Well, I am back from yet another awesome Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. Before I get into my response on being selected Affiliate Manager of the Year I want to give you a couple highlights of the show:
- Another awesome Shareasale Under the Stars party at Hyde at Bellagio. Awesome venue with a great view of the fountains and some awesome company.
- The bacon appetizer at Old Homestead Steakhouse. In-freakin-sane! Very thick slabs of bacon perfectly cooked that melt in your mouth.
- Over 6,000 attendees! It is great to see this industry and this conference growing every year.
- Speaker’s trip on the High Roller – Awesome view of the strip
- Old and New friends – as always it was great to connect with people I have known for years and spend some time with a few people I have never talked to much in the past. This industry is full of awesome people. I would encourage you to take some time and get to know them. They will quickly become lifelong friends.
And now on to the Pinnacle Award…
First, let me say congratulations to the other winners: Tricia Meyer for Affiliate of the year, Wayfair.com for exceptional merchant, Brian Littleton for Affiliate Marketing Advocate, Acceleration Partners for OPM/Agency of the Year, and FMTC for Tool/Service of the year. I only picked one winner correct in my predictions but all these winners are very, very deserving.
As for my Affiliate Manager of the Year award… wow, I am pretty blown away (I thought about including the exploding head gif from Scanners but decided against it. You can imagine though…) and humbled at this one. Being recognized by my peers and others in the industry as one of the best is very mind numbing and shocking. I have been in the industry for 16 or so years now but only on the affiliate management side of things for just under 3 years. There is no way I could have succeeded in this industry as long as I have and learned the affiliate management side of things as quickly as I have without the help of dozens and dozens of people in this industry. I know there are a LOT of affiliate managers who are more deserving of this award than I am so that makes me even more humbled and honored to have received this one.
It is also humbling to look at this list of past winners. That list contains some of the biggest and best names in the industry and there is no way I deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as many of them.
Trust me when I say if you are a part of the affiliate industry you have had a part to play in this award, especially if you are an affiliate, a merchant, or a service provider I have worked with over the years. Basically if you know my name and I know your name you have helped me and for that I say thank you.
But it wouldn’t feel right to not call out a few specific people and companies that have had an even bigger impact on me throughout the years:
Brian Littleton and the entire Shareasale.com crew – Shareasale has worked their tails off over the years building the best affiliate network there is. They have higher ethical standards than any other network I have worked with and their technology and tools have no equals. But even more importantly – At dinner on Monday at Summit I was asked what I like best about Shareasale and the answer was very easy: The People. Brian, Dave, Nick, Kristen, Tiffanie, Sarah, Nate, Ryan, Erica, Abby, Mike and the rest of the Shareasale team are some of the best people in the industry and I am honored to consider many of them my friends.
The Fanatics Team – Thanks to Wade for giving me a chance here at Fanatics. Without Wade and the rest of the entire team here at Fanatics from our CEO all the way down the food chain I wouldn’t be where I am today. I love the fact that I work for a company that values the affiliate channel and gives Wade and I the freedom and support to run a top notch program. It is a joy to come to work every day (well, most days anyway) and I can’t think of another merchant I would rather work with.
Chad and the Avantlink team – Avantlink has given us some great tools to work with over the past couple years and has allowed us to recruit and activate a large group of affiliates who wouldn’t work with us otherwise. Avantlink continues to crank out awesome tools for both the affiliates and merchants and without them our program wouldn’t be where it is today.
Other Affiliate Managers – Every day I learn from other affiliate managers and OPMs in the industry. They provide me great feedback on ideas, help in formulating strategies, and motivate me to run a better program. I would name them by name but then I might be kicked out of the club. You know who you are so Thank You
Affiliates – This could be a huge list but I will keep it somewhat short. I have a ton of awesome affiliates I work with every day and without your hard work I know the Fanatics affiliate program wouldn’t be where it is. Many of you are very responsive to my emails and messages and it does give me great joy when I see you show up on the transaction reports. I love hearing from affiliates when they have been able to take something I have given them and make money with it whether it is an idea for a blog post, a new network tool they can use, some new products we have on the site, or any other advice I share. Thanks to all of you.
Shawn, Missy, and Affiliate Summit – Every year Affiliate Summit keeps growing. That is a testament to this awesome industry but also to all the hard work Shawn Collins and Missy Ward have put into it over the years. Every year they put on a top notch conference that provides people like me an awesome venue to learn, network, have fun, and grow. Thanks to both of you for all you give to this industry.
This list could go on and on so let me just give a big Thank You to all my friends out there in the industry. If you are reading this you are probably included in this list and I can’t begin to tell you what kind of impact you have had on me both personally and professionally.
And now like the Seahawks are going to do at the Super Bowl next Sunday I need to get back to work so I can go back to back on this one.
Thanks again to everyone out there who has helped me in this industry over the years. I am blown away at the opportunity to work with so many of you and to be able to consider many of you my friends.