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OVG launches International Venue Alliance

Oak View Group (OVG) today launched the International Venue Alliance, a network of independent entertainment and sports venues modelled on its US Arena and Stadium Alliance.

Its founding member is Silverstone Circuit, the ‘home of British motor racing’, including the Formula 1 (F1) and MotoGP grands prix, in Northamptonshire, UK. It joins the alliance after signing a deal that ensures the F1 British grand prix remains at the circuit until at least 2024.

Silverstone’s two-year agreement with OVG will draw on the latter’s live entertainment expertise to attract high-profile events, including concerts and festivals, to the circuit, as well as securing it an annual naming-rights partner.

OVG will also oversee corporate partnerships at prominent locations around the circuit, including the bridge connecting its hotel to the wing, its 4,000-capacity conference and exhibition space, the new luxury Residences at Silverstone and the soon-to-open Silverstone Experience Centre.

Oak View Group, a venue development, advisory and investment company co-founded by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, launched its London-based overseas division, OVG International, at ILMC in March. The first OVG International project, Santa Giulia Arena in Milan, was announced in June as a joint venture with Live Nation. (Interestingly, Liberty Media, which owns a third of Live Nation, also owns Formula 1.)

Last month OVG also confirmed it is in discussions to build a new indoor arena in Manchester in northern England, in a challenge to SMG’s incumbent Manchester Arena.

“We’re looking forward to working alongside other like-minded venues as they join the International Venue Alliance”

Sam Piccione, president of OVG International, says: “We’re delighted to be in a position to help Silverstone deliver additional revenue as a founding member of Oak View Group’s International Venue Alliance.

“This iconic circuit has a rich motorsports history, and we’re looking forward to working with the Silverstone team to develop world-leading content, partnerships and experiences during this next exciting phase of their development.”

“With Silverstone’s extended five-year contract to host the British Grand Prix now in place, the opportunities for partnerships with British and global brands are limitless,” adds Nick Read, commercial director at Silverstone.

“We are excited to be working with Oak View Group’s world-class team to expand our partner portfolio and reach, and we’re looking forward to working alongside other like-minded venues as they join the OVG International Alliance.”

Piccione says he expects new members of the International Venue Alliance will be confirmed in the months ahead.

The alliance is modelled on OVG’s Arena and Stadium Alliance, an invitation-only partnership of 28 arenas in North America. Arena and Stadium Alliance members benefit from global sponsorship opportunities, additional events and content, and “efficiencies of scale that are otherwise only available to large groups”, according to OVG.

 


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OVG launches management arm with Pinnacle buy

Oak View Group (OVG) has acquired US venue operator/consultancy Pinnacle Venue Services, adding six new management contracts and Pinnacle’s venue security/assessment operation to its growing stable of businesses.

Pinnacle, launched in 2014 by venue veterans Tom Paquette and Doug Higgons, will be rebranded OVG Facilities, marking OVG’s first foray into venue management.

OVG is a venue development and investment vehicle founded in November 2015 by former Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff and ex-AEG CEO Tim Leiweke. It comprises five other divisions: the 26-member 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; and the OVG Ventures venture-capital fund.

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

It’s official: Oak View Group acquires Pollstar

According to Venues Today, the venues fully managed by Pinnacle are the Seminole Theatre (425-cap.) in Homestead, Florida; Kovalchick Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which includes a 5,000-seat arena and 632-seat theatre; Watsco Center (8,000-cap.) in Miami; the 23,000sqft Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colorado; Avalon Theater (1,100-cap.), also in Grand Junction; and the 109,000sqft Birch Run Expo Center in Michigan.

OVG Facilities will differ from the Arena Alliance in that OVG “supports the facilities in our alliance; clients who are obviously very sophisticated and run their facilities very well,” co-chair Peter Luukko, who will also head OVG Facilities, tells the magazine. “In OVG Facilities, we’ll be directly managing and booking facilities. It’s full management.”

