Much to my surprise, I was nominated and chosen as a finalist for both the Affiliate Marketing Advocate and Affiliate Manager of the Year Pinnacle Awards at Affiliate Summit West 2016. More than that, I was shocked to actually win the Affiliate Marketing Advocate award at the presentation last week! I racked my brain to figure out how I could be chosen the winner. I’m not an industry advocate like my fellow finalists, Brian Littleton and Tricia Meyer. They work tirelessly to help the industry grow stronger and to build relationships with all types of business models. I’m more of an isolationist, in a manner of speaking, but I am passionate about my affiliates, my merchants and supporting good managers everywhere. I advocate for responsible and ethical affiliate management. I’ve always hoped that kind of advocacy would have an effect on the industry as a whole, and this award suggests that it does, so I’m proud of the accomplishment. It is now sitting next to the Agency/OPM of the Year award we won in 2014.
To everyone who nominated and voted for me: thank you.
The Affiliate Manager of the Year award went to my friend Adam Riemer. It’s fun when three friends are nominated for the same award. We all sat together and pulled for each other to take home the glass. I was very happy to be in the running with Adam and Karen Garcia. Also at the table was Wade Tonkin and Joe Sousa from Fanatics. They won for Exceptional Merchant of the Year and deserve every award possible for their hard work in building the channel for that brand. My friend #notthewife Rae Hoffman won Affiliate of the Year and I accepted the award on her behalf. She missed the trip but I was able to get a ‘Fuck Yeah’ into the acceptance, just for her. It was a touching moment for many of us to see Mike Nunez from AffiliateManager.com accept the award for OPM/Agency of the Year. He dedicated the win to his brother, Jon, who passed away last year. Finally, my favorite shopping cart abandonment affiliate, Upsellit, won the award for Tool/Service of the Year. Those guys do a good job for merchants that can’t do it themselves.
Have ten minutes? Watch the entire awards presentation right here, courtesy of Affiliate Summit.
I was curious about who won and who’s been a finalist over the last ten years so I ran a few numbers. I joined a list of distinguished alumni in the Advocate award category. Brian Littleton has won the award for the two previous years, then: Sen. Dick Durbin, Tim Storm, Lisa Picarille, Angel Djambazov, Melanie Seery, Haiko de Poel and Brian again.
In looking at the winners overall, Brian Littleton is leading the pack with four in total, including the retired Legend category. With two Merchant awards and one Affiliate Manager award for Joe Sousa, Fanatics is in second with three total. Angel Djambazov has three as he was the first to win Affiliate Manager in 2007 and again in 2009.
For those nominated as finalists over the years, Brian and Tricia are tied for eight each in various categories. Tricia has two wins, one for the retired category of Blogger of the Year and one for Affiliate of the Year in 2015. Amazon has been nominated for six Merchant of the Year awards, with one win in 2007.
Hopefully, the awards will continue and industry leaders will be recognized for another ten years and beyond.