the RMM group (the Rivera Mercado Marketing group) is a full service public relations and marketing firm that synchronizes communication channels to help you develop a completely integrated experience that connects your business with it's target audience and earns you their trust. We reach consumers through multiple points of contact, both online and on-site. Our marketing tools have impacted millions of consumers.
Here at the RMM group we want to take the time to get to know you. We seek out to understand your needs and those of your audience, because it helps us craft a meaningful message that inspires people to take action. We can help you connect with audiences you thought were beyond your reach. That is our goal.
John “Gungie” Rivera has been a mainstay in the music and nightlife industries for approximately three decades. The New York native has worn many hats throughout his career including DJ, record producer and remixer, artist manager, club owner, record executive, club and concert promoter, and most recently, activist.
Rivera, whose nickname “Gungie” comes from the first word he ever spoke, began DJing at the age of 16. “Even before I was a DJ, I loved to see people have a good time,” recalled Rivera.
“My family would have gatherings at my grandmothers house and I would play the music for them. As my uncles and their cousins played dominos, I would make an omelet for them. Basically I like to help people enjoy themselves.”Starting Out
His first foray into DJing was at Sweet Sixteen parties in his Bronx neighborhood, when he formed a working relationship, that still continues to this day, with soon-to-be superstar producer Little Louie Vega. “At my parties, Id pair people up. If I saw a guy sitting down and a girl sitting down, Id get them to dance together and by the end of the night theyd be having a ball,” recalled Rivera, who soon moved on to the club circuit. Rivera could be seen behind the turntables at hotspots like Palladium, Roseland, 1018, Tunnel and Emerald City, as well as at outdoor concerts for Hot 103 FM and Hot 97 FM in the late 1980s. As a respected New York DJ, Rivera also worked with top industry people like David Morales, Funkmaster Flex, Roman Ricardo, Glenn Frischer and Junior Vasquez.The Recording Industry
In addition to spinning records, Rivera made a name for himself by making records. He co-produced the Mary Jane Girl remix of “All Night Long” by Nayobe featuring Fat Joe and Rayvon, and even served as Vice President of Sal Abbatiellos Fever Enterprises, which counted Nayobe as a client. Rivera went on to manage Fat Joe in the 1990s and today manages DJ/remixer “The Remix King” Big Dawg Pit Bull DJ Tedsmooth, who is known for his remix of Jamie Foxxs “Blame It,” among other tracks.
Because of his musical background, being a DJ and music producer, he developed an ear for great music and was able to pinpoint real talent. Rivera started his own record company, Prestigio Recordings, which was distributed by Sony Discos. The first artist signed to Riveras label was Puerto Rican dance-music singer George Lamond. Rivera helped Lamonds first single reach the top of the charts and his album went gold in eight weeks. He also signed a Spanish fusion group, Nueve Once, who set the popular trend of Bachata-rengue-house music. Nueve Onces first album went gold as well. This track record of success helped Prestigio to become one of the leading independently-distributed labels in the Sony organization. The label grew and eventually had offices in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.Promoter
Ever the entrepreneur, Rivera went on to form Prestige Productions, which boasted marketing clients like SBS and La Mega 97.9 FM. He produced concerts with Henry Cardenas of CFA, now CMN. With renowned concert promoter Ralph Mercado, Rivera co-produced and promoted the popular Valentines Day and Labor Day salsa concerts at Madison Square Garden, among others. Rivera promoted events across the globe, even as far as Japan, and was instrumental in pioneering the urban and hip-hop concert scenes in Puerto Rico. He was also responsible for events at venues like Latin Quarter, Club Baja, Expo, Metropolis, China Club, Quo, Roseland and Brooklyns Club Rio one of five nightclubs Rivera has owned over the years. He has also owned or co-owned New Yorks Fever, Miamis Cristal, and successful Bronx nightclub Club Rhumba, among others.
Rivera remains active in the New York scene to this day. As executive promoter at marketing/PR company Victory2 Multimedia, Rivera was actively involved in events at highly-recognizable New York clubs like China Club, Guesthouse and Duvet. His client list also includes actor Kamar de los Reyes, Madison Square Garden, New York radio station Party 105 FM, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, RPI Inc., Habana Room, Ralph Mercado Presents, MTV 3, World Domino Tournament, “Remix King” DJ Tedsmooth and Celebrity Chefs Ricardo Cardona and Alex Garcia.Awards and Honors
In 2007 Rivera was named “Business Man of the Year” at the Puerto Rican Day Parade. He has been named “Promoter of the Year” by Premios Estrella, “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Latinos Unidos and “New York Citys Top Promoter” by Stress Magazine. Rivera has spoken on National DJ panels, as well as National Promoter panels, at Miamis Winter Music Conference, and in 2009 was asked to join the jury for the New York Nightlife Hall of Fame. Along with Fab Five Freddy, Susanne Bartsch, Funkmaster Flex and many others, Rivera helped to assemble the inaugural “legacy” class of clubs, people and parties that were breaking new ground prior to 1980.Giving Back
Riveras success has only increased his opportunity to give back to his community. He owns and organized the Salsa the Vote 2000 campaign, which registered approximately 15,000 voters, and has donated both funds and services to Ayuda Los Pueblos, which raised money for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Rivera was featured in the New York Daily News for his work with The Door, a non-profit community center that provides services for children and young adults. He has also organized drives for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, produced the annual galas for Promesa Foundation, and developed a Latino division for the charitable organization Life-Beat.
