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Live Nation, Oak View partner with Elevate Sports

CAA-backed consultancy Elevate Sports Ventures becomes OVG's preferred premium seat seller, in a deal that also includes a tie-up with LN and Ticketmaster

By IQ on 19 Jun 2018

Elevate will sell premium seating at KeyArena in Seattle, which OVG is redeveloping for an ice-hockey team

Elevate will sell premium seats at KeyArena, which OVG is redeveloping for an ice-hockey team

image © Oak View Group

Elevate Sports Ventures – the fledgling sports consultancy launched earlier this year by CAA Sports, Crystal Palace FC/Philadelphia 76ers owner Harris Blitzer and basketball team Philadelphia 76ers – has agreed strategic partnerships with entertainment heavy hitters Live Nation/Ticketmaster and Oak View Group (OVG).

As part of the deal, Tim Leiweke, founder and CEO of venue manager/advisory OVG, and Jared Smith, executive vice-president of Live Nation and president of Ticketmaster, join Elevate as co-managing partners. Elevate will serve as OVG’s ‘preferred premium sales and service agent’, where it will support sales for premium seating and suites at projects including OVG’s new arena development at KeyArena in Seattle.

In addition to gaining access to OVG’s venue portfolio, Elevate has “established a robust pipeline of clients from every professional sports league, including esports”, says Elevate CEO Al Guido. (Guido is keeping Elevate’s client list under wraps, but the esports partnership presumably refers to Counter Logic Gaming, which is owned by Azoff/OVG-aligned Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). Competitor AEG, meanwhile, is an investor in rival team Immortals.)

Partnering with Live Nation/Ticketmaster, meanwhile, is part of a strategy for Elevate to compete with other premium ticket/corporate hospitality providers, such as Legends, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment and the Aspire Group, according to the Business Journals.

OVG was founded in November 2015 by former Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff and ex-AEG CEO Tim Leiweke.

“We are confident Elevate has the most differentiated, competitive and proven offerings in the consultancy space”

It comprises six divisions: membership organisation Arena Alliance; Narrative Partners, a sponsorship/partnership operation; Prevent Advisors, its security advisory arm; OVG Consulting, whose services include venue design and seating, branding and ticketing strategy; venture-capital fund OVG Ventures; and venue-management outfit OVG Facilities, launched last October following the acquisition of Pinnacle Venue Services.

It also owns industry trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar, the latter of which it bought last summer.

“We are incredibly proud to stand alongside new partners and industry giants such as Oak View Group founder and CEO Tim Leiweke and executive vice-president of Live Nation and president of Ticketmaster, Jared Smith,” continues Guido. “It is likewise an honor to be selected by Tod Leiweke, CEO and president of Seattle Hockey Partners, to support his vision and premium strategy in one of the most anticipated projects in sports today [the new Seattle arena].

“Coupled with the steadfast desire to innovate that is a hallmark of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, led by CEO Scott O’Neil, we are confident Elevate has the most differentiated, competitive and proven offerings in the consultancy space today.”


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