Octagon Worldwide has a game plan for marketing world-class athletes and entertainers. A unit of Interpublic Group, the sports marketing firm represents some 800 athletes and "personality clients," including former NFL personalities Bill Cowher and Emmitt Smith and the NBA's Chris Paul. Its services include athlete representation, event management, TV rights sales and distribution, licensing and merchandising, TV production, and new media. Managing more than 13,400 events each year, Octagon also owns sporting events and properties (including WTA Tennis Events, Beach Volleyball World Tour), which allow it to court corporate sponsors. Octagon was founded in 1997 by Frank Lowe.
Always on the lookout for acquisitions to augment its client base, Octagon expanded into a niche market in late 2011 through the purchase of urban and multicultural agency Alloy Access, in a deal that gave it access to such notable corporate clients as Bank of America, BMW, Castrol, Sprint, and MasterCard. Previously, the firm cornered a very specific market in 2010 when it obtained Revolver Athlete Management, a firm specializing in representing Australian surfers.
In late 2008 Octagon acquired the baseball and masters divisions of the sports management firm CSMG. The purchase added more than 100 clients, including pitchers Randy Johnson and Chien-Ming Wang, to Octagon's baseball division. (CSMG also represents minor league baseball players.) The acquisition positioned Octagon as one of the largest baseball practices based on client number. CSMG's offices in Chicago, Taiwan, and Venezuela were included in the deal.