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Silver Lake, Roc Nation invest in merch company Fanatics

Sports merchandise company Fanatics has raised US$325 million from investors including Jay-Z and his company Roc Nation, a joint venture with Live Nation, and private-equity company Silver Lake Partners, which owns shares in TEG, WME, Oak View Group and Madison Square Garden Company.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and with international offices in Tokyo and Manchester, UK, e-commerce giant Fanatics sells officially licensed products for the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, Nascar and more, and also operates several bricks-and-mortar shops.

The new funding will be put towards launching a non-merchandising division focusing on ticketing, gaming, media and sports betting, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company recently launched a company focusing on NFTs (non-fungible tokens), Candy Digital, and also has a partnership with leading esports competition Overwatch League.

The new investment values the company at more than $18 billion, the WSJ reports. The company expects to make $3.4bn in revenues in 2021.

Last week, the company hired Dan Goldberg, formerly of Warner Music Group, as senior vice-president for music and entertainment development, signalling its intention to branch out beyond sports apparel into music merchandise.

 


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Australian promoter the Van Egmond Group joins TEG

Australian promoter the Van Egmond Group has joined live entertainment giant TEG, adding to the company’s live music arms TEG Live, TEG Dainty and TEG MJR.

Led by Garry and Christo Van Egmond, the Melbourne-based company has over 45 years’ experience in event promotion, merchandising and ticketing and has promoted tours including Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms and AC/DC’s Black Ice.

Under the deal, the group will be renamed TEG Van Egmond. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

“The Van Egmond Group has a long pedigree of delivering blockbuster tours with huge acts such as Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, INXS, Riverdance, Prince, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton and the great AC/DC,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones.

“Garry has sold well in excess of 30 million tickets across contemporary concerts and theatre productions in the Australasian marketplace and we are delighted to have him and Christo on board as part of the TEG family.”

“We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years and we look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond”

Garry Van Egmond adds: “We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years under Geoff’s leadership and we are very excited about joining TEG and look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond.

“TEG Van Egmond will be active in both the North America and UK/Europe for top-tier touring opportunities for Australia and South East Asia.”

Cindy Wilson, previously managing director of BASE Entertainment Asia, will represent TEG Van Egmond in North America, based in Los Angeles.

TEG, which was bought by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in October 2019, last year expanded into Europe through its acquisition of the MJR Group, now TEG MJR, and launched a new family entertainment arm, TEG Experiences. The company also issues over 28 million tickets a year through its ticketing platform Ticketek.

Along with TEG Live and TEG Dainty, the company organised the Fire Fight Australia bushfire benefit concert earlier this month.

 


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The decade in live: 2012

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

As in the previous 12 months, 2012 saw the live music industry still grappling with the effects of the global economic crisis, with many countries just beginning to clamber out of recession and others heading for dreaded ‘double dips’.

This continuing economic uncertainty naturally bit into the leisure spend of discriminating ticket buyers with a variety of entertainment options – though the world did not, as predicted by some long-dead Mexicans, come to an end.

Elsewhere, the weather gods interfered with yet more festivals, while Hurricane Sandy had a devastating effect on the industry in the New York area. In the UK, meanwhile, the Olympics scored on many levels, but provided far too much competition for many.

 


2012 in numbers

The top 50 worldwide tours grossed a combined US$3 billion in 2012, according to Pollstar, down around 2% from $3.07bn in 2011.

Madonna’s MDNA tour was the clear No1, grossing $296.1 million, ahead of second-placed Bruce Springsteen, whose E Street Band earned $210.2m. Both acts played to more than 2m fans worldwide 2012.

Roger Waters’ The Wall generated $186.4m to come in at No3, and was also the highest-ranking hold-over from the 2011 chart, where he placed No5 with a gross of $103.6 million.

Reflecting the lingering impact of the financial crisis, the total tickets sold by the top 50 tours was 34.9m, which continued the decline from 35.5m the previous year (and well off the pace from 2009, when the top 50 sold 45.3 million, says Pollstar).

 


2012 in brief

January
FKP Scorpio buys a stake in Utrecht-based booking agency and artist management company Friendly Fire.

Touring festival Big Day Out calls time on its New Zealand leg after promoter Ken West admits that falling audience numbers have made the Auckland show unviable.

February

Madonna sparks controversy when she tells Newsweek  magazine fans should “work all year, scrape the money together” for a $300 ticket to her MDNA tour.

March
Private-equity firm CVC Asia Pacific puts its Australian ticketing company, Ticketek, and Sydney’s Allphones Arena up for a sale in a bid to reduce a A$2.7bn (€2.1bn) debt run-up by Nine Entertainment, which owns the assets.

Stuart Galbraith buys out AEG’s 50% stake in Kilimanjaro Live for an undisclosed sum. Both parties say they will continue to work together on events in future. (Kili later cancels the 2012 edition of Sonisphere at Knebworth, which was to have featured Kiss, Faith No More and Marilyn Manson.)

