Octagon Sports Organization Structure 9 pages

Octagon Sports Organization Structure

Octagon Sports Organizational Structure

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The most fundamental aspect and/or tool for establishing a successful organization is the organizational structure. Organizational structure is a typical and hierarchical arrangement of lines of authority, rights, duties, and communications within an organization, thereby defining how powers, roles, and responsibilities are assigned, coordinated, and controlled, and how information flows between the diversified levels of management. All these aspects are thereby directed towards the attainment or achievement of an organization’s aims and/or goals. An organization’s structure depends on the organization’s core objectives and strategies. There are two categories of organizational structure comprising (i) centralized structure, and (ii) decentralized structure. Within a centralized structure, the top management owns, if not all then, most of the decision making powers, as well as staunch control over the organization’s departments and divisions. On the contrary, in a decentralized organizational structure, the power for decision making is fairly distributed amongst the organization’s divisions and every division or department may possess a different degree of independence. In this context, this paper analyzes the Octagon Sports’ organizational structure through defining, as well as overlooking its existing structure and modes of performance. It is one of the global organizations, which are piloted through the decentralized structured systems.

Octagon is a sports and entertainment gratified marketing arm of the “Interpublic Group” of companies, Inc. (Octagon Worldwide, 2013). It is one of the world’s pioneering organizations of marketing services and advertising company agencies (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). The organization holds recognition as one of the most powerful and dominant global sports marketing companies. Through its annual global marketing revenues, it accrues or generates an approximate excess of $300 million (Staffa, Lewis, Braham & Griffins, 2011). The two principal divisions making up Octagon are Marketing and Athletes and Personalities. However, the athletes and personalities division is currently separated into sport divisions, primarily handling the event management and corporate sponsorships. According to Octagon Worldwide (2013), the aim of the Octagon’s athlete marketing department is to establish and maximize off-field corporate relationships with every client. The organization thereby tactfully, tactically, and aggressively pursues its corporate opportunities at regional, local, national, and international levels (Octagon Worldwide, 2013). Octagon’s personnel develop a distinctive and individualized marketing plan for every customer hence this strategic plan aids the organization in maximizing their clients’ earning capabilities during their playing and entertainment careers (Octagon Worldwide, 2013). The entertainment career enhancement is achievable via the provision of enjoyable off-field, as well as community-related activities within which the clients participate. Octagon’s ultimate mission is to create novel avenues for professional and personal fulfillments, which provide both short-term and long-term opportunities that enhance the development of an individual’s character and community life (Octagon Worldwide, 2013).

Octagon’s core commitment is to combine the resources, power, and relationships amongst international sports organizations with the utmost levels of personal attention and dedications to clients- a behavior commonly associated with the traditional small firms. The organization strives to deliver the uppermost level of personal attention to its clients by offering them direct access to each member of the staff at all times (Staffa, Lewis, Braham & Griffins, 2011). While Octagon is proud of its performance in negotiating over one million U.S. dollars in NFL and marketing contacts, it also takes pride in the provision of both quantity and quality personal attention to each client’s needs (Staffa, Lewis, Braham & Griffins, 2011). Ultimately, the organization’s success is measurable through the quality of its comprehensive relationships it keeps with its clients. This commitment to personal attention is prolonged to any extra individual recommended having direct access to the organization’s management. Only by maintaining control over the organization’s size and level of practices, it is capable of delivering such guarantees for the length of Octagon’s client career, both on and off the field. This is because the main objective of Octagon in public relations is to establish and maintain a likeable, favorable image, persona, and brand that can help leverage the organization’s marketing efforts on behalf of its clients (Octagon Worldwide, 2014). Octagon believes that establishing robust public image for every client is a vital segment of its career development, both on and off playing-field. Elaborately, the first image is developed as a client performs on the field, and later from building a healthy relationship with the media, as well as the public off-field. As an individual professionally grows within the NFL, Octagon sturdily advocates, assuming the role of leadership within the community. Participation within the community-driven programs, along with a charitable foundation, will thereby result into the most rewarding and satisfying experience of clients’ career. Through its decentralized structure, Octagon is committed to assisting its clients in developing and implementing its activities and programs through encouraging an individualized realization of personal impact within the local community.

