On His Game

Oscar Allain of Octagon keeps clients such as Allstate ahead of the competition with creative, multicultural sports marketing

Business and pleasure have proven to be a great combination for Oscar Allain, who brings his love for sports to work with him as account director for multicultural marketing for Octagon.

There was a time when Puerto Rico-native Oscar Allain had his heart set on becoming a priest. His dream job changed, however, when he watched his first World Cup in 1986. “I envisioned myself working in the business of soccer, with different roles at different times—i.e. running soccer tournaments, designing Adidas uniforms, or running even FIFA [Fédération Internationale de Football Association] at one point,” Allain recalls. “Needless to say, my current job gives me more than I could have ever bargained for on this end.”

Allain now works as account director for multicultural marketing at Octagon, a global thought leader in passion-based sports and entertainment marketing.  “No other company does what we do in terms of consulting, event management, and extending sports-marketing events beyond stadium grounds,” he says. And the experience Allain’s team offers clients such as Allstate and Castrol is unprecedented. Here, Allain breaks down the company’s marketing efforts behind its successful Allstate campaign.

Cross-Audience Campaign
As an example of the type of work his team spearheads, Allain points to Allstate’s recent renewal of its Mexican National Team sponsorship, as well as its new sponsorship of the US national team and Major League Soccer. “As a team, we (Allstate, Octagon, and other agencies) had to figure out how we would approach the audiences of each of those three properties, since they’re not one and the same,” says Allain. “Would it be a campaign for all soccer fans or a purely Hispanic approach?”

Protection seemed to be the message Allain wanted to get across. “We wanted to continue working under an umbrella that spoke of protection in an authentic way and a manner that resonated well with the consumer,” says Allain. “So it made sense to continue pushing the Protection is our Game or Protección es la Jugada campaign as it translated well with all three audiences.”

Logging On
Allstate’s surround-sound advertising efforts, which include television, online and more, also help engage consumers that are passionate about the sport and the Mexican National Team. Building on their relationship with team goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa, Allstate developed commercials in 2010 showcasing its Protección es la Jugada [campaign] in unique ways. Additionally, through the creation of the website proteccioneslajugada.com, Allstate engages consumers online with different activities related to the Mexican national soccer team. Visitors can peek into goalie Ochoa’s locker, select their favorite colors for a virtual soccer ball, design their own soccer balls, and create unique soccer chants. Last year, consumers were even able to interact with Luís Roberto Alves, known as “Zague,” (a retired forward for the Mexican National Team) via his blog and Twitter account.

 Community Events
Allain explains the on-site experience Octagon offers customers of clients such as Allstate is like no other. The Octagon team, for example, arrives several days before each soccer match to hold a community event where Allstate surprises a team in need with a clinic from a soccer legend and equipment donation. On the day of the game, Allain and his team continue in that vein, giving fans the chance to interact with a soccer legend.