Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, and Environmentalism
Curtis with his family at Rincon Beach in Carpinteria, California.
You may remember the photo we ran a few years back of Ben Curtis ’06 (CLAS), then president of Daylight Holdings in LA, celebrating with his client Rami Malek, who had just won the Best Actor Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Curtis, who played hockey at UConn, says his big break into the world of talent management came when, as a senior, he landed an internship with the New York Yankees. “My grandfather was roommates with George Steinbrenner at Culver Military Academy, where I went to [high] school. One day, my grandfather asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated. He said, ‘Do you want to work for the Yankees?’ He said he’d write Steinbrenner a letter. One day, when I was coming out of creative writing class, I got a call from the Yankees asking me to come to interview at the stadium the next day.”
The internship was in community relations, which meant assisting celebrity clients during baseball games. “I helped them get comfortable at the game,” he says. “That was my first foray into working with celebrities.”
In the last few years, Curtis has become more of a media entrepreneur. He co-founded and co-launched an apparel brand for gamers called Cloak and helps run a scripted podcast company called QCode with fellow alum and company founder and CEO Rob Herting ’06 (BUS).
And living in LA has fueled his passion for the outdoors. When he’s not hiking in the Santa Ynez Mountains, he’s surfing the waves of Rincon, near his home in Santa Barbara. He’s become increasingly dedicated to environmental causes and says he is excited that UConn is too.
“UConn is doing an incredible job being a leader in environmental causes — like aquaculture, sea farming, and regenerative agricultural practices,” he says. “Those are all things that I care deeply about and that’s really exciting to me.”
To that end, Curtis is giving a scholarship to a UConn student-athlete majoring in environmental studies. “I hope it inspires some student-athletes to pursue studies in environmental issues,” he says. “I’m shooting a flare into the air to show other alumni how important environmental-driven causes and practices are within the school and to encourage them to donate as well.”
By Grace Merritt