A new literary and talent agency, Matchstick Group, launches today (1st March), founded by entrepreneur Max Parker. It will cover all forms of entertainment including social media influencer clients and has investment from “Made in Chelsea” star Binky Felstead and Danny Jones of band “McFly”.
“Matchstick Group is reimagining the way that talent management typically operates,” the company said. “In addition to a deep commitment to improving diversity, accessibility and representation in the entertainment industry, Matchstick Group boldly breaks with tradition by prioritising the mental wellbeing of its staff and clients above all else, as well as offering client and staff incentives to refer new business.”
Parker, an entrepreneur, is overseeing the digital-first agency which represents talent from musicians to models, actors to authors, and social media influencers to celebrities. “Uniquely for a management agency, Matchstick Group is an agency founded by the talent themselves," with investment from both Felstead from Channel 4 show “Made In Chelsea” and musician Danny Jones from “McFly”. Other clients include actress Martine McCutcheon, twin models Hermon and Heroda Berhane – the first models with a disability to front a MAC Cosmetics campaign — singer-songwriter and model Max George, formerly of "The Wanted", Ollie Locke from "Made In Chelsea", and debut author Patrick Hutchinson, who rose to fame after rescuing an injured far-right protester during the London Black Lives Matter demonstrations of 2020.
Parker chose to launch Matchstick Group on Monday (1st March), also known as International Self-Injury Awareness Day, as the inspiration to start his own agency came after he lost a close friend to suicide last August. “Being devastated by the loss of his friend as well as the ongoing Covid pandemic and stress at work, led to Max having a complete breakdown in summer 2020,” the company said. “Being diagnosed with depression and suicidal thoughts paved the way to Max leaving his job of seven years to create his own company with the support of close friends, clients, and investors Danny Jones and Binky Felstead.”
Due to his commitment to promoting diversity and accessibility in the entertainment industry and his genius for launching new talent, in 2017 Parker was recognised by YouTube for Best Independent Music Release 2017, with YouTube showcasing his campaign strategy globally to artist managers. Parker’s achievements range from two Top 20 independent single releases from his own record label (which were turned into record deals with Sony and Universal Music respectively), five UK music tours, two theatre productions, five UK book publishing deals, and over 3,250 brand campaigns.
Parker said: “It means a lot to me to launch Matchstick Group on Self Injury Awareness Day as announcing this company to the world is a declaration of my intent that the future will be brighter and better. At its core Matchstick is all about diversity, individuality and supporting our incredibly talented roster of clients to not only achieve great things but thrive while doing so. I owe a massive debt of thanks to both Binky and Danny for not just believing in me when I was at my lowest but for encouraging me and backing me to take this leap of faith to share my vision of the future of talent management.”
Felstead said: "In recent years I’ve wanted to create an investment portfolio, investing into start-up businesses that I’m passionate about and truly believe in. I regard Max as one of the best agents in the UK. I have no doubt that it is his character, values and determination that have enabled him to become an established industry leader in recent years."
Jones said: “I knew with Max behind it, Matchstick Group would be a success but I wouldn’t have believed the growth the agency has had prior to the launch. I’m so proud to be a part of this journey and with the agency launching today with 26 clients sets the tone of our ambition to be the biggest and best agency in the UK.”
Matchstick Group will be giving 2% of all its profits in support of the mental health charity Joe’s Buddy Line. The charity aims to provide a lifeline to young people who might be experiencing suicidal or other debilitating thoughts and need someone to talk to or require other help, information and assistance.