The TeamExecutive, Germany
We’re a collection of sports-mad, culture-obsessed, finger-on-the-pulse, imagination-machine kind of people. Each of us relentlessly committed to ideas that force fate and leave a mark on the future of sports and entertainment. What connects us all? Simply, we live it because we love it.
Karsten Petry, Managing Director
Whoever has witnessed this is prepared: May 19, 2001. Park stadium in Gelsenkirchen, the fans are cheering and already celebrating, and for a moment, Schalke 04 is the German champion. But at the end, only champion of hearts. A football drama. Close to the action, Karsten Petry, at that time working for the sport marketing agency Infront Germany (among others for “die Königsblauen”). It is his first career stage, right after he completed his studies in Bayreuth. In 2002, the certified sports economist switched to the management team of akzio! as Director of Consulting and was co-responsible for the successful expansion of the agency.
In 2008 came the change to Commerzbank AG, where he managed all sponsorship activities like the premium partnership with the German football federation, Commerzbank-Arena, Eintracht Frankfurt, Commerzbank Frankfurt marathon and the Commerzbank triathlon team. No coincidence, by the way, Karsten is an avid runner and triathlete. But he does not pursue his hobby too doggedly – he is a wine lover and likes to cook.
After returning to akzio! in 2014, his focus was on leading the agency and business development ... mission accomplished. Since August, 2017, Karsten has been our Managing Director and not only impresses with his excellent network, but also with his leadership qualities: loyalty, meticulousness, pragmatism and basic trust. “Do not tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity”, is his maxim. After the dramatic Bundesliga final of Schalke in 2001, he knows all too well how to handle surprises.
Yoo-Jin Shin, Vice President, Head of Client Service
While listing her hobbies (badminton, basketball, Netflix, thrillers, cooking, food and wine) Yoo-Jin Shin forgoes a usually quite popular one: “traveling”. After all, the marketing expert does moves around a lot. As a Hamburg native, she is working for all Octagon offices and is always on the road: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich.
When she is asked about the fascination of her profession, Yoo-Jin is talking about “the passion and dynamic of the industry” and about the “power that sports and events emit.” For example, the Handball World Cup 2007 in Germany, which she experienced professionally, as well as her negotiations with FC Chelsea - it all fits into the overall picture. Her distinct characteristics, coupled with a lot of empathy and fun, have differentiated Yoo-Jin since year one, through all of her career stages over the last 17 years, whether at Trimedia, Intergenia, Cheil, DDB, Scholz&Friends, Grabarz&Partner, Studio Oeding or as a freelance marketing and communication consultant.
Joining us in 2018, she is primarily motivated by the task of shaping Octagon Germany as the head of client service and reaching new creative levels with us; that she is seeing this as a continuous procedure reflects her perfectly, as stagnation is not down her alley.
Frederik Matthies, Vice President
Frederik Matthies has always thought outside the box. He always had the global view and an aim in mind. Where does this mindset come from? One could point to his origin, as his international roots are: son of a diplomat, born in Brussels. European school. Five languages, all fluent. Studies – among others – in London, San Diego and Buenos Aires. A banker career right in front of him, at just 23 years old. “But I wanted to work in sports business”, said the business graduate, “desperately”.
In 1999, Frederik caught the attention of the industry with his self-initiated study of Borussia Dortmund’s stock market launch including a panel discussion. The booklet became his business card: internship at UFA Sports, employeement at the European Commission, then back to Brussels (2004-2008). His topics: fighting against doping as well as competition issues in the sports media sector. Politics meets sports (rights). In the long run, it was too much politics, and far too little sports.
Going to Octagon: logical. The development of the agency, since then, he considers a “success story”, one he's actively contributed to for over ten years now; not as a standardized salesman but as a busy networker, as a “go-to-guy”. With visions, but without conjunctives; clear view and a clear goal in sight.
Miriam Arnold, Vice President
From London to Frankfurt –such a professional step may sound like stock exchange or banking, but in the case of Miriam Arnold, this geographic change had something to do with tennis, sports and new challenges. She moved from ATP Media to Octagon in 2005 – from the Thames to the Main. The previous stations of the certified international management assistant: ISL Tennis, also in London, as well as World Sport Marketing (Munich/ Stuttgart).
Miriam’s personal career highlights and most valued experiences are The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, a private concert with Justin Timberlake in the L’Olympia, Paris and The Open 2017, Royal Birkdale, “because we proved that the unicorn among events exists: it was perfect!” But what does perfect means to her? More contemplative, not as much excitement. “Hobbies? Everything you can find in a feuilleton or on a meditation cushion.”
What motivates her the most in her job? “Most of all a sense of duty and love”, says Miriam. Octagon has become her second family, as the most fascinating thing to her is … we, her colleagues. This kind of identification and team spirit has also benefited our clients in Miriam's segment for nearly 15 years. She has borrowed and adopted her motto: “Even if they [the guests] don’t see it, they will feel it.” Thus the circle of Miriam’s vita closes, because the tennis manager legend Ion Tiriac used those words himself, and not a broker from London or Frankfurt.
Dennis Trautwein, Vice President
It started as a fairy tale. More precisely, at the so called summer's fairy tale, the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. After college, Dennis applied to work for the World Cup Organizing Committee. Of course this became more than a match. FIFA World Cups would continue to play an important role for him from now on. The former professional athlete (Basketball) joined Octagon in 2007 with the main focus on the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups – and most recently the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. When asked about his professional highlights, he replies: “Experiencing all those tournaments in person – each World Cup is unique.” And every World Cup has challenged him and his team in various ways - a complexity which he is very pleased with.
After 13 years in the industry, Dennis has a wealth of experience. However, “business as usual” is not his maxim, because, “You live and learn, improving yourself and your colleagues.” This, he says, is motivating him each day.
What else makes his job so appealing? “I am thankful to work in an environment that is so close to my personal interests.” Looking at his team, he continues, “At Octagon we are characterized by a special DNA – a clear commitment to ‘client first’ and the will to always question the status quo. This is what it’s all about.”