SYRACUSE — The Mooney Marketing Group (MMG) has operated under the radar since its incorporation in July 2009. No longer. Revenues are growing exponentially and so is the organization.
MMG is a marketing/communications company providing advertising and collateral material, media strategy and placement, sales promotions and sponsorships, public relations, event management, and political/issue advertising. The firm’s mantra is: “We’ll manage your marketing while you manage your business.”
Headquartered in about 1,250 square feet at 247 W. Fayette St. in downtown Syracuse, MMG posted $1 million in revenue in 2010, $2 million in 2011, and $4 million in 2012. Patrick Mooney, the firm’s president and sole stockholder, says “… my goal is $6 million next year.” Mooney is looking for at least 2,500 square feet of space to accommodate the growth to 10 employees.
MMG currently works with a number of accounts, including Empower Federal Credit Union, McLane Company, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Honda City, Roma Tile, Jenny Craig, and Upstate Medical University. Mooney says that “70 percent of our accounts are located in Upstate with the remainder scattered around the country.” MMG is now working on projects for national associations because of referrals from Ann Marie Buerkle’s Congressional campaigns, which MMG helped to plan.
MMG’s staff includes Mooney as president, Bret Burghdurf as operations manager, and Brian DeJoseph in the role of media coordinator. Dennis Brogan (a.k.a. The Dome Ranger) is the director of brand development, Paul Rolince oversees a real-estate magazine published by the company, and Bob Clary handles the online/digital media.
MMG was originally set up as an LLC, but Mooney converted this year to a sub-S status with the help of Scrimale & Scrimale, CPAs in Solvay and James W. Cunningham at the law firm of Smith, Sovick, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C. in Syracuse.
Mooney is a Syracuse native who attended Bishop Ludden High School in Geddes. He then matriculated at Syracuse University, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science/business administration from the Maxwell School in 1993. He launched his career with WTVH-5 and WSYT Fox 68, selling media advertising for five years before joining Clear Channel Radio Syracuse in sales. In his mid-30s, he felt frustrated being limited to serving his clients only through a single media source. He also recognized that the “middle market” in this region was not being well served by existing advertising agencies.
Although he had never owned a business, Mooney says he was confident he could create a successful agency by focusing his experience on the middle-market niche and by leveraging the relationships he had established. The recent recession was the impetus to launch his start-up, utilizing his own savings to bankroll the business.
Driven by an ethic to under-promise and over-deliver, he spends most of the day visiting with clients to see that MMG is producing results. “I’m doing well if my customers are doing well,” says Mooney.
At age 41, Mooney stresses a daily focus to educate himself and his clients not only about traditional media but also the world of social/digital media. While admiring technology and what it can deliver, he describes himself as “old school, interested in the human element of each relationship.”
Mooney is married with three children and lives on Onondaga Hill. While consumed by the daily pressures of client service and of running a business, he admits to finding some time for golf. Besides focusing on developing his business, he has set a goal to reduce his current 14 handicap.
Mooney now has the best of both worlds: he has blended his entrepreneurial spirit with his passion for politics.