Smith to Oversee Octagon’s Operations Across MENA, and Lead IPG/MCN Group Collective “Home Advantage”
Doha, Qatar: Octagon, the preeminent marketing, creative and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment; in partnership with IPG’s Middle East Communications Network (MCN), the leading regional group of advertising and marketing agencies, today named Sebastian Smith as Regional General Manager, Octagon Middle East and North Africa.
The move expands and strengthens Octagon’s reach in the Middle East and North Africa, combining Octagon’s global expertise with the best regional marketing agencies, capabilities, and talent to provide an unrivalled integrated solution for clients in the sports and entertainment arena.
While managing operations and growing sports and entertainment opportunities regionally, Smith will oversee a new Octagon office, housed within MCN Group’s long-standing business in Doha – home to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022.
In Doha, working in close collaboration with local agency teams from FP7/McCann, UM, Jack Morton and Weber Shandwick, as part of MCN’s “Home Advantage” group offering, the collective team is perfectly placed to meet the strategic, creative, and experiential needs of new and existing clients around next year’s global event.
Smith will report to Aykan Azar, Managing Director, Octagon APAC, Middle East and Africa, and Marc Lawandos, Managing Director, Octagon Middle East and FP7/McCann, KSA at MCN Group.
“The breadth of Sebastian’s international and major sports and event experience, plus proven track-record across the industry, make him the ideal champion for our business and clients in the region,” said Azar.
“In preparation for the FIFA World Cup, Sebastian’s role uniquely harnesses the collective strength and vast local knowledge of our network, to create an unrivalled solution for global and homegrown clients – as such we’re calling it our ‘Home Advantage’,” said Lawandos.
“It’s a momentous time to be coming into such an exciting region, and privilege to be doing that backed by the combined teams at both Octagon and MCN group,” said Smith.
Smith moved to the Middle East in March, having spent five years based in London, as EVP Octagon Marketing Europe, where he was part of the regional leadership team combining responsibilities across major clients as well as marketing and business development.
Octagon is the preeminent integrated marketing, creative, and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment. The agency creates distinctive marketing campaigns for some of the largest brands and Fortune 500 companies across the globe and represents more than 900 of the most prominent and influential athletes, talent, and properties in the world.
With more than 1,000 employees worldwide, based in 50 offices, in 20 countries, Octagon is positioned in virtually all areas of sports and entertainment.
For more than 40 years, Octagon has consistently pushed the boundaries of the industry with ground-breaking marketing campaigns, experiential and hospitality services, industry-leading data, insight, and strategy capabilities, as well as an unmatched talent management portfolio of the most high-profile and successful athletes and personalities.