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228 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
AP & Associates
finds success as a black ad agency in Scottsdale Arizona
Arizona Business Gazette (March 25, 2010) With the physique of a pro football player, the
personality of the boy next door and the charm of a big teddy bear, AP &
Associates LLC CEO Alan Powell defies the stereotype of "stodgy
businessman." But underestimating his business acumen would be a
The ad man is known for creating unorthodox partnerships, striking deals
that often caught some within the advertising industry off guard.
Deals that landed heavy metal rock band Korn on the BET cable network,
brought African American singer/actor Tyrese Gibson to the Valley to
perform the national anthem at NASCAR and launched niche campaigns that
pitched Coors beer to Latinos and Crown Royal Whisky to African
Those who know Powell aren't surprised by his nonconformist approach,
because he views his business as a liaison between corporate America and
His Scottsdale firm specializes in multicultural advertising and
marketing campaigns, with AP & Associates' clients' roster encompassing
just about every form of entertainment - from music to movies, and from
TV to sports.
"I had a vision of figuring out non-traditional ways to reach consumers.
Implementing more of a diverse marketing concept was key for me," Powell
His Rolodex includes phone numbers for billionaires, entertainers,
athletes and trendsetters/innovators, while his speed dial includes
celebrities with crossover appeal, such as four-time heavyweight boxing
champion Evander Holyfield.But at the end of the day, the Louisville
native's down-home attitude and a knack for building relationships among
strangers are the businessman's most valuable assets.
He credits his ability to relate to those from all walks of life to
serving three years in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm.
"Being able to interact with other ethnic groups means being able to
take them and put them in my own scenario," said Powell, who stands a
solid 6 feet 6 and 270 pounds.
"I'm cool with everything. I'm cool with everybody."
When Powell returned home from the military, he wanted a career that
involved his passion for sports. An athlete all his life, Powell played
guard and forward positions for the basketball team at Missouri Valley
College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sports administration.
After working for other companies in the Midwest, Powell moved to Los
Angeles where he became vice president of The Firm, where he specialized
in inking deals connecting athletes with the entertainment industry.
He then carried his experience and connections to Dallas, another hotbed
of entertainment marketing potential, where he founded AP & Associates
Powell's career soon picked up steam, as companies came calling when
they wanted to target a specific advertising demographic, or promoters
wanted to attract ethnic groups that typically avoided their events.
He moved his headquarters from Dallas to downtown Scottsdale four years
later, because a large metropolitan area with a small African-American
population appealed to him. He now has offices in Los Angeles,
Cincinnati and New York.
"I saw (where) there were good opportunities," he said. "Nobody thinks
about going into another space (market.) I was able to take them
(advertisers) places they didn't know existed."
Powell is constantly keeping tabs on the next trend, such as Hurban, a
combination of Black urban and Hispanic music. He has taken on NASCAR
and is working on launching a signature event at PIR and other projects
to showcase the state and "enhance the reputation of Arizona."
A mutual friend introduced Powell to PIR President Bryan Sperber 1 1/2
years ago. At the time, Sperber was looking to expand NASCAR by widening
its appeal among different demographics.
The collaboration brought Gibson and Sheree Whitfield, stars of the
reality TV series "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," who drove the
ceremonial "kick-off" pace car during the sporting event last fall.
Sperber said he was disappointed with previous attempts to draw
entertainers and celebrities to participate in the event - until he
"AP was able to do this effectively by showcasing African-American
entertainers and bring that multicultural aspect," Sperber said. "I've
never met anyone more connected. He is able to fast-track ideas and
bypass the typical bureaucracy that can get in the way."
Powell said his firm's flexibility with its strategies and client base
has been vital to its success.
He has small-businesses and Fortune 500 companies in his portfolio, and
connects people from varied cultural backgrounds and tax brackets who
may not always travel in the same circles.
"We can modify or customize and find a way to make them benefit," Powell
said. "I'm very fortunate."
Annual Edition 'Buying Power of Black America' report
breaks down billions in expenditures (January
19, 2010) Black consumers are responding to tighter economic
condition by focusing more of their spending on items and services
that improve their homes and lifestyle. That's one of the trends
revealed in the 15th annual report, "The Buying Power of Black
America," published by Target Market News. The report analyzes
spending for black households in 2008 and finds that