Gregory O'Dell is set to be president of venue management at OVG360 while Lucas Watson is to become second-in-command at MSG Sphere
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Crown Properties Collection will provide global representation for world-renowned sports and entertainment brands and venues
By Lisa Henderson on 08 Sep 2023
Oak View Group, Madison Square Garden Entertainment and its sister company Sphere Entertainment are joining forces on a new entity that will manage their sports and entertainment brand partnerships, in what is being billed as the first global company of its kind.
Crown Properties Collection will manage many of the companies’ most prominent and lucrative sports partnerships, such as with the New York Knicks and Rangers, across some of their top venues, including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the soon-to-open Sphere Las Vegas.
In addition to being founding partners, the Madison Square Garden (MSG) family of companies will be the first clients of the Oak View Group-led venture, which will oversee global partnership sales and strategy for them. MSG and Sphere will contribute advisory services to Crown Properties and help in retaining the brand partners.
Jay Voelker, formerly of PGA, will join OVG as president to lead CPC and will report to OVG CEO Tim Lieweke.
“Crown Properties Collection will represent only the most valuable properties in all of sports and entertainment together with the most revolutionary venue in the world, Sphere in Las Vegas,” Oak View’s chairman and CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement. “This, along with [Oak View Group’s] already industry-leading global partnerships platform, which has proudly sold $4.5B in partnerships over the last five years, will create the largest partnership of its kind in the live industry.”
Voelker adds: “Crown Properties Collection’s purpose is to provide unprecedented global representation for world-renowned sports and entertainment brands and venues, and there is no greater portfolio to begin with than the MSG family of companies’ world-class assets. I am honoured to join OVG, the leading full service live entertainment and hospitality company to represent CPC and create a new model for global partnerships in our industry.”
David Hopkinson, president and chief operating officer of MSG Sports, who oversees global marketing partnerships across the MSG family of companies, says the alliance is set to “revolutionise the partnership space across the sports and entertainment industries”.
“CPC will revolutionise the partnership space across the sports and entertainment industries”
MSGE’s portfolio includes New York City’s 20,000-cap Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and The Chicago Theatre, along with the firm’s entertainment and sports bookings business and long-term arena licence agreements with the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.
Sphere Entertainment encompasses the first Sphere venue – the 20,000-cap Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas – as well as MSG Networks. The Sphere is due to open on 29 September with a 25-date residency by U2.
In a recent appearance on The Bob Leftsetz Podcast, Leiweke spoke highly of MSG Entertainment’s Las Vegas Sphere project.
“If you don’t think the industry is changing, then go look at what Jim Dolan’s building with Sphere, because it’s revolutionary. It’s masterful,” he said. “I don’t know how heck he came up with all of this [and I’m] not sure how the hell you pay for it. But what I know is he’s going to change our industry forever. And the minute that opens up in September we will never be the same.”
OVG owns 11 major new arenas either open or under development including Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York, and Moody Center in Austin, Texas, and Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, California, as well as the Co-op Live development in Manchester, UK.
In recent years, OVG has also acquired a number of companies in the hospitality industry including Bovingdons Catering, Spectrum Catering, Concessions & Event Services and Rhubarb Hospitality Collection.
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