Rocket Launch President Mike Wheeler (left), Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Erin Gibbons and Vice President of Public Relations Dan Nasitka meet in the agency’s Old Towne office, which they opened in 2020. The trio used their creative experience to launch a full-service marketing and public relations agency that boasts local and national clients from the Orange County Fair to Dole.
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If you’ve ever visited the Orange County Fair, enjoyed a day at Knott’s Berry Farm or explored the Discovery Cube, chances are you have encountered the handiwork of the Rocket Launch team. The Old Towne-based full-service marketing and public relations agency has been part of the creative engine behind the communications and marketing efforts of those well-known local institutions.
The agency was started by President Mike Wheeler, Vice President of Public Relations Dan Nasitka and Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Erin Gibbons, who all worked together on the Discovery Cube’s in-house marketing and communications team.
“Through the process of working together, we were inspired by one another and thought about starting an agency,” says Nasitka. “When the time was right, we jumped in and founded Rocket Launch.”
Now in its 6th year as an agency, Rocket Launch has grown its workforce to 19 employees. As a full-service agency, the firm offers an extensive array of services, from marketing, public relations, advertising and social media management, to creative production and web development.
“Many creative agencies are just focused on advertising, but there aren’t a lot that do marketing and public relations together,” says Nasitka. “From our experience working in-house, having marketing and public relations under one roof is a really beneficial solution for our clients.”
One such client is the OC Fair, which selected Rocket Launch as the company’s agency of record two years ago.
“Every piece of material you see promoting the fair comes from us, and it’s incredibly exciting to see all our commercials and projects come to life,” says Gibbons. “Our team has worked on commercials, contests and all types of marketing strategies for the event.”
Last year’s OC Fair drew in more than a million attendees, and the marketing process behind the event is extensive. The Rocket Launch team has already started ideating for next year’s fair theme, even before this summer’s fair takes place.
Aside from the OC Fair, Rocket Launch has a full roster of clients located across Orange County, operating from their Old Towne office. The team moved into the space three years after launching the agency, right before the pandemic hit in 2020.
“As we grew the agency, we knew it was important for us to be in an iconic location in the area,” says Nasitka. “Old Towne is the perfect spot for our staff and clients as we continue our accelerated growth path with clients based in Orange and beyond.”
Among their Orange clientele are the Haven Collective, which operates Haven Craft Kitchen, Provisions Deli and Bottle Shop, and Chapman Crafted, as well as Chapman University’s Hilbert Museum of California Art.
“We’re looking forward to continuing the work we’re doing for our clients and making connections with all the great restaurants and businesses that call Orange home,” says Nasitka.
In addition to local restaurants, the agency has an impressive client roster spanning from Dole Food Company to local chapters of the Boys & Girls Club.
“We’re fortunate to have national brands as our clients, but we also have nonprofits throughout Southern California, including the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Orange County Community Foundation, and others.”
That client diversity reflects Rocket Launch’s commitment to driving impactful change for a company’s bottom line. From the start, the founding partners aimed to foster meaningful client relationships and drive significant change, with a strong passion for including nonprofits and foundations in their work.
“We want to be nimble enough to still be able to help emerging companies get to where they’re at,” says Wheeler. “It’s the smaller companies that need a little bit more help, so we’re at a stage where we can help both bigger and smaller companies and do meaningful work on different scales.”
190 South Glassell St., #201, Old Towne Orange, CA 92866 / 714-694-7190