Martins One of Orlando Magazine’s Most Powerful People
By John Denton
June 21, 2011
ORLANDO – In the past year alone, Orlando Magic President Alex Martins not only oversaw the finishing touches on the construction and grand opening of the dazzling Amway Center, but he also served in a leadership role for a franchise that set new highs for season tickets sold and won at least 50 games for a fourth consecutive season.
So it’s easy to see why Martins’ impressive profile continues to rise among the most important and influential leaders in Orlando and Central Florida. Already named the Rotary Club of Orlando’s Outstanding Business Professional of the Year, Martins has climbed to third overall in Orlando Magazine’s eighth annual list of The Most Powerful People in Orlando. The July edition of the magazine will soon be released, revealing Martins ranking one spot ahead of close friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Martins, 47, is the highest ranking private citizen on the list. Newly elected Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is first in Orlando Magazine’s ``Most Powerful People’’ rankings, while Speaker of the Florida House, Dean Cannon, is second. Martins moved up to third on the list after being ranked seventh a year ago.
Earlier this year, Martins ranked at No. 7 on the Orlando Sentinel’s most powerful people list. Magic superstar center Dwight Howard climbed to No. 26 on the Orlando Magazine ``Most Powerful People’’ list after coming in at No. 39 a year ago. Howard was an All-Star for a fifth consecutive season, while averaging a career-best in scoring (22.9 points per game) and becoming the first player in history to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award three straight years.
The Magic were the lead developers of the state-of-the-art Amway Center, and much of that responsibility fell onto the shoulders of Martins, who managed the design and construction of the facility. Not only did the project come in on time and on budget, but it was widely hailed by NBA Commissioner David Stern and several other NBA executives as the finest arena in the league.
For his work in completing the arena and doubling the season-ticket base to 14,000 fans over the past five years, Martins was promoted to the Magic’s President last July. He served as the team’s Chief Operating Officer the previous four years.
The Magic’s overall stadium experience for fans – which combines bang for the buck, fan relations and affordability – was recently honored by ESPN The Magazine. ESPN’s ninth annual Ultimate Standings ranked the Magic’s stadium experience the best in the NBA and fifth overall among all teams from the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA.
Also, earlier this year, the Magic were named a finalist in the Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily’s annual Sports Business Awards in the categories of ``Sports Team of the Year’’ and ``Sports Facility of the Year.’’ It was the first time in the 22-year history of the franchise that the Magic have been named finalists for either of the two awards. The Sports Business Awards annually recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports.
Martins’ work with the Amway Center earned him a spot as chairman of a group in charge of managing the construction budget of the downtown performing arts center project. His Rotary award came as a result of his leadership abilities and his commitment to community outreach and philanthropic services throughout the Central Florida community. The Magic give more than $2 million annually to the local community by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise, scholarships and grants.
The Magic’s community relations programs impact an estimated 75,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 6,000 volunteer hours annually. This past year the Magic, along with its ``Champion of the Community’’ partners, also completed five community gyms at a cost of $25 million.
``Martins’ vision, leadership, creativity and integrity took the Orlando Magic to new heights in 2010,’’ said Eric Schrek, Rotary committee chairman for the award selection process. ``Not only has he taken that organization to the next level, but he’s continued to show his commitment to the Central Florida community through participation in many local organizations and worthy causes.’’