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Ricoh Arena names AXS ticketing partner

AXS has agreed a four-year deal to become exclusive ticketing partner of UK rugby club Wasps and its home ground, Ricoh Arena.

With immediate effect, AXS will ticket Wasps games at the 32,609-seat Coventry stadium, as well as Wasps Netball and concerts, exhibitions and other live events.

AXS, partially owned by AEG, will provide Wasps with AXS Mobile ID, its identity-based digital ticketing platform, allowing fans to buy tickets and enter the stadium using their mobile devices for the first time; Fan Account, a portal that allows ticket purchasers to create a friends and family group; and Fansight, which displays seatmaps of the stadium in high-definition virtual reality.

“This partnership with Wasps is a major landmark as we move to expand our fan-friendly ticketing experience to more venues in the UK”

“This partnership with Wasps is a major landmark as we move to expand our fan-friendly ticketing experience to more venues in the UK,” says AXS senior vice-president and managing director for Europe, Rob Byrne. “AXS technology puts the fans back at the centre of the experience – where they should be.”

Upcoming concerts at Ricoh Arena include Stepback 90s (Peter Andre, Vengaboys, Five) on 13 October, Stepback 80s (Bananarama, ABC, Tony Hadley) on 22 December and next June’s Soundscape Weekender.

 


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Dave Brayley joins the Empire Coventry

Veteran British promoter Dave Brayley, most recently booker of celebrated Bristol venue the Bierkeller, has joined Coventry’s 900-capacity the Empire as promoter and booker.

Brayley, of DCB Promotions, cut his teeth promoting bands in pubs and club across south-west England before taking over as booker/promoter at the 450-cap. Fleece & Firkin in Bristol. After 14 years, he moved on to the Bierkeller (700-cap.), which closed earlier this year.

At the Empire Coventry, Brayley – who has worked with the Strokes, Biffy Clyro, Radiohead, the Verve, Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Flaming Lips and Editors – says he hopes to put the city firmly on the map for touring artists.

“I’m am very excited to be joining the Empire,” he comments. “It’s a great venue with so much potential. I want to fill the diary with as many great artists of all genres as I can – that’s a true mark of a real music venue. Being able to put on a thrash metal gig on a Tuesday then a soul band on a Wednesday shows the versatility of the venue; quality and variety is everything.

“I want to fill the diary with as many great artists of all genres as I can”

“We also want to ensure a fair ticket price, good bar options, friendly staff and great sound and lights, as well as fantastic facilities for the artists performing at the Empire.”

In addition to introducing the venue to agents and national promoters, Brayley has already overseen a number of improvements to the venue, including a new backstage area, dressing rooms, production office and shower facilities. There are also plans for a dedicated merchandise shop, and improvements to in-house marketing locally and nationally.

“After an initial approach we met Dave, and after our first meeting it was clear to me that he was the man for the job,” says Empire director Carla Starkey. “We have recently taken over the venue and needed a fresh outlook and someone with experience that knows this very challenging and competitive business inside out, I am glad to say we offered the job to Dave and he gladly accepted.”

The venue, co-owned by Tom Clarke of the Enemy, has this year hosted shows by the Cribs, Sundara Karma, the Enemy, Sleaford Mods, the Wombats and the Dualers.

 


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Ex-TTF MD Stuart Cain heads to Ricoh Arena

Stuart Cain has left The Ticket Factory (TTF) to take up a commercial director role at Ricoh Arena in Coventry, the venue’s owner, rugby union team Wasps, has announced.

Cain, who spent seven years at NEC Group-owned TTF, will be responsible for increasing usage of the event facilities at Ricoh Arena, a complex which includes a 40,000-cap. stadium, as Wasps’ managing director, commercial marketing.

Cain has a strong sports background, having formerly played club-level rugby union and worked at football clubs Glasgow Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I’m looking forward to drawing on my commercial, marketing and media experience within sport and live events to help develop Wasps’ and the Ricoh Arena’s talented, driven commercial team,” he comments.

“We are excited by the expertise and extra leadership Stuart will bring to the business”

“Wasps have laid down very strong foundations in the community since they moved to the Midlands [from London] two and a half years ago and can only continue to go from strength to strength.”

Nick Eastwood, chief executive of the Wasps Group, adds: “We look forward to welcoming Stuart to our established, thriving team as we build upon a successful 2016/17 season. We are excited by the expertise and extra leadership Stuart will bring to the business as we approach our third year in the West Midlands and our 150th anniversary season as a club.”

Following Cain’s departure, The Ticket Factory staff report in to Phil Mead, managing director of NEC Group Arenas, while NEC’s commercial media team report directly to Paul Thandi, NEC Group CEO.

“Stuart Cain has had a successful seven-year career with the NEC Group, joining as group marketing services director before being promoted to MD, commercial marketing,” comments an NEC Group spokesperson.

“While we are sad to see Stuart go, we understand why he wanted to move back in to sport and we wish him well”

“Under his tenure, the commercial media team has grown, delivering in excess of £3m sales in 2017 for the first time ever. It has also agreed major commercial partnerships with a range of internationally renowned organisations, ranging from Barclaycard and Genting through to Avis, Firestone and Heineken.

“Stuart has also helped transform The Ticket Factory into a national ticketing agent that now sells 2.5m tickets per year for a range of events and visitor attractions.

“While we are sad to see him go, we understand why he wanted to move back in to sport and we wish him well.”

 


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