25 Advertising Manager - Foot Locker Inc. USA, New York City
Adrian Parker was the youngest employee at Foot Action USA corporate office when he began his career in Brand Marketing. Now, as advertising manager of Foot Locker Inc. USA, he is responsible for campaigns that span the $5.3 billion retail company’s myriad subsidiaries. Beginning with his parents, many have helped him to reach so far so fast, he says. “Growing up I didn’t know we were poor until my parents told me. They worked as much and as hard as possible to raise six kids, keep us grounded in church and focused on education. Their sacrifice and faith taught me how to count my blessings and not my problems,” he says.
The death of his best friend when Parker was 19 showed him that “every day is a gift.” Of his alma mater, where he received a bachelor’s degree in public relations, he says, “My tenure at Florida A& M University taught me how to hustle, network, endure and be patient while working towards my goal.”
In 2001, Parker interned at Foot Locker’s Footaction USA division, organizing basketball tournaments, celebrity appearances and sneaker promotion campaigns. Loving the experience, he joined the company upon graduation in a brand marketing capacity and soon created a comprehensive catalog, “STAR” magazine, which was distributed to one million customers. He aligned himself with entertainment giants such as Universal Music Group, MGM Studios, ESPN, BET, Vibe and Activision to create more than 20 national promotions and breathed new life into Footaction’s in-store TV network, which resulted in a 94 percent boost in revenue. Promoted to consumer-direct marketing manager in 2004, he oversaw the implementation of online marketing strategies, e-mail campaigns and Web site redesign to buttress a $7 million sales target. By May 2004, he was in his current position as advertising manager at Foot Locker in New York City. Already he has executed successful campaigns for Timberland, Adidas, Brand Jordan, Nike and Reebok. “There are two great moments in life. One is when you are born and the other is when you realize why you were born,” he likes to say.
Parker has won numerous professional awards and is active in civic organizations. He dreams of creating a marketing agency, Parker Communication Group, that would launch consumer products for lifestyle and technology brands.