SBJ/20081117/Careers/People

Spotlight: Jeff Ehrenkranz

Fifteen-year Octagon veteran Jeff Ehrenkranz was recently elevated to senior vice president of the agency’s marketing solutions group. He was previously in charge of the music and entertainment division. Early in his career Ehrenkranz focused on Octagon’s Olympic sponsorship program, working in Tokyo, London, Sydney and Athens offices before returning to the U.S. Ehrenkranz spoke to staff writer Brandon McClung.

Age: 36
New title: Senior vice president, North American Marketing Solutions Group, Octagon
First job: In high school I was a sportswriter for the local newspaper
College education: Bachelor of science, Tufts University (1994); MBA, Columbia University (2007)
Resides: Westport, Conn., with wife Brianne
Grew up: Guilford, Conn.
Executive most admired: Frank Craighill, co-founder, Advantage International
Brand most admired: ESPN
Favorite vacation spot: Colorado
Last book read: “Oil,” by Upton Sinclair
Last movie seen:  “21”
Favorite movie: “Tommy Boy”
Favorite musician: U2


What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Highlighting the individual specialized services that Octagon can offer to clients and potential clients while looking like one cohesive agency.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Watching and being a part of this company’s growth while maintaining the culture we had the day I started of a small entrepreneurial team-first, client-first agency.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Moving to Japan three years into the business without a huge support network in Tokyo and a new client that I had not worked with before. It has been by far the most rewarding thing I have done in my career. The skills that I learned and the opportunity to work within a different culture and with people who learn and think differently, I think, have benefited me since the day I landed in Tokyo.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
How the economy and how the companies and brands that are being most affected — auto industry and financial industry — and how the sports properties are going to evolve and deal with lost revenues from those key categories.

What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
To see the industry do a better job providing broad opportunities for people with different experiences, from people coming from different backgrounds. We are still a new industry and by continuing to pull people with diverse backgrounds into sports the industry as a whole will benefit.

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