People on the move: Co-op Live, Barcelona and more

Co-op Live, a new 23,500-capacity arena set for construction in the English city of Manchester, has announced its first three senior hires in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Sara Tomkins (pictured centre) has joined the arena, which will be developed by Oak View Group, as marketing and CSR director. Tomkins’ previous experience includes roles as chief executive of GreaterSport, destination director for Marketing Manchester and assistant chief executive for marketing, communications and customer services at Manchester City Council.

Katie Musham (pictured left) has also joined Co-op Live as head of partnerships and will be responsible for over-delivering on the Co-op partnership as well as future sponsor deals. Musham has previously held senior programming, marketing and partnership roles at Wembley Arena, The O2, Perth Arena and the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Co-op Live has also named Becci Thomson (pictured right) as its new sales director. Thomson will join the arena on April 1 having previously led sales for special events at The O2. She will lead the team marketing the premium hospitality inventory at Co-op Live.

Jessica Koravos, co-chairperson of OVG International, said: “In Co-op Live we want to deliver a venue that brings the best possible experiences for fans and artists, while also making a positive impact on the local community and the planet around us.

“Our initial senior hires reflect our ambition to assemble an industry-leading team at Co-op Live and also demonstrate OVG’s plans to appoint talented women to key senior positions across the group as part of OVG’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Manchester City Council gave the green light for Co-op Live last September. The arena is scheduled to open in 2023.

Joan Laporta has been elected as president of Spanish LaLiga football club Barcelona for the second time.

Laporta served as president from 2003 and 2010 and will now return to the club after receiving 54.28% of the votes cast by club members during yesterday’s (Sunday’s) election.

Laporta takes over from Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned as Barcelona president in October after facing a vote of no confidence. Bartomeu had been under increasing pressure at the club amid poor financial and on-pitch performances, along with his public fallout with star player Lionel Messi last summer.

James Irvine has been appointed general manager of commercial for the Kai Tak Sports Park development in Hong Kong.

Irvine is leading the commercial sales and operations for the 28-hectare precinct, which will feature a 50,000-capacity stadium, 10,000-seat arena, 5,000-seat public sports ground, retail space and public open spaces. The project is targeted for completion in 2023.

Irvine’s commercial responsibilities will cover the procurement of domestic and international events, the sale of corporate suites, sponsorships and ticketing. He joins Kai Tak Sports Park having most recently worked as director of ASM Global Partnerships, based in Sydney.

Irvine previously served as the head of travel and hospitality sales in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup and prior to that spent almost 10 years with the IMG agency.

Ticketmaster’s former chief operating officer Amy Howe has been appointed as president of sports-tech entertainment company FanDuel.

In the newly created role, Howe will take responsibility for leading the company’s core commercial functions across its sportsbook, casino, racing and daily fantasy units.

Check out our full story from last week for more details.

Welsh Pro14 rugby union team Ospreys has appointed former City Football Group and Manchester City executive Nick Garcia as its new chief executive.

Garcia has been appointed to the role by Ospreys’ new owners, Y11 Sports & Media. Garcia joins Ospreys having been part of the team that led Manchester City’s expansion to City Football Group, which now operates a number of clubs around the world.

Ospreys said the appointment of Garcia forms part of a long-term strategy to place the club at the “forefront” of professional rugby. Following the appointment, Andrew Millward will transition from managing director to chief operating officer.

The New York Mets Major League Baseball team has appointed Jeff Deline as executive vice president and chief revenue officer.

Deline will report to Mets president Sandy Anderson and will join the club after the start of the new season next month. Deline most recently worked as chief revenue officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which operates a number of major-league teams in Toronto.

At the Mets, Deline will oversee the strategic development, execution and maximisation of the team’s revenue generating activities, including partnerships and activation, ticketing, premium and suite sales, concessions and merchandising, and booking and non-game day event programming.

AFL Aussie rules football team Adelaide FC has named Tim Silvers as its new chief executive.

Silvers joins the team from Hawthorn FC, where he held a number of roles over the past 17 years, most recently serving as chief operating officer.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.