When Drieke Leenknegt started working for Nike, sneakers were something you bought for doing sports, period.  At a time, when there was no such thing as hype around sportswear, when nobody would even have dreamt of people queuing for a pair of shoes.

Within 20 years as a global executive in marketing and general management and global brand innovator, she pretty much changed the whole game.

Drieke soon realized that there is one thing that has not changed and won’t ever change, one thing that went through all revolutions and technologies. 

The need for the human race to tell stories.

“In today’s brand world it’s all about performance marketing and analytics and data, and don’t get me wrong, that is important, especially going into the future, but what people need to realize is that there are things in the human race that don’t change through time.
One of these things is the need for connectivity but also the need to connect with each other through storytelling.”

Drieke sees herself as a non-linear thinking person, a feature she considers very needed in today’s society. Yet, she is very aware of the fact that creative thinking on itself is not enough. What it needs is the best of a creative mind and an analytical mind.

This intersection is also part of the reason why she underlines the importance of collaboration. She thinks of it as cross-pollination, a concept that can be seen in nature and is based on bringing different people and mindsets together.

The goal is to create something new you couldn’t have created by yourself. In this sense, 1+1=3.


Drieke will be sharing her profound knowledge at Forward Festival Hamburg, where she will be talking about the fundamentals behind successful partnerships between brands and creatives.

Get your tickets now!