Lou Kovacs is the CMO at Octagon North America where he leads the new business process and marketing of Octagon’s consulting, experiential and event services in the region. In addition, the 14-year Octagon veteran oversees the agency’s work on behalf of Bank of America and Sony PlayStation clients while managing Octagon’s award-winning creative, digital and content practice.
Octagon was recently named a 2017 PROMO Top Shop and also won three PRO Awards this year, including the Platinum PRO Best Overall Campaign for its work with MasterCard Global. Chief Marketer asked Kovacs about what he sees on the 2017 horizon.
CHIEF MARKETER: What are your biggest marketing concerns for 2017? Why?
KOVACS: The sports industry is undergoing a fundamental shift in how fans engage with their passion for sports. It’s a complex landscape, but that means there are a lot of opportunities for brands to engage consumers. It’s our job to help our clients see the possibilities and to build partnerships, campaigns and experiences that translate to real business results.
CM: What will be your biggest marketing investment for 2017? Why?
KOVACS: Our people. At Octagon, our biggest asset is our team. We’re going to work hard in 2017 to make sure our people have the opportunities and resources they need to see market trends and to help our clients anticipate what’s next. We are actively adding more people to our digital and creative team in the U.S. including strategists, developers and planners.
CM: What was the biggest marketing story of 2016?
KOVACS: Millennials and Gen Z are redefining how we consume sports and entertainment. Watching is not enough. Consumers want the ability to consume, curate and create all at the same time, and they expect it on every device—that is the new sports experience.
CM: What’s the brand to watch in 2017?
KOVACS: The work that IBM is doing with Watson across data analytics is really interesting. With so much buzz about the influence of technology on sports and entertainment, their work is a real example of empowering data to provide value to fans and consumers.
CM: What was your personal favorite campaign of 2016 and why?
KOVACS: The NBA’s “This Is Why We Play” campaign is one of the strongest I’ve seen in a while. The campaign is able to cover so many aspects of the NBA and its players, on and off the court, while giving fans the opportunity to feel connected.