Co-op Live ‘spirits’ soar with Diageo deal



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Co-op Live Arena selects Diageo as drinks partner Image: Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG), owners of Co-op Live, the new 23,500-capacity entertainment venue opening in Manchester (UK), has selected Diageo as the official drinks partner when the arena opens in 2023.

The ‘Access All Areas’ stated that the partnership will see beer company Guinness become the venue’s official beer partner and Diageo’s full portfolio of spirits including Johnnie Walker scotch, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin, and Captain Morgan rum as Co-op Live’s official drinks partners.

The OVG Oak View Group, LLC is an American Global Advisory, Development and Investment Company for Sports and Live Entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles (US), it was formed on November 16th, 2015 by Tim Leiweke and his business partner, Irving Azoff. Leiweke is the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The Oak View Group (OVG) and the Co-op are joining forces to develop UK’s biggest and most exciting new arena in Manchester – with the project injecting £350m of private investment into the local area. Co-op Live will be one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues rivaling New York’s 20,789-capacity Madison Square Garden, the 17,505-capacity The Forum in Los Angeles (US) and the 20,000-capacity The O2 in London (UK). The 23,500-seat entertainment arena price tag is £365,000,000 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Guinness is an Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759. It is one of the most successful alcohol brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries, and available in over 120. Sales in 2011 amounted to 850 million liters.

Diageo plc is a multinational beverage alcohol company, with its headquarters in London, England (UK). It operates in more than 180 countries and produces in more than 140 sites around the world. It was the world’s largest distiller until being overtaken by China’s Kweichow Moutai on April 9th, 2017.

OVG said the customer experience delivered through the partnership will be supported by activations throughout the venue including on digital platforms and in approaches to customer experience such as shortest queue alerts and click-and-collect functionality.

The ‘Access All Areas’ further stated that the partnership will feature sustainability and recycling programs including minimizing single-use plastic at the venue. Diageo said it will aim to have 100 percent of its packaging widely recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2030.

Co-op Live is backed by investors, OVG, City Football Group, and celebrated musician Harry Styles. It is set to be the UK’s largest area and will host around 120 events a year.

OVG International President Sam Piccione III said, “As live events return and we look forward to the future, now is the perfect time to announce this partnership and further evidence of the investment Co-op Live is bringing to Manchester.”

Diageo Great Britain Marketing Director Anita Robinson stated, “This is the first sponsorship we have undertaken in Great Britain where our full portfolio of drinks is part of the offer and we look forward to bringing our brands to life through experiences and activations for all occasions, from pre-show drinks to late night celebrations.”

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