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OVG International launches in London

A host of senior venue execs, including AEG alumni Brian Kataznick and Jessica Koravos, have joined Oak View Group's new UK-based international division

By Jon Chapple on 06 Mar 2019

Tim Leiweke, Jessica Koravos, Brian Kabatznick, OVG International

L–R: OVG Int'l co-chairs Tim Leiweke and Jessica Koravos, EVP biz dev Brian Kabatznick

Oak View Group (OVG), the US-based venue development, advisory and investment company co-founded by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, today launched its new international business at the International Live Music Conference in London.

OVG International, based in London and led by notables from the European venues world, is tasked with building arena and stadium development and partnership opportunities in the UK, Europe and the Middle East and Asia. According to OVG CEO Leiweke, OVG International is already in “advanced discussions” on a number of projects in those territories.

Jessica Koravos, president of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, and formerly MD of AEG Live and COO of AEG Europe, will serve as co-chair of OVG International alongside Leiweke.

Other appointments include:

  • Sam Piccione III, formerly CCO of motorsports championship Formula E and SVP of sales at AEG, who becomes president of OVG International
  • Former O2 London managing director Mark Donnelly, who is named chief operating officer
  • Brian Kabatznick, ex-AEG Facilities and Ticketmaster, who becomes EVP of business development and facilities
  • Marc-Elie Robert, SVP commercial, formerly AEG China VP of global partnerships
  • Martha Rolle, legal counsel
  • Gary Hutchinson, ex-Wembley Stadium, who will serve as a stadium consultant

“Oak View Group is growing rapidly, and we’re delighted to welcome seven exceptional executives to our team as we launch OVG International,” says Leiweke.

“We look forward to extending the Arena and Stadium Alliance to like-minded venues outside North America”

“Our aim is to create a new generation of state-of-the-art entertainment facilities. Our venues will be an elite class in terms of fan experience, artist experience and technology, and will provide an unparalleled platform for the activation of global brands.”

Oak View Group was founded in 2015. In addition to its major arena development projects at the Key Arena in Seattle, Belmont in New York and the University of Texas in Austin, OVG runs the Arena and Stadium Alliance, an invitation-only partnership of 28 arenas in North America that seeks to help independent venues attract global sponsorship opportunities, additional events and content.

It also has a venue-management outfit, OVG Facilities, launched last October following the acquisition of Pinnacle Venue Services, and a security arm, Prevent Advisors, and owns industry trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar, the latter which it bought last summer.

“The live events market has grown significantly in the United States since Oak View Group launched three years ago, and we see a huge opportunity to drive similar growth internationally by creating world-class experiences in world-class arenas,” continues Leiweke.

“We look forward to extending the Arena and Stadium Alliance to like-minded venues outside North America and to announcing more about OVG International’s plans soon.”


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