Ebay-owned secondary ticketing service, StubHub, launches operations in the UK and admits it is looking at further expansion across Europe.

Roger Waters's The Wall tour was the third most lucrative of 2012

Roger Waters’s The Wall tour was the third most lucrative of 2012 (© Brennan Schnell/Eastscene.com/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0))

April
Serbian authorities arrest the venue owner and other individuals following a fire at the Contrast nightclub in Novi Sad that leaves six people dead.

Tupac Shakur, who died 15 years previous, is the main talking point at Coachella, as a multimillion-dollar hologram of the rapper appears on stage alongside Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.

May
Viagogo raises eyebrows by shifting its operational base from the UK to Switzerland, amid speculation it wants to resell tickets for the Olympic Games without falling foul of British law.

Investment firm Silver Lake Partners completes a transaction to acquire a 31% stake in William Morris Endeavor.

June
Former AEG Germany CEO Detlef Kornett forms a venue consultancy, Verescon, with DEAG with Peter Schwenkow.

Swedish telecom operator Tele2 pays an undisclosed sum to secure naming rights for Stockholm’s new 40,000-capacity stadium, operated by AEG.

Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield and Dizzee Rascal performed at the London 2012 opening ceremony
Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield and Dizzee Rascal performed at the London 2012 opening ceremony (© Matt Deegan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

July
Live Nation appoints former CAA exec David Zedeck to the role of executive VP and president of global talent and artist development.

Artists including Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sandé are each paid £1 for their performances at the Olympics opening ceremony. The show attracts 26.9m viewers in the UK alone, and billions more worldwide.

August
Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot are jailed for two years each, after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.

September
AEG drops its claim against Lloyd’s of London on a multimillion-dollar insurance policy, following the death of Michael Jackson.

C3 Presents’ Lollapalooza debuted in Brazil in AprilC3 Presents’ Lollapalooza debuted in Brazil in April (© Henrique Oli/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0))

October
Glastonbury Festival takes just 100 minutes to sell out all 135,000 tickets for next summer’s event, despite not naming a single act on the 2013 bill.

C3 Presents extends an arrangement with Globo Organization’s GEO for more events in Brazil, following a successful Lollapalooza.

November
AEG is awarded the contract to take over shows at London’s prestigious Hyde Park, ending Live Nation’s decade-long relationship with the 80,000-capacity space.

Frank Barsalona, founder of Premier Talent, dies aged 74. Premier was the first agency to work exclusively with rock artists, with clients including the Yardbirds, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2 and Van Halen.

December
The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of bidders are in contention to acquire AEG, despite a reported $10bn asking price.

Irving Azoff unexpectedly resigns as chairman of Live Nation and CEO of its Front Line Management Group, to concentrate on his own artist management company.

 


Whitney Houston

Who we lost

Notable industry deaths in 2012 included South by Southwest creative director Brent Grulke, Lasse Ollsen of Swedish promoter Viva Art Music, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Armin Rahn, founder of Munich-based Armin Rahn Agency and Management, Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson, Perth Arena general manager David Humphreys, R&B legend Etta James, pop powerhouse Whitney Houston, the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb, disco diva Donna Summer, the Monkees’ Davy Jones and legendary agents Armin Rahm and Frank Barsalona.

 


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Silver Lake invests in OVG Manchester arena partner

Silver Lake, a private equity firm with stakes in a number of major live entertainment companies, has acquired a US$500 million stake in Manchester City Football Club owner City Football Group (CFG), the partner on Oak View Group’s (OVG) new arena project.

The buy-in, which sees the investor take control of more than 10% of CFG, complements the $100m investment Silver Lake made in venue development group OVG last year.

OVG is currently working in partnership with CFG on building a major new concert venue in the Eastlands area of Manchester, home to the football club’s Etihad Stadium. The arena project entered into its second round of consultation meetings yesterday (Thursday 28 November), the day after Silver Lake announced its CFG investment.

“We and Silver Lake share the strong belief in the opportunities being presented by the convergence of entertainment, sports and technology”

“We and Silver Lake share the strong belief in the opportunities being presented by the convergence of entertainment, sports and technology,” comments CFG chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

Silver Lake has invested heavily in the entertainment industry in recent years and currently owns 100% of Asia-Pacific live entertainment giant TEG, 51% of WME/UFC parent company Endeavor and 8.4% of Madison Square Garden Company.

The investor’s most recent deal places CFG at a valuation of $4.8 billion – a record for a sports group. According to the Financial Times, the $500m cash injection will help fund CFG’s acquisition of more football clubs globally, as well as the planned construction of a new stadium in New York.

 


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TEG confirms Silver Lake acquisition

Confirming rumours that surfaced last week, private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners announced this morning (4 October) Australian time it has acquired Asia-Pacific live entertainment giant TEG.

Silicon Valley-based Silver Lake, which also holds stakes in Madison Square Garden CompanyOak View Group and WME/UFC parent company Endeavor, acquires TEG from Affinity Equity Partners, another investment firm, which bought TEG in 2015.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, though reports in the Australian financial press value the deal at around A$1 billion (US$675 million).

