PTI Digital has agreed a five-year deal with Oak View Group (OVG) to become the sports and entertainment company’s strategic consultancy partner for the arenas in its international regions. 

The agreement announced today (Wednesday) will initially focus on the £350m (€408.3m/$486.4m) Co-op Live project at Manchester’s Etihad Campus. PTI Digital will provide venue-related expertise alongside technology, digital and data consultancy services.

After forming a strong relationship throughout 2020, during which time PTI was engaged to help design a world-class digital consumer experience for Co-op Live, the consultancy will continue to work on the arena project through to its opening date, which is currently set for December 2023.

PTI will provide expertise across supporting sales from a digital perspective, continuing the development and delivery of the data and digital landscape and continued roll-out and oversight of the venue technology stack.

From strategy to execution, PTI will deliver an integrated technology, digital and data strategy for Co-op Live, before managing the procurement of these elements and programme-directing their implementation in an effort to create a seamless consumer experience. Key projects already underway include customer persona generation, data warehousing, venue website, and creation of a mobile app. 

In January, sports and entertainment consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures 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.

Co-op Live 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.

The ongoing relationship between PTI and OVG will see PTI acting at a strategic consultancy level and providing digital-led business expertise for each arena project. California-based OVG is currently working on a number of significant North American projects including Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle; UBS Arena, the new home of NHL ice hockey team New York Islanders; Coachella Valley Arena; and the Moody Centre in Austin, Texas. 

PTI Digital CEO, Mike Bohndiek, said: “This hugely significant relationship between OVG and PTI comes following the success of our engagement providing data, digital and technology consultancy to Co-op Live and is a real statement of intent for OVG International’s ambitions to develop world-class arenas in the digital age.

“We are able to provide OVG world-class expertise across our core business areas, increasing our provision of services from the demonstrable success and value in the initial relationship. We are very much looking forward to continuing the relationship, providing support and expertise to OVG throughout the international region.” 

Mark Donnelly, chief operating officer of OVG International, added: “OVG is committed to delivering a world-class experience in all our venues, ensuring they are built for the times we live in but also with an eye to the future.

“PTI have a unique proposition in covering commercial, data and digital and technology expertise in a single place and the team are supporting us to articulate a vision of that digital future, making sure the backbone infrastructure is in place to connect that for us.”