Zac Brown Band has left an indelible mark on music since debuting more than a decade ago with its first album, The Foundation, featuring the hit single “Chicken Fried.” Since then, the Atlanta-based, Southern rock band, led by frontman Zac Brown, has gone on to release four more albums, chart 14 No. 1 hits on country radio, and win three Grammy Awards. The band is now hard at work on a new album and just released the single “Someone I Used To Know.”
It’s a busy time for Zac Brown who has just announced the launch of his newly branded entertainment and lifestyle company, Zac Brown Collective, formerly known as Southern Ground. Known for a commitment to excellence when it comes to music, Brown says he’s met a lot of people throughout his career who are ‘masters of their craft’ in other fields or industries. His Zac Brown Collective will bring them all together under one umbrella to give them the support and tools they need to succeed on a bigger scale.
“You meet someone that’s undeniably talented and fits our culture,” Brown says, “someone who is a hustler, who loves to hustle within their craft and really dedicates their life and themselves to what they do. And I believe in American-made. I’m really proud to have the laborers, the craftsmen, the engineers, the designers, and the skill that comes behind it.”
His Zac Brown Collective will serve as the parent company for a number of distinctive brands in a wide-range of categories including music, food, filmmaking, fashion and apparel, custom design, outdoor gear, and more.
Brown says he’s excited to be able to bring so many different entities together.
“The key thing is curating the people that already create something amazing, figure out how to bring them into the fold and so together we can magnify their gifts even more. And my ability to build my own business has helped me to bring together an incredible team.”
That team totals about 250 people who help guide the different brands.
“The business principles are the same, a lot of the support is the same no matter what the medium is. Having a clear business model to take their craft and monetize it and deliver a product we’re really proud of.”
Here are some examples of the different brands under the Zac Brown Collective (ZBC) umbrella.
Music – ZBC will expand artist services to aid in the business and career growth of new and veteran musicians to include artist management, merchandize management and fan club management.
Food – ZBC began with Zac’s Place to later serving fans with his Eat & Greet while on tour. It will build on that with the new Zac Brown Social Club inside State Farm Arena, along with the Remedy Bakeshop line of gluten-free cookies and snacks, and his Z. Alexander Brown wine.
Fashion & Apparel – ZBC has acquired the LA-based Sheehan and Company, a made-in-the-USA, vintage inspired, men’s fashion line.
Film – Zac Brown’s film production company Southern Reel will expand into feature film, TV and digital video.
Custom Design – Zac Brown’s in-house design company, ZB Customs, works with wood, metal and leather to design custom cars, motorcycles, trucks, furniture, and more.
Gear – This includes Zac Brown’s premium knife company Southern Grind and his audio company, DemerBox, which makes indestructible, water-proof, Bluetooth speakers.
Brown says bringing all of these businesses together under one parent company will allow everyone involved to grow and benefit.
“We can really have a force of American-made products, then have a higher purpose where it all gives back to something that helps our kids and our veterans.”
Helping kids and veterans is something very close to Brown’s heart. He’s the founder of Camp Southern Ground which hosts kids from 7 to 17 for week-long residential camps throughout the summer, then supports military and veteran families during the remaining weeks of the year.
“Camp Southern Ground is my way of giving back for all the blessings I’ve received,” he says. “It’s a place where we can provide models for our kids that can be taken out there into the world. It’s a way to serve our kids and teach them things that matter. I was a camp kid and my life was changed and shaped there.”
The camp is open to typically developing children, as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning and attention issues, and other social or emotional challenges.
Camp Southern Ground is also geared toward helping veterans and their families.
“I know a lot of incredible veterans and have come to understand what outstanding, selfless people they are, and they deserve to have a little bit better options and treatment and helping them transition back to where they feel needed again,” he says.
Through it all, Brown says he remains focused, as always, on his music.
“I’m making a new album right now and the first single just came out. There’s lots more music to come. For me, that’s the part that comes easiest.”