Small Agency of the Year, 11-75 Employees, Gold: Zambezi
Zambezi has long been known for having a famous primary investor: Kobe Bryant. But last year the agency bought out Mr. Bryant's stake, starting a new chapter in its life. Zambezi also wanted to be seen as a shop that does more than sports and entertainment, so it restructured its leadership team to expand capabilities. As if that wasn't enough change, the Culver City, Calif.-based shop allowed its eight-year agreement with Coca-Cola to expire in order to court challenger brands in the beverage category. With that leap of faith, it notched an 80% new-business scorecard, including the Honest Company, Honest Beauty, Stance Socks, Focus Features, Zynga and AutoTrader.