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International Venue Alliance adds Ascot Racecourse

Oak View Group (OVG) has welcomed Ascot Racecourse, the iconic British horse racing venue, as the fourth member of its International Venue Alliance.

Ascot – best known for its annual Royal Ascot event and close ties with the royal family – is also used for banqueting, exhibitions, conferences and commercial launches, hosting more than 600,000 visitors annually. It is the third UK-based member of the International Venue Alliance and fourth overall, alongside Silverstone Circuit, the NEC Group and Germany’s D.Live.

Ascot (pictured) says its membership of the association will focus on gaining international sponsors for the venue.

Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer at Ascot Racecourse, comments: “We’re delighted to have joined the OVG International Venue Alliance, and we’re looking forward to having OVG as a strategy partner to attract international sponsors to Ascot and also to working with the other like-minded members to share best practices of being a world-leading venue.”

“There is no better venue in their industry for brands to align”

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.

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, and the company is also consulting on plans for an arena in Manchester, UK.

Commenting on the Ascot partnership, Sam Piccione, OVG’s international president, says: “Ascot is one of the world’s best-loved venues, and we’re proud to have them as the newest International Venue Alliance member. It is an honour to be an extension of Juliet Slot’s commercial team as we will help grow their partnership line-up via our international network.

“Having been to Royal Ascot and numerous other horse-racing events at Ascot this past year, there is no better venue in their industry for brands to align [with] and we can’t wait to get started.”

 


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OVG advances plans on new Manchester arena project

Oak View Group (OVG) is launching a second consultation period for a possible new arena at the Etihad Campus, home to Manchester City Football Club, in the east of Manchester, UK.

The US-based venue development and investment group confirmed its interest in building a major new concert venue in Manchester at the end of August, working in partnership with Manchester City FC owner City Football Group. The venue would rival ASM Global’s 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena.

The second round of meetings opens on Thursday 28 November, with the consultation period running until Monday 16 December. OVG held a previous round of four consultation events in October, to share initial ideas and gauge community priorities.

The latest proposals will be shared online, allowing local residents to voice their opinions on a dedicated hotline if they are unable to attend the sessions.

“A world-class arena has to work for the community so continual dialogue to understand priorities and concerns is a vital part of our feasibility process,” comments Mark Donnelly, OVG International’s chief operating officer.

“A clear objective is that a new arena must deliver a range of training and job opportunities for local residents, especially for young people”

“A clear objective is that a new arena must deliver a range of training and job opportunities for local residents, especially for young people. We also know that sustainable transport and venue management plans that minimise any impact to the community on event days are key priorities.

“During this next stage of consultations,” continues Donnelly, “we will provide an update on work underway to address community priorities, and we look forward to further feedback and inputs from East Manchester residents and businesses.”

Co-founded by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, OVG launched its London-based overseas division, OVG International, at ILMC in March. The new Manchester arena would be the company’s first purpose-built venue in the UK, joining the Santa Giulia Arena in Milan as its second international project.

OVG has established a further presence in the UK and Europe through its International Venue Alliance, a network of independent entertainment and sports venues, which counts Silverstone Circuit, Birmingham’s NEC Group venues and Düsseldorf’s D.Live venues as members.

 


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OVG’s Venue Alliance gains first German members

Oak View Group (OVG) has announced another founding member of its International Venue Alliance, in the form of Dusseldorf-based venue operator D.Live.

The five D.Live member venues – the alliance’s first from continental Europe – are the Merkur Spiel-Arena (54,000-cap.), Iss Dome (13,000-cap.), Mitsubishi Electric Halle (7,500-cap.), Castello Dusseldorf (3,000-cap.) and outdoor cinema Alltours Kino.

The D.Live venues join the UK’s Silverstone Circuit and NEC Group venues as founding members of the alliance, which is modelled on OVG’s Arena and Stadium Alliance in the United States.

“We’re delighted to see the OVG International Venue Alliance develop and expand into continental Europe with the addition of the D.Live group of venues,” says OVG’s International president Sam Piccione.

“We’re delighted to see the OVG International Venue Alliance develop and expand into continental Europe with the addition of the D.Live group of venues”

“As with Silverstone and NEC Group,” continues Piccione, “we’ll be helping D.Live venues deliver world-class events, content and corporate partnerships. Dusseldorf is an important city in the live event space and we appreciate their trust and vision to join the OVG International Venue Alliance.”

D.Live CEO Michael Brill comments that the group’s membership to the International Venue Alliance “will ensure we grow our market position and we are looking forward to seeing the success of the Alliance as it develops.”

The partnership is the latest in a series of developments for OVG. Prior to launching its International Venue Alliance in September, OVG established its UK-based international division in March; announced its first European venue – the Santa Giulia arena in Milan in June; and confirmed its interest in building a major new concert venue in Manchester in August.

 


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NEC Group joins OVG’s International Venue Alliance

Oak View Group (OVG) has welcomed the UK’s NEC Group to its newly formed International Venue Alliance, making the Birmingham-based venue operator the second founding member of the alliance, behind Silverstone Circuit.

The International Venue Alliance, which launched last week, is modelled on OVG’s US Arena and Stadium Alliance which comprises 28 arenas. OVG plans to make further announcements around the growth of its international alliance in the coming weeks.

The NEC Group’s membership in the alliance covers the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, along with the four other venues: the International Conference Centre (8,000-cap.), the Vox (900-cap.), Resorts World Arena (15,685-cap.) and Arena Birmingham (15,800-cap.). The partnership will focus on helping the NEC drive new commercial partnerships across the venues.

“It’s very exciting to have NEC on board,” says Sam Piccione, OVG’s international president. “We’ll be partnering with them as an extension to their talented sales team to find the right naming rights partner for the NEC and Arena Birmingham.

“We will also help them maximise new and unique commercial opportunities and additional revenue through driving content and leveraging our platform,” says Piccione, adding that the NEC, which was acquired by US private-equity firm the Blackstone Group in 2018, is a “first class organisation with strong leadership” that plays a “vital role” in hosting live events.

“The NEC Group really recognises the mutual benefits of the Venue Alliance and will be putting plans in place to work in true partnership from the start”

“As the Venue Alliance grows, we’ll continue to help our members in areas that are important to them and the overall business, which will extend to everything from ticketing and premium hospitality strategy, event scheduling, and unique sponsorship opportunities,” says Piccione.

NEC Group’s chairman of arenas and ticketing, Phil Mead, comments: “The NEC Group really recognises the mutual benefits of the Venue Alliance and will be putting plans in place to work in true partnership from the start.

“As a first step, we’re looking forward to dovetailing our NEC Group commercial team with the Venue Alliance team to extend the reach and resource applied to commercial rights sales. We are equally optimistic that further value will be added to our events programming through the Venue Alliance.”

The partnership is the latest in a series of developments for OVG, which launched its UK-based international division in March; announced its first European venue – the Santa Giulia arena in Milan in June; and confirmed its interest in building a major new concert venue in Manchester in August.

Oak View Group, a venue development, advisory and investment company was co-founded in 2015 by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff.

 


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