People on the move: Coachella Valley Arena, Roland Garros & more

Oak View Group has appointed Drew Gershenson as director of booking for the under-construction Coachella Valley Arena in California.

With more than 10 years of industry experience in working with artists, agents, managers, and labels, Gershenson (pictured left) will be responsible for overseeing strategic content programming of all concerts, shows and Coachella Valley Firebirds’ AHL hockey games at the 11,500-capacity arena, which is due to open next year.

Before joining OVG, Gershenson served as director of programming for ASM Global’s Paycom Center in Oklahoma City where he was responsible for booking content and working closely with NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Live Nation Entertainment where he served most recently as senior tour director where he oversaw all aspects of the tour cycle including routing strategy, offer creation, contracting, on-sale, and inventory management.

“I’m honoured to be joining an amazing team to help bring this dynamic new arena to life,” Gershenson said. “Palm Springs is on the verge of an entertainment explosion, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team to take it over the top. Coachella Valley Arena will be the premier destination to see top-notch entertainment.”

Meanwhile, Gina Rotolo has been named vice president of marketing and communications for the Coachella Valley Firebirds. She will be responsible for building marketing, public relations, and social teams along with overseeing facility presentation and broadcasting personnel.

Amélie Mauresmo (pictured centre) has been named the new director of Roland-Garros until 2024, replacing Guy Forget.

Mauresmo, the former Grand Slam champion, says her focus will be on filling the stands at the iconic Paris venue that hosts the French Open.

“My first wish? See the stadium full day and night! As long as the sanitary conditions allow it, it would be my dream to see the stadium stands full for the next tournament… The night sessions, in particular, will be a real challenge. I would also like that, even if compared to the other Grand Slam tournaments we have less space, we improve the quality of the reception of the players. I want Roland-Garros to become their favourite major tournament!”

English Premier League club Arsenal has hired Juliet Slot as its new chief commercial officer.

Slot has previous experience in the same role at Ascot Racecourse, where she was for eight years, having joined as the commercial director. She will take up the new role from the end of January, when current chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone leaves the club.

Slot will be responsible for the club’s commercial development and strategy, including partnerships, ticketing, retail and marketing.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced Faisal Hasnain as its new chief executive. He will formally assume charge in January 2022.

Faisal is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant and has had a professional career of over 35 years in high-profile finance and sports administration roles. He was the chief financial officer of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and as managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).

PCB chairman Ramiz Raja (pictured right) said: “Faisal is a familiar figure in world cricket and is highly regarded, respected and trusted for his excellence in corporate governance, financial management and commercial acumen. With the plans I have for the PCB, Faisal will be a perfect fit as he can utilise his vast experience and knowledge to help us achieve our commercial and financial objectives of making Pakistan cricket bigger and stronger.”

USTA chief executive and executive director Michael Dowse will step down from his post effective next March.

Dowse, who assumed his position at the start of 2020, led the USTA through a major restructuring and implementation of a new strategic plan that strengthened its financial outlook and focuses on its mission to promote tennis at all levels in the US.

Dowse will remain as CEO until March 1, 2022, with the USTA Board to conduct a search for his replacement and finalise succession plans.

Ross Robertson has joined Arena UK MEA as managing director of the structures division, based in Arena’s St Ives headquarters.

Tom Evans, Arena chief operating officer EMEA, said: “Arena Group is taking on a new look as we bounce back from the pandemic, and I am sure that Ross is the right person to steer the structures division, bringing great experience to achieve ambitious expansion beyond our core events sector.

“Arena’s structures division is gearing up for an incredibly busy 2022 across a wide range of events, and we are investing in our team to support our project directors, managers and site crews’ delivery of amazing events on behalf of clients.”

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.