International Brand Master

About the Award

The International Brand Master Award, sponsored by EMG, is an annual honor awarded to top professionals in marketing who:

  • Is a current marketing and/or communications professional employed by an educational organization anywhere in the world;
  • Has at least 3 years of professional marketing or communications experience;
  • Has demonstrated exceptional skill and expertise in marketing, communications, brand management, or related fields;
  • Has led the development and/or led the success of the institution’s brand during the calendar year;
  • Is a model of ethical and professional conduct;
  • Exemplifies a willingness and ability to advance the marketing profession.

Nominations are accepted through mid-December from a nominating committee as well as from individuals who are practicing professionals in educational marketing.

The credentials and achievements of each nominee are carefully reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel of judges comprised of two EMG senior consultants, prior Brand Master awardees, and experienced volunteers from the profession. This panel selects up to three finalists based on their credentials and achievements.

Marketing practitioners then have the opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice from among the finalists. The scores of the select panel of judges and the public votes are combined to determine the International Brand Master.


The International Brand Master is chosen in an unbiased and objective manner. The scoring process is broken into the following steps:

Step 1: Collect the nominations.

Step 2: Ask nominees to provide information that illustrates their management and leadership experience, brand, strategy, tactics, and results.

Step 3: Six volunteer judges from the marketing profession review the submitted materials. Each judge completes a score sheet, reviewing nominee materials for leadership and brand management, strategy and tactics, professional commitment, and results. Each judges score sheet is worth 50 points. The judging section is worth 300 total possible points.

Step 4: Three finalists are announced for public voting by education marketing colleagues and stakeholders around the world – one vote by email, by Twitter, or by Facebook using the icon buttons found on the finalist page during the voting period. You can vote once per email, tweet, or Facebook comment per day. The voting score is determined by the finalist’s percentage of total votes (for example: Finalist A receives 200 votes, there were 880 total votes. Thus 200 / 880 = 0.227%. Finalist A’s score is therefore 23).

Step 5: Add the scores from Step 3 and Step 4 and you get a final score. The highest total combined score is our new International Brand Master.

International Brand Master Winners

  • Seth Odell 2013

    2013 Winner

    Seth Odell managed to transform a brand previously focused on affordability and flexibility into a nationally recognized, fast-growing brand that stands for student support, service and intimacy. Mr. Odell’s talent...
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  • Jason Cook from Texas A&M University is the 2012 International Brand Master

    2012 Winner

    Jason Cook has managed to reinvent and reinvigorate the Texas A&M brand, while staying consistent and paying homage to the traditions that make the university such a unique institution. Perhaps...
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  • Emma_Leech-Winner

    2011 Winner

    Emma has a leading track record in the United Kingdom Higher Education sector and demonstrates international impact with tangible ROI. All of which is linked to rebranding achieved within 18...
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  • John-Lichtenberg-Winner

    2010 Winner

    John Lichtenberg took a safe, predictable, 88-year old all-business college and gave it a brand with energy and personality. He’s given students, faculty, staff and alumni a new reason to...
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  • Andrew Careaga Picture

    2009 Winner

    Andrew Careaga’s work demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, an extraordinary ability to address the challenges of re-naming and...
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