Octagon Appointed to Sell Naming Rights for New Orleans Arena

Agency Regarded for Worldwide Capabilities Will Pursue Sponsorship
of Landmark Building in the Crescent City

December 15, 2008

Octagon has today announced its appointment by the NBAs New Orleans Hornets to package, market and sell the naming rights to the New Orleans Arena. Octagon was chosen in large part for its leading global presence, understanding of New Orleans as a unique market and consultative approach to securing a sponsor who can benefit from a multi-faceted platform activated around the naming of the arena. Octagon and the Hornets marketing department will collaboratively pursue companies on a national and international level that complement the clubs current branding objectives.

Octagons partnership with the Hornets is the agencys first domestic naming rights assignment. Internationally, Octagon currently works with Cape Town, South Africa to secure the naming rights to the citys acclaimed soccer stadium that will host eight matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Octagon is honored to be commissioned for this project and feel through our representation of Chris Paul, we have a strong understanding and appreciation for the Hornets franchise and most importantly, the special place the city of New Orleans occupies in American culture, said Tom George, Octagons Senior Vice President of Athlete & Property Marketing. As the NBA continues to expand its fan base internationally, Octagon is strongly positioned to actively engage companies from across the globe on this rare opportunity to be fully integrated with a team and city that has so much support and goodwill.

The priceless exposure nationally and internationally New Orleans receives as a result of having our citys name across our uniforms is similar to the notoriety a brand can receive when they attach their name to an arena, said Hornets VP of Sponsorship Sales Tom Ward. The Hornets are committed to New Orleans and putting a winning team on and off the court is a top priority. In a city renown for world class entertainment with a rich history for hosting marquee sporting events from the NBA All-Star game and playoffs to the Super Bowl and Final Four, we are confident that together with Octagon, we will find the perfect partner who will share our common goals and ideals.

The New Orleans Arena opened in 1999 and is home to the Hornets along with countless other concerts, events and festivals. Some of the top musical acts who will perform at the New Orleans Arena in 2009 include Celine Dion, The Eagles and Britney Spears. Recent attractions to the arena have included the 2008 NBA All-Star Game and the 2007 and 2008 Arena Bowl of the Arena Football League. In the future, the venue will host the 2010 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament first and second round games, 2012 Southeast Conference Mens Basketball Tournament and the 2013 NCAA Womens Final Four.

We are identifying the various areas of value that companies receive through naming rights opportunities and are formulating programs around those value points, said Octagon President Phil de Picciotto. We believe this approach will enable us to target our discussions specifically to the requirements of each potential naming rights partner and focus on those platforms which provide uniqueness and relevance to a sponsorship of this magnitude.

Octagon, named the 2008 Sports Agency of the Year by the Sports Business Journal, is the worlds largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency with global expertise in athletes & personalities, consulting, event management, property representation, marketing solutions, licensing and merchandising and talent procurement. As part of The Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG), one of the worlds leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services, Octagon employs more than 1,000 people in 60 offices around the world. For further information please visit:

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