OVG pulls off coup with Harry Styles rope-in


Manchester OVG and Harry Styles investment Image: Oak View Group & much.com

Eminent singer-songwriter Harry Styles has made his first big move into the business world with capital injection in Co-op Live, Oak View Group’s (OVG’s) new venue in Manchester, UK.

Co-op Live will be purpose-built for music, with an interior bowl that elevates both the artiste and fan experience. Co-op Live is also the first arena to be built with an equal focus on artistes and fans by offering the best experiences and acoustics. From the largest standing floor capacity in the UK to a range of premium tickets, the arena will be designed to provide fair financial opportunities for artistes while offering fans access to tickets at a wide and accessible range of prices. It will be UK’s largest indoor arena.

Multiaward winning and multimillion selling global artiste and musician Styles and the former One Direction singer has picked up stake in the project and will also be proactively involved in the development of the planned 23,500-seat arena, which is set to go on stream in 2023. OVG said the 26-year-old will work in concert with its UK and international team, taking a particular interest in fans, unique premium and hospitality areas and artiste spaces at Co-op Live.

OVG said Styles’ involvement is “a huge coup for OVG to have him on board and investing in their arena while at the peak of his artistic career”.

Stated Styles, “I’m incredibly proud and excited to be partnering with OVG on their plans for Co-op Live. Manchester is an incredible City, filled with incredible people, and I couldn’t be happier being involved in this project. It very much feels like coming home.”

“I was drawn to this project on every level, from the opportunities it brings, to the contribution it will make to the City, and most importantly, that it will allow even more live music to thrive in Manchester. It’s just another sign that this amazing City continues to grow.”

Styles, who is reported to be worth more than £60m, saw his most recent album ‘Fine Line’ become a chartbuster in more than 20 countries, including the US.

Co-op Live will sit on the Etihad Campus and represents a £350m private investment in Manchester. It will create 3,500 jobs during construction as well as 1,000 jobs during operation. The American firm behind, OVG, hope to start building work next month.

Commenting on Styles’ involvement, Francesca Bodie, OVG’s President, Business Development, stated, “At OVG our vision is driven by a unique view that puts fans and artistes first in every decision we make. There’s no artiste in the world right now better placed than Styles to advise us on delivering a first-class experience for visitors and artistes at Co-op Live. We’re focused on building one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester and Styles advice and consultation is going to be invaluable as we work to deliver that.”

Co-op Live will provide a much-needed boost to Manchester’s economy. It will also bring more events to the City. The arena has been designed as the most sustainable arena in Europe. The partnership with Co-op will see the venue generate at least £1m annually for good causes both locally in Manchester and across the UK,” Bodie added.

UK consumer co-operative Co-op acquired naming rights to the planned new arena in September by striking a 15-year deal with OVG. The Co-op’s deal has a reported price tag of around £100m (€110.1m/$129.6m).

Around £1m per year will be delivered to community groups by the Co-op Foundation as part of the deal.

The Holmes Chapel-raised singer’s (read Harry Styles) first job was delivering newspapers for a Co-op store as a teenager and he revealed he wanted to help the growth of Manchester, which he said he regards as his home town.

Styles became an overnight sensation with the band One Direction which conquered the world, touring and scoring hits at a frantic pace, while he began to evolve as a songwriter and performer. From delivering newspapers to becoming a singing star, Styles has indeed come a long way.

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