ASHE Avenue + Aol.


I write to you today with big news: Ashe Avenue has been acquired by AOL.

Eight years ago we officially founded Ashe Avenue, while the “unofficial” origin dates back to friends and I building computers out of my college bedroom in Raleigh, NC in 2002. It is a name anchored in one of the most influential and important time periods in my life, and represents a lot more than business objectives or company goals. If you ask people who lived at the Ashe house back then, they’d describe the shows, the parties, the familial camaraderie our home embodied. Everyone was friends, and once you walked in the front door you were instantly treated as such. That is the same way we’ve operated our company since opening. We are a family, we share successes and failures, we work hard together and through this set of values we have achieved an extraordinary level of success that I could never have imagined upon setting out on this journey.

Over these eight years we built a team of some of the most talented and brilliant individuals who have done nothing short of jaw-dropping work. We have always been the wizard behind the curtain, or the 12-cylinder engine under the hoods of extraordinary machines. In fact, even if you’ve never heard of us, the chances that you have come across our work at some recent point in time are very high.

We made a name for ourselves building the platform for VICE’s media empire. We rebuilt and watched them be acquired by Google. We worked on tons of interactive projects for all sorts of brands - Asics, Samsung, Lexus, Shutterstock, Mountain Dew and countless others. We built dozens of media platforms for groups like High Times and Illroots. We built products and native apps for startups. We built an interactive display inside PepsiCo’s Headquarters. We have helped save campaigns that were thought to be doomed and turned them into major successes.

We traveled all over the world to meet and work with incredible people, and for each adventure, we regarded ourselves as partners, not vendors; we took pride in delivering amazing, creative, powerful work. For these opportunities, these people and these journeys together, I personally could not be any more grateful.

AOL has been one of our partners for the last three years. Since launching in 2012, AOL has come to us for an engaging series of challenges - new platforms, product explorations, app development, even bringing us in to work on the redesign of their flagship product, Over time our partnership became more and more symbiotic, eventually reaching a tipping point earlier this year where it made more sense to join forces than to continue operating as two separate entities.

Today, it feels incredible to share the news that the entire Ashe Avenue Development team will be entering a new world of product development as a part of the AOL family. We will be directly responsible for the innovation and engineering powering many of AOL’s largest lifestyle verticals, including (one of the top 50 most popular sites in the US, and one of the top 200 in the world). Together we have walked a very long road and built an amazing team that can deliver these products, and will be focusing even more intently on strengthening and evolving the amazing work that continues to come out of AOL.

To all of those who have worked with us as partners and those who have sipped whiskey and talked about music with us, I thank you. To all of you who believed in us or took a chance on our company, I thank you. To every individual who has ever worked as a part of our team, I cannot begin to thank you enough. And to the future members of our team that I haven’t met yet, we welcome you with open arms.

Thank you all for an incredible ride - here's to the next chapter in our journey together.

John McKinney
CTO, & Lifestyle Brands