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Why Maverick might be 2011's Influencer

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Marcus Troy wants to tell a story.

Meet Marcus Troy, a digital and Montreal native that has made a name for himself through blogging about the things he loves. It is blogging that has helped connect him to various tastemakers from around the world while helping expand his own taste palate. In 2011 he is indirectly challenging the idea of the term influencer by building the culture he often comments on as a blogger. Marcus's latest endeavor is a product of leaning on his influencer badge and adding a creator's hat to the mix. Inspired by a meeting in 2010 with Nike Sportswear about the inspiration for their upcoming Fall/Winter line, Marcus got to working on a project that would bring to life Nike Sportswear's brand idea. What stuck out for Marcus was the concept of a "maverick". This maverick is a freethinker that is able to influence diverse groups of people because of their originality, authenticity, and commitment to craft. Nike Sportswear first identified running crews from around the world as mavericks and Marcus and Nike Sportswear saw a need to expand the definition through a crowdsourcing initiative where mavericks, soon to be mavericks, and maverick spotters could submit profiles and stories.

Marcus Troy x Nike Sportswear Mavericks Project idea now lives as a microsite and mobile application where Marcus Troy's audience can share defining moments and stories of mavericks from around the globe. Not satisfied with keeping the mavericks idea on small screens, Marcus is looking forward to bringing the project to a coffee table near you. Marcus adds, "I want to see the Mavericks Project as a platform for education & inspiration. A round table discussion by some of the industry mavericks and insiders. They would share their stories, knowledge and wealth to the future mavericks of our generation, think TED Talks and mediums of that nature."

In a world that seemingly is more interconnected than ever, the Mavericks Project has an opportunity to truly connect mavericks from around the world by their shared values, interests, attitudes, and aspirations. A collaborative microsite, mobile application, book, and summit could be just the start in creating greater interest in global travel. Marcus understands how important visiting the places that you read about are to understanding the international people that you meet digitally. "Being a descendant of Trinidad and Tobago I experienced many travels to my parents native country as a youngster. My first real international travel was to London England and it absolutely changed my life and my views on travel and opened me up to the concept of global citizenship" acknowledges Marcus. This is stark contrast to Marcus's 18-29 year old neighbors in the U.S. that are not taking advantage of international travel. (According to Simmons in 2010, 67% of U.S. 18-29 year olds did not have passports). While localized services continues to be a hot topic in 2011 the larger opportunity is for those that figure out how to capture the desire of a generation that longs to be global citizens along with balancing realities of local relevance and respect (all mavericks have to start somewhere).

Expect the Mavericks Project idea to evolve as the list of mavericks continues to grow. To date, the Mavericks Project microsite has over 200 submissions from around the globe since going live on November 5, 2010.

Now go and tell your story.