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CAA buys into Entertainment Benefits Group

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has invested an undisclosed sum in corporate entertainment provider Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG), bringing the agency’s Premium Experience hospitality division under the EBG umbrella.

EBG is one of the US’s largely privately held travel and entertainment providers, with more than 40,000 corporate clients with a combined 50m+ employees. It provides participating companies’ staff with entertainment and travel offers as part of their employee perks programmes.

Other EBG investors include Broadway theatre owner/operator Shubert Organization and EBG’s founder and CEO, Brett Reizen.

Reizen (pictured) says the deal will see his company work with CAA to “assist artists, sports teams, venues and others in the live entertainment space to sell more inventory from the back of the venue to the front, ultimately generating incremental revenue for these stakeholders through our private corporate perks programmes and distribution opportunities.”

“EBG has built a remarkable business that is unlike anything else in the marketplace”

EBG’s existing management team, led by Reizen, will continue to lead the company, which has around 470 employees based in offices in Miami, New York, Orlando and Las Vegas.

“Brett Reizen and his team at EBG have built a remarkable business that is unlike anything else in the marketplace,” says Richard Lovett, CAA’s president.

“Providing its entertainment partners with unique access to its significant distribution pipeline, EBG’s state-of-the-art technology integration with major ticketing and travel providers, combined with its direct-to-consumer relationships and data-driven approach, truly differentiates it from other organisations. We look forward to working with EBG to further solidify its position as a leading industry solution.”

The EBG investment is CAA’s first of 2018, following a 2017 in which it partnered with Chinese private-equity firm CMC Capital Partners, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and podcasting business ART19.


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AXS to sell tickets through Groupon, Goldstar, Costco

AEG-owned ticket agency AXS has announced a series of new partnerships as part of its ‘AXS Anywhere’ ticket distribution programme.

Customers of deals website Groupon, event discovery service Goldstar, last-minute mobile ticket seller Gametime and corporate travel/entertainment provider Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG) will be able purchase primary AXS tickets on those platforms, “expanding the awareness of events and the accessibility to purchase” while “streamlining the buying process for our fans,” says AXS business development SVP Blaine LeGere.

The new partnerships follow a similar tie-up with Spotify in June.

AXS and Eventbrite ink deals with Spotify

Billboard reports AXS has also secured a distribution deal with US retail giant Costco.

AXS Anywhere was first announced in 2013, and enables select partner websites to sell tickets using an AXS API. “For example,” said AEG at the time, “a person reading a story about a basketball team on ESPN.com would be able to purchase tickets to their next game through a widget in the story without ever having to leave the partner website, creating a more convenient experience for the consumer.”

Commenting on the new partnership, Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy says: “We’ve been completing these integrations for one simple reason: more ticket sales should not translate to more work for our 5,000 venue partners. Venues come to a third-party channel like Goldstar to help them build awareness for and sell their shows to our nearly eight million members. These integrations are designed to be seamless, real-time and convenient.”

“We want to eliminate all friction for fans in discovering and attending live events,” adds Gametime’s Colin Evans. “The partnership with AXS gives us the opportunity to expand our supply to some of the best venues and events across the country. Our goal is to continue to offer fans the best mobile experience, and we’re excited about our new relationship with AXS.”


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