Through the success of its management and organizational strategies, Octagon proudly celebrates its 31st anniversary in the world’s principal sponsorship consulting practice, offering service to hundreds of corporate marketing clients, and managing over 13,300 events annually. According to Staffa, Lewis, Braham & Griffins (2011), it manages and influences about $3 billion in sponsorship related spending yearly, with approximately 1,000 employees globally. The organization’s presence dominates across the Asia-Pacific region, pioneering in athlete and personality management and representation. It works with over 800 athlete and personality clients. In its organizational structure, Octagon is spearheaded by Rick Dudley- the CEO and President worldwide. Dudley is accountable for all functional disciplines of the organization. Octagon Worldwide (2014) elicits that he envisions Octagon’s success based on a solid record of organizational performance. In its recent/new Asia Pacific strategy, the CEO affirmed the organization’s confidence on the new Asia-Pacific strategy, projected to propel great regional and global progression. Under Rick Dudley’s leadership as the CEO and President, Octagon has advanced to become the world’s largest sports and entertainment activation and consulting practice, and a leader and pioneer in athlete and personality management. The major concern of sports management is the understanding of the nature and meaning of sporting activities in people’s lives, and with the management and planning of financial, physical, environmental, and human resources in order to meet the sporting requirements (Octagon Worldwide, 2014).

The managing director, Octagon football- Phil Carling, with his office based in London, oversees the organization’s global football business including the overall management and sponsorship strategies for rights and brands’ holders. Carling’s 12-year tenure in Octagon encompasses managing sponsorships for various world’s premier companies such as Mars, AB InBev, NIVEA For Men, and Saudi Telecom (Octagon Worldwide, 2014). Previously, he was a commercial director of the UK football association (UK FA) and was responsible for the creation of the UK’s most profound domestic football program. Down the hierarchy, is the Chief Strategy Officer; Octagon worldwide- Simon Wardle, who oversees the organization’s multifaceted strategic research, thereby ensuring the broadcast, as well as the most effective and influential impact for the clients (Octagon Worldwide, 2014). Among his achievements is the creation of “Passion Drivers®,” a pioneering and proprietary research aimed at understanding why sports fans are fans.

The Executive Vice President; Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) worldwide- Lisa Murray has aided the growth of the agency for over two decades (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). The CMO manages all marketing, and communications for Octagon brands worldwide, and spearheads the firm’s marketing practice development and deployment (Hoffer, Hunt & Collins, 2009). She is responsible for driving the existing clients’ cross-border growth, and the leading team develops new business within the emerging markets such as China, Brazil, India, Russia, and the Middle East. The subsequent sub-hierarchical posts include The Managing Director: Octagon India, Europe, and the Middle East- Jeff Ehrenkranz, who leads the agency’s marketing strategies in those regions, including business growth initiatives across boundaries through Europe (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). He formerly served as Octagon’s head of marketing solutions group in Northern America, thereby successfully managing teams across sports, music, entertainment sponsorships, digital events, and hospitality services. Alexandra Leitao, the President Octagon Brazil, develops strategic plans for companies using football as a brand positioning tool, sales, alongside business developments. His far-reaching marketing experience in advertising, retail, hospitality, and entertainment industries extend in Latin America and Europe. Similarly, John Shea is the President Octagon Marketing Americas. He heads the Octagon’s sponsorship consulting group within the South and North America (Octagon Worldwide, 2014). He has successfully run sponsorship programs in these regions across a variety of industrial segments and has managed business correlations with a number of major organizations and sports leagues. (see Figure 1)

Figure 1: Octagon’s Top Leadership

Regarding the Octagon Football, I propose a topology that can assist in better understanding of the worldwide football industry and its management structure. Here (Octagon Worldwide, 2014) suggests that the sports industry is currently separated into three principal segments including sporting goods, consulting, and sports services. The sporting goods segment includes equipment manufacturers- licensed products, and spots materials, for example, Adidas, Reebok, and Nike. Second, the consulting segment involves firms offering services such as sports medicine, management, and others. This is where the Octagon falls, alongside IMG and others. Third, is the sports services, which involves organizations offering sports as their end products. This segment is again further divided into three facets including the Event that involves organizations generating their revenues, either indirectly or directly from spectators (Staffa, Lewis, Braham & Griffins 2011). Here, the athletes are professional, and examples of such entities encompass teams and leagues. Second, are participants involving entities that provide opportunities for individuals to engage or involve in sporting activities. Finally, Job, Woods and Howard (2008) affirms that the hybrid aspect ensures the provision of a mixed organization of events and participants including government agencies. Here is a schematic showing the structure of the football industry. (See Figure 2)

An alternative view of the football industry divides the structure into producer market, consumer market, and intermediate market (industrial and resale). According to this viewpoint, the football fans are the consumer market, holding a direct commercial relation through the box office or producer market mechanization represented by the football associations (Hoffer, Hunt & Collins, 2009). As well, this market consumes from the intermediate industrial market (sports marketing companies) and the intermediate resale market (including TV and licensed companies). Finally, the intermediate industrial market and the intermediate resale market interact with the producer market via marketing of operations and selling of broadcast rights, respectively. Hoffer, Hunt and Collins (2009) assert that the producer market organization follows a global hierarchy, whereby The International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) is the highest authority in football and beneath it comes the federations, which are accountable for football activities within their respective continents as in the case of UEFA (union of European football associations) and the south-American football confederation (CONMEBOL). Below the hierarchy is the national federation and confederations such as the Brazilian football confederation (CBF), the state federations, and sports leagues.

