General Session Speaker

Greg Hoffman

Nike's Former Chief Marketing Officer | Author of Emotion by Design
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The Modern Arena

Greg Hoffman is a world-class expert when it comes to creating brand experiences that are extremely memorable, incredibly innovative, and that create real connections with users and customers. Greg shows you how to build those connections by telling your brand’s story with authentic emotions. It takes a lot of creativity, so Greg has an important insight for every company: creativity is a team sport. As Nike’s CMO, he was responsible for 2500 people in Nike Marketing around the world. He knows that everyone on a team can make a creative contribution, and the right management strategy will bring out the best in unexpected places. Daydreamers might think differently than their team, but you don’t want to lose the power of their creative eccentricities—we need to capitalize on their potential and make it fit. Creativity is all around us, and great marketing is about tapping into it so that your organization can design something that touches customers.

Greg’s book Emotion by Design: Creative Leadership Lessons from a Life at Nike is a practical roadmap for any business looking to tell the authentic story of their brand, engage with culture’s most pressing topics, and unite employees in a post-pandemic world. Jonah Berger,  the New York Times bestselling author of of Contagious, says the book “will help marketers and creatives connect with their audiences like never before.” Emotion by Design is filled with stories about the deeply creative and innovative process at Nike that led to Greg’s involvement with the company’s best work—unforgettable campaigns such as the “Colin Kaepernick: Crazy Dreams” project, the Stand Up, Speak Up campaign, and the Kobe System ads featuring Kobe Bryant.

As an integral part of the Advisory Board of the Nike Black Employee Network and a member of the Nike Foundation Board of Directors, Greg directed ongoing dialogues for racial equality, environmental sustainability, and empowerment in professional sports. He revolutionized the way Nike uses its marketing influence—embracing social and racial justice in a way that both inspires and empowers people to take action: “we’re in a moment in time that is both a cultural reckoning and a revolution.”

Business Insider called Greg one of today’s ‘Most Innovative CMOs’. Through his brand advisory group Modern Arena, Greg teaches Fortune 1000 brands, startups, and nonprofits how to create brand strength, business growth, and social impact. He has spoken at Netflix, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Slack, Lego, Target, Pandora, and many more.

Greg earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is now a member of their Board of Trustees and a chair of their innovation committee. Hoffman was included on AdAge’s Power Players list, and has served as a guest lecturer for the Andreesen Horowitz Talent & Opportunity Fund, the One Club for Creativity’s One School and as an Innovation Juror at the University of Portland.