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American Express named BST presenting partner

American Express is the new presenting partner for AEG festival British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park, taking over from Barclaycard.

The new partnership, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, sees the festival take the name American Express Presents BST Hyde Park. Cardmembers will have pre-sale access to tickets to all of the BST shows, as well as on-site benefits.

The festival, which last year saw headline performances from Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Robbie Williams and Florence and the Machine, will return in 2020 after securing a new two-year agreement with the Royal Parks for the use of Hyde Park.

“American Express is a valued partner of ours and I’m thrilled that the success of our relationship has expanded to the new signing of our flagship festival,” comments Paul Samuels, executive vice president of AEG Global Partnerships.

“They offer Cardmembers and fans access to the very best events and the addition of American Express Presents BST Hyde Park, will further connect fans to unforgettable live AEG experiences.”

“American Express is a valued partner of ours and I’m thrilled that the success of our relationship has expanded to the new signing of our flagship festival”

Brandy Sanders, vice president of global entertainment partnerships and experiences at American Express adds that the company is “excited to bring American Express Experiences to the heart of London culture”.

The collaboration between AEG and American Express began 15 years ago and has developed into a multi-faceted, global partnership with over 100 venues, sports teams and events across five continents, including LA Live, AEG Presents Global Touring, the O2, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stockholm Globe Arena, Accor Hotel Arena Paris, All Points East and Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Launched by AEG in 2013, the BST concert series has featured acts including the Rolling Stone, Paul Simon, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, the Cure, Bon Jovi, Michael Bubler and Roger Waters.

BST last year received a gold status from charity Attitude is Everything for its commitment to improving accessibility and implemented a range of sustainability initiatives for its most eco-friendly edition yet.

 


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Cheetham joins AEG as Mercedes Platz nears completion

AEG has made two appointments in Germany ahead of the 2018 opening of Mercedes Platz, a new mixed-use entertainment district neighbouring the Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) in Berlin.

The 20-hectare Mercedes Platz, which mirrors similar AEG developments at The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles and the recently announced Nashville Yards in Tennessee, includes a cinema, cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, a bowling alley and a 4,500-capacity music venue, Berlin Music Hall, which will open on Saturday 17 November 2018 with a show by Gloria Gaynor.

Berlin Music Hall will be booked by Paul Cheetham, who joins AEG as booking director for the venue, while long-time Mercedes-Benz Arena booker Aissata Hartmann-Sylla has been promoted to senior director, overseeing event acquisition for both the arena and Music Hall.

Before joining AEG, Cheetham – a 20-year veteran of the live music industry – was managing director for Heartburst Management, where he was involved in staging industry events Popkomm, Berlin Music Week and Reeperbahn Festival. Previously, he worked for Mean Fiddler (now Festival Republic) and Live Nation Scandinavia in Finland.

Both Cheetham and Hartmann-Sylla moved into their new roles on 1 September.

 


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Uber strikes transport partnership deal with AEG

Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, has become the official rideshare and transportation partner for 27 AEG venues, festivals and other assets.

The multi-year agreement, announced today, includes, among others, London’s The O2 and SSE Arena Wembley; Staples Center and LA Live in Los Angeles; StubHub Center in Carson, California;  Mo Pop Festival in Detroit; Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle; Brooklyn Steel in New York; the Verizon Theater in Dallas; Frisco, Texas, country music festival Off the Rails; ticket agency AXS; ice-hockey team LA Kings and football team LA Galaxy.

The deal will give Uber customers easier access to AEG events with designated ‘Uber zones’, as well in-venue perks, “surprise elements” for Uber passengers and promotions via the Uber, AXS, LA Kings and LA Galaxy apps.

Uber branding will also be integrated into in-venue signage and AEG’s marketing and promotion, including several AEG Presents festival apps.

“The AEG portfolio of globally recognised assets is unmatched,” comments Nick Baker, senior vice-president of AEG Global Partnerships. “Having a chance to build this multi-entity partnership across major world markets can only be shared by equally powerful organisations that share a vision to enhance experiences through technology and live events.

“With the help of Uber’s global platform and innovative technology, our fans will experience a new level of convenience, safety and ease”

“With the help of Uber’s global platform and innovative technology, our fans will experience a new level of convenience, safety and ease as we continue to raise the bar and deliver top-notch experiences around the world.”

Amy Friedlander Hoffman, head of experiential marketing at Uber, adds: “Uber already plays a big part in a fan’s game day, concert or event experience by getting you there safely and on time. This partnership with select AEG venues takes that experience to a whole different level. Now, fans will have access to new perks, designated pick-up and drop-off spots and exclusive promotions, creating the best event experiences for all fans.”

Transportation network company (TNC) Uber, which connects passengers with privately hired cars – usually owned by the drivers – was last year hailed by Vector Arena’s Judith Clumpas as a “service game-changer” that has “left the concert experience standing”.

While the company is financially successful, with revenues topping US$10.8 billion in 2015, it has been criticised for its allegedly poor company culture, shortcomings in driver background checks and ‘predatory’ pricing that undercuts traditional taxi drivers.

 


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