Lead image by HERO9 Black Million Dollar Challenge Awardee Johnny Lo.

After the incredible amount of time, hard work and insane content that went into this year’s Million Dollar Challenge, GoPro wanted to celebrate the final 56 awardees with a special token to show our appreciation—a Million Dollar Challenge trophy.

For the trophy, we went back to our roots and pulled inspiration from Mother Nature. GoPro was founded in the spirit of capturing and sharing surfing and a general love for nature, which is why we continue to strive towards more sustainable ways of producing and delivering our products. So, for this trophy we let ourselves be inspired by the ocean.

To help bring this project to life we partnered with Awards & Medal Studio, a small business from Latvia established in 2005. It was the perfect match as this is a company that stands for bespoke high-quality awards, trophies and medals made from carefully selected materials and customizable to the client’s creative vision. Through their work, they want to awaken your curiosity to explore more sustainable and ethical choices.

When creating this model, GoPro envisioned it to be completely made of environmentally friendly materials. The company used recycled timber for the wooden details, giving the wood a second life, and added ocean blue plant-based resin. Each award was produced individually by hand and each piece has a unique shape and resin pattern.

Awards & Medal Studio’s step by step recipe for success:

  1. Wooden details are sawed, planed and polished to achieve the shape.
  2. After processing, the wooden details are arranged in a mold.
  3. Once the wooden details are fixed in the mold, resin is prepared for pouring.
  4. Resin sets and matures for seven days, followed by cutting and smoothing wood and resin piece.
  5. In post-processing, details are polished until the surface is smooth and even.
  6. The next important step is placing an individual digital imprint on each award.
  7. After thoroughly checking the trophies, the process is finished by oiling the surface.
  8. Once the oil has dried, the awards undergoes quality control by checking the surface and print quality.
  9. Before dispatch, the awards are placed in individually designed cardboard boxes.

It was truly a magical experience to see these trophies come to life! Don’t take our word for it, watch some awardees receiving the tophies: