People on the move: AEG Presents, Ticketmaster Sport and more…

Featured image credit: ASM Global/AEG Presents

Featured image credit: ASM Global/AEG Presents

We round up the latest movements from the ticketing sector and associated industries…

Music and live entertainment company AEG Presents has appointed Georgie Donnelly as its first head of comedy. 

Donnelly’s appointment is part of AEG Presents’ plan to expand beyond music, placing an emphasis on the growth of live comedy. In her new role, Donnelly’s first crucial job will be working on the comedy festival Just For Laughs, which will be held in London for the first time in March, at The O2 Arena. 

With over a decade of experience in comedy, Donnelly has joined AEG Presents from Moment House, where she also served as head of comedy. 

Elsewhere, Sian Bennett has been appointed as a partner for festival and events marketing agency, Mustard Media. Bennett is the strategy director for the company and is joining existing partners Ed Norris, Oli Hackett and Rob Masterson. 

Bennett has been with the agency since 2014, where she joined as an intern before rising to strategy director. She said: “I first met Ed, Rob and Oli where all good things begin… on the dance floor! To have started as an intern when Mustard Media started in 2014 and eventually become a partner is a really proud moment for me.”

Entertainment, venue management and event strategy company ASM Global has announced that Julie Driscoll will be the new chief executive of Olympia London. 

The venue’s managing director Nigel Nathan will remain in a consultancy role for three months to aid the transition. Driscoll will step down as chair of the Association of Events Organisers (AEO) to take on the new role. 

“I am thrilled to be joining Olympia London under the management of ASM Global – a world leader of event venues and entertainment,” said Driscoll. “For 136 years Olympia London has been the home of inspirational events. In partnership with the venue’s owners, Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International, I very much look forward to working with the wonderful Olympia London team, to position the venue as a world class destination for the next 100 years.”

ASM Global has also revealed that Alex Merchán has been promoted to chief marketing officer, overseeing the company’s global portfolio of 20,000 events across 350 venues. 

In his new role, Merchán will be responsible for the company’s branding and positioning across key areas including global partnerships, digital and CRM strategy, business development and more across the US and internationally. 

Merchán, who was most recently executive vice-president of marketing at ASM Global, said: “This is the thrill of a lifetime. he biggest sandbox in the world and the opportunity to engage with fans across entertainment, sports and business, that’s what our marketing team gets to work in – with the most prestigious collection of venues on Earth. That means we know the rules of the game better than anyone else, and we play it better than anyone else.”

In the UK, ASM Global has appointed Stephen Cooper as vice-president of food and beverage. Cooper will work alongside the venue teams in the UK to develop exciting new food and beverage solutions. 

Chris Bray, executive vice-president of ASM Global Europe, said: “It is fantastic to have Steve join the ASM Global team, which continues to see exciting and fast-paced growth. Steve’s expertise in food and beverage, on a global-brand-scale makes him an incredibly exciting addition to the team. 

“Food and beverage at all of our venues is a fundamental and evolving part of the customer journey, and as it continues to adapt, grow and move with industry trends and customer behaviours, I am confident that Steve and his team will drive this critical aspect of our business forwards.”

Ticketmaster Sport has promoted Chris Gratton to managing director, UK. 

Gratton has been with the ticketing company for over two and half years, working to move the business forward in terms of technological capabilities, building a reliable team and driving client relationships. 

He said: “We exist to provide a seamless connection between sports and their fans. The ticket is the fan’s key, the stadium is their home. We connect the two.

“We strive to develop technology that enables our clients to engage more meaningfully with their fans as well as supporting venues with their digital transformation. For example, away ticketing makes venues 100% digital and reduces the need for home teams to print 1000s of tickets for away fans. It is a fantastic project that makes a material difference to our clients in an area that has traditionally been a drain on resources.” 

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing and we’ll include it in our next round-up.