In England, there is also an endeavor to organize the consumer market- the football fans into (i) local fans, who physically attend the matches at the stadiums within their regions, (ii) virtual fans, who do not attend the matches at the stadium, (iii) followers, who follow the team to different regions, (iv) family supporters, who attend the matches at the stadium with another family member, and (v) corporate supporters who attend the matches at the stadium and necessitate special treatment at VIP areas and the cabins.

The sports management and marketing agencies execute a vast scope of responsibilities such as client representation and management (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). Here, the agency involves in representing the client during contract negotiations and marketing decisions formulation in order to manage the potential client income and earnings. These contract negotiations could be between the player and his/her team, licensee, and licensor, or endorser and product. According to Job, Woods and Howard (2008), the management function encompasses the agency in the strategic planning process for the organizations clients who may involve in financial planning processes investments, marketing, management, personal appearances, as well as other revenue productions and management forms (Staffa, Lewis, Braham & Griffins, 2011). In organization’s client marketing and product endorsement, the aspect of client marketing may involve the agency in the total marketing and promotion of the client (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). In the aspect of event creation and development, the development of new satellite technologies such as direct TV transmission has resulted into fiscal rewarding opportunities that aid further creation of sports and new events.

The event management and marketing involves high costs of personnel (such as salaries and benefits), the need for specific expertise, geographic scope of sports activities, and the seasonality of some events, thereby prompting many sorts organizations to hire outside agencies for managing, activating, and marketing their events (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). Currently, the event management and marketing agencies get involved in functions such as tennis and golf tournaments, bowl games, festivals, as well as other sports and lifestyle special events. Moreover, the sports management and marketing agencies often represent organizational properties in sponsor solicitation and proportional licensing, as well as procurement (Job, Woods & Howard, 2008). Sports properties can be defined as any sport or lifestyle entities with event recognition or name, perceived values, and desirability, which may choose to render itself for some form of affiliation. Through the television developments and productions, the growth and proliferation of cable, pay-per-view, and satellite services have created a number of opportunities and outlets for development and production of television programming. Through the efforts of managing directors, marketing president, and strategy officer, Octagon involves in the creation, development, and management of sports and lifestyle activities and/or events. The organization also manages its sponsorships, licensing, and broadcasting rights for old and distinguished events within the international sports and events calendar.

Octagon performance measures are essential in regards to the global benchmarking process since they provide a mean of both strategic and personnel evaluation during performance planning and assessment (Hoffer, Hunt & Collins, 2009). With these measures in position, a successful management will better be identified by its performance relative to its strategic planning benchmarks. Additionally, through the employment of these performance measures, alongside appropriate feedback mechanisms, Octagon management is capable of ascertaining its initiatives. On the other dimensions, communication is an essential tool for an organization’s streamlined performance and overall strategic processes. It should thereby become a primary concern for Octagon management to restructure its communication channels amongst the organization’s seniors and junior managements. This strategic plan would integrate a seamless information distribution across the organization via leaders and employees. Moreover, Octagon employees will be capable of providing essential information with regards to improving the entire sporting organization. In several occasions, employees are the front-line personnel of the organization through information distribution and management’s strategic planning. They can provide important information, which can be disseminated through the entire organization hence making the strategic management process more effective since individuals are well aware of the organization’s goals and objectives.


Hoffer, C.W., Hunt, C. & Collins, W. (2009). Strategic approach to sports globalization.

Journal of International Marketing, 12(1), 57-74.

Job, P., Woods, J. & Howard, C. (2008). Description of roles of sports agencies, operational and educational programs to prepare for a successful organizational and field performance. Journal of Sports and Entertainment, 45, 27-34.

Octagon Worldwide, (2013). Octagon executive biographies. Retrieved on 15th March, 2014

from http://www.octagon.com/who_we_are/leadership/.

Octagon Worldwide, (2014). The Octagon announces strengthened senior management structure and new leadership appointments. The Octagon Sports Marketing, 9(4), 17-


Staffa, P., Lewis, D., Braham, G. & Griffins, W. (2011). The Laws of Returns under competitive sports conditions, Economic Journal, 36(2), 35-50.

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