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‘The potential is immense’: DEAG buys into esports firm

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has become the latest major live music player to invest in the fast-growing esports sector, acquiring a minority stake in Ally4ever Entertainment, a specialist gaming events agency.

The investment, through DEAG subsidiaries Wizard Promotions and Handwerker Promotion, sees Deutsche Entertainment and Ally4ever partner to create a new esports stadium event in Germany. DEAG has the option to increase its minority stake in Verl-based Allyever by 2022.

The format of DEAG’s new event is “unique due to its concept”, says the company, combining a three-day event programme – viewable on television or online, as well as at the venue – with “extensive side attractions” for attendees and appearances by international music, film and sports stars, celebrities and influencers.

Players, meanwhile, will compete for a total prize pool of €3.5 million.

“The potential of the esports segment is immense,” says DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow. “For our company, this offers the opportunity of sustainable expansion into a new, fast-growing live entertainment segment with a young target audience.

“Our esports events are intended to represent the next generation of live entertainment in Europe”

“The objective for DEAG is to gain a knowledge and experience advantage with experienced partners for further growth opportunities in this rapidly growing entertainment format.

Other concert businesses which have an interest in the esports, or competitive videogaming, sports include AEG, Madison Square Garden Company, TEG and Vivendi.

Fred Handwerker, managing director of Handwerker Promotion, comments: “This new partnership sets standards in a still very young and rapidly developing live event sector. We are all the more pleased to be part of this trend-setting event.”

“Our esports events are intended to represent the next generation of live entertainment in Europe,” adds Oliver Hoppe, MD of Wizard Promotions, “and we are delighted to be part of this visionary project.”

DEAG promotes around 4,000 concerts and events, selling more than five million tickets, annually. The Berlin-based company reported 25% organic growth in the first quarter of 2019, with revenue climbing to €25.5m.

 


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WizPro, Handwerker launch Frankfurt joint venture

German promoters Wizard Promotions and Handwerker Promotion have announced the opening of a new joint office in Frankfurt.

Through a new company, Rhein-Main Concerts, Frankfurt-based Wizard and Unna-based Handwerker – both majority owned by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) – will jointly organise concerts and other live events in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, in the south-west of Germany.

Rhein-Main Concerts will be led by senior project manager Jutta Sebastian, with the new office officially open on 1 November, reports Musik Woche. Rhein-Main Concerts shows already on sale include Bryan Ferry (pictured), Joan Baez, Till Brönner and Heartbeat of Home.

DEAG COO Christian Diekmann says: “With [Rhein-Main Concerts’] integrated experience and know-how, we will have the opportunity in future to market our portfolio in Rhine-Main with a high-calibre team.”

“It is a great honour to be more active here in [Frankfurt] and to enrich the cultural life of the region”

Handwerker boss Fred Handwerker describes Frankfurt as “one of the most vital regions” for touring in Germany, saying it was the logical next step “to be present in this promising market with our own local promoter, so we can act faster, and be more agile and precise, to offer the audience diverse concert and event experiences.”

Oliver Hoppe, of Wizard Promotions, says it is “a great honour to be more active here in the local market and to enrich the cultural life of the region”.

In addition to Frankfurt, DEAG also has offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich and London.

 


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DEAG, Handwerker buy into VR company

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) and its subsidiary Handwerker Promotion have each taken a stake in TimeRide, a Munich-based developer of virtual-reality (VR) experiences for the entertainment and education markets.

Promoter Handwerker has acquired 4% of TimeRide, while parent company DEAG takes an 8% stake, in a deal DEAG says positions the company as an early adopter of VR in live entertainment in Germany.

As part of the agreement, tickets to all TimeRide events will also be sold through MyTicket, DEAG’s own-strong performing ticketing platform, which has been identified as a major driver of growth in successive recent financial reports.

TimeRide is chiefly known for its time-travel experiences, in which audiences will be transported to historical VR replicas of various European cities, although DEAG notes the company “plans to extend its [offering] to other areas of live entertainment via virtual and mixed reality” in future.

“We’re confident that VR entertainment will be increasingly popular with visitors”

“TimeRide is a pioneer in VR entertainment in Germany with its innovative entertainment concept,” says DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow. “We want to benefit from the growth opportunities of virtual entertainment [in] coming years with our acquired stake and exclusive distribution partnership on MyTicket.

“At the same time, we’re further expanding our activities in the family entertainment and arts and exhibitions divisions with this future-oriented field. We’re confident that VR entertainment […] will be increasingly popular with visitors. We see future sales potential from a possible roll-out in Germany and Europe coming from this finalised sales partnership involving MyTicket and TimeRide.”

Other music businesses with interests in VR companies include Live Nation, which has partnerships with Hulu VR and NextVR, Warner Music Group, which has a joint venture with VFX studio Digital Domain, and Universal Music Group, which recently launched its own VRLive platform.

 


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