“OVG has been committed to facility management since day one,” adds Leiweke, “and our goal is to build the biggest facility management company in the world. We take a 360 approach to facility management, and when you combine our ground game, assets and relationships, and add to that Peter’s leadership, we feel we’re poised to do big things.”

 


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MSG agrees booking deal with Prudential Center

American venue owner/operator Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has signed a booking and marketing partnership with Prudential Center, a 19,500-cap. indoor arena in Newark, expanding its influence into New Jersey.

The partnership will, says MSG, bring together “two leading venues in the industry” – Prudential Center (pictured) and MSG’s Madison Square Garden in New York, the US’s most-visited music venue – “to bring elite entertainment acts to [New] Jersey, as well as solidifying the state as a premier destination for the world’s top performers.”

Both venues are members of the Arena Alliance, a membership alliance of North American arenas established by Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group last September.

Darren Pfeffer, who joined MSG in April as executive VP of its newly created MSG Live division, comments: “MSG owns some of the world’s most celebrated venues, including Madison Square Garden, the number-one concert venue in North America and undisputed market leader in the New York area. These assets, along with our effective booking strategy and proven expertise in marketing have helped make MSG an industry leader in live entertainment.

“By forging this relationship with MSG, Prudential Center will continue to serve as a community cornerstone … for the entire state of New Jersey”

“We look forward to leveraging MSG’s unique stature and strong, long-standing relationships with industry leaders, along with a common membership with the Prudential Center in Oak View Group’s Arena Alliance, to help bring an exciting array of events to the Prudential Center while also serving the market with more options.”

“New Jersey has an incredible, rich history in entertainment, and is home to some of the greatest performers and artists to ever live,” adds Scott O’Neil, CEO of Prudential Center. “It is our mission, responsibility and priority to celebrate that history and further the legacy of this state by bringing the world’s top entertainers and attractions to Prudential Center.

“By forging this relationship with the innovative team at the iconic Madison Square Garden, we believe Prudential Center will continue to serve as a community cornerstone not only for Newark, but for the entire state of New Jersey, unifying the area through the power of sports and entertainment.”

Azoff MSG Entertainment, a joint venture between Azoff and Madison Square Garden Company, is currently embroiled in a public ‘booking war’ with AEG, with both parties barring acts from playing some of their venues unless they play another: for example, MSG’s LA Forum and Madison Square Garden and AEG’s Staples Center and The O2.

 


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Arena Alliance reveals first 22 members

Oak View Group (OVG), a joint venture between ex-Live Nation executive chairman Irving Azoff and former AEG president Tim Leiweke, has announced the launch of the Arena Alliance, which brings together 22 North American arenas in the “industry’s first […] membership alliance of world-class venues”.

The initial member venues are the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas; Air Canada Centre in Toronto; Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida; BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis; Chase Center in San Francisco; Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh; First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York; The Forum in Los Angeles; Golden1 Credit Union Center in Sacramento, California; Little Caesars Arena in Detroit; Madison Square Garden in New York (and its in-development sister venue in Las Vegas); Pepsi Center in Denver; Philips Arena in Atlanta; Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey; Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland; Rogers Arena in Vancouver; Scottrade Center in St Louis; The United Center in Chicago; Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia; and Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota.

“Our members include some of the most recognisable names in sports and entertainment. The alliance was created in order to maximise their assets and resources on a national scale”

“We are honoured to be working with such an auspicious group of charter members,” comments Leiweke, who was most recently president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “Our members include some of the most recognisable names in sports and entertainment. The alliance was created in order to maximise their assets and resources on a national scale.”

Azoff adds: “The alliance will create a transparency for artists, promoters and other content creators to collaborate and elevate the fan experience while generating more profitability for artists, buildings and promoters.”

OVG comprises four divisions: Narrative; a sponsorship/partnership company; a consulting division; a venture-capital fund; and the Arena Alliance.

The Arena Alliance will, says OVG, provide its members with access to “unprecedented scale and resources through sponsorship optimisation, untapped revenue streams, insights and access to premier sports and live entertainment content”.

 


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