AMA San Diego Sandie Awards 2024: Celebrating Excellence in Marketing

A Night of Innovation, Inspiration, and Industry Recognition

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – On May 2, 2024, nearly 220 members of San Diego’s marketing community gathered for the San Diego Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA San Diego) 2nd annual Sandie Awards. The celebration was held at the recently renovated Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley. Attendees were welcomed by the organization and perfect weather at the Flamingo Lawn for a pre-event reception hosted by Causal IQ. With giant inflatable flamingos, hues of pink, specialty cocktails, live musical entertainment, and a gourmet cheese station the reception was not to be missed. Guests had a blast leaning into the theme in the Selfie Here Photobooth. Check out the photos here. AMA San Diego chose to return to the iconic venue, embracing the mid-century modern theme and playful atmosphere with energetic and unexpected branding designed by Buchanan Brand + Design.

Just as the cool ocean breeze blew in, the guests were ushered into the Pacific Ballroom for a beautifully selected 3-course meal and libations. Under the production direction of Eddie Delbridge and Live Digital Entertainment, guests entered to see a grand stage of pink lighting, fresh floral arrangements, two large screens featuring the beloved mascot, brought to life by Troy Brajkovich, adorned with falling gold confetti, and multiple cameras positioned to capture the entire event on video and film. The Emcee for the evening was local Emmy-nominated TV host and content creator, Mata Leiataua. She kept the room engaged with her genuine charisma and charming humor. Gold winners were invited to the stage for 1-minute acceptance speeches then headed off for photos with Mis Marissa Photography and interviews by Max Lux Media. The 2024 Sandie Awards was a top-tier, elevated production that set the bar for all regional awards shows.

Following a successful first-year event that required some modifications, the all-volunteer committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the awards structure and event production. This year, larger categories were divided by In-house and Agency, the Student Category was expanded into three sub-categories as well as by Individual and Group, a Best of Show was added, and the first Marketer of the Year was awarded. In total, 65 awards were given out that evening, an impressive increase from the previous year of only 18.

The roster of 21 marketing professionals, representing a diverse range of viewpoints and demographics, was recruited nationally for the judging panel. Some judges included were sourced from the Cincinnati, Lincoln, and Omaha chapters of the American Marketing Association. A complete list of judges can be found at sandieawards.org.

One hundred campaigns were submitted for consideration for the 2024 Sandies from 26 companies/agencies and five local collegiate institutions. AMA San Diego chose to sponsor all student submissions as a continued commitment to the rising stars of the San Diego marketing community. In addition to the sponsorship, a student resume book was compiled and shared on the Sandie Awards home page. Point Loma Nazarene University Professor Dr. Mary Beth McCabe and University of San Diego’s Maya Sykes, both esteemed AMA San Diego Board Members and student mentors, took the stage to encourage the ballroom of marketers to mentor a budding marketer of their own, staying true to the values and ethos of AMA San Diego.

With 65 awards to announce, the room was bursting with applause and celebration for peers. Multiple recipients took home more than one Sandie including Buchanan Brand + Design, Movetic, San Diego Foundation, The Shipyard, UC San Diego, Compass Digital, Visceral, MiresBall, Mari + Gold, Loma Media, Red Door Interactive, Belmont Park, Innovision Marketing, and Enlyte. Single award winners included the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, 62Above, Allison Worldwide, Town & Country/Greenhaus, Jacob Tyler, Mentus, Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego, and Preferred Employers Insurance, a Berkeley Company.

The big winners of the night were Soapy Joe’s who took home an incredible three Gold; Experiential Marketing, Cause Marketing/Non-Profit, Event Marketing, one Silver; Experiential Marketing, and one Bronze; Marketing Innovation. The San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) also took the stage a record number of times with two Gold; Marketing Innovation, Public Relations. Their Marketing Innovation campaign, “The Sunny Side of Things,” an integrated partnership with Tripadvisor, also won Best of Show with a perfect score of 100 from the judges. To top off the evening, SDTA Chief Operating Officer, Kerri Kapich, was named Marketer of the Year.

Marketer of the Year nominees included Liz Phillips of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego and Kayla Bonsall of Preferred Employers Insurance, a Berkley Company. The AMA San Diego Board of Directors reviewed the nominations and casted their votes anonymously to select the inaugural Marketer of the Year, Kerri Kapich. Vice President of Special Events, Summer Haines, shares “We look forward to growing this area of the Sandie Awards program in the years to come with a Lifetime Achievement Award, Newcomer of the Year, and Agency of the Year.”

The award ceremony concluded at 9:00 p.m. but the festivities did not end there. It was then a short walk to the adjacent Lapper venue for the Digitopia After Party. Pop Life Photo Booth created AI-generated images and 360-degree videos of couples under the colorful venue skyline and lights. Check out the photos here. Late-night munchies of sliders, chips and salsa, and churros were served to the imbibing guests who dared to stay late on a Thursday night. The Sweet Printer created on-the-spot custom cookies with photos from guests. Everyone walked away with a custom Digitopia cookie and an image of their choice; their child’s soccer photo, their furry friends, or holding their newest accessory – a Sandie!

As the curtains closed on an unforgettable evening of celebrating marketing excellence, we reflect not only on the outstanding achievements honored tonight but also on the community spirit that unites us all. President of AMA San Diego, Claudia Chow, encapsulates the sentiment best, “It was an epic evening celebrating a year of marketing excellence but, more importantly, gathering a community that champions and supports one another.”

With the success of the Sandie Awards fueling our momentum, we eagerly anticipate an even brighter future ahead, committed to growing and evolving year after year. Together, we pave the way for innovation, collaboration, and continued success in the dynamic world of marketing.

About American Marketing Association San Diego

AMA San Diego is a professional association comprising marketers at all career stages, from students to senior level, across myriad industries and disciplines, dedicated to advancing the art of marketing and creating unique growth and learning opportunities for marketers. AMA San Diego provides education, networking, information, resources, and valuable connections in a fun and approachable environment where personal development goals can be achieved. Visit sdama.org for more information.

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