December 4 2019


Press Release


Four Agency Executives Promoted to Senior Leadership Positions on Shea’s Team


Lou Kovacs Elevated to President of Marketing, North America


Ben Hartman to Serve as Chief Client Officer, International


Jeff Meeson Appointed Managing Director, Europe


Aykan Azar Becomes Managing Director, APAC, Middle East and Africa


Meredith Kinsman and Christine Franklin Promoted to Executive Vice President Positions and Join Tuck Burch, Derek Aframe, Arnold Wright, Kenny Rennard, and Andre Schunk on North American Marketing Leadership Team

STAMFORD, Conn – Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – Octagon, the preeminent integrated marketing and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment, today announced the elevation of John Shea to Global President, Marketing and Events, Octagon Worldwide. In the role, Shea will oversee all U.S. and international marketing specialty groups for the agency, which include Brand Marketing, Property Consulting, Experiential Activation, Creative, Content, Production, as well as Digital Marketing. 

As Global President, Marketing and Events, Shea will be responsible for overarching strategy and management of the agency’s entire client portfolio. Shea will lead a team of more than 1,000 employees, across 50 offices in 22 countries, that develop and manage award-winning and ground-breaking work for Octagon’s clients, as well as implements and executes those plans in experiential events, partnerships, and more.

Since 2016, Shea has served as President of Marketing, Americas. In the role, he managed all efforts for Octagon’s U.S. based Marketing and Event practices, offices and clients. 

Shea will continue to report to Rick Dudley, Chairman and CEO, Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network.

“The contributions John has made to Octagon and our valuable clients over the past 25 years is immeasurable, and we’re proud to have him leading our Global Marketing and Event divisions,” said Dudley. “Octagon’s many decades of success across the globe has always been based on providing the highest level of work and exceeding expectations. John leads by example and epitomizes those guiding principles. His experience, insight, creativity, and incredible leadership will continue to guarantee our clients the best marketing and event strategies and service in the industry.”


“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work more closely with our talented Octagon Marketing and Events teams across the globe, and continue to advance the business goals of our incredible clients,” said Shea. “We have a tremendous opportunity to build upon the great work of our Octagon teams around the world, to further differentiate our global service offerings, as well as expand our footprint and reach, to the benefit of our clients.”


As part of the announcement, four agency veterans have been elevated to executive leadership positions on Shea’s team. Lou Kovacs has been promoted to President of Marketing, North America, Ben Hartman moves in to a newly created role of Chief Client Officer, International, Jeff Meeson has been appointed as Managing Director, Europe, and Aykan Azar will serve as Managing Director, APAC, Middle East and Africa. 

Shea’s senior staff also includes Cindy Paul, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Brian Smith, Senior Vice President, People & Culture. 

In addition, seven executives have been named to North American management roles on Kovacs’ team. Meredith Kinsman has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Strategy, and Christine Franklin has been elevated to Executive Vice President, Mastercard Global Account Leader. Kinsman and Franklin will joinTuck Burch, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development,Derek Aframe, Executive Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Arnold Wright, Executive Vice President, Property Consulting, Andre Schunk, Executive Vice President, Experiences, and Kenny Rennard, Executive Creative Director.

Octagon’s global brand marketing client roster features more than 40 major brands, including Bank of AmericaBudweiserCiscoDeltaGeneral MillsLinkedInMastercardMGMShellStandard CharteredTaco BellThe Home DepotUPS, and WWE. In total, Octagon influences more than $3 billion in global sponsorship spending annually.


Octagon Worldwide’s marketing offices are located in New York, Stamford, Los Angeles, McLean, Chicago, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Seoul, Sydney, Johannesburg, Moscow and across the globe.



Octagon is the preeminent integrated marketing and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment. Octagon creates distinctive marketing and advertising 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. 

Our insider access allows us to influence trends, spark meaningful conversations, and leverage culture to create defining moments, campaigns and experiences that stand the test of time. Our unique position, and the insight to know what to do with it, allows us to deliver the best of brand marketing with the best of content creation and sponsorship strategies.

Octagon Worldwide is part of the Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network.


Click here for headshots of Shea, Kovacs, Hartman, Meeson, Azar, Kinsman, and Franklin.



The Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network, within the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), encompasses industry leaders Octagon, FRUKT, ITB, Rogers & Cowan/PMK and Milkmoney. This formidable family of agencies specializes in sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing and public relations for brands, athletes and celebrities.