Octagon is the world’s leader in sports and entertainment management and marketing. Founded in 1983, Octagon is the global expert in talent management, corporate consulting, property representation, events, marketing solutions, licensing, merchandising and talent procurement. As part of The Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies, Octagon employs more than 800 people in 22 countries and is a leader in sports marketing, talent representation, event management, entertainment marketing, and research—and it has been acknowledged time and again as doing it best. Client services includes both traditional and leading edge platforms including experiential marketing, mobile marketing and cause-related marketing. At every turn, Octagon provides its clients the services and solutions they need to drive their businesses and keep their brands thriving in today’s marketplace. Top level sportsmen like Michael Phelps (22 Olympic medals in swimming), Emmit Smith (NFL's all-time leading rusher), Mark Webber (Formula 1 driver) and companies like BMW, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Cisco and many others have been for years in Octagon's clientele.
A few impressive numbers for Octagon's success in all aspects of the sports business can be found below:
OCTAGON BASKETBALL PERSONNEL
JEFF AUSTIN - VICE PRESIDENT AND WORLDWIDE BASKETBALL DIRECTOR
Jeff Austin heads Octagon’s worldwide Basketball division, where his experiences as a former professional sportsman and expertise as a lawyer have proved invaluable in client recruitment and contract negotiations. He works closely with NBA legends, as well as current and rising NBA stars.
A former professional tennis player who was ranked in the Top 60 worldwide, Austin earned his law degree at UCLA and became a founding member of Advantage International, Octagon’s predecessor. Business Insider honored him as one of the “12 Best Sports Agents in the World.” He is married to fitness guru Denise Austin and is brother to Tracy Austin, the world’s former number one tennis star.
ALEX SARATSIS - SENIOR DIRECTOR
With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Alex Saratsis’ professional expertise includes managing Octagon’s international presence, recruiting clients in the United States and abroad, and negotiating marketing and employment contracts for athletes. In addition to managing many international basketball stars and building key professional relationships between the US and Europe, Saratsis also manages the careers of NBA players including Rudy Gay, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kendall Marshall, among others. Saratsis began his career as a player representative at Edge Sports International, and went on to CSMG under Henry Thomas, where he ran their international operations. Since joining Octagon in 2009, Saratsis has been the driving force behind Octagon Basketball’s strategic partnerships across Europe and beyond in addition to building their domestic presence in the NBA. Fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Greek, Saratsis was born in Athens, Greece, and grew up in Mexico City and Tokyo before moving to the United States to attend Northwestern University, where he graduated in 2002. Saratsis is based in Chicago, Illinois.
CHRIS EMENS - SENIOR DIRECTOR
As a Senior Director at Octagon, Chris is involved in all aspects of Octagon Basketball including client management, contract negotiations, and corporate partnerships. With over 13 years of industry experience, including 12 with Octagon, Chris manages the careers of NBA players Ryan Anderson, Josh Childress, Landry Fields, Jimmer Fredette, and Solomon Hill, among others. An expert on the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Chris oversees all contract negotiations for his clients, in addition to forging a vast network of corporate partnerships and relationships. Prior to joining Octagon, Chris co-founded Sitesmith, Inc., a start-up focused on supplying website services, which was eventually sold to Metromedia Fiber Network in 2000. Chris lives in Arizona and splits his time between Octagon’s offices in Scottsdale and Los Angeles, CA.
OMAR WILKES - CLIENT MANAGER
A former college basketball standout, Omar handles recruiting, client service and draft preparation for Octagon Basketball. Working closely with team personnel, Omar manages the day-to-day relationships between Octagon clients’ and their respective NBA teams. In addition, he assists clients with their off the court needs such as scheduling, marketing, and media management. Before joining Octagon in 2012, Omar was the Assistant West Coast Director at Pinnacle Management Corporation where he oversaw recruiting and client management in Los Angeles. Playing college basketball at the University of Kansas and the University of California, Berkeley, Wilkes made two NCAA tournament appearances, including a run to the Elite 8 in the 2003 season at Kansas. Wilkes works in Octagon’s Los Angeles office.
RONALD SHADE - CLIENT MANAGER
With over a decade of experience in the industry, Ron is known and respected for his integrity and ethical approach to athlete representation. The newest member to the Octagon Basketball team, Ron has worked with basketball players at all stages of their career. From athletes playing their careers overseas, to lottery picks and first round draft selections, to NBA All-Stars, Ron is dedicated to providing the best opportunities for Octagon’s clients on and off the court. A Chicago native, Ron previously worked at Interperformances. An expert negotiator, Ron has landed milestone contracts for his clients and has worked closely with major blue-chip corporations including Nike, Volkswagen, Hynudai and Coca-Cola. Ron attended DePaul University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Marketing. Based in Octagon’s Chicago office, Ron is married and has one son.
JOHN NOONAN - SENIOR COORDINATOR
John Noonan is responsible for coordinating recruiting, contract management and client support for Octagon Basketball. Based in Octagon’s McLean, VA headquarters, John also oversees statistical performance analysis and NBA roster analysis and plays a supporting role in all day-to-day operations. A former NCAA student-athlete, John played basketball collegiately at Ursinus College, making a trip to the Final Four in 2008. After college, John spent one season playing basketball in Europe before returning to the U.S. to work in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Player Personnel department. A Havertown, PA native, John also holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University.
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