One firm, nevertheless, has not solely prevented layoffs fully however truly employed greater than 50 executives within the final two months to help with a rising portfolio of venues and improvement initiatives. The Oak View Group, based by former AEG chief govt Tim Leiweke, has been a quiet however persistent power for prosperity and financial improvement through the pandemic. Launched in 2015 together with Leiweke’s accomplice Irving Azoff, OVG is overseeing $4.5 billion in enviornment improvement tasks the world over, together with in Austin, Texas. There, the corporate made its most up-to-date excessive profile rent, saying that Casey Sparks, who beforehand managed the BOK Middle in Tulsa, Oklahoma for ASM World for six years, was becoming a member of the corporate. Sparks will function vp of OVG Austin and assistant common supervisor of the $338 million multi-purpose, state-of-the-art, privately financed Moody Middle on the College of Texas, set to open in 2022.
Sparks joins former BOK Middle alum Jeff Nickler, who was employed at OVG in 2019 to handle the corporate’s 29-member Enviornment Alliance and final month was appointed GM of the Moody Middle and senior vp of OVG Austin (he’ll additionally proceed to steer the Enviornment Alliance).
“Tulsa has been close to and expensive to my coronary heart for a lot of, a few years,” Sparks tells Billboard. “Growing a dwell music market in a metropolis that did not have one beforehand was unimaginable. And now becoming a member of OVG, I am drawn to the dedication Tim has made to caring for his staff and caring for the communities we characterize. I’ve many nice mates at OVG who’ve been telling me I might discover the distinction within the firm tradition and it is actually impressed me within the quick time that I have been right here.”
A part of OVG’s success is because of its strategic traders, together with Silver Lake Companions. It is also been fortunate that a lot of the firm’s main tasks are anticipated to open after a vaccine for COVID-19 has been extensively distributed. However a lot of the credit score belongs to Leiweke, who’s each a gifted mega-manager and a music and sports activities insider.
Whereas many titans of business have tried to disrupt the dwell music area by specializing in perceived inefficiencies, Leiweke has doubled down on private relationships and the premium worth of an artist’s content material. That is led him to hunt out distinctive stakeholders for OVG tasks, together with recruiting Harry Styles as an investor and key supporter of a brand new OVG-backed enviornment in Manchester, England, and bringing in College of Texas celebrity alum Matthew McConaughey to function the Moody Middle’s “Minister of Tradition,” the place he’ll characterize the perfect of Longhorns alumni’s potential and “Do not Mess With Texas” appeal.
“We’re already constructing the group and when all is alleged and finished, we’ll have 60 to 65 full-time staff,” explains Nickler, who relocated to Austin together with his household in March. Nickler has stayed busy in Texas, the place OVG represents three services within the Enviornment Alliance — Toyota Middle in Houston, American Airways Middle in Dallas and the ATT Middle in San Antonio, Texas — and has a live performance reserving settlement on the Texas Ranger’s Globe Life Area, which opened in July and served as a “bubble venue” for Main League Baseball’s Nationwide League playoffs and the World Collection.
OVG can be growing Seattle’s Local weather Pledge Enviornment (opens Oct. 2021), which replaces the previous Key Enviornment and would be the future dwelling of the Seattle Kraken NHL group; a brand new enviornment (late 2022) in Southern California’s Coachella Valley that can function the house venue for a Seattle Kraken minor league group; the UBS Enviornment in Elmont, New York (Oct. 2021) that can function a house to the New York Islanders; and new enviornment tasks in Savannah, Georgia (early 2022) and Manchester’s Co-Op Dwell (2023).
In each mission, OVG seems to be for under-developed markets with pent-up demand for dwell leisure, Nickler says.
“It is an unimaginable alternative — Austin doesn’t have a world-class enviornment and the expectation is that the Moody Middle will likely be one of many most interesting live performance venues within the nation,” says Nickler. “It’s apparent from trying on the information that a whole lot of main live performance excursions have skipped Austin and we imagine that not solely with the attract of enjoying in Austin, however with the relationships OVG has with Irving Azoff, his administration firm and Dwell Nation, that is going to be a high notch alternative for touring exhibits and the Austin neighborhood.”