Let's Get Ready to Rumble

A Look Inside Rumble's Longboat Key Headquarters

Interior designer Keffie Lancaster discusses her work inside the offices of the video streaming platform favored by conservatives.

By Kim Doleatto October 20, 2023

Rumble's U.S. headquarters is located at 444 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key.

Right-wing fortress or freedom of speech haven? However you see the headquarters of Rumble, an online video streaming platform that recently made its U.S. home on Longboat Key, it'll probably be from outside. It’s not the kind of place that takes walk-ins. Due to the nature of the politically charged media it produces, the general public can't just waltz in.

The water-facing side of the Rumble building.

Founded in Toronto, Canada, where chief executive officer Chris Pavlovski still lives, Rumble made a lot of noise when it came to town. If you don’t know about the platform, it’s often described as a right-wing alternative to YouTube, and in fact, an interior mural depicts a comic-style boxing match between the two platforms. Pavlovski's family owns property in Venice, and he owns a home on Siesta Key. He founded the company in 2013, and it grew in popularity after Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (now Meta) and X (formerly known as Twitter) were criticized by conservatives for allegedly suppressing right-leaning content. Today, Rumble hosts millions of content creators and has exclusive rights to livestream the ongoing Republican presidential debates.

 An opening party on Feb. 24 featured fans and content creators like embattled British comedian Russell Brand and Donald Trump Jr., who both made appearances at the office. But since then, the company has kept a low local profile. (We asked chief operating officer Tyler Hughes for an interview, but he didn't respond.) However, Rumble’s local interior designer, Keffie Lancaster of Lancaster Interior Design, recently shared her work on the office with us. We were curious to take a look inside.

A comic book-inspired aesthetic is a common touch throughout the interior.

"We are thrilled to welcome Rumble to Florida, and we support its mission to promote free expression and stand up to Big Tech censorship," Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press release announcing Rumble’s move to the area. Indeed, the company prides itself on being "immune to cancel culture"—part of a mantra featured on one of the interior walls of the office.

The green and red boxing gloves image symbolizes the opposition between Rumble, green, and YouTube, red.

Of course, not everyone was happy about the company's decision to relocate to Longboat Key. When the Sarasota County Commission voted to award the company an $825,000 economic development incentive grant, some locals railed against it. The main point of contention was that Rumble was one of the few video platforms in the world that was broadcasting programming from Russian state television called Russia Today, or RT. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, that didn’t sit well with many in the area.

At the time, the company’s name had not been made public in relationship to the county's grant, and commissioners said they didn’t know that Rumble was the company they were voting on. In the end, they voted to eliminate the Economic Development Incentive Program altogether, and Rumble received no taxpayer money. Not that it matters much. As of October, Rumble has a net worth of $1.4 billion, according to Stock Analysis.

A seating nook at Rumble.

The company's two-story office is located in the back building of the Sailboat Square office complex, next to Dry Dock Waterfront Grill and across the street from The Resort at Longboat Key Club and its sprawling golf courses. Built in 1981, the office is on the water and has docks and balconies with views of Sarasota Bay. In May 2021, the property sold to Dry Dock, LLC for $2.5 million. Michael Quillen and Michael Gowan, the owners of Dry Dock and the local restaurant chain Gecko’s Grill & Pub, are listed as directors of Dry Dock, LLC.

A work space at Rumble.

When Lancaster first arrived at the office, she says, the space looked like a "1950s bank building with dark green and terracotta-colored marble."

After roughly six months of work, one of the two floors now has communal rows of tables with computers, and both have a kitchen and lots of employee spaces in which to hang out. "Open concept was a big thing they wanted," Lancaster says. Other features include walls painted with colorful comic book-style murals. The bill for wallpaper alone was $70,000, according to Lancaster.

Flocked wallpaper has texture.

The tile, pictured below, came at a premium, too.

Unique backsplash tiles from 6051 Design Source.

Funky floor tile in the bathrooms.

"One big challenge was redefining the ceilings that were drop tiles—those weren't going to fly with me," says Lancaster, who had a total budget of roughly $400,000 to work with in the roughly 6,000-square-foot space.

The first floor has an entry area, a large open office space, a large employee break room with a kitchen area and lounge seating with booths, a conference room and a small breakout room for group meetings. There, you'll also find a creator's studio where people can broadcast live or record content.

One of two kitchen areas.

The second floor has a conference room and small, quiet rooms for private conversations, and is also home to the executive offices, all facing west, with views of Sarasota Bay. There's a large conference room, two open office areas with adjustable height desks, a small kitchen with high-tops and three small "Zoom rooms"—designed for private meetings or for a small group to have a quiet workspace.

Teak ceiling tiles and a starburst carpet are "playful" touches for a conference room, says Lancaster.

One of several smaller rooms for private phone calls.

Outside, egg chairs and rocking chairs dot balconies overlooking a boat dock on the bay. Throughout, you'll find punchy colors, organic touches and lots of patterns and art. "They let me go wild and push the boundaries a little bit," Lancaster says.

Lots of color, texture and unique lighting mark the interior design.

"You have an expectation of an office space that's more neutral, and I can say there's nothing like this one in Sarasota," she says. "It's original, and they wanted that."

Lancaster used the latest textured wallpaper that also has antibacterial properties.

As for the people who brought the space together, the relationship didn't go beyond work. "I didn't know anything about Rumble until I started working and I learned more about it from the news and a little from people on the site," says Clay Henson, the founder of Venice's Henson Contractors, which worked on the space. "Just that it was a YouTube channel is the way I understood it."

Locals is another brand Rumble has acquired.

Lancaster says she avoided talking politics while working on the project. "That wasn't why I was there," she says, "and Tyler [Hughes, the COO,] and Chris [Pavlovski, the CEO] were easy to work with."

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