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Wasserman seals CSM Sport & Entertainment deal

Agency giant Wasserman has completed its acquisition of sports marketing company CSM Sport & Entertainment.

Wasserman says the deal will expand its service capabilities and footprint in the sports, music, entertainment and culture industries, giving it “the geographic reach to provide tailored services and an unrivalled network of relationships, skills and specialisms to leading brands, properties and talent across 27 countries and 62 cities worldwide”.

Describing the two companies as “a natural fit”, it adds that the resulting scale across Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North and South America will allow the combined business to “accelerate growth across the board”.

“The completion of the Wasserman-CSM deal is another exciting and important milestone in Wasserman’s growth as we continue to build a company that serves the best talent, brands and properties across the world,” says Wasserman chair and CEO Casey Wasserman. “I, along with the entire Wasserman team, am looking forward to working with Matt Vandrau and his colleagues as part of a world-class management group running a global platform that powers the business of sports, music, entertainment and culture.”

“It’s the combining of expertise that brings together the brightest and the best in the world of sport, music, entertainment and culture”

CSM marks Wasserman’s 12th acquisition in the past two years alone. Last month, Wasserman acquired entertainment management and production company Brillstein Entertainment Partners, formally launching its entertainment vertical.

“We are hugely excited about the future following the completion of the Wasserman-CSM acquisition,” adds CSM group CEO Matt Vandrau. “For me, this is more than a sale of our business. It’s the combining of expertise that brings together the brightest and the best in the world of sport, music, entertainment and culture. This is the start of what will be an incredible new chapter, and I look forward to working alongside Casey and team to ensure sustainable success.”

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Wasserman operates globally across 27 countries and more than 62 cities, including New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Madrid, Mexico City, Toronto, Paris and Sydney.


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CTS Eventim launches media agency

Pan-European live giant CTS Eventim has announced the launch of EDGE – a paid media agency specialising in the entertainment market.

EDGE is designed to help promoters, artists and managers create paid media campaigns on high-reach platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube and TikTok, with a focus on marketing and ticket sales for live events, as well as establishing brands in a “relevant entertainment setting”.

The services provided by EDGE comprise advice and strategies for digital campaigns as well as their practical delivery, management and optimisation.

Frederik Landwehr has been appointed as EDGE COO after joining from Universal Music Group (UMG), where he was head of digital advertising. At UMG, he was responsible for the implementation of all digital paid media campaigns and for media strategy consultancy for artists, labels and brands.

“Our unique offering in the paid media market gives advertisers access to new customers in an appealing environment and creates real added value”

“Our unique offering in the paid media market gives advertisers access to new customers in an appealing environment and creates real added value,” says Landwehr. “And because all the latest media trends and developments are an everyday part of our business, we always have our finger on the pulse.”

According to a press release, EDGE’s ability to place targeted content on relevant portals outside of its parent company’s own platforms will enhance CTS’ portfolio of services while complementing its marketing offering.

“Ultimately, we want to be measured by our performance,” adds EDGE MD Dr Frithjof Pils. “And the first 100 campaigns show that we can deliver a substantial return on ad spend.”

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg recently spoke out in the wake of CTS’ record 2022 financial results. The Munich-headquartered ticketing firm, promoter and venue operator saw consolidated sales soar by 372% year-on-year to €1.924 billion – up 33% on its previous benchmark.


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How to announce your music festival for 2023

The announcement of a music festival and its accompanying presale, along with the lineup announcement are two of the most important milestones in determining the success of your event.

It’s worth considering exactly how you plan to amplify your festival and maximise overall reach. It will be even more important to capitalise on these moments in 2023 as we see the complete re-opening of the world following the pandemic.

Many organisers will return to traditional promotional methods like paid digital advertising and paid social media. These methods however are continuing to increase in price as reach remains steady or decreases.

The most trusted form of advertising, word-of-mouth, is still usually overlooked in favour of more pre-2020 promotional methods, which is why it will be a huge differentiator when it comes to announcing your music festival in 2023.

“Word-of-mouth is consistently recognised as the most valuable form of marketing for brands”

Why Word-Of-Mouth?

Word-of-mouth is consistently recognised as the most valuable form of marketing for brands. It’s the most trusted by consumers and the most likely to drive sales for you.

Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising Study found that “88% of global respondents trust recommendations from people they know more than any other channel.”

Amplifying Your Festival Announcement With Word-Of-Mouth

You can supercharge word-of-mouth and amplify your reach through the use of campaigns, a feature unique to Audience Republic, which gamifies the presale access process and rewards fans for sharing the presale registration link to friends, family and their social networks.

When your festival date or lineup is announced, running a gamified campaign allowing fans to register for presale access alongside the announcement not only amplifies your reach but also carries with it many other benefits outside of direct ticket sales.

Campaigns grow your database by collecting ticket buyers’ names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

“The results were so successful, we were 80% sold out 12 months in advance”

Additionally, you can use the audience you’ve built to drive ticket sales for future concerts, tours and festivals you manage for years to come. This effectively negates the need to spend thousands on Facebook Ads to reach the same audience year after year.

New Zealand’s premier festival, Rhythm and Vines utilised Audience Republic’s campaigns platform to drive a 321% uplift in preregistrations with marketing director, Kyle Bell saying “The results were so successful, we were 80% sold out 12 months in advance”.

2023 To Be The Year Of Oversaturation?

2022 saw the testing and learning for the return of live events. As this phase draws to a close, 2023 will be full steam ahead with fans returning to live events in droves. Data from Resident Advisor shows there are 66% more electronic music festivals in 2022 than in 2019 and you can expect that to grow even more in 2023.

The only issue this will pose is the creation of a saturated market with more content than ever on offer to fans. This will force organisers to get strategic and amplify as far and wide as possible to ensure their festival stands out among the noise.

“It is perhaps time to admit that traditional promotion methods are dying fast”

Paid Social Is Dying. SMS is Back.

As the cost-per-click for paid social and digital advertising rises, it’s past time to ask yourself: “Why would I continue to pay for a high-cost, low-return channel?”

SMS marketing has seen a resurgence and with it, a staggering open rate of 98%, with 90% of messages being read within the first three minutes of receipt.

It is perhaps time to admit that traditional promotion methods are dying fast and now is the age for word-of-mouth and SMS marketing, or, to at least consider them as the key drivers for launching your festival in 2023.

Audience Republic is the all-in-one CRM & marketing platform for festivals, venues & artists. We utilise presale campaigns, waitlists and gamified competition features to help increase ticket sales. Use our free Presale Calculator to see how we can help you sell more tickets, faster.


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Wasserman Music launches new marketing department

Wasserman Music is expanding its operations with a new marketing services and digital strategy department.

Led by the senior vice president of marketing, Sam Alpert, the department comprises expertise in the areas of tour marketing, digital strategy, ticketing and live streaming.

The new division is completed by Wasserman’s pre-existing marketing team, as well as new employees Mary Pryor (senior director, strategy, focused on Web3) and Sam Benfey (director, digital strategy, focused on a variety of digital opportunities).

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pryor and Benfey into the fold, and to have their expertise and connections available to our agents and artists,” says Alpert.

“Using Wasserman Music’s successful tour marketing model, this expansion into digital strategy, ticketing and live streaming allows us to continue to super-serve our roster.”

“The integration and internal collaboration between depts will open the door for countless new opportunities”

He continues: “The integration and internal collaboration between departments will open the door for countless new opportunities and provide additional resources, knowledge and perspectives for our artists in their touring careers and far beyond.”

Benfey joins Wasserman Music from Paradigm Talent Agency, where he worked as an executive of business development and an agent of digital media and brand partnerships. He specialises in podcasting, video games, AR and VR, blockchain and NFTs, apps and emerging platforms.

Pryor, one of SXSW’s Innovators of the Year in 2014, has worked for major brands across the music, media, technology, and marketing industries including Sony Music Group, Viacom, Essence Magazine, Rolling Stone, Sean Combs Enterprises, and numerous others.

According to Wasserman, she has been an early adopter, educator and advocate in the areas of cryptocurrency, blockchain, the metaverse and other Web3 advancements.

She will focus on educating and empowering Wasserman Music staff and clients, facilitating the tools, insights and connections to engage in the space in an impactful way.


