Octagon enters Latin American sports marketing arena

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SAO PAULO--Octagon, the international sports marketing and entertainment group owned by Interpublic Group of, Cos., has made its first move into Latin America through a partnership with a Sao Paulo-based company. Octagon has taken a "substantial minority shareholding'' in Koch Tavares, which will be renamed Octagon Koch Tavares and will continue to operate under existing management.

Koch Tavares was founded in 1972 by current president and former Davis Cup player Lui Felipe Tavares, initially to promote international tennis tournaments in Brazil. It has since expanded to promote Brazilian and international sporting events across a wide variety of sports, including tennis, golf, track and field, beach volleyball and beach soccer. It recently worked with ESPN on the promotion of the Xtreme Games within Latin America.

With a staff of 100, Koch Tavares' clients include MasterCard, McDonald's, Whirlpool, Banco de Brasil and Brazil's largest conglomerate, Grupo Votorantim.

Frank Lowe, chairman-CEO of Octagon, says of the partnership: "Brazil is a passionate sports nation and a country we needed to be in to be truly international.''

Founded in 1997, Octagon has 800 employees in 15 countries.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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