Former Google executive Jennifer Koester joins Sphere Entertainment as president, Sphere Business Operations, with effect from Feb. 5.
In this new position, Koester leads the strategy and execution of all business aspects of Sphere, the $2 billion next-generation entertainment space that opened last September in Las Vegas, with U2’s UV’s Achtung Baby Live At Sphere residency.
Announced today (Jan. 22), Koester will work closely with executive leadership to grow the Sphere businesses, including maximizing the calendar and ticket sales; driving strategic partnerships with artists, managers, promoters and others in the live entertainment space; and developing a corporate conference business for product launches and other events.
Based in New York, Koester reports to James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO, Sphere Entertainment.
“We have seen a strong worldwide reaction to Sphere from customers, brands and artists since our September opening,” comments Dolan in a statement, “and we look forward to leveraging Jennifer’s extensive background driving growth at premier technology and entertainment brands as we continue to build our Sphere business.”
Koester joins the company having racked-up 25 years’ executive-level experience across sales, marketing, technology, digital business, legal counsel and more, most recently serving as managing director, Americas strategic alliances, global partnerships at Google Commercial Operations. Before that, she was director, telecommunications and video distributors, global partnerships at Google.
“Throughout my career, I have focused on pioneering and delivering growth strategies that bridge business needs and leverage new technologies,” she comments, “and I am excited to bring that experience to Sphere.”
The state-of-the-art venue on the Vegas Strip is massive — standing 366 feet tall by 516 feet wide, big enough to house the Statue of Liberty. But it’s the detail that matters.
Its 20,000 capacity main room is dominated by a 160,000-square-foot LED screen that curves and towers to an apex of 240 feet above. Footage from U2’s first run in the room went viral, and the shows were box-office gold.
According to Billboard Boxscore, U2‘s 17-show run beginning in September at Sphere generated nearly $110 million in ticket sales, with an SEC filing noting that those dates generated a total of $30.7 million in revenue for Sphere Entertainment through Nov. 30.
Next up, Sphere Entertainment’s own