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OVG GOES GLOBAL, SETS UP LONDON OFFICE

Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff’s Oak View Group has launched OVG International. The latest move by the proactive music, sports, and live-entertainment entity was announced Wednesday (3/6) at the International Live Music Conference in London, where the newco will have its headquarters.

According to the accompanying release, OVG International will explore arena and stadium-development and partnership opportunities in the U.K., Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and is already in advanced discussions on a number of projects.

As part of its launch, the company announced the executive and non-executive appointments of some of the industry’s most experienced and respected leaders, including:

Jessica Koravos (pictured above right) has been named Co-Chair of OVG International, along with Leiweke, while Sam Piccione III has been tapped as President and Mark Donnelly will take the role of COO. Also on board are Brian Kabatznick (EVP Business Development & Facilities), Marc-Elie Robert (SVP Commercial), Martha Rolle (Legal Counsel) and Gary Hutchinson (Stadium Consultant).

Koravos, a longtime AEG exec, is currently President of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group; Piccione comes to OVGI from FIA Formula E Championship, where he was Chief Commercial Officer; and Donnelly was COO of the Queens Park Rangers FC.

 “Oak View Group is growing rapidly,” Leiweke stated, “and we’re delighted to welcome seven exceptional executives to our team as we launch OVG International. Our aim is to create a new generation of state-of-the-art entertainment facilities. Our venues will be an elite class in terms of fan experience, artist experience and technology and will provide an unparalleled platform for the activation of global brands.

“The live-events market has grown significantly in the United States since Oak View Group launched three years ago,” he continued, “and we see a huge opportunity to drive similar growth internationally by creating world-class experiences in world-class arenas.”

Along with major arena development projects at the Key Arena in Seattle, Belmont in New York, and the University of Texas in Austin, four-year-old OVG runs the Arena and Stadium Alliance, an invitation-only partnership presently comprising 28 arenas in North America that enables these venues to achieve greatly increased efficiencies of scale.

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