Serkant Turemis & Chris Straumann
Country Co-Founders: Germany, Austria & Switzerland
Both working in and around Germany, Serkant and Chris had to travel all the way to Minnesota, where they met at a musical celebration at Prince’s Paisley Park in 2001. Combined, they have over 50 years’ experience across entertainment, marketing, sponsorship and corporate social responsibility. Having worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years, Serkant has brought major Broadway shows to Hamburg, including "Disney's The Lion King" and "Mamma Mia!". Additionally, he was responsible for huge arena productions, such as the famous "Holiday on Ice" show.
Meanwhile, Chris has a focus on sponsorship, digital brand management as well as event management and marketing, including 14 years at the Migros - a pioneer in corporate social responsibility and brand communication, where he led various project for their Migros-Culture-Percentage - there Migros corporate social responsibility scheme/program. This program has by now has given back to swiss society more than 5 billion swiss francs. Most projects included also volunteering work. Areas where he was involved included culture-, social- and sportsponsoring engagements with a focus on music also for the younger target group of 14-25 years old. Most recently, they worked together on an exciting family circus project and are now ready for their next partnership - bringing RockCorps to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Why are we partnering with Serkant & Chris?
Serkant and Chris have the perfect combination of marketing, branding and event production experience tied with an understanding of how social purpose is increasingly important in business to differentiate brands nowadays. Not only that, but they share a deep passion for the power of music in connecting us…. Plus, they are just really cool people. With the skills, knowledge and links across the entire DACH region - Serkant and Chris recognise that now may be a challenging market, but in their words “we are the perfect fit to master the challenge”.
Serkant & Chris, why did you choose to become Co-Founders?
Serkant: Music has always been a powerful tool for connection and positive change. As a music lover and parent, I understand the impact music can have on shaping young minds. By becoming a Co-Founder at RockCorps, I can combine my passion for music with my commitment to social engagement, empowering young individuals to create meaningful change.
Chris: I always wished for a set-up where I could help launch an international cause with a social impact. The fact that I have a long history of experience and expertise and that my network is well established makes me even happier about this project. Furthermore, I am beyond excited because it's also about music, which is my biggest passion. My devotion to music has also linked me to Serkant and will surely link me to other RockCorps team members as well.
What excites you about taking RockCorps to Germany, Austria and Switzerland?
Serkant: I am most excited about personally interacting with companies in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and showing them the incredible benefits of working with RockCorps. As well as making a positive impact on the community, it's about forging meaningful partnerships that benefit the company as well. RockCorps can increase brand visibility, demonstrate corporate social responsibility, and establish a genuine connection with an enthusiastic and active target group. This is when I, personally, advocate for it and secure sponsorship for our events. With RockCorps in the DACH region, this is especially exciting. I can connect with a diverse and passionate audience, contributing tangible and positive changes to our local communities through an innovative platform.
Chris: Especially to introduce the concept of give and take in these countries. Because I also firmly believe in this kind of concept. I analyzed the quit similar concept of Migros as part of my branding thesis what CSR can bring positively to brand management and am curious to see which brands will recognize the potential of such a concept for their marketing and employer brand management.
Do you anticipate any particular challenges?
Serkant: Building Awareness: Gaining widespread recognition and awareness for RockCorps in an emerging market like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland can be challenging initially.
Chris: Of course, there a some challenges like a lot of big companies have already their marketing and sponsoring strategy planned for 2024 but it is up to us to succeed.
What music were you listening to at 16?
Serkant: While I was still discovering classics like The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, James Brown and Miles Davis, I naturally listened to Prince, Michael Jackson, The Smiths, George Michael, Terence Trent D’Arby, The Cure, Queen, Sting, U2, Fleetwood Mac, INXS, Depeche Mode and Madonna in 1986 and 1987.
Chris: Before choosing Prince as my favorite artist ever I started out listening to Depeche Mode and The Cure so at 16 I was mostly into Pop-Music before I started to dive into mostly loving black music in general. (But Prince’s Sign on the Times album was already then on highest rotation in my Walkmen.)
What was the first concert you ever attended?
Serkant: Prince's Sign "O" The Time Tour on June 4th, 1987 in Stuttgart, Germany
Chris: 1987 Prince’s Sign "O" The Times Tour, Hallenstadion Zurich my first of roughly 50 Prince-Concerts I attended.