IPG draws on Golin, Octagon to create Octagon PR

CHICAGO: Fellow Interpublic Group agencies GolinHarris and Octagon, the sports representation and management consulting practice, created a new division, Octagon PR, that will focus on sports PR strategy, ideation, and execution.

CHICAGO: Fellow Interpublic Group agencies GolinHarris and Octagon, the sports representation and management consulting practice, created a new division, Octagon PR, that will focus on sports PR strategy, ideation, and execution. The standalone unit will pull staff from both Octagon and GolinHarris, as well as hire outside professionals, according to Harris Diamond, CEO of IPG's Constituency Management Group, which houses both agencies.

Octagon PR will offer sports PR for corporations and will have staff based in major markets including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

"When you look at Octagon's base of clients and the size of Octagon worldwide, clearly there is a huge opportunity with respect to that business to bring more PR service," said Diamond. "We took a look at Golin and what Golin offers, and Golin desired to be more active in the sports space. We see great opportunity there."

Events are another speciality of Octagon. Diamond in the past has said that IPG's events businesses are struggling more than its PR firms during the recession. But, the economy did not impact this decision he said.

"This is a creation of a new business unit," he said. "GolinHarris will continue as GolinHarris and Octagon will continue as Octagon, and there is a new unit that is being formed that will focus on sports PR."


Gary Rudnick, MD of GolinHarris' central region and Chicago office, will serve as president of Octagon PR, and Diamond said, "as we continue to build it out, [Rudnick will have] both roles." Rudnick will also work with Octagon Marketing North America president Jeff Shifrin.

"Sports is becoming more and more important day in and day out, given the passion of fans, and the ability to mobilize and use them, with respect to products, corporations, brand, and reputation," Diamond said. "What we decided was that there was a great opportunity in the marketplace to bring the forces of both firms together."

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