Sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures has partnered with Co-op Live to support premium hospitality marketing and sales at the 23,500-seat venue, which will become the UK’s biggest arena when it opens in Manchester in 2023.

Oak View Group, the developer behind Co-op Live, has reached an agreement with Elevate, which will work with the arena on strategy, marketing, sales and service for its premium hospitality offerings.

Elevate has implemented its premium hospitality model across US sports, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, motorsport and more. The partnership with Co-op Live marks Elevate’s first international project.

Elevate will be responsible for selling Co-op Live’s 27 suites, nine lounges and club spaces, comprising 2,500 premium seats, VIP spaces and facilities. The company will deliver analytics and business intelligence services across direct-to-consumer, digital marketing, ticket and premium pricing, sales and services.

Elevate will also help open the Co-op Live Sales Suite, a custom-designed studio showcasing premium amenities, which will be located in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and will be staffed by Co-op Live premium executives. The sales suite will open in April and Elevate will lead the search and manage executive hires to support the endeavour.

Co-op Live, which will be located on the Etihad Campus adjacent to Etihad Stadium, is expected to host around 120 events and bring in 1.3 million visitors annually. Manchester City Council gave the project the green light in September and UK consumer co-operative Co-op acquired naming rights to the arena days later through a 15-year deal with OVG.

In October, it was announced that music star Harry Styles had taken a stake in the project and will be actively involved in the development of the arena.

Co-op Live will seek to “redefine” the arena experience with a range of intimate spaces such as the Atrium, The Record Room, Co-op Backstage Bar, the Hangouts, Night Market and others.

Sam Piccione III, president of OVG International, said: “We are putting fans and artists first in everything we do at Co-op Live, and the venue will have a premium fan offering for everyone unmatched by any other arena in Europe.

“We’re delighted to have partnered with Elevate to bring their unrivalled expertise in premium marketing and sales. We are also excited that they will be helping us build the local team at our sales centre, which represents a further investment in Manchester.”

Al Guido, Elevate chairman and chief executive, added: “Elevate is proud to stand alongside our partner Oak View Group, to support an arena that holds great significance and opportunity for Manchester, and has the ability to impact the entire European entertainment ecosystem.

“Beyond the immense size and scope of the Co-op Live are equally impressive premium offerings that Elevate is proud to bring to market with our best-in-class business intelligence, marketing and sales insights. This project is indicative of future partnerships we intend to announce internationally, supporting best-in-class partners with ambitions to set a new bar in premium offerings, strategy, sales and service for the entire industry.”

The Co-op Live project has been strongly opposed by ASM Global, operator of Manchester’s 21,000-seat AO Arena, but OVG has insisted that both arenas can co-exist. The project will create 3,350 construction jobs and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion of the venue.

Images: Oak View Group