about us

The Origins of Hippo Media Group: Meet Our Three Founders

Hippo Media was founded by Scottie Sigmon, Skip Wilson, and Gene Austin in January 2023. Having previously worked together at iHeart Media, each left for various reasons and pursuits. Serendipitously, Scottie, Skip, and later, Gene, reunited over lunch. During this meeting, the idea for an agency emerged. Envisioned as a blend of a fractional CMO and a business consultancy for each client, the agency would leverage the connections and partnerships typical of a large agency while maintaining the personalized touch of a boutique firm. This concept quickly began to come to fruition.​

The Story Behind Our Purple Hippo and the Hippo Media Group Name

One question we encounter more frequently than any other since the inception of our company revolves around the origins of our unique name and the choice of a purple hippo as our mascot. Our journey through various industries, especially our significant presence in the automotive sector, has been marked by innovation, teamwork, and a keen insight into the market’s dynamics.

Scottie Sigmon, one of our founders with nearly a decade of experience in the automotive industry, has encountered every industry saying imaginable. These range from the playful to those with a more negative or even derogatory connotation, like “PHD” (Papa Has Dealership) or “HIPPO” (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). But to uncover the real story behind our name, we need to delve a bit deeper.

Much like any iconic band’s evolution—take The Beatles, who initially were “The Quarrymen”—Hippo Media Group underwent its transformation. Initially, we named ourselves Yoke Media Group, drawing inspiration from our founders’ spiritual beliefs and the idea of a yoke symbolizing partnership and teamwork, much like two oxen pulling together to achieve a common goal. However, despite the positive connotations and the deep symbolism we found in the name, it ultimately did not resonate as we had hoped. 

In search of a name that truly represented our ethos, Scottie’s father, Wayne, provided the spark of inspiration. He suggested “Hippo,” noting the impossibility of saying the word without a smile. Moreover, Scottie recalled the acronym “HIPPO” and saw it as an opportunity to redefine its meaning within our context.

At Hippo Media Group, we envisioned creating a company that prioritizes data and analytics over the conventional “gut instinct” often associated with the highest-paid person’s opinion. Interestingly, hippos are among the most formidable creatures in the animal kingdom—powerful yet unassuming, capable of surprising even the most skeptical observers. This duality resonated with us; like the hippo, we aimed to be a force of unexpected power and insight in the industry.

Our name and mascot, therefore, symbolize our commitment to impactful, data-driven strategies, teamwork, and a touch of serendipity. The founders, all ‘pleasantly plump,’ saw themselves in the hippo’s might and unassuming nature. After sharing this vision with the team, Hippo Media Group was officially born.

This narrative embodies our journey—a blend of serendipity, strategic thinking, and the collective strength of a team that believes in making a significant impact. The purple hippo, a symbol of creativity, wisdom, and uniqueness, perfectly encapsulates our approach to transforming the industries we serve.

Meet our team

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Scottie Sigmon, CDMP, PCM®-DM

President | Co-Founder

Gene Austin

Vice president | Co-Founder

Skip Wilson

Vice president of operations | Co-founder

Crystal Russell

Creative Director

Warren McClish

Director of Web Development

Isaac Bell

Music Supervisor

Ciera Lowrimore

Chief Administration Officer

Robert McCallister

VP of Sales

Jeff Fries

Senior Account Executive

Denise Williams

Senior account executive