People on the move: OVG, Arena and more

Featured image credit: Oak View Group

Sports and entertainment company Oak View Group has teamed up with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, award-winning performer Trisha Yearwood, and best-selling author and restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis to introduce their culinary styles to venues around the world.

The trio will lead OVG’s new Hospitality Advisory Council and will work with the company to help “infuse new thinking, new ambition and new social conscious” into the concessions industry.

O’Neal, Yearwood and De Laurentiis will be tasked with creative thinking around menu design and expansion, the elevation of premium fare, local food sourcing, and opportunities for community impact via MBE/WBE programmes, sustainability, and animal welfare.

Shaq’s Big Chicken Sandwiches are already available in several OVG-owned arenas, including Baltimore’s new CFG Bank Arena and Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena. De Laurentiis-inspired items will be on offer in the new Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs and UBS Arena in New York, while Yearwood’s comfort food recipes will be trialled at Austin’s Moody Center.

Jeff Olson has been hired as vice-president of booking for Arena, Microsoft Theater and L.A. Live.

Olson will be primarily focused on sourcing talent, negotiating and securing deals with clients and promoters for the three facilities, and will also work with Arena’s tenants to assist with the scheduling and maintaining of the venue’s calendar. Arena (formerly Staples Center) is the home of the NBA’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers, the NHL’s LA Kings, and the WNBA’s LA Sparks. Olson most recently worked as director of booking and special events for Snapdragon Stadium/OVG360 and previously served as director of booking, events and marketing for the Memphis Grizzlies and FedEx Forum.

Victor Montagliani has been re-elected as president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Montagliani was re-elected for a further four-year term, running until 2027, during the 38th CONCACAF Ordinary Congress meeting in Guatemala on Saturday. He has held the role since 2016.

Major League Rugby has announced that commissioner George Killebrew has stepped down from the role.

Killebrew has served as MLR’s commissioner since 2019, and under his stewardship the league has awarded new franchises to Chicago and Miami. He also led the campaign to take the 2031 men’s Rugby World Cup and the 2033 women’s Rugby World Cup to the US.

Nic Benson, MLR’s former deputy commissioner, has stepped in as the league’s new chief executive ahead of the 2023 season. 

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