After almost a decade working in the Christian market for Berean Christian Stores, Frontline Records and Diamante Music Group, in 1997 when the Internet was still young, Scott A. Shuford was tapped by several partners to bring one of the first Christian music web sites to market: Gofishnet.com. That site was purchased in 1998 by Crosswalk.com. In 1998, while continuing to serve for another year or so as Music Producer for Crosswalk.com, Shuford founded an Orange County, CA based ad agency.
The agency was a large regional player in Southern California. We served a diverse clientele, launching consistently successful, innovative campaigns for notable companies such as IHOP, World Vision, Initium Eyewear, Krikorian Premier Theaters, and American First Credit Union. The firm’s accolades include numerous features in highly respected business publications such as Direct Marketing News, Orange County Business Journal, Yahoo!, About.com, and Small Biz Technology. Additionally the firm received the coveted Standard of Excellence WebAward from the Web Marketing Association for our work with Del Taco, where the firm served as the Web Agency Of Record for six years.
Those experiences laid the foundation for the quiet beginnings of FrontGate Media in 2001. As a frustrated marketer tired of talking to publishers and event promoters who didn’t understand the marketing ideas we wanted to implement, I wondered what if I could bring great marketing value together under one roof and instead of marketers like me talking to publishers or event promoters, could marketers just talk to a fellow marketer like me to create effective strategies within a select group of high-value, pre-qualified media outlets…
FrontGate Media was born as banner advertising and email newsletters began to grow in popularity. What became FrontGate Media was originally the online division of the Adolph Agency, a partnership between publisher Bruce Adolph and agency founder Scott A. Shuford.
Our faith-based media group started with just three media outlets: iTickets.com, Christian Musician Magazine, and the Women of Faith conferences. iTickets was a web site and email database of profiled subscribers that no one other than concert promoters knew existed. We launched Christian Musician online. We expanded the opportunities for interaction at the Women of Faith events. With the purchase of Women of Faith, Thomas Nelson chose to discontinue outside sponsorship, but as of today, I’m excited to say that iTickets and Christian Musician are still part of the FrontGate family.
With the addition of KLOVE/AIR1’s massive donor publication Christian Music Planet, our dear friend DeDe Tarrant joined the FrontGate team, and the three of us (Bruce, DeDe and Scott) built CMP into the leading entertainment publication in the Christian market. In the course of 3 years, we transformed a music magazine into an entertainment magazine which was supported more by book publishers than music labels. It was a great time. With the success of CMP, iTickets, and Christian Musician, more and more online sites, magazines and events came knocking on our door to be a part of our Christian media group. We expanded the group with an eye on opportunities that would deliver unique value to marketers. They had to win us over before we wanted to win you over.
It seems funny to look back now at how the company grew steadily both in services and clients with the first addition being Youth Specialties, where for the first time ever, we pioneered a text based advertising option in a Youth Specialties email resource for youth leaders. It was the first time YS had let outside companies reach their online audience, and yet now that sounds like we invented the rotary phone… you know, the one you had to dial!
Other milestones include our successful launch of HearItFirst.com outside of EMI as the leading Christian music site. the growth of advertising on the Gospel Music Channel’s web site (now UPtv,) growth in the Conservative world with Eagle Publishing’s Human Events, RedState and more, the launch of Sonoma Christian Home for Christian women, and our partnership with The Washington Times.
Whether it was in the early days of the internet launching the first ever banner ads on Christian sites, or the first HTML ads in email newsletters, developing online chats with our online audience, or in more recent years when we expanded into onsite marketing at our live events, or establishing our expertise in Social Media, Public Relations, and Pay Per Click, FrontGate Media continues to stay on target with our mission. We are always looking for the best opportunities to connect companies to the Christian audiences they desire to reach.
Today, the FrontGate Media group is the largest internet & event media group and marketing service reaching the culture-engaged faith and family values audience which represents $4.6 billion worth of Christian products purchased by consumers annually according to USA Today. In 2011 and again in 2013, we received the award as the Best Faith-based Website from the Web Marketing Association in the Internet Advertising Competition.
FrontGate Media is the #1 culture-engaged web network and events group reaching the Christian audience:
This massive audience combined with our ability to create custom, targeted, comprehensive campaigns across web sites, events, social media, public relations and pay per click tailored to fit any budget has made FrontGate Media one of the most valued tools in marketer’s toolboxes.
We look forward to hearing the story and passion around your brand, product or service. We know we can help! We are your gateway to the Christian audience.
Scott A. Shuford
Founder & Chief Engagement Officer
The firm creates engagement relationships for organizations through their web network which reaches more than 10 million people and 6 million email subscribers each month. FrontGate also creates and executes strategy for Advertising/Media Buying, Public Relations and Social Media. Scott A. Shuford is the Chief Engagement Officer of FrontGate: the largest internet & event media network and marketing service reaching the culture-engaged faith and family values audience which represents $4.6 billion worth of Christian products purchased by consumers annually according to “USA Today.”
In the 2013 Internet Advertising Competition, the firm received the top honor as the Best Website Award winner. Past awards include two Standard of Excellence Awards in the 2012 WebAwards, and the 2011 Internet Advertising Competition Best Website Award.
Scott and the company play a key role in the success of movie studios, non-profits, publishers/authors, record labels/artists and more. Scott has been featured in ADWEEK, and as a speaker at the Christian Leadership Alliance, NAMM Shows, Christian Musician Summits, and other events. He served for 8 years on the Biola Media Conference board for the event at CBS Studios, and most recently served as a judge for the Resonate Film Festival, and the Web Marketing Association’s Mobile WebAwards.
Scott is very active in philanthropy, serving on the Boards for My Broken Palace and the Christian Comic Arts Society, as an Ambassador for the Alliance Defending Freedom, and is a member of The Barnabas Group.
Previously, Scott served as a principal in the Orange County based ad agency he co-founded. The agency served a diverse clientele, launching consistently successful, innovative campaigns for notable companies such as IHOP, World Vision, Initium Eyewear, Krikorian Premier Theaters, and Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union. The firm’s accolades include numerous features in highly respected business publications such as Direct Marketing News, Orange County Business Journal, Yahoo!, About.com, and Small Biz Technology. Additionally, the firm received the Standard of Excellence WebAward from the Web Marketing Association for Mr. Shuford’s work with Del Taco. The firm served as Del Taco’s web agency of record for six years.