Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Advisory Board Launches London Chapter

Courtesy of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
Keith Sheldon

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) is growing its international presence with the launch of a London advisory board, comprising of top U.K. executives. 

Founding members of the London chapter include Louis Bloom, head of A&R at Island Records U.K.; Tom Corbett, Barclays’ head of sponsorships and media; James Sandom of Red Light Management; James Worrall, founder and CEO of sport conference business Leaders and Sarah Stennett, CEO of First Access Entertainment, which counts Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha and Nicole Scherzinger among its clients. 

The advisory board, which plans to meet for the first time later this month, will be co-chaired by BSE CEO Brett Yormark and Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, whose Communion record label, live promoter and publisher has offices in London and New York. In a statement, Lovett said the expansion of BSE’s “advisory board overseas is simply the latest statement of intent and things to come.” 

“Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment has always been a global brand and as we have grown as an entertainment business we have wanted to have more connectivity with decision makers abroad and start making some deeper in roads into the U.K.,” Keith Sheldon, BSE’s EVP of programming tells Billboard. 

He says the board will serve two primary functions: one is to promote BSE properties like Barclays Center, LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre and Webster Hall as aspirational venues to U.K. artists and managers, helping open up new programming opportunities and bringing “marquee events” to the U.S.

Its second function is to support the company’s global expansion, which includes plans to acquire or open its own moderately sized (around 1,500-3,000 capacity) London venue. 

“Right now, nothing is set in stone,” says Sheldon. “We’re always interested in exploring and pursuing new and unique opportunities that make sense for our business and our brand. London as a music market is extremely intriguing to us. We’ve been doing some exploration as to what the opportunities might look like in terms of venue expansion and, as we think about next steps of the organization, there’s certainly strong interest and intrigue around the U.K. market,” he states.   

As to exactly when and where any U.K. bow will take place, Sheldon says the London advisory board “will help influence and guide” the company’s expansion plans.  

“What we might think is a terrific idea from our offices in Brooklyn - those who know the market best might steer us in a different direction,” he says. “Having this team of experts [in the U.K.] will be people that we can tap into on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to pick their brains as we explore new opportunities abroad.”  

The London chapter will also be a valuable resource in alerting BSE of hot new U.K. acts and “show them what the road map is once they start touring the U.S, ” adds Sheldon. 

“There’s so much great content coming out of that scene, whether music or other pieces of programming content,” he enthuses. “[The board] can show them that Webster Hall is a great launch pad when they come to New York. That Paramount Theatre is next best step in their natural progression of the touring ladder and that they should be aspiring to play Barclays Center as their career grows.”

Meanwhile, the New York chapter of the BSE advisory board, which was launched in 2014 and includes Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta, Jay Brown, Monte Lipman and Ben Lovett among its 40-strong line-up, has announced the addition of two new members. Joining is Jennifer Justice, Superfly’s president of corporate development and Marcie Allen, president/founder of MAC Presents. 

BSE, which also manages and controls the Brooklyn Nets, credits the NY board with playing an integral role in securing a wide range of programming for its venue portfolio, including annual events like TIDAL X and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards, as well as the creation of the Billboard Lounge at Barclays Center.