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  • ADC Partners

ADC Partners: What does the "ADC" stand for, anyway?

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

It's September 4, 2002, and we're in a state of full blown panic.

The day had actually started off promisingly. At the time, we were working for a small sports marketing agency, and we'd spent the last couple of months developing a carefully thought out affinity marketing program for a major health and fitness client. We were presenting the plan to the company's board of directors that afternoon. The run throughs had been smooth, and potential questions answered without difficulty.

Then, at the last minute, the agency's owner decides that he's going to accompany us on the presentation.

The agency's owner had always been a bit of a wild card. He had a number of different business interests that were somewhat opaquely defined, and was only infrequently at the office. When he was there, he'd ask a couple of questions about what we were up to, and then move on. We took it to mean that he had confidence in our work, and therefore didn't feel the need to provide much input. He also consumed more coffee than any human we'd ever seen.

When he announced his intention to join us on the presentation, we scheduled a quick meeting to define his role. In it, he told us to relax and indicated that he was simply interested in making introductions and setting the stage for the presentation we'd put together. While we were a still a little unsettled by this late change, we felt a little relieved that the owner's role would be limited.

We all drove over to the company headquarters together. When we arrived, we were ushered in to a large corporate board room, and began connecting our laptop to the intricate A/V system. After some trial and error, the slide with "Affinity Program" appeared on the screen. We were ready to go.

Board members began filing in to the room. It was a large group that filled every seat around the long rectangular table. Pleasantries were exchanged, coffee poured, notepads opened. We were ready to roll.

The agency's owner cleared his throat and spoke: "Thank you all for joining us today for this presentation regarding a proposed Infinity Program."

We exchanged glances from the corners of our eyes. Nah, we think, we must have misheard him.

The owner continues. "My team will now run through the rationale, requirements, and costs associated with the Infinity Program."

Things went pretty much downhill from there.

When we returned to the office from that debacle, we decided that it was time to go out on our own. We had the experience, were already doing all the work, and reasonably trusted one another to refer to the programs we were working on by their actual name and not something that sounds like a plot point for a sci-fi B movie villain ("Aha, but wait until they see my Infinity Program! Bwa ha-ha-ha!")

We wanted to move quickly, though. And to do so, we needed a name for our new endeavor. At the time, agencies were choosing BIG ACTION WORDS for their names: Accelerate, Radiate, Excel, etc., so we wanted to go a different direction.

After a long silence, the ensuing discussion went along these lines:

"How about Andy and Dave's Company?"

"OK, that's patently ridiculous."

More silence.

"IMG has 3 initials.... How about ADC?"

"Now add 'Partners.'"

"Andy and Dave's Company Partners? It makes no sense."

More silence.

"Doesn't matter. Let's order some business cards."

And thus a sports agency was born, and perhaps the world's most slapdash business name with it.

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