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Why 2023 will be the hardest year to sell tickets

2022 has seen fans return to dance floors and fields across the world as the live music industry reopens post-Covid. What has followed has been the creation of an overly saturated market as artists and festivals fight to make up for two years’ of lost revenue.

Globally, 2022 has also brought with it a raft of new economic conditions: rising inflation and low unemployment. Historically, these two factors have spelt out one word, recession. Mixing a saturated live events market and a looming recession together can only lead to the question, ‘will 2023 be the hardest year to sell tickets?’

As consumers tighten their budgets to cope with the rising cost of living, live events may start to take a back seat. This will be the great equaliser for event organisers as competition for consumer’s business will become increasingly tight. There are some strategies event organisers can implement to mitigate the risk that will come with producing events in 2023 and beyond.

“Creating excitement alone may not be enough to sell tickets in 2023”

Build An Audience You Own

In what has already become a market flooded with content post-Covid, ensuring lineup and tour announcements for 2023 stand out among the noise will be critical.

Announcements create excitement; and with them, comes press coverage, social sharing and tagging. But creating excitement alone may not be enough to sell tickets in 2023. This excitement can be monetised with a presale registration campaign which also builds a massive audience of engaged fans that organisers own and can market to.

This will help sell the remainder of the general on-sale while also generating and gauging demand. Owning ticket buyer data and marketing to them directly through channels like email and SMS, removes the need to rely on publishers like Facebook. This will reduce advertising costs and give organisers an engaged audience they can market to over and over again.

Leveraging the Power of Fans

Social media platforms now make it easier than ever for fans to connect with each other. By gamifying presale campaigns with social sharing and prize incentives, organisers can let fans do their marketing for them. This enables exponential reach, organically and means the message travels further, is more authentic and leads to increased sales at a lower cost.

“Post-event presale campaigns put more revenue in organisers’ back pockets, faster”

Ride the High

Running a presale campaign immediately after an event harnesses the success and emotion of this year’s event to sell tickets for next year’s.

Post-event presale campaigns put more revenue in organisers’ back pockets, faster. Going on sale immediately following an event locks in ticket sales and cash flow earlier, providing security and peace of mind.

The Race To Win Fans and Sell Out 2023

Even though at times it may seem like it, it’s not all doom and gloom for the live music industry. Fans will still seek to immerse themselves in live experiences, but it will be a question of which events will win their hearts, minds and ultimately business as they become more selective.

Audience Republic is the all-in-one CRM & marketing platform for events, venues and artists. We utilise presale registration, waitlists and unique gamified competition features to help increase ticket sales and return data ownership to event organisers.


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Live Nation Latin expands touring team

Live Nation has continued the expansion of its Latin touring team with four new hires.

Daryivett Romo and Katrina Rodriguez have come on board as tour marketing director and marketing manager, respectively, while Stephanie Rodriguez joins as marketing coordinator.

In addition, Nadia Hernandez has joined as the concerts division’s new director of Latin communications, overseeing press initiatives and building out Latin media strategies for all of Live Nation’s tours and touring artists.

“Live Nation is the largest promoter of Latin shows”

“Live Nation is the largest promoter of Latin shows and as our artist roster as well as fan demand continues to grow, we are building a global team to serve artists and fan experiences better and at a bigger scale than ever before,” says Hans Schafer, Live Nation’s SVP of global touring.

Prior to joining Live Nation, Romo spent eight years at CMN Events where she worked as project manager, overseeing routings, box office setups, media buying, travel logistics and day of show settlements for tours such as Juan Gabriel, Maluma, Alejandro Fernandez and Ricardo Arjona.

Katrina Rodriguez, who served a stint at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, was most recently brand partnerships manager at Universal Music Group, spending years helping the global company develop strategies and foster relationships with brands and agencies to secure partnerships for artists on the UMG Latin roster.

Stephanie Rodriguez, meanwhile, has worked at entertainment companies such as iHeart Media and SBS Radio. In her new position as Latin tour marketing coordinator, she will be involved in 20-plus tours, including Bad Bunny, Los Bukis, Wisin Y Yandel and Angela Aguilar.

Hernandez, who brings more than 15 years of experience in public relations, joins from Cashmere Agency, where she led strategy for Taco Bell, Coca-Cola and Danone. n her new role, she will oversee theatre shows, as well as global and national Latin tours.

