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Retroviral's Mike Sharman on EMEA list of innovators

Mike Sharman, the founder and chief creative officer at Retroviral has been selected as the only South African to be included in this years PRoke Media's #Innovator25 EMEA list.
Mike Sharman. Source: Supplied.
Mike Sharman. Source: Supplied.

PRovoke Media's Innovator 25 is an established barometer of marketing and communications innovation. Since launching in 2013, it has identified 25 individuals each year in North America, EMEA and, more recently Asia-Pacific, who have positively contributed to, elevated and evolved engagement and influence in their respective markets.

A decade of growth

This year, Sharman was included in the Europe, Middle East and Africa innovator list that includes Ukranian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Sharman pioneered his holy trinity of marketing concepts, digital, PR and activation, with the launch of Retroviral in 2010. For twelve years under his leadership, the agency has been responsible for more brands – Nando’s, Russell Hobbs and Douwe Egberts and many more - going viral in both awareness and sales than any other agency in Africa. And over 2022, the agency has won more awards than in the previous decade combined.

Bootstrapping startups

Named one of the Mail & Guardian’s top 200 South Africans under 35 in 2013, Sharman is also co-founder of digital marketing platform, sports storytelling agency and - the athlete profile builder and off-field commercialisation tool. His specialisation is bootstrapping startups, steering them to profitability and unlocking maximum value for shareholders.

A regular guest on South Africa’s most influential talk radio stations, in the last year, he authored his second book, Brandalism.

Says PRovoke media on this year’s innovators, “We look to recognise those who have taken risks to disrupt outdated business practices; blended masterful creativity with stunning impact; taken social purpose to new heights; made real progress in changing behavior and outcomes; or reformed hiring practices and cultures to achieve more diversity. These are just a few achievements that we consider innovative.”

View the full list here.

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