Matt Mattox, 33 

Vice President and Group Planning Director, The Martin Agency

click to enlarge BRIGET GANSKE
  • Briget Ganske

As a vice president at the Martin Agency, Matt Mattox has some big brands under his belt: UPS, Wal-Mart, Geico — the list goes on.

But his biggest feat of late was serving on a team from the advertising agency that helped convince United Cycling International to hold its 2015 world championships in Richmond.

The 33-year-old, who also works as an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, has done other pro bono work, such as helping promote the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Dale Chihuly exhibit. But selling Richmond to the world presented a new and more personal challenge. As an avid cyclist, Mattox was familiar with the prestige of the cycling event.

“It had just been in Florence,” he says. “The year before that it was in Copenhagen. Next year it’s in Madrid. It’s one of the biggest cycling events on the calendar every year. I was really, really excited and amazed by the ambition of the group that was trying to bring it here.”

Mattox’s job is to identify problems a company wants to solve with its advertising and serve as the conduit between the corporate ambition and the agency’s creative staff. In Richmond’s case, Mattox says the problem was obvious: “Where is Richmond and why would we ever have the race here?”

Ultimately, his team sold the area’s virtues — varied terrain and proximity to larger metro areas. He now sits on the board of the race committee.

Matt Williams, chief executive at Martin, attributes Mattox’s success to his quick thinking, creative solutions and an ability to absorb a lot of information and turn it into clear, inspiring strategy.

“And that’s the first step towards creating great ideas,” Williams says. “Mattox’s accomplished so much … that it’s surprising to people when they find out he’s only 33. He’s one of the best in our business.”


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