Ben Sharman, who has experience working on naming rights deals for both of NEC's Birmingham arenas, joins NEC Group Arenas as venue sales manager
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The longstanding NEC executives have been upped to chairman and director to the arenas executive team
By Anna Grace on 22 Jan 2019
Birmingham-based NEC Group has promoted two key members of its arena management team, with Guy Dunstan upped from general manager to director of arenas, and Phil Mead becoming arenas and The Ticket Factory (TTF) chairman.
The NEC Group manages five of the UK’s leading business, leisure, and entertainment venues: the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), International Convention Centre (ICC), Resorts World Arena, Arena Birmingham and the Vox Conference Centre, as well as national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory.
In the new role, Mead will head projects related to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where NEC Group will host nine sports across three flagship events.
As chairman, Mead will work closely with NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi on merger and acquisition opportunities, following the appointment of the Blackstone Group as NEC Group’s majority shareholder. The US private-equity giant acquired NEC Group in October in a deal reportedly worth over £800 million.
“I am proud and excited to be taking on this role and to lead the outstanding team and facilities we have in both arenas. It could hardly be a busier or more exciting time to take up this new post”
Mead remains on the board of TTF, the Group’s award-winning in-house ticketing company, and continues to advise on projects nurtured by consultancy arm NEC Group Venue Partnerships, including the transformation of the iconic former Odeon theatre in Bradford.
“This new role is a perfect fit for me,” says Mead. “On a strategic development front, the current landscape presents so many opportunities – both around growing our own venues and exploring options on a partnership and consultancy basis.”
A former chair of the UK’s National Arenas Association, Guy Dunstan has spent the last 18 years with NEC Group delivering a range of high-profile events such as BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and the redeveloping the Resorts World Arena and Arena Birmingham.
Dunstan comments: “I am proud and excited to be taking on this role and to lead the outstanding team and facilities we have in both arenas. It could hardly be a busier or more exciting time to take up this new post.”
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