Tim Leiweke, the former chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, has joined forces with powerhouse music manager Irving Azoff to launch the Oak View Group, a Los Angeles advisory and development company that will focus on helping arenas and independent venues find new revenue sources.
The new venture is located in Westwood; Leiweke is the chief executive.
While at AEG, Leiweke oversaw development of L.A. Live and the firm’s investments in the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Galaxy. He was ousted from AEG and relocated to Toronto two years ago when he was named president and chief executive of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
He said he is interested in starting this company now because "I think for more than 40 years, I’ve been building companies for other people."
Leiweke is glad to return to Southern California as well.
"I’m happy to be back in L.A.," Leiweke said. "Our heart and soul and roots are here. I’m very happy to be living in this community, again."
Azoff manages singers, including Christina Aguilera and the Eagles, and had been chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment and was executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment. He was named the most powerful person in the music industry a few years ago. He also has a partnership, Azoff Madison Square Garden Entertainment.
“At the very heart of what we’re doing is a deep passion for giving the fans of sports, music and live events the very best experience possible – and we're doing that by empowering arena and stadium owners with the resources and a level of strategic thinking never before accessible,” Leiweke said in a statement announcing the launch.
Azoff described Leiweke as having “a skillset and strategic approach that's unrivaled.”
“Under his leadership we are very confident that Oak View will quickly become a powerful and positive disruptive force in our business,” Azoff said in a statement.
Billboard reports that the company is designed as an “invitation only” platform that will aim to boost revenues at member arenas and stadiums through content acquisition and increased sponsorship opportunities.
Heavy hitters in entertainment and sports, including Live Nation Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Rapino, singer Jon Bon Jovi and National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver, have already voiced their support for the new company.
“Both Tim and Irving are friends of Live Nation as well as personal friends,” Rapino said in a statement. “The concept of creating an economic model for both arenas and touring artists that creates new revenue streams and develops an ‘anchor’ type of platform for music is one we share and are very interested to explore with them and their partners.”
As part of the new company, an “Arena/Stadium Alliance” has been formed with a focus on select arenas and stadiums in major markets that have no affiliation with a management company. Oak View has also formed a sponsorship company, called Narrative, that is developing consulting and venture fund divisions.
The Oak View Group is already working with a roster that includes the Forum in Inglewood as well as Atlanta’s Philips Arena, New York’s Madison Square Garden and David Beckham’s Major League Soccer bid in Miami.
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