The new hires join Fabi Kulick who was announced last year as the company’s head of Latin tour marketing.

The Latin concerts team has  grown to handle national and regional touring, as well as national and regional marketing strategies for its slew of tours including Bad Bunny, Los Bukis, Maná, Marco Antonio Solís and Rosalía.

Maria Lanao was previously confirmed as the new Latin talent buyer for the northeast as well as the addition of two new regional marketing directors as part of the Latin touring team: Gabriela Ortega in the Southeast and Lucy Herrera in the midwest.


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CTS Eventim hires Jan Voss as MD of brand business

CTS Eventim is bolstering its brand partnerships and sponsoring business with the appointment of Jan Voss as the new managing director at Eventim Brand Connect.

Voss joins the company from Universal Music Group (UMG) Germany, where he was responsible for partnerships and licensing as VP of UMG for Brands. Previous roles include director of marketing and head of new business at the same company.

At UMG, he played a key role in establishing the product endorsement business and digital media marketing, and in taking UMG for Brands into new areas of business such as the food sector.

He will take up his new role at CTS Eventim on 1 May 2022 and will report to the managing director of Eventim Live, Dr Frithjof Pils, who was formerly also managing director of Eventim Brand Connect.

“Jan Voss brings the ideal mix of industry expertise and broad experience in the area of brand partnerships”

Pils says: “Jan Voss brings the ideal mix of industry expertise and broad experience in the area of brand partnerships. We are looking forward to embarking upon a massive expansion of Eventim Brand Connect with him on board as managing director.”

Voss added: “Live entertainment offers brands one of the most powerfully emotive ways to interact with people. There are numerous new opportunities here for brands, particularly as the live events sector starts to open up again.

“Taking Eventim Brand Connect forward in such an exciting environment with the power of Europe’s biggest live entertainment platforms and an excellent team will be a fantastic challenge.”

Eventim Brand Connect enables companies to associate themselves with live events such as major festivals as part of their marketing strategy, allowing them to engage with specific target groups.


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The new wave of marketing innovation

As a new wave of privacy regulations makes consumer targeting much less efficient than before, here, Berlin-based events and digital services solution Future Demand explains why interest-centric marketing is the future – and promoters can take full advantage…

The last 10 years in digital marketing were driven by ever-improving targeting options. Lookalike audiences and retargeting enabled a super-fast, convenient, and easy way of making sure ads were seen by the right people. On the other hand, the data-driven ad-tech industry did very little to help marketeers create better copy and content.

Driven by a new wave of privacy regulations (from GDPR to Apple’s ATT) promoters now see a substantial decrease in the effectiveness of their targeting options. Now, they’re starting to regret spending 10 years improving only 50% of what drives campaign efficacy (user targeting) and ignoring the other 50% (content).

It’s time to have a look at why content is more important than ever before.

Content is the future
Marketing used to be essentially people-focused. The ad-tech industry measured and tracked individuals and tried to understand them. For many industries this worked great, much better than anything before. It worked so well, in fact, that whole industries were built on it. The D2C trend around companies like Dollar Shave Club or Casper was fuelled by direct response ads on Facebook through lookalike audiences and retargeting campaigns.

Against the backdrop of expanding privacy regulations, the future now points to the centralisation of a few big platforms. Platforms big enough to own enough in-platform user data (think Amazon, or gaming giants like Epic Games) will be able to serve ads and convert users directly within their platforms. Eric Seufert summarised the development by the term “content fortresses”.

However, the way the industry is currently set up, this isn’t a tenable solution for promoters (and many other companies) as they lack the content usage of users to gain enough insights into people’s interests and serve targeted ads.

So, what about promoters?
For promoters, targeting has always been more difficult because taste in music is much harder to grasp and describe. A concert is in most cases a one-time happening, making it near impossible to have enough time, iteration cycles and budget to get into the sweet spot of the advertising feedback loop. Promoters, therefore, reverted to traditional segmentation methods, relying on socio-demographic data to cluster audiences and fans. Unfortunately, this works even less.

Note the famous example of Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. Both are born in the same year, have a comparable income, can be located to London, and have the same gender. But their music tastes may be completely different indeed. Traditional segmentation features like age, gender, postcode etc. do little to help you decide who to target for a specific show or event.

