Brand Champion of the Month
DECEMBER Mike Krieger & Kevin Systrom
“Photos have been done before. You’re going to fail.” This is what potential investors said to the Instagram idea in 2010. Luckily for co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, they proved those investors wrong. Krieger and Systrom have changed how we use the cameras on our smart devices forever. The two sold Instagram to Facebook in 2012, netting $1 billion and as Krieger put it, “hearing ‘no’ a lot of times usually tells you either you’re crazy or you’re on the right track.” Clearly Instagram found that right track.
JANUARY Marcus Luttrell & SEAL Team 10
It is bigger than a movie. It is true heroism at its finest. The Lone Survivor was released in January telling the true story of Luttrell and SEAL Team 10 on a mission gone south in Afghanistan. This story has done so much for the Navy SEALs brand, U.S. Military Brand, and the brand of U.S. freedom. A story like this makes anyone appreciate the heroic acts and bravery of these men, women and the entire military day in and day out.
FEBRUARY Jan Koum
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in February. The CEO and co-founder, Jan Koum, intentionally signed the papers where he used to collect food stamps. WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages with images and video without having to pay for SMS. Also ironic is the fact that both Koum and co-founder Brian Acton applied to work at Facebook but were rejected. “That is one expensive mistake.”
MARCH Mark Parker
March Madness 2014 was just as unpredictable as any other year. One particular sportswear brand was a “top seed” and was even deemed the tournament’s champion by some (43 of the teams sported Nike’s logo). The athletes looked great and Nike just released booming 3rd quarter sales revenue – higher than predicted. and Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike, attributed Nike’s winning quality to be their “relentless focus on delivering innovations that resonate with consumers.” We declare that a win-win.
APRIL Adam Silver
Looking into the NBA, It seems every year outrageous events take place both on and off the court. When Donald Sterling’s taped racist remarks were released, players, coaches, and fans were furious. NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver stepped in to save the day. Silver announced the lifetime ban of Sterling from the NBA, barring him from everything from attending the NBA Board of Governors meeting to attending games and practices. Adam Silver’s remarkable leadership strengthened the integrity of the NBA.
MAY David Gillo
An uproar broke out across the world as a new product surfaced. Water-Gen is a machine that literally creates water out of thin air. This was created in order to supply military forces drinking water no matter where they are stationed. The machine pulls water molecules out the air and can supply entire platoons with fresh, clean drinking water. David Gillo is doing his duty and saving lives his own way.
JUNE Lynn Vojvodich
Lynn Vojvodic, CMO of Salesforce, has her feet on the ground but her head in the clouds. The marketing cloud that is. June marks the first time Salesforce has begun to stand out amid other competing services like IBM, Accenture, Adobe, and Oracle. Vojvodic is not just a champion of Salesforce but of the power of the CMO. “More CMOs will become CEOs,” said Vojvodic. “The new CMO owns the customer experience.”
JULY Tim Howard
Though it ended in a loss, the USA Men’s Soccer team won the hearts of many. In particular, U.S. goalie, Tim Howard, helped carry the team to the round of 16 where he set a World Cup record with 16 saves in the match against Belgium. Howard and the United States certainly left their mark on Brazil and the brand of U.S. soccer for years to come.
AUGUST Ryan Grepper/Coolest
On August 26th, The Coolest Cooler by Ryan Grepper became the most funded project in Kickstarter history, raising $13,285,226. The Coolest Cooler is exactly what you would expect, but better. It features everything you could every want at a picnic from waterproof Bluetooth speakers to a blender.
SEPTEMBER Megyn Kelly
Last year, Fox News did the unthinkable and changed their prime time lineup for the first time in 11 years. But by adding Megyn Kelly, host of The Kelly File, Fox News has seen their ratings skyrocket. The week of September 7th, when President Obama spoke to the nation on ISIS, The Kelly File finished behind only ESPN’s week one of Monday Night Football and the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy. Megyn Kelly continues to be a Brand Champion for the #1 cable news channel on television.