ASM-Forward Associates strategic partnership


ASM Global extends partnership with Forward Associates Image: ASM Global & Roy Westwood

As the guest experience evolves in arenas, stadiums and theaters around the world, and demand from fans for elevated and enhanced live entertainment continues to increase, the leading venue management company ASM Global has entered into a new, strategic partnership with the multidisciplinary venue strategist Forward Associates.

‘ASM Global’ quoted the ASM Global President and CEO Ron Bension as stating, “As we continue to embrace cutting-edge technologies and industry disruptors on a global scale, producing renowned content through our unmatched relationships, culinary artistry, sustainability solutions, and client profitability, we’re creating a new intersection that fuses these attributes together. Now we are investing in the industry’s leading innovators of guest experience, Forward Associates, who we’ll work with to bring all of this to life, looking at the guest journey, reimagining it for everyone and ensuring there is an even wider choice for the entire audience.”

Los Angeles (US)-based ASM Global is the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy and management – delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum results for venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 350 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, performing arts venues, and convention and exhibition centers.

London (UK)-based the Forward Associates is a multidisciplinary consultancy with a singular aim – to improve the guest experiences. As a multidisciplinary venue specialist, Forward Associates understand how different spaces and brands can act in different ways to maximize the commercial possibilities of one’s venue. The venue specialist work predominantly within the sports and leisure sector but take inspiration from everywhere. Forward Associates create high-street ready concepts that transform what was previously thought possible in a host of mass-population venues, from stadiums, arenas and leisure attractions to hotels and shopping centers. The multidisciplinary consultancy’s work takes them to every continent but can be seen closer to home, informing Europe’s most revered new stadium developments – the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (UK) and the 52,888-capacity under construction Everton Stadium in Liverpool, England (UK).

‘ASM Global’ further stated that the Forward Associates, founded in 2015, is a fast-growing and dynamic team, with offices in London, Milan (Italy) and Helsinki (Finland) and is in the process of opening a home office in the United States. As the venues adopt an increasing focus on the guest experience, the Forward Associates head honcho Roy Westwood utilizes a unique and holistic approach to the guest journey and live experience, broadening the variety of venue offerings and exploring new and creative ways to elevate this for every single guest.

The Forward Associates – wide-ranging experiences and areas of specialism ranging from architecture to interior design, venue strategy to premium seat sales and marketing – provides a unique ‘one-stop shop’ to evaluate, plan, design, execute, and commercialize world-class venues across the globe.

Currently, the Forward Associates is shaping the next generation of hospitality at the Premier League club Everton FC’s under construction new home – the Everton Stadium, from the inception of the ‘All’ master brand, which seeks to rebalance the traditional football hospitality to the delivery of a state-of-the-art sales showroom in Liverpool’s iconic Liver Building.

The Forward Associates is also working alongside the ASM Global team at Stockholm Live developing the future strategy for their portfolio of venues including the 16,000-capacity Avicii Arena. They have also been instrumental in supporting the new, transformative design at the 21,000-capacity AO Arena in Manchester (UK) as it undergoes a major $75 million redevelopment and have completed projects for ASM Global venues in the United States including the 20,000-capacity Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Other transformative projects Forward Associates has undertaken include the 20,000-capacity The O2 Arena in London, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the 42,640-capacity Villa Park in Birmingham, England, thus creating multifaceted offers that deliver real, increased commercial returns.

The move demonstrates ASM Global’s continued goal: To elevate the experience for all its 165 million customers around the world and to remain the world leader in live entertainment.

Commented Chris Bray, President of ASM Global Europe, “Demand for market-leading, cutting-edge guest experience is increasing at pace. Our teams are exceptional at what they do, and we need to continue to innovate in this space, always exceeding our guest expectations. The Forward Associates are best-in-class, with a real vision for the future of live entertainment experience and absolute expertise in their field. They provide a unique, multidisciplinary service with a proven track record of delivering exceptional concepts from start to finish. We’re delighted to enter into this new partnership, which will further cement our position as the market leaders in venue operations and providers of live entertainment.”

Remarked Roy Westwood, “Whether a new build or a repositioning as part of a master-planning exercise, the Forward Associates is proud to be the leader in guest experience innovation. Together with the ASM Global, we have a shared vision to continually evolve in this space, with a commitment to always delivering the very best for live entertainment to fans. With ASM Global’s international portfolio and reach, this is an exciting move for us; and we are very much looking forward to getting started.” The partnership will bolster ASM Global and Forward Associates’ combined commitment to bringing innovative approaches to the future of the fan experience specifically focusing on ASM Global’s vast portfolio of the world’s most iconic venues in the live entertainment, trade shows, hospitality, and sports spaces.

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