What’s next?
Netflix was one of the first to focus only on people’s interests to better describe the diversity in their user base. Like Netflix users, concert-goers can be interested in a symphony concert with a famous French female violinist but also in the next upcoming metal wunderkind playing his or her first gig in the small club next door. The obvious answer for promoters is to design systems that only focus on interest and to cluster based on fans’ interests. The powerful ad networks of today enable targeting those interests.

Knowing why people buy tickets gives promoters an edge over big platforms. As they get more independent from ticketing and ad platforms, switching between them becomes easier. If you know why people are interested and what message they need to see to purchase a ticket or subscribe to an offer, you can decide on which platform to focus on.

What to do about it?

Marketeers must shift their focus towards understanding interests. It enables better targeting and the possibility to match creative content to targeting criteria – all automatically. It increases independence and enhances the speed at which promoters can adopt new and upcoming platforms.

Interest centric marketing will be one of the most important strategic levers for marketeers who do not own a content fortress. Many industries need to speed up their efforts to catch up and rework their whole ad-tech stack. Promoters can now finally leverage their past disadvantage (very, very diverse content) into a powerful advantage. The more diverse the content, the better the understanding of fans tastes and interests.

Learn more about interest-centric marketing here.


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ASM Global taps Jason Oberlander

ASM Global has named Jason Oberlander as chief commercial officer as it looks to dramatically expand its partnerships.

Formerly SVP, national sales at Learfield IMG College, Oberlander will take responsibility for overseeing ASM’s plans to grow its position in naming rights and marketing partnerships for its venues.

“We have the scale, consumer touchpoints and ability to integrate brands in – to music, sports, business, tech and more – that will drive value for the brands, content providers, venue partners and guests,” says ASM president and CEO Ron Bension.

“Jason’s extensive experience, particularly with IMG in forging new national partnerships with Fortune 1000 brands, will provide far and away the most diverse and enriching opportunities the industry has ever seen.”

ASM’s growth potential is unlimited

With AEG Global Partnerships, ASM Global has secured recent key naming rights and other ASM Global corporate partnerships for venues such as the Coca-Cola Music Hall and Distro T-Mobile in Puerto Rico; the renamed T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri; and the AO Arena in Manchester, England.

Other recent alliances include a multi-year technology partnership with Mobilitie and a multi-year agreement with Honeywell.

“ASM’s growth potential is unlimited,” adds Oberlander. “We’re the world’s largest live-event marketing platform, which enables us to deliver fan-engagement opportunities to brands across the guest journey; and we can do it on a scale that no one else can deliver.

“Fans are craving live event experiences more than ever, and brands will want to be a part of those moments. No one has the breadth of events, venues, tenant partners and boots on the ground like ASM. At a full run, there are 164 million people coming through our venues. That’s more than the four major US professional sports leagues combined. We are very excited to show brand partners what we’re planning.”


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Live Nation appoints first chief brand officer

Live Nation has appointed Nicole Portwood to the newly created role of chief brand officer.

Portwood, formerly vice-president of marketing for Mountain Dew and other soft drinks at PepsiCo, is tasked with “further enhanc[ing] the Live Nation brand across all channels by exploring new opportunities that develop deeper relationships with both artists and fans worldwide”, says Live Nation, including on-site experiences and digital offerings such as NFTs.

“Joining an innovative company like Live Nation, which is cherished by music and live entertainment fans across the world, is a dream come true,” says Portwood. “This work bridges my personal and professional passions, and I am excited to work with the incredibly talented and entrepreneurial people here to develop a robust brand strategy that strengthens loyalty and heightens the entire live experience for fans.

“We look forward to the new opportunities and growth Nicole will help shape”

“With the return of live events, this is such an exciting moment for the company and in culture more broadly, and I cannot wait for what’s ahead.”

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Portwood was vice-president and chief marketing officer of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, where she won Ad Age marketer of the year in 2017.

“We built Live Nation into the leading live music brand by promoting and investing in artists around the world at every level from clubs to stadiums, and with Nicole’s expertise we will continue to expand our Live Nation product offering for both artists and fans,” comments Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation. “We look forward to the new opportunities and growth Nicole will help shape, from onsite experiences to developing new digital content offerings such as NFTs or membership options.”


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