Mickey Mouse runs this town, but he’s got company
By Brad Shellgren
Alex Martins has become one of the most powerful figures in Orlando. Not only does Martins’ business card read, CEO of the Orlando Magic, but his influence extends far beyond the Amway Center. His fingerprints are all over the city.
Martins was vital in getting the Amway Center built. He has been instrumental in the development and oversight of the future Sports and Entertainment District. Martins once chaired the Orlando Economic Development Commission and has served as a board member of several businesses and foundations. He is Orlando.
“Orlando is a great place to live, work and play. There are so many facets to our growing city and really something for everyone,” Martins says.
Entertainment is the life blood of the city Martins call home. But, it is not just about the iconic theme parks. Orlando has become the hub for major sporting events including the NBA, MLS and the Citrus Bowl. You can add the Florida Classic to that list.
The Florida Classic is the annual football game between Florida A&M University and Bethune Cookman. Since making its home in Orlando 20 years ago, The Florida Classic has become the biggest Historically Black College game in the country.
“The Florida Classic is outstanding for the local economy. The event is first-class and fans come from all over to take part in the festivities,” Martins says.
Included in those festivities is the highly anticipated, “Battle of the Bands” at the Amway Center, Nov. 17th. The event features the rhythmic drumlines and roaring brass sections of the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman and the Marching 100 from Florida A&M.
“The Amway Center will be a great host to the Battle of the Bands. The acoustics are top-notch. It’s truly an honor for the event to be taking place at the Amway Center,” says Martins.
Named one of the 50 most power people in Central Florida by Orlando Magazine, Martins knows a good thing when he sees it. And, when he looks at the Florida Classic, he sees great things for the fans visiting Orlando.
“Whether it’s visiting the attractions to heading downtown to the game, I don’t think you can go wrong and the passion of the game, no matter which side you are on, will certainly be palpable,” Martins says. “That is the true beauty of sports is that it brings people together and makes them feel welcomed, valued and appreciated.”
Whether Martins is helping with the organization of the Florida Classic or busy bringing the NBA All-Star game to Orlando, he is the right guy to have on your side. He chaired the One Orlando Fund which distributed $33 million dollars to the survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting and the families of those who died.
Martins attributes his success to a tireless work ethic, accountability and treating others as he wishes to be treated, traits he learned from his home life in New Jersey.
“Growing up, my parents were my rock and instilled values that I have to this day in regards to hard work and helping people be successful.”
The hard word has paid dividends for Martins, who has established himself as a major player in Orlando.
Mickey Mouse may run this town, but Alex Martins has taken a piece of his cheese.