2018 Octagon Sports Marketing Symposium Recap

By Darrell Devaul

By Darrell Devaul. PoweringU Senior Editor


The Octagon Sports Marketing Symposium was a day and a half gathering of some of the greatest minds in sports marketing looking for insight and networking. Studies, discussions, and talks wound their way through October 30 and 31, covering everything from creativity, strategic sponsorship, and experiential marketing, focusing on the symposium theme: “Fan Forward: How to Win Fans in the Next Generation of Brand Sponsorship”.

Now that the symposium has come to an end, here is a recap of the two day event, as well as my top rated speaking events.

The events topic for day one were Coming to North America: How will Global Events Drive Sports Marketing? This really highlighted how to effectively use cross-marketing; for example, how Los Angeles and Paris combined their marketing efforts on a soccer event.

Personally, the panel that was most insightful to me was A Healthy Partnership: A Meditation and Mental Fitness Case Study. Presented by Andy Puddcombe, who is a former Buddhist Monk, the talk focused on relieving stress. Puddcombe also founded Headspace, an organization that helps companies provide meditation and stress relief to their employees. Numerous companies in the sports industry use Headspace’s services. The biggest takeaway from the presentation is “Speaking is focus, not distraction”.

The Featured Interview on day one was the Global Innovation Leader, Investor, philanthropist; Erik Anderson, Executive Chairman TopGolf Entertainment Group. Erik spoke about how they transformed TopGolf into an entertainment company and how they’ve been changing the world of golf. TopGolf isn’t just about golfing, it’s creating an entertainment experience unlike any other.

A really fun panel was Athletes, Storytellers, Creators, and Disruptions. This panel was formed of a former NFL player, Red Bull Media House, Whistle Sports, a writer for Sports Illustrated, and ESPN personalities. Highly entertaining!

For the last interview of the day, Olympic Gold Medalist Ally Raisment gave some insight into her sponsorship partnership with Aerie.

Day two was a bit shorter, but still had quite a bit of exciting material to offer.

Crystal Ball 2028; The Evolving Commercial Model, was an excellent panel looking at how brands can monetize against social and digital engagement. The panel consisted of Alex Baldwin, PGA Tour; Peter Feigin, President of Milwaukee Bucks; Charles Greenstein, Senior Vice President at Bank of America; Daryl Wolfe Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, ISC and Executive Vice President & Chief Sales and Partnership Officer, NASCAR; and Akshay Khanna, Head, Partnerships at NFL, NBA, NHL, and StubHub.

A very interesting panel on sports betting was one that really stood out as one of the greats. You can Bet on it: How Legalized Sports Betting will Change Sports Marketing panel was made up of the biggest names in Vegas and digital gaming. This discussion focused on the sports industry impact across the entire marketing landscape and, of course, gambling. Interesting fact, the Dallas Cowboys were the first professional football team, to sign a sponsorship contract with a casino.

The day two featured interview was actually a panel discussing e-sports and how they are helping to market to a new, diverse audience outside of just sports fans.

The Symposium was an extraordinary event, filled with knowledge and networking opportunities that were priceless.