Top Booked Keynote Speaker, Tech CEO, Leadership and Culture Expert. Marketing and Branding Authority, Builder of World Class Brands at Beats by Dr. Dre, Nike, Apple, Kraft, and Coca-Cola, Founder of ØPUS United, and Top 100 Black Thought Leader

Omar Johnson
Speaking Fee: $30,000 to $50,000

Travels From: Available Upon Request

Primary Topic Category: Big Names / Headliners / Star Power

Secondary Topic Category: Big Names / Headliners / Star Power

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Omar Johnson At A Glance:

Top Booked Keynote Speaker, Tech CEO, Leadership and Culture Expert. Marketing and Branding Authority, Builder of World Class Brands at Beats by Dr. Dre, Nike, Apple, Kraft, and Coca-Cola, Founder of ØPUS United, and Top 100 Black Thought Leader

Hailed as a remarkable leader,  marketing innovator and known as the “Brand Genius” (Adweek) behind Beats by Dr. Dre and some of Nike’s most memorable commercials, Omar Johnson was named one of the “Most Innovative CMOs” by Business Insider. He is the CEO and Founder of  ØPUS United and ØPUS Intelligence Labs. ØPUS Intelligence Labs is a leading software that is revolutionizing marketing tech. ØPUS United is a modern brand management company composed of a collective of award-winning executives, athletes, strategists, creatives and musicians. A popular speaker with Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Salesforce, and ServiceNow, Johnson is a Blacklist Top 100 Black Thought leader and an active voice in encouraging conversations around racial equity, the power of diversity to drive business success, and empowering younger generations to take action.

A former pre-med student and self-professed science nerd who discovered a talent and passion for marketing, Omar Johnson began his career amplifying international brands at Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta. His experience led to stints at Kraft Foods (Chips Ahoy) and Campbell’s Soup (Pace Salsa) before being recruited to work at Nike. There, he rose from a junior role to producing some of Nike’s most memorable TV commercials, including “Rise,” starring LeBron James; “All Together Now,” featuring Kobe Bryant; and “The Most Valuable Puppets.”

In 2010, Johnson became employee #3 at Beats by Dr. Dre, taking the helm as CMO and embarking on a journey that would become the stuff of legend in the advertising and marketing world. Using unconventional marketing tactics that became a part of pop culture, Johnson grew Beats from a $20 million brand to a $2 billion one, before it was acquired by Apple for $3 billion. Highlights of his tenure include the “Hear What You Want” campaign featuring Kevin Garnett, Colin Kaepernick and other professional athletes; the  “#ShowYourColor” campaign; “Powerbeats” starring LeBron James; “The Pills” featuring Chris Rock and Eminem; and an athlete hangout at the London Olympics in which each attendee left with a parting gift of Beats customized with their country’s flag. The Olympics experience went viral around the world, increasing international sales by 600%. Johnson was also tapped to promote Dr. Dre’s 2015 biopic, Straight Outta Compton, resulting in the “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme generator that allowed people to customize with their hometown. Within 24 hours, “Straight Outta Somewhere” became the #1 trending topic on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, something that no other brand has achieved.  It remains one of the most successful social media phenomena of all time. After Beats was acquired, Johnson moved to Apple as Vice President of Marketing before founding his own Beverly Hills-based brand management firm, ØPUS United.

At ØPUS, Johnson leads a multi-disciplined collective of award-winning executives, athletes, strategists, data scientists, and musicians who understand how to power world-class brands and generate world-class revenue. The company is built on a time-tested methodology called “Culture-Centric Design,” which gleans insights from those who drive consumer behavior in popular culture. These big ideas only get bigger when the  ØPUS team adds their diverse backgrounds, languages, lifestyles, and POVs. Through his work with ØPUS United, Johnson has helped develop initiatives, such as “We the People” and “We Got Next,” to encourage conversations around racial equity and the empowerment of younger generations to take action. In June of 2020, he boldly spoke truth to power with a full-page ad in the New York Times headlined, “Dear white corporate America.” The ad reads as an open letter from Johnson, urging brands and companies to authentically support Black talent rather than profiting from Black culture.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Johnson received a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Georgia State University and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

  • DIVERSITY IN BUSINESS: MEETING PEOPLE “WHERE THEY ARE”

    Many leaders and business owners are at a loss on how they can concretely affect change and grow their business in regards to diversity. Join us for a conversation with Omar Johnson, Former CMO at Beats by Dre, and Former VP of Marketing at Apple, Inc. as he shares his thoughts on how we can support our black employees, partner with the communities they serve, and make more conscious decisions in our marketing and branding efforts.

  • LEADERSHIP: MEETING PEOPLE “WHERE THEY ARE”

    The idea of the majority workplace culture is changing. Instead of expecting everyone to fall in line, employees are encouraged to bring their individuality to work, such as their culture, gender, or sexual orientation. While celebrating and encouraging individual differences is good for breaking groupthink and innovating, it is also hard to manage as a leader. In this talk, Omar Johnson discusses the challenges and benefits of meeting people where they are. Audiences will come away with an understanding of employee differences, which can provide for a better work environment that enriches the company culture and the bottom line.

  • MARKETING BRANDS WITH AUTHENTICITY AND EMOTION

    Big companies spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to drive brand awareness, but Omar Johnson was able to make Beats headphones a viral social media phenomenon and an international success on almost no budget. Johnson learned the key to building great brand awareness was to listen, be curious, and to use truth and emotion to connect to the audience. In this talk, Johnson will share his experiences of creating emotional connections to a brand through innovative and unconventional marketing techniques.

  • THE BEATS STORY: BUILDING AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

    When Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine created Beats in 2006, their goal was to create a great sounding headphone. However, it wasn’t until Omar Johnson came along that Beats became the most popular headphone for athletes and musicians. Johnson was able to turn a 180 million dollar company into a billion dollar enterprise through unconventional marketing tactics and his brand of insight, idea, execution and result. In his highly engaging talk, Johnson shows how he used curiosity and creativity to turn Beats headphones from a commodity product into an experience and an international brand.

  • THE BEST IDEA WINS: HOW TO WORK WITH THE CROWD, IGNORE THE DATA, AND USE THE ART OF LISTENING TO DEVELOP YOUR BEST IDEAS

    Marketing is about ideas and authenticity. When Omar Johnson took over the marketing for Beats by Dre, he created a flat organization style where the best idea could win. He encouraged everyone to contribute ideas from the newest member of the team to the oldest. Instead of heavy data analysis, his team would talk to actual users of Beats in the streets in order to find why and how people were using their headphones. The result was a billion dollar company and category leader. In this talk, Omar shares techniques from his experience on how to develop the best ideas.

  • THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING: FROM INFLUENCERS TO AMBUSH MARKETING

    When Beats by Dre headphones came into the market they faced competition from more established market leaders like Bose. As the new kid on the block, Omar used new marketing techniques to gain market share, from giving well-known athletes free headphones to developing hangouts for Olympic athletes to drive buzz and desire for Beats headphones. In this talk, Omar shows how your company can incorporate guerilla techniques to gain market share.

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