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Global poaches LN’s Ward for brand partnerships

Debbie Ward, formerly VP of marketing partnerships at MAMA/Live Nation, heads up a seven-strong commercial team overseeing Global Entertainment's growing festival roster

By Jon Chapple on 27 Mar 2017

Debbie Ward, commercial director, Global Entertainment

Global's new commercial director, Debbie Ward

The battle for UK festival dominance is heating up.

Fresh from last week’s acquisition of Victorious and Hideout Festivals, London-headquartered Global Entertainment has appointed a seven-strong commercial team to develop brand partnerships for its growing portfolio of 17 festivals in the UK, Europe and Canada.

Overseeing the new division is Debbie Ward, formerly vice-president of marketing partnerships and Live Nation. She joined MAMA Festivals – acquired by Live Nation in August 2015 – in 2008 as head of brand partnerships, where she brokered commercial partnerships between festivals including Lovebox and Wilderness and brands such as Mulberry, Laurent-Perrier, Corona, Jack Daniels and HTC.

Other new hires are brand partnership directors Wayne Mensah, who moved from youth entertainment channel The Hook, and Amy Oldham, who also joins from Live Nation. The team will also include a brand manager and three account managers.

“In just 12 months, Global has become the second-biggest player in the UK festival market, which is why we needed to find the best commercial talent to support our investment in this sector”

Live Nation – the UK’s biggest festival promoter, leading second-placed Global – itself recently acquired a majority interest in Isle of Wight Festival, bringing its total to 85+ events internationally.

Global chief commercial officer Mike Gordon comments: “In just 12 months, Global has become the second-biggest player in the UK festival market, which is why we needed to find the best commercial talent to support our investment in this sector. I’m delighted that Debbie has joined Global, given her very impressive industry credentials, having created some of the most talked-about festival partnerships.

“With an enviable portfolio of festivals, access to Global’s talent management and events expertise and, of course, an audience of 30 million people every week through our media brands, our festival offering is truly unique.”

Ward adds: “The opportunity to join Global and lead the commercial side of their festivals business is incredibly exciting. We are perfectly placed to deliver some of the world’s most exciting campaigns for brands, and I’m looking forward to working with new clients to build some memorable experiences at our festivals.”


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