaning to Chimney Sweeps, Garden Centers, Construction, Remodeling, Apparel, Casino, Racetracks, Festivals… the list goes on. Regardless of what industry you’re in, chances are, I’ve worked with your industry.

Business owners are inundated with media sales professionals (and amateurs) - I know firsthand. It’s difficult to trust media salespeople when they all sound the same - we’re #1 in this, we reach the most people, we’re the only choice you should make, let’s sit down and have a needs analysis - ugh. 95% of media salespeople know little about marketing, writing, trends, pyschology, or competitive media - they’re simply selling their platform. What works best for a client is: finding someone you trust. You like them, you trust in them, and their capabilities to help you and your business. I’ve gained a lot of trust over the years & I’m honored that businesses look to me for advice & guidance in their marketing. We live on Delmarva, we know Delmarva. Our local clients, they see us out and about - we routinely meet with them, drive to see them & spend time with them. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business plan better, market better & stay relevant.

Some of the Businesses we’re working with now - or have worked with in the past…

Beracah Homes, Bennie Smith Funeral Home, Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen, The Car Store, The Truck Store, IG Burton (County Council), IG Burton automotive, Megee Motors, 1st State Chevrolet, Megee HVAC, North Star HVAC, The Brace Place, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Bayhealth Medical Center, Nanticoke Health Services, Rehoboth Jazz Festival, Irish Eyes, Espuma, SoDel Concepts, Simpler Hotels, Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, The Oldfather Group, Delaware Eye Institute, Halpern Eye Care, That Granite Place, Fireside Hearth & Home, Schell Brothers, Harrington Casino, State of Delaware - Division of Public Helath, Diabetes & Heart Program, Delaware WIC Program, Harrington Raceway, Mountaire Farms, Seacrets, Short’s Marine, Bad Hair Day, Jakes Seafood, Carlton’s, North Bay Marina, Delaware State Parks, DART First State, DE State Senator Bryant Richardson, DE State Senator Colin Bonini, DE Representative Bryan Shupe, Fifer Orchards, Delmarva Pole Building Supply, Callaway Furniture, Mitchell’s Interiors, Soundview, Nicolock Pavers…

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