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Adam Potashnick named Adweek Media All-Star

MediaCom's Chief Growth Officer idolized Jerry Maguire... now he is showing us the money.

Adam Potashnick loves sports and his father was an attorney, so he thought his destiny was to be a sports agent. He idolized Jerry Maguire, the hard-charging agent played by Tom Cruise in the 1996 Cameron Crowe film, and like Maguire, he prides himself in never giving up, and often applies sports metaphors to agency life.

“Jerry found love in the win and the game and the fight, and that’s what I do on a day-to-day basis,” Potashnick explains. “I want MediaCom to be more distinct than every other agency. If there’s a wall, I’m going to run through it. If there’s a problem, I’m going to get us around it.”

He helped land nearly $2 billion in media billings from new clients including Walgreens Boots Alliance, Whole Foods, Electrolux, UNIQLO and PlayStation, for which he finalized a pitch in early 2016 during a huge snowstorm in New York.

“There was no stopping me from getting to San Francisco, and meeting with the client for that final meeting,” he recalls. “I made it on the only plane out from New York that day and helped close the deal.”

Potashnick joined MediaCom in 2006 after previously working at Carat, where he helped Pfizer launch Zoloft, Viagra and Xanax. He was named head of new business for MediaCom in 2015.

“He was a perfect fit to take on the new business role,” says Sasha Savic, CEO of MediaCom USA. “He has an amazing ability to build positive, deep relationships with people around him, and clients. When we go to industry events together, I always hate walking around with Adam, because every three minutes, there’s somebody who knows him and will stop us.”

Those relationships and his sales savvy have paid off: Potashnick created a real-time sales model for Dell that increased ROI by 700 percent and reduced production costs by 83 percent.

“‘No’ is not in Adam’s vocabulary,” adds Dina Gowar, chief of staff for global digital marketing at Dell Technologies. “He’s both a creative thinker and skilled negotiator at the same time.”

According to those he works with, those negotiating skills might even be on par with Jerry Maguire’s. “He likes challenges-the more difficult, the more he wants to prove that he can do it,” Savic says. “He also can simplify the essence of media strategy and explain it in a way that makes clients say, ‘I want to work with these people, and this agency.'”

Article originally published on May 8, 2017 in Adweek. Read about the other Media All-Stars here.

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