North Carolina State University Team Wins First-Ever Brand X Experience Design Challenge

After months of collaboration among undergraduate design and marketing teams nationwide, the organizers of the first-ever experience design competition—the Brand X Challenge— today awarded a team of three undergraduate students from North Carolina State University first place honors for their campaign concept “Unleash Your Athlete.” The winners—students Elizabeth Meyers, Miranda Melton and Shelby Aranyi —beat out more than 60 other teams, impressing a panel of 40 judges drawn from some of the world’s top global brand marketing teams and design industry associations.

The Brand X Challenge is a national student design competition aimed at opening undergraduate eyes across the nation to the emerging world of experience design. Created by the number one ranked experience marketing agency, George P. Johnson, and coactivated by industry publications Event Marketer and Event Design, teams of students across the country were invited to design a mock experiential marketing campaign using an Under Armour (UA) sponsorship as inspiration. Under Armour’s head of events provided “immersion training” to all teams on the UA brand and designers from George P. Johnson’s creative team served as team mentors.

The winning “Unleash Your Athlete” concept aims to inspire elementary and high school-aged children to embrace a healthy active lifestyle, whereby the Under Armour brand is activated via a mobile “Ice House” experience in key high-traffic locations across the USA. Special mobile applications, gamification and social media engagements build on the experience, culminating with a special Under Armour brand experience. View an overview of the winning submission here:

“To see our brand experience so well understood and then to see it wired together with a clear strategy and integrated touch points to surprise and delight consumers – the North Carolina State team nailed it,” said Shana Gritsavage, Director of Global Events at Under Armour. “It’s inspiring to see the passion and talent that lies within the next generation of great marketers."

In addition to the first place team from North Carolina State, the panel of Brand X judges also awarded a team from Ferris State University with second place and a team from Suffolk University with third place.

“The caliber of ideas and creative work of all the Brand X teams is absolutely astounding,” offered Ann Rubin, VP, Brand Content and Global Creative at IBM, who acted as the 2013 Brand X Judges Chairwoman. “Their grasp of experience design principles and how to apply them towards campaign development is impressive to say the least. As the practice of experience design matures, this level of thinking will lead it.”

Brand X judges included marketers from Gatorade, Target, Wells Fargo, Ford Canada, FedEx, IBM, Coca-Cola Co., Hyundai, Symantec, MBNA, Five Hour Energy, Electronic Arts, Patron Spirits Co., McKesson, Nintendo, Intel, Oracle, Lego, Liberty Mutual, Audi, Gap, Caterpillar, Walmart, Microsoft, Ford, Intel, Qualcomm, XPRIZE, Visa, American Express, NBA, Cirque du Soleil, Macy’s, BMC Software and Applied Materials.

“The big idea behind Brand X is to bring experience design to the attention of tomorrow’s brand thinkers while giving today’s leaders a whole new way to look at how they market products and services,” said John Trinanes, Senior Vice President, Creative at George P. Johnson. “Seeing the tremendous creative thinking in these winning submissions, we also hope Brand X spurs our partners at participating schools and design programs to develop experience design curriculum that will train the next generation in these skills.”

In addition to cash prizes and coverage in Event Marketing Magazine for all three top teams, the North Carolina State team will be traveling to the Event Marketing Summit for an awards ceremony on May 7th in front of 1,000 event marketers. Check out the winning work as well as other submissions from a variety of participating teams at the online home of Brand X at

About George P. Johnson (

GPJ is the number one ranked experience marketing agency, enabling brand marketers to create great ideas and bring them to life through integrated experiential programs that leverage online, device-driven and physical brand experiences. Brands in technology, healthcare, CPG, finance, automotive and other markets rely on GPJ to help them compete more effectively on a global basis by creating and accelerating relationships with customers, employees, partners, media and other audiences. GPJ is part of Project: WorldWide, the leading independent engagement marketing solutions network ( Follow GPJ at

About Under Armour, Inc.

Under Armour®(NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand's moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional natural fiber products. The company's products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For further information, please visit the company's website at

About Event Marketer magazine (

Event Marketer magazine is widely considered the leading publication and conference producer for the event marketing industry. The magazine and its portfolio of web sites, digital tools, training products and conferences provide information to more than 100,000 brand-side event marketers around the world. A division of global media powerhouse Access Intelligence (, Event Marketer is best known for its namesake publication, the global Event Marketing Summit executive conference and the annual EventTech digital conference.


George P. Johnson
Tom Maher, 617-535-9820
Executive Director, Marketing
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