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Octagon Appoints John Shea As CEO

April 6, 2021

IPG DXTRA has announced that John Shea will become Chief Executive Officer of Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network (OSEN), the industry-leading collection of marketing, talent management, communications, influencer, and creative firms, including Octagon, R&CPMK, ITB, Futures, FRUKT, and Milkmoney.

Shea, who is currently Global President of Octagon Marketing & Events, will assume day-to-day operating responsibilities of OSEN effective immediately. Rick Dudley, who has been OSEN’s Chairman and CEO for the past 18 years, will remain as Chairman and continue to provide strategic direction and support to OSEN’s Executive Committee, and will also focus on several key areas of the global network of agencies, including new business, client growth, and strategic planning. Shea and Dudley will report to IPG DXTRA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andy Polansky.

Phil de Picciotto, Founder and President of Octagon, will co-manage the agency with Shea, and continue in his role leading global operations of Octagon’s worldwide talent and property representation, event management, and financial wealth management businesses.

Cindi Berger, Chairman, and Mark Owens, CEO of R&CPMK and ITB, will continue to lead the entertainment and cultural communications marketing powerhouse, which serves 50+ world-class brands and provides 300+ film, TV, and music superstars with marketing and PR support.

“Rick’s tremendous vision and leadership have built OSEN into one of the world’s largest and most respected organizations in sports and entertainment,” Polansky said. “John has worked in partnership with Rick for more than two decades, and his contributions have been a driving force behind the growth and success of Octagon. With an executive management group and global workforce that are unparalleled in the sports and entertainment industry, OSEN is very well positioned for the future.”

Dudley added, “I’m confident in passing the CEO baton to one of the most trusted, talented, and creative executives in the industry, and have no doubt he will only continue to take OSEN to new heights.”

Shea, who joined Octagon in 1994, has been responsible for oversight of Octagon’s U.S. and international marketing practices and global marketing offices, including all partnerships, events, experiential marketing, strategy, content, technology, and creative offerings. In addition, he has led the agency’s marketing relationships with sports leagues, teams, and properties worldwide, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, LPGA, Premier League, UEFA, MLS, NWSL, FIFA, USOPC, and IOC.

Under Shea’s leadership, Octagon has expanded beyond its core sports marketing capabilities to become a global creative agency focused on sports and entertainment. During his tenure, the agency’s expanded work and services have been recognized by Cannes, Clio Sports, Sports Business Journal, and many others. Shea’s management has also supported both long-tenured and new client partnerships with brands including AB InBev, Allstate, Bank of America, BMW, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Delta, LinkedIn, Mastercard, PlayStation, Taco Bell, and others.

Dudley is a 40-year veteran in the sports industry, who has worked for the NFL, MLB, and NHL.  His leadership of OSEN’s sports and entertainment enterprises has been marked by comprehensive growth domestically and internationally across OSEN’s extensive collection of agencies and divisions. With more than 1,200 employees and 50 offices in 22 countries around the world, OSEN currently encompasses six industry-leading agencies, specializing in sports, entertainment, lifestyle marketing, talent representation, and public relations for brands, athletes, and celebrities. OSEN agencies offer more than 30 different service capabilities, and the agency network’s combined portfolio features an unmatched client roster of over 1000 of the most prominent and influential athletes, actors, musicians, producers, directors, and content creators, as well as nearly 100 major brands.

Shea commented, “I’m honored and incredibly excited to be given the opportunity by Andy and Rick to take on this new role and lead our remarkable organization. Rick’s insight and reputation are why OSEN has been the benchmark of excellence across the industry throughout our history. The passion, experience, and talents of our OSEN team around the world are why we continue to be the best. I look forward to working with all of our colleagues worldwide, as we help to create opportunities for our clients and teammates.”

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