Octagon : advertising & marketing assignments

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Octagon is one of the world's leading sports and entertainment marketing agencies, with 50 offices spread over 22 countries. It has been owned since inception by Interpublic, and works closely with that group's PR and experiential subsidiaries. Originally conceived as purely a sports marketing company, Octagon has broadened its remit to cover the whole entertainment field. It offers a wide variety of services covering all aspects of the marketing and commercial management of sports, music and entertainment events, including sponsorship negotiation, licensing and merchandising, television rights and production, and artistic management. It represents a large stable of sports and media personalities, though mostly in the B and C lists. The business was originally launched in 1997 under the management of Lowe Group founder Frank Lowe, with the aim of rivalling sports marketing pioneer IMG. Yet Lowe championed a disastrous venture into the motorsports business at the end of the 1990s which cast an undeservedly negative spotlight on the business as a whole. Interpublic dismantled that side of the company (at some considerable additional cost) and the remainder of the Octagon group has worked hard to erase memories of the whole unfortunate experience. Rick Dudley is now CEO. Advertising Age estimated global revenues of $196m in 2017.

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Who are the competitors of Octagon? Key competitors are IMG:WME, still the world's leading sports marketing agency, Chime's CSM, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, Wasserman Media and Lagardere Unlimited. Omnicom's sports marketing units include GMR, The Marketing Arm and Optimum Sports, while WPP has Prism and 141 Alliance as well as units of Ogilvy and H&K Strategies. Publicis Groupe's MSL division handles some sports marketing, as do Publicis Events and group-owned Relay Worldwide. Competitors in talent management include global giants CAA (and its sports speciality unit CAA Sports) and IMG:WME. See Marketing Services Agencies index for other companies.

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