Interpublic Group is bringing back its Advantage International sports marketing brand, which was founded in 1983, purchased in 1997 and absorbed into IPG’s Octagon sports sponsorship and personality management practice.
Tom Haidinger is Advantage International’s new president. He has worked for Capital Sports; Major League Soccer; Genesco Sports Enterprises, Six Flags Entertainment and, most recently, his own consulting firm. Because of the unit's inclusion in Octagon, there was no previous president.
Octagon, now one of the global industry's largest sports marketing entities, was created in 1997 by Frank Lowe, the English founder of Lowe & Partners Worldwide which was purchased by IPG. Lowe urged the U.S. holding company to start a sports marketing firm and Interpublic bought a group of such firms as the basis of Octagon. Advantage International was one of them.
When asked about the timing for the re-emergence of the brand, Haidinger says: “Need. There is a lot of opportunity in this space and sometimes in other multiple verticals.”
“Octagon has a broader offering,” he adds. “We are focusing on corporate-facing sponsorships where we can help develop strategy and strategic platforms for clients.”
Current clients include Hyundai Motor America and Samsung. Advantage is based in Darien, Conn., and also has an office in Los Angeles.