New Happy Valley businesses fill media void


By Holly Riddle 

When you think of Happy Valley media, what companies come to mind? Maybe AccuWeather? Or WPSU Penn State? Or one of the region’s handful of marketing and advertising firms?

While many of these are longstanding community institutions, newcomers on the scene are poised to make a big impact in the ever-evolving media landscape.

Tired of traditional sports coverage?

Take, for instance, TDAY, which includes both TDAY Sports, branded as Gen Z’s ESPN, and TDAY Production, helping businesses scale via social media. Founded in 2022 by Penn State student Justin Leusner, TDAY Sports targets sports fans tired of traditional sports coverage, monetizing its efforts through brand deals with companies looking to target Gen Z sports fans, such as Gatorade. Meanwhile, TDAY Production targets a client base of wealthy attorneys and real estate investors looking to build their personal social media brands.

“We have some strong attraction right now in Happy Valley,” described Leusner. “After a decade in the social media world, I executed some customer discovery, and identified a few gaps in the market, as a way to make money, leveraging my connections and expertise in the social media industry.”

TDAY’s 2024 goal is to reach 10 million subscribers across its TDAY Sports social media platforms, while creating content with all 30 NBA stadiums, while also serving 10 high-ticket businesses via TDAY Production.

A mutually beneficial ecosystem between local musicians and businesses

While TDAY serves both a niche viewership and those looking to finetune their own social media brands, Spaces In Between Production, also founded in 2022, serves the media world from behind the scenes, creating locally produced soundtrack music that can be legally licensed for social media, marketing, ads, film and documentaries, and helping local indie artists produce music that is of a high enough quality to license.

Producer and co-founder Casey Walke noted, “I noticed that locally produced marketing efforts like [those for] the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau were using generic, big box store-type music, instead of locally produced music, to advertise the uniqueness of the area.”

Why would local businesses and organizations not support the wealth of local musicians and similar talent throughout the region? That’s where Spaces In Between Productions comes in, helping create a mutually beneficial ecosystem between local musicians and businesses.

“Happy Valley has a strong community of small businesses and nonprofits that support each other, along with a vast connection of alumni connected to enterprise businesses that could encourage supporting nonprofits through licensing locally produced music,” Walke explained.

Now, Walke hopes to expand and replicate this mutually beneficial ecosystem in other communities, beyond central Pennsylvania.

Do you know a Happy Valley business changing the future of media?

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  1. Hopefully the new Nittany Performing Arts Centre planned for the Pugh Street Garage redevelopment might provide new spaces for performances, streaming and even a recording studio.
    Check out the possibilities at the CBICC Business After Hours "The Arts Mean Business," April 15, 5:00-7:00 pm at the Hyatt Place State College.
    Hope to see you there!

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