When you picture a champion, what do you see? For me, professional athletes often spring to mind. For those of us in Chicago where ASUG is headquartered, the mid-90s, Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls—who strung together six NBA Championships between 1991 and 1998—could be counted on to remind the city what it meant to be a champion.

Players like Michael Jordan, especially, might as well have originated the term. A steady leader who was able to rally his teammates, recharge the team’s fan base, and play a pivotal role in helping to shape the future of the NBA, he was the dictionary definition of a champion.

So, what do the Chicago Bulls have in common with ASUG? In short, the success of both our teams and communities depends upon our champions.

At ASUG, Champions are leaders within member organizations who help their staff and colleagues to better understand and engage more fully with their ASUG membership, in turn getting the most value out of their investments in SAP technology. In collaboration with our dynamic ASUG Communities team and volunteers throughout North America, champions play an important role in helping to advance the ASUG mission within their organizations and throughout the SAP ecosystem. ASUG members typically opt in to serve as champions or are nominated by someone in their organization.

According to Wallace Henry, SAP BTP Governance Co-Lead and SAP Enable Now Lead at Volvo, being an ASUG champion has brought new opportunities to facilitate and gain knowledge on a variety of topics, as well as to make new connections with other ASUG members. “Initially, I was drawn to becoming a champion so I could leverage ASUG internally to assist my colleagues in different sites and areas of the company,” he says.

For those members thinking about becoming an ASUG Champion, Henry adds, “It’s an important role that helps ensure the organization understands the benefits and value of ASUG membership and provides so many opportunities to be an advocate for ASUG internally.”

Richard Hornung, SVP of SAP Center of Excellence (CoE) at Moody’s, recognizes that being a champion for his company has provided an opportunity to give back to the community. “SAP has blessed me with a wonderfully long career and now I’m in that mentoring and give-back stage,” he says. “As a champion, I’m a point of contact for my organization, I’m identified as a resource within the ASUG community as someone staff can rely on to help share knowledge, or I can participate as a mentor. I want to help and give back and being a champion is an avenue to celebrate and enable that.”

To get the most out of your ASUG membership, having one or more ASUG Champions at your organization is vitally important. Most ASUG member organizations have a champion. Some have more than one—but some have none.

ASUG champions gain exclusive access to other unique benefits, including opportunities to deepen their SAP expertise and grow their professional profile by making connections with other ASUG Champions. They’re often the first to know about ASUG updates and new offerings and are considered for speaking and professional development opportunities at ASUG conferences and events. Champions can also earn prizes and gain special recognition for their participation.

Are you ready to become a champion and rally your organization to reach new heights through ASUG membership? Hornung says to take the leap and not to look back. “ASUG is an organization that truly gives as much as you put in and then some,” he says. “I have been an ASUG member for over seven years and have been a champion for almost all of them. I’m always seeking ways to participate more because it comes back in multiples.”

Visit the ASUG Champions page to learn more, and to opt in to become a champion or nominate someone from your organization. The Q4 ASUG Champions Task Force will be held virtually on December 14. Current champions should register to attend.

Chris Mitchell is Senior Membership Marketing Manager at ASUG.

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