Game-Changing Moments Throughout Octagon’s 40-Year History

Below is a collection of game-changing moments, milestones, and achievements that Octagon has created, developed, and activated throughout our proud 40-year history of changing the game across sports and entertainment.

1983Octagon is born as Advantage International, with an impressive roster of clients, including 3x NBA MVP Moses Malone

1984 – Pioneered Olympic athlete marketing with clients winning gold at every Olympic Games since, including Bonnie Blair, Apolo Ohno, Simone Biles, and Michael Phelps

1985 – Added 14 top professional golfers, including 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples and nine-time PGA TOUR winner Jay Haas

1986 + 1987 – Represented back-to-back No. 1 overall NBA Draft picks, Brad Daugherty and David Robinson

1988 – Signed BMW as the agency’s first category-exclusive brand marketing client

1988 – Coined the phrase “Golden Slam” as client Steffi Graf was the first – and still the only – athlete to sweep all four Grand Slam singles titles and win Olympic gold in the same year

1990 – Established and managed the LPGA’s first $1 Million tournament, the Mazda LPGA Championship

1992 – Began Olympic sponsorship activation for brands, a business that now spans 18 consecutive Olympic Games

1992 – Signed Mastercard as a brand marketing client, a relationship that has continued uninterrupted for more than 30 years

1993 Acquired Strategic Sports further expanding the agency’s brand-client roster and marketing staff

1993 – Launched Octagon Financial Services (OFS), which now oversees more than $1 Billion in client assets. For 30+ years, OFS has helped athletes and celebrities manage their wealth – from the signing of their first contract, through retirement and beyond

1996 – Launched the “Air Swoopes” shoe for Sheryl Swoopes with Nike, as the first and still the most successful women’s signature basketball shoe in industry history

1997 – Advantage International joins the Interpublic Group (IPG)

1999 – Advantage International rebrands as Octagon

2000-2006 – Acquired and consolidated three hockey agencies, further establishing Octagon as one of the most powerful and influential agencies in hockey

2001 + 2002 – Represented back-to-back No. 1 overall picks (Michael Vick and David Carr) in the NFL Draft

2003 – Signed The Home Depot as a client and negotiated their landmark partnership as title sponsor of ESPN’s “College GameDay Built by The Home Depot

2003 – Represented Marc-Andre Fleury as the No. 1 overall NHL Draft Pick

2003 – Helped launch the WTA’s first tournament stop in China, the “China Open”

2004 – Helped Bank of America sign sponsorship deals with MLB, Minor League Baseball, and Little League Baseball to become the official bank of baseball in the U.S.

2004 – Negotiated the largest sponsorship deal in sports history for NEXTEL as the official sponsor of NASCAR

2008 – Acquired CSMG’s baseball practice, adding more than 150 of MLB’s top players and upcoming stars as Octagon clients

2009 – Negotiated Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman’s NBA D League contract, making her the first female head coach in men’s professional basketball history

2010 – Activated the first FIFA World Cup global sponsorship for Budweiser, along with five other brand clients, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

2010 – Launched Octagon Entertainment, now representing over 100 award-winning on-camera personalities, producers, and directors. The division has produced a comprehensive collection of acclaimed and ground-breaking film, TV, and digital projects across sports and entertainment.

2011 – Represented No. 1 (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), No. 2 (Gabriel Landeskog), and No.3 (Jonathan Huberdeau) overall picks in the NHL Draft

2013 – Negotiated a historic $175 million playing contract for Felix Hernandez with the Seattle Mariners

2014 – Client Michael Phelps was named the “Athlete of The Decade” by Sports Illustrated

2014 – Activated on behalf of seven brand clients surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

2015 – 2020 – Represented four clients who won seven NBA and WNBA MVP’s in six seasons (Stephen Curry: 2015, 2016; Elena Delle Donne: 2015, 2019; Giannis Antetokounmpo: 2019, 2020; A’ja Wilson: 2020)

2016 – Client Jimmie Johnson became only the third driver in NASCAR history to capture seven Cup Series Championships

2016: Guided Michael Phelps’ transition from greatest Olympian of all time to global mental health advocate

2018 – Expanded Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting division, originally launched in 1991, which now oversees more than $24 Billion in media rights under advisory

2018 – Orchestrated a historic partnership for Hannah Storm + Andrea Kremer to be the first all-female broadcast booth for a major sports event on a leading media platform, for Amazon’s NFL Thursday Night Football

2019 – Negotiated Nike’s first signature basketball shoe deal for a foreign-born player for Giannis Antetokounmpo

2020 – Alongside client Michael Phelps, produced the Sports Emmy-nominated film “The Weight of Gold” exploring the mental health challenges that Olympians often face

2021 – Negotiated a landmark apparel partnership for Simone Biles with Athleta, focused on empowering women

2021 – Negotiated a record-breaking media rights agreement between the NWSL and CBS Sports and Twitch

2021 – Secured the first-ever U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties “Founding Partner” category sponsorship for Delta Air Lines, including the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games

2022 – Negotiated the highest-paying contract in NWSL history, for Trinity Rodman

2022 – Negotiated a record-breaking playing contract for MLB Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez, worth up to $470 Million

2022 – Celebrated the 20th Anniversary of working with The Home Depot on its sponsorship of ESPN’s “College GameDay Built by The Home Depot”

2022 – Created the first-of-its-kind SAS HBCU Invitational during the annual SAS Championship, in association with the PGA TOUR Champions

2022 – Alongside the NWSL, Mastercard, and CBS, created and produced “Groundwork with Aly Wagner,” the first-ever in-depth and behind-the-scenes original TV series on NWSL players

2022 – Launched No2ndPlace, a specialist agency focusing on the power of sport to drive social change

2023 – Worked with Delta Air Lines to negotiate a major naming rights deal, returning the “Delta Center” as the home of the Utah Jazz

2023 – With IPG Mediabrands, named the full-service media and marketing agency for GEICO, including the leading insurer’s 100+ sports partnerships

2023 – Negotiated historic agreement establishing Stephen Curry as President of Curry Brand with Under Armour