Yung Creatives • Josh Kahn
Yung Creatives is a monthly panel curated and hosted by These Days' Jake Krez at Soho House Chicago. To provide added insight on the talented young people taking the stage during the next discussion, we've decided to pair the event with a series of digital features. Over the upcoming weeks, we'll turn the spotlight on each member of the forthcoming panel one at a time.
In the exciting world of modern day Chicago, there are a lot of places where creativity is lurking. One corner you might not have expected to look into was the high-flying lane of sports, the NBA, and the Chicago Bulls. And this is why you should trade jumping to conclusions for jump-shots, since 28-year-old Josh Kahn (originally from Long Island) has been working as the Bulls’ Senior Creative Director and breaking down expectations for what the position historically entailed. It's fitting, because while we look at the city in the context of music, Chicago exists today, for better or for worse, because of its inception as a business location at the crossroads of America. Let's take a look at this fascinating mind of film, business, and marketing who will be dropping through this month's Yung Creatives at Soho House.
Kahn first joined onto the Bulls' business team in 2009, after graduating from NYU's Tisch School of Arts with a BFA the same year and interning at the Weinstein Company and NBS Sports before as a student. Six and a half years later, it's 2016 and Kahn has more hardware than a lot of the players themselves; Telly Awards, Chicago Midwest Emmys, and a recent prestigious spot on the 2016 Forbes 30-Under-30 list in the sports category. Talk about hustle. The awards match the depth of his talent, combining his skills as a filmmaker, artist, marketer, and businessman to be a Swiss Army knife unfolding for all the Bulls’ creative needs. Now at the level of Senior Creative Producer for the Chicago Bulls at just 28 years old, needless to say, he’s been rising fast. His big claim to fame? BullsTV.
BullsTV has taken traditional sports media and turned it on its head, bringing the fans and the athletes closer together. Beginning with the 2014-2015 season, he began debuting doc-spots featuring players such as Derek Rose, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah. Instead of simply carrying water for poor team choices or dubious promotions, Kahn saw the space for an alternative to the usual eye-rolling ads and promos. His work has taken a turn towards personal connection, showing off the team and its connection to the city with humor, style, and honesty. These mini docs are effective in getting fans interested in the season and making them feel on the inside, part of the Bulls’ Chicago family. For example, Kahn oversaw the release of their 2015-2016 TV spots celebrating the team's golden birthday, with the theme of "Chicago Basketball Is Golden". The decision to emphasize the history of such a storied franchise was inspired, and in a business where fans are so taken for granted (see: the NFL's recent and heartless debacle in St. Louis), any effort at sincerity is as appreciated as it is rare.
Come out to Soho House on February 29 (yes, the 29th) to get a rare look inside the competitive world of the sports business, from one of the most exciting creatives behind the curtain of the game right now.