Today, Rivera is involved in his most important venture to date the Cristian Rivera Foundation. Rivera lost his six-year-old son, Cristian, to a rare brain stem tumor known as Pontine Glioma in 2009. The disease primarily affects children under the age of 9 and there is currently no cure for this inoperable cancer. “Ever since Cristian passed away, I have committed myself to help find a cure for this deadly disease," said Rivera. “My hope is that no other family would have to go through the grief of losing a beloved child.rdquo;
Rivera has dedicated himself to finding a cure for Pontine Glioma and has assembled a high-profile committee to help him achieve his goals. Members include former Bronx Borough President and New York City mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer, rapper Jim Jones, legendary producer Jelly Bean Benitez, actress and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Miriam Colon, Little Louie Vega, restaurateur Jimmy Rodriguez, Mr. Olympia Victor Martinez and author Khaliah Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, among others.
Among the hundreds of partnerships, projects and businesses that Rivera has been involved with, it is his two sons Cristian and 19-year-old John Christopherthat bring him the most joy and remain the most important part of his life. Hard work and discipline have made Rivera successful, but it is happiness that has kept him going. Over the course of his career, Rivera has left an indelible mark on the nightclub, concert and record markets. With the Cristian Rivera Foundation, he is poised to change the world.
Bronx native Ralph Mercado III has had music in his blood since the day he was born. The son of Latin music impresario Ralph Mercado was literally baptized into the music scene. It was a symbolic first step in his long and evolving journey through the many facets of the music and entertainment worlds.
Mercado first started exercising his musical talents at family gatherings, where he would always be asked to play the music and entertain guest. "I knew how to dance before I could walk,” said Mercado. Mercado was also a recognizable face on television at the time. Between the ages of 3 and 8, Mercado was a child actor who appeared on several hit TV shows, including Sesame Street.Starting Out
In his sophomore year at Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey, Mercado officially joined the family business as an intern. He gained experience in producing concerts and worked in almost every department of his father's record label RMM Records. During summers and after school, Mercado would continue to work for his father, sometimes as much as nine hours a day, five days a week. In 1997 he worked on his first production, The 22nd New York Salsa Festival starring Jose Alberto, Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, Oscar D'Leon and many others at Madison Square Garden.
He continued to help his father with day-of production, but at the same time Mercado was getting more into DJing. “I started DJing because it was fun and it came easy to me,” said Mercado, who took on the pseudonym DJ Wreck while playing teen parties at The Sound Garden in New Jersey. His DJ career has taken him to Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, Japan, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and New York's Madison Square Garden, which Mercado called the highlight of his career, and maybe even his life. “There's nothing like seeing your name in lights,” he said.Radio Days
Around the same time, Mercado began working as a radio DJ at New York's WSKQ 97.9 FM La Mega and, quickly becoming a fan favorite, Mercado began doing mixes every Saturday for the king of radio, Mr. Polito Vega. He later went on to have his own mix show on Univision's flagship station, WCAA 105.9fm La Kalle. Mercado also gained success in the recording studio, producing the popular song “Chan Chan” for Jose Alberto. In 2004, he helped produce and remix an album for El Gran Combo called Revisited, and today is helping produce music for up-and-coming Latin singer Chris Alfinez.A New Role
In 2007, everything changed. Mercado's father was forced to step down from running his business' after being diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Mercado took over all of his father's business entities on January 1, including Mercado's production company RMP, popular Midtown nightclub Latin Quarter and two Manhattan restaurants—Alma Grill and Zona Rosa. “I knew the businesses because I was around them so much,” said Mercado, who gained a new appreciation for his father in the wake of his illness. “He built an empire and I'm just trying to maintain it. I'm a young guy and I can barely keep up. I wonder sometimes how he did it.”
Though he would rather give the credit to his father than take it for himself, Mercado has built a very successful career for himself since taking over the family business. As president and CEO of RMP, he produced three sell-out shows in a row at Madison Square Garden, including the first show he ever ran from soup to nuts, Victor Manuel and Friends. He's since produced shows with Univision, sold out Marc Anthony shows at Madison Square Garden and more. Mercado also took on the role of president and CEO of Victory2 Multimedia in 2009, working alongside his father's old partner John “Gungie” Rivera, and he continues DJing at clubs throughout the Tri-State area. Ralph Mercado III has become a force in the worlds of concert production, DJing, music production and more, and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.