By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

January 12, 2017 | 4 min read

Rick Ross is truly the boss in his old Carol City, Florida neighborhood, thanks to his buying of several greater Miami Checkers and Rally’s franchises. He’s proving his love for the city he grew up in by teaming with Atlanta agency Fitzgerald & Co and Woven for a documentary-style promo for the franchise.

The artist and entrepreneur takes center stage as a unifier of his old neighborhood as the owner of a Checkers restaurant he used to frequent as a teen, when he worked at a carwash across the street.

Fitzgerald & Co, studio Woven, Ross and Checkers created a documentary-style film, “Rick Ross Buys Back the Block,” about his deep connection with Checkers and life as a “fast foodie.” It tells the story of what the brand meant to him and his friends growing up – big, bold taste at an incredible value. The work marks the official launch of the partnership between Checkers and Ross.

Ross narrates the video while driving around his old haunts in Carol City. Scenes of kids and young adults on the playground, the schoolyard, and on the road flash by to his voiceover. Ross tells of the dreams and aspirations he had while growing up and how Checkers was a centerpiece of some of the best memories he had with his friends and family. The video also draws a direct line from Checkers to hip-hop culture.

Ross, 40, even bought the Checkers franchise right across the street from Miami Carol City Senior High School, his alma mater and where he played on the football team. That connection to football and Checkers is what he said got him through his hardscrabble youth.

“Checkers was more affordable. It’s the number one hamburger in the game. The boss said it,” says Ross in the video.

Owning Checkers & Rally’s franchises fulfills a childhood dream for Ross, who saved his dollars from a car-wash job to be able to eat at Checkers regularly. His success in the music business means he can have just about anything he wants, and as he says in the video, “I want Checkers.”

The franchise ownership also enables him to give back to the city and the people who nurtured him.

“Providing jobs. Investing back into the community. Staying in touch with where you from,” are the reasons Ross gives for his franchise ownership.

The video also falls in line with Ross’s “Buy Back the Block” rags-to-riches song and video, featuring 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane.

“A rap mogul, a brave client, a brick-and-mortar investment, branded content through partnership, a smash hit with a brand message built in—it’s one of the most exciting projects Fitzco has been involved in,” said Noel Cottrell, CCO of Fitzgerald & Co. “Working up front with Ross and Checkers on the marketing end of their deal, telling the rags to roses story with our partner Woven and then seeing ‘Buy Back The Block’ drop with the opening Checkers shoutout from Supa Cindy – if this is the future of our business, count me in.”

Alastair McKevitt, who won an Emmy for his camera work on HBO’s sports series “24/7,” directed the Ross-Checkers video. McKevitt’s prior work includes “The Off Season: Kevin Durant”; “UFC: Road to the Octagon”; and “The Marinovich Project.”


Fitzgerald & Co.

Noel Cottrell, Chief Creative Officer

Ryan Boblett, Group Creative Director

Carl Corbitt, Group Creative Director

Dave Gordon, Creative Director

Jean Tanis, Associate Creative Director

David Matathia, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer

Jeff Quick, VP, Account Director

Madison Gargan, Management Supervisor

Lauren Edwards, Assistant Account Executive

Mike McGarry, SVP, Director of Emerging Content

Liz Daney, EVP, Chief Media Officer

Anna Sherrill, VP, Group Media Director

Jessica Fergen, Assistant Media Director, Digital

Woven credits

Benjamin Blank, CEO / Chief Creative Officer

Kurt Anderson, Head of Studio

Bridger Nielson, Studio Creative Directer

Matt Lividary, Head of Post Production

Kaila Mulcahy, Content Strategist

Dina Gachman, Creative Brand Strategist

Eddie Peña, Director of Brand Partnerships

Eric Chan, Brand Strategist

Ricky Lloyd George, Producer

Alastair McKevitt, Director of Photography

Ryan Lee, Client Services Manager

Marketing Hip-hop Creative

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