Alison Weissbrot
Apr 5, 2021

John Shea named CEO of Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network

Longtime CEO Rick Dudley will become chairman of the IPG DXTRA agency network.

John Shea, CEO, Octagon Sports & Entertainment Network
John Shea, CEO, Octagon Sports & Entertainment Network

Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network (OSEN), IPG’s marketing, creative, talent and influencer management and communications group, has promoted John Shea to CEO. 

Shea, a longtime Octagon exec currently leading the marketing and events business, succeeds 18-year CEO Rick Dudley, who will become chairman and support the network with new business, client relationships and strategic planning. 

OSEN, which has 12,000 employees across 50 global offices, includes Octagon, integrated marketing agency R&CPMK, talent and influencer marketing agency ITB, sport and entertainment research agency Futures, creative agency FRUKT, and production company Milkmoney.

“We have an unmatched collection of experts, capabilities and clients, which allow us to lead and influence the industry in incredible ways,” Shea told Campaign US in an email. “We will continue to balance scale with personalization, and help our clients use the power of sports and entertainment to reach people in meaningful and relevant ways.”

While things will remain business as usual for OSEN’s clients, which include Bank of America, AB In-Bev, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Shea plans to continue expanding the network’s creative and production offerings, which have been growing in recent years alongside its marketing, talent management and PR offerings. 

OSEN’s agencies produce “ground-breaking creative campaigns that are regularly recognized by many of the most respected festivals and awards in the industry, including Cannes, Clios, and others,” Shea said. 

“We are a full-service creative destination,” he added. 

As the group grows its offering, it will continue to offer everything brands or talent in sports and entertainment may need across marketing, advertising, talent management and communications. 

“Our focus will remain on helping our clients do their jobs efficiently and effectively; whether on the field of play, in front of or behind the camera, or in the boardroom,” Shea said.

Shea will also lean into OSEN’s focus on integration and collaboration, which are “pillars of our network,” he said. 

“This will always be paramount to our success,” he said. “Our focus is to ensure we have the best collection of people and capabilities to meet the demands and changing needs of our clients, both today and well into the future.” 

He added that OSEN will continue to evaluate strategies including “expansion, consolidation, and new partnerships,” to create opportunities for clients, whether that’s through “partnerships between OSEN clients, pursuing and winning new clients, as well as creating new services and lines of business.”

OSEN is part of IPG Dxtra, formerly IPG’s constituency management group (CMG), which rebranded under CEO Andy Polansky in October. Shea will report to Polansky.

Shea has been with Octagon since 1994, most recently overseeing the agency globally. He’s known for leading the agency’s relationships with major sports leagues, teams and properties as well as evolving Octagon beyond sports marketing to a global creative agency.

Dudley has a 40-year career in the sports business, working for the NHL, NFL and MLB and growing OSEN into a global agency network servicing 1,000 actors, influencers, athletes producers and directors and more than 100 large brands.

Campaign US

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