15 Nov 2010
Octagon's global football experts form new Football Marketing Division
SPORTS MARKETING COMPANY BUILDS ON 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP MOMENTUM WITH NEW STRUCTURE AND FOOTBALL EXPERTISE
London, 12 November 2010 - LONDON – Fresh from its successful marketing on behalf of clients at this year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa, sports marketing leader Octagon Worldwide is restructuring its considerable global marketing football team to better deploy its capabilities worldwide on behalf of sponsors of the world’s most popular sport.
Phil Carling, 11-year Octagon veteran, will head up the division from the company’s London office as Managing Director of Global Football leading a team of football experts based around the world. One of the world’s leading experts on football marketing, Carling has held senior positions at clubs and federations and has worked with leading sponsors and brands. He served as head of the Commercial Department at the FA from 1996-2000, and served for six years as Commercial Director of Arsenal FC. Carling has developed keen insights which make him a popular and trusted counsellor, particularly for corporations with large football sponsorship portfolios.
Joining the newly-expanded division will be Clay Smith who will serve as Senior Vice President of Global Football. Clay most recently managed programs for Octagon’s 2010 FIFA World Cup clients in South Africa and has some 16 years of experience activating sponsorships at the FIFA World Cup and across numerous worldwide football events and platforms. In South Africa Smith managed a record six FIFA partnerships that included A-B InBev, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Kia, MTN and SONY planning, implementing and measuring more than 1,200 events, including an incredible 846 MTN events that engaged 3.3 million fans in just over one month. Another member of Smith’s team, Aykan Azar, will also relocate from South Africa to London. As Account Director, Azar played a key role in 2010 and 2006 FIFA World Cup sponsorship activations.
Speaking about the new division Octagon Worldwide President and CEO Rick Dudley said, “Over the last 20 years Octagon’s global football experts have provided strategic consulting and activation for more than 30 corporate sponsors at six FIFA World Cup tournaments and four European Championships and have negotiated more than $200 million in corporate sponsorships in Europe alone. With the expertise and knowledge we developed in South Africa and with our recent investment into Brazil we are now well placed to provide a truly global, 360-degree service to meet client’s objectives.”
In their new roles, Carling and Smith will be coordinating a team of seasoned Octagon football marketing experts, providing the agency and its clients with a deep and rich capability in the sport. Octagon Global Football Experts include:
Alexandre Leitao, Octagon Brazil President who joined Octagon in the recent acquisition of his Rio de Janeiro-based sports marketing firm, B2S. Highly-regarded in the Brazil sports world, Alex is an official CBF representative and an expert in strategic planning
Lisa Murray, Octagon Worldwide EVP/CMO, whose football sponsorship management spans 19 years and four FIFA World Cups. Lisa’s expertise lies in integrated marketing on a global level. She managed MasterCard’s global football portfolio for 16 years
Qondisa Ngwenya, Octagon South Africa Managing Director, whose team managed Octagon’s record FIFA World Cup activations. Qondisa is the previous COO of the South Africa Sports Commission
Joan Cusco, President, Octagon Spain. A FIFA Committee member, Joan serves as President of Beach Soccer Worldwide and Pro Beach Soccer
Derek Aframe, SVP Consulting, Octagon Marketing Americas is a l6-year veteran of global football activation. He is a student of the rise of soccer in America.
Simon Wardle, EVP of Octagon Insights and Strategies, creator of Passion Drivers Research that has studied passionate football fans around the world quantifying why they are fans.
Andre Schunk, VP Consulting, Octagon Marketing Americas, a FIFA World Cup tournament sponsorship activation veteran. Andre is well-versed in the sport from a European perspective having managed football activation programs in Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
Mariano Torres, Octagon Athlete & Personalities Football Worldwide Managing Director. Based in Spain, he is an accomplished talent coordinator and a trailblazer in the international football transfer market
The newly-structured football division will have access to proprietary findings from a new wave of Octagon Passion Drivers® research, conducted among avid Brazil football fans to add to the 10 countries Passion Drivers research has already taken place. This research has now been conducted among more than 50,000 fans across 10 countries in some 30 sports, giving Octagon and its clients a new understanding of sports fans as consumers.
“This is the first time anyone has quantified the WHY behind the mystery of fans’ passions for the sports they love. Knowing why fans feel the way they do about football enables sponsors to develop strategies and activation plans that connect their brands to these previously unknown emotional relationships in ways that truly influence consumers,” Phil Carling explained.
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