Sydney-based TEG’s live entertainment platform combines ticketing and event promotion, venue management, data analytics and marketing services. The company organises over 100 events annually through TEG Live and TEG Dainty, which have promoted shows including Hugh Jackman, Guns N’ Roses, Eminem, Katy Perry, Cirque du Soleil, Jerry Seinfeld and the Australian debut of Intel Extreme Masters esports.

The company is the parent of one of Australia’s “big two” ticket sellers, Ticketek, which sells 30m tickets annually, and also made moves into the European market earlier this year, acquiring UK-based promoter the MJR Group.

“The team at Affinity have been great partners for us over the last four years and have helped us to continue to scale our business,” says TEG chief executive Geoff Jones, commenting on the buy-out. “We are confident that Silver Lake is the right partner for the next stage of the company’s growth.

“High-quality live sports and entertainment content is more sought after now than ever, and represents a massive global addressable market”

“Silver Lake brings us deep technology expertise as well as important global entertainment content and live events expertise and relationships which will help us to accelerate the growth of our platform globally.”

Adds Silver Lake managing director Stephen Evans: “High-quality live sports and entertainment content is more sought after now than ever and represents a massive global addressable market for the company.  We believe TEG’s innovative and integrated ticketing, content, digital marketing and analytics platform is well positioned to continue to benefit from increasing consumer demand worldwide.

“We’re excited to partner with Geoff and the entire TEG team and invest further to leverage TEG’s platform and accelerate the company’s growth, both in Asia Pacific and globally.”

The transaction is expected to close later this year, subject to conditions including approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

Read IQ’s recent exclusive interview with Jones (pictured), in which he discusses TEG’s plans for European growth, here.

‘Our main focus is the UK and Europe’: TEG boss talks MJR buy


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Silver Lake eyes up potential TEG buy

US private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners is in talks to buy Australian live entertainment powerhouse TEG, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

Reports suggest that the California-based buyout specialist is in “late-stage talks” with TEG’s owner Affinity Equity and senior management team, led by CEO Geoff Jones, in a deal expected to surpass AUS$1 billion (US$675 million).

Silver Lake has over $43 billion in combined assets across a portfolio of tech-related businesses such as Alibaba, AMC, Dell Technologie and Tesla. The firm also has stakes in various live entertainment-related enterprises, including in WME parent company Endeavor, the Madison Square Garden Company, UFC and Oak View Group (OVG).

The firm is the not the first potential buyer to register interest in TEG over the past few years. In 2016, CTS Eventim and Chinese conglomerates Fosun and Wanda Group made up a trio of potential buyers in the running to acquire TEG.

Silver Lake has stakes in various live entertainment-related enterprises

TEG, the parent company of one of Australia’s “big two” ticketing companies, Ticketek, made moves into the European market earlier this year, acquiring UK-based promoter the MJR Group.

The company also owns self-service ticketing platform Eventopia, promotion business TEG Live, concert promoter TEG Dainty – formerly Dainty Group –, data firm TEG Analytics and the AEG-Ogden-operated the Qudos Bank Arena (21,000-cap.) in Sydney.

TEG launched a new live family entertainment division, TEG Experiences, earlier this month.

IQ has contacted TEG for comment.

 


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WME investor Silver Lake buys into OVG

California-based private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners has made a’strategic investment’ in Oak View Group (OVG), the venue management, investment and development vehicle founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff.

Silver Lake – which owns a major stake in booking agency group Endeavor (WME-IMG) – has approximately US$39bn in investments across a portfolio of tech-related businesses, including Alibaba, Motorola, Dell, Symantec and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

“In less than three years, Oak View Group has made a significant positive impact on the sports and entertainment facilities landscape,” says CEO Leiweke. ” I am very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time.

“This deal with Silver Lake provides us with capital to continue to grow our business as well as invaluable expertise and relationships.  I am thrilled to have them as my partner.”

OVG was founded in November 2015 by former Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff and ex-AEG CEO Tim Leiweke.

“This deal with Silver Lake provides us with capital to continue to grow our business”

It comprises six divisions: membership organisation Arena Alliance; Narrative Partners, a sponsorship/partnership operation; Prevent Advisors, its security advisory arm; OVG Consulting, whose services include venue design and seating, branding and ticketing strategy; venture-capital fund OVG Ventures; and venue-management outfit OVG Facilities, launched last October following the acquisition of Pinnacle Venue Services.

It also owns industry trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar, the latter which it bought last summer.

“Technology’s impact on the global media and entertainment sectors has created new opportunities for OVG,” says Lee Wittlinger (pictured), Silver Lake’s managing director.  “We firmly believe that OVG is positioned to become a world-class franchise in sports and live events.

“We look forward to working with Tim, Irving and their team of category experts as a strategic partner in the company’s next phase of growth.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Amplify puts the deal’s worth at $100 million.

 


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