McKinney, American Tobacco reinvent work space, extend partnership - McKinney

McKinney, American Tobacco reinvent work space, extend partnership

October 6, 2009

An advertising agency looking to reinvent the way it collaborates and creates. An urban development reinventing the way people live, work and play. They found each other, and they’re sticking together.

Five years ago, McKinney moved to Durham’s American Tobacco Campus (ATC). After creating one of the business world’s most dynamic spaces, McKinney is signing for seven additional years, putting the agency at ATC through 2021.

Not just another real estate item, this is the story of how 55,000-sq-ft of factory space became home to a boy in a snowglobe and a radical reinvention. “This is about the work environment becoming an engine for business and creativity,” says Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company (which owns ATC,

Moving to ATC in 2004, McKinney ( established a one-of-a-kind shop. Its lobby features open stringer stairs reaching up to glass-walled conference rooms creating what McKinney calls the “brand tower.” Natural light floods loft perches.

McKinney’s design fit well with the exuberance and care ATC put into renovating the entire former tobacco hub. For the agency, the look and feel is strategic. “We needed space that would inspire our ability to create game-changing ideas that deliver extraordinary results,” says COO Joni Madison. “Space that would help us connect and collaborate with each other and nurture a culture of possibility. We found it at ATC, and we’re as excited to be here as we were on Day One.”

McKinney’s culture has thrived at ATC. In May, Nationwide Insurance named McKinney its advertising agency of record. In 2007, a staffer set a world record by spending 78 hours and 30 minutes in an inflatable snowglobe as the centerpiece of the agency’s digital holiday card.

And McKinney is now part of a dynamic urban center. “When we decided to partner with ATC, we had to use our imagination for both our space and the possibility of a thriving campus and downtown,” says Madison. “We are thrilled with the growth and evolution of both. They have a pulse and vitality that help attract the best national talent. And it’s a desirable destination for our clients who come from all over.”