Brandcenter Director’s Council Spotlight Series // Val Middleton, Brand Curry - Under Armour
Val Middleton has shaped her career supporting purpose-driven brands, from launching the Impossible Burger with the mission to eradicate animal farming, to helping a generation conquer student loan debt through Earnest’s revolutionary financial services, to positioning STEM toys among gaming culture to inspire future inventors. As she shares in our interview below, Val wants her work to be known for the good it brings, both to her business and to the world.
How do you define creativity?
The best expressions of creativity are rooted in solving really hard problems. The best creative ideas are born from the minds of truly diverse teams—diverse in experience, discipline, identity. The best creative and success metrics should be about creating an emotional connection—goosebumps and tears.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Don’t ride solo. You don’t have to solve it on your own.
What do you do to challenge yourself?
Run towards fires. My most foundational growth moments happened by saying yes to positions that seemed two sizes too big and work environments that seemed impossible.
Is there a place or space you go to get inspired?
Headphones on, music. Better yet, live music (back when that was a thing).
Who do you admire most and why?
Sheesh, if I have to choose, at this moment, I’m spotlighting Janet Mock. Writer. Producer. Director. Activist. Badass. She has bent the industry to her truth; recruiting, hiring and supporting talent from diverse communities, which as a result has created the most real and compelling storytelling. You can’t help but love her characters. Her work in film is helping us learn to love, feel, share space with and build bridges of understanding. She is changing hearts and minds through her craft.
Five years from now, what do you want your organization to be known for?
GOOD. Delivering really freaking Good products. Committing to a Good purpose that is built into our bottom line. Using wisely and generously the Good platform we are afforded in working in sport.
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on these questions with us, Val!