OVG adds NEC Group to International Venue Alliance

Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, has added NEC Group as the second founding member of its International Venue Alliance and will seek out new commercial partnerships across the organisation’s arenas in Birmingham, England.

NEC Group becomes the second founding member of the Alliance, following Silverstone Circuit, home of Formula One and MotoGP’s British Grand Prix events.

The NEC Group’s membership in the Venue Alliance covers the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, along with its four other venues: the ICC, The Vox, Resorts World Arena and Arena Birmingham.

The Venue Alliance is modelled on OVG’s successful Arena and Stadium Alliance in North America, which is an invitation-only partnership of 28 arenas which enables independent venues to attract global sponsorship opportunities, drive additional events and content, and achieve efficiencies of scale by buying together.

Sam Piccione, OVG’s international president, said: “It’s very exciting to have NEC on board. We’ll be partnering with them as an extension to their talented sales team to find the right naming rights partner for the NEC and Arena Birmingham. We will also help them maximise new and unique commercial opportunities and additional revenue through driving content and leveraging our platform.

“The NEC Group is a first-class organisation with strong leadership and plays a vital role in hosting the very best events in the UK across their portfolio of leading venues. As the Venue Alliance grows, we’ll continue to help our members in areas that are important to them and the overall business, which will extend to everything from ticketing and premium hospitality strategy, event scheduling, and unique sponsorship opportunities.”

Phil Mead, chairman of arenas and ticketing at NEC Group, added: “The NEC Group really recognises the mutual benefits of the Venue Alliance and will be putting plans in place to work in true partnership from the start.

“As a first step, we’re looking forward to dovetailing our NEC Group commercial team with the Venue Alliance team to extend the reach and resource applied to commercial rights sales. We are equally optimistic that further value will be added to our events programming through the Venue Alliance.”

The NEC Group and Silverstone partnerships follow the launch of OVG’s International office in the UK in March; and the announcement of its first European development project – the Santa Giulia arena in Milan.

OVG last month confirmed that it is working with City Football Group (CFG) on the potential development of a new arena on land close to the Etihad Stadium, home of English Premier League football club Manchester City. The Group plans to make further announcements around the growth of the Alliance in the coming weeks.