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Introducing Roger & James: A meeting of marketing minds

David Krakow



Michael Westafer, left, and Michael Cardwell. Photo provided.

Taking their 10-year relationship to the next level, Tampa’s award-winning digital marketing agency Roger West Creative & Code and Orlando’s Digital Brew, an Emmy-winning video production company, have merged.

Named Tampa Bay’s Small Business of the Year for its size in 2022 by the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, Roger West helps clients build brands and generate leads through digital content. Founded in 2007, it has offices on Linebaugh Avenue in Tampa, and in Atlanta. Company founder and CEO Michael Westafer has been named CEO of the new holding company – to be named Roger & James.

“By joining forces, we’re able to offer cost efficiencies to clients while delivering top marketing services and video production,” Westafer said. “We’ll provide clients with the latest marketing strategies, all under one roof with a unified approach to meeting their goals.”

Westafar said that the office footprints will stay as is and that employees of the two companies will be able to work in any locations.

Digital Brew founder and CEO Michael Cardwell will serve as president of the new company. Founded in 2011, the company specializes in storytelling via live action video and 2D/3D animated content. Winners of over 20 regional Emmy Awards, the company is made up of filmmakers, designers and animators.

The companies combined have just under 40 employees, including 22 at Roger West and 150 clients in the U.S. Westafer said no cutbacks are expected.

“We’re building on an already solid partnership that shares the same values, vision and commitment to excellence,” remarked Cardwell in a prepared statement. The companies announced that they will continue operating under their current, separate brands for now with plans to integrate teams, service delivery and operational management sometime later this year.

“Because many of our clients are similar and even overlap, both companies will be working with very similar companies as they did before the merger,” Westafer commented. “What clients of Digital Brew and Roger West can expect is a full-service digital marketing agency that includes award-winning services from both companies.”

Roger West lists among its services branding, communications and PR strategies, content marketing, data analytics and lead generation. It serves industries such as healthcare, restaurants, technology and non-profits. Digital Brew has clients in the SaaS (software as a service), healthcare, industrial, manufacturing and tech industries.

Roger West has been on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list for the past five years and received a similar designation from Inc. Magazine in 2023.  

Digital Brew won its 21st Emmy from the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences last December in the Graphic Arts: Motion Graphics category.

As far as the decision to merge after a decade-long collaboration?

“In the past, Roger West and Digital Brew would simply refer existing clients to one another based on their marketing needs,” Westafer said.

“We did this so often that Michael (Cardwell) and I decided the most advantageous move for everyone would be to merge companies, offering the same services our clients are accustomed to while also integrating the additional services the other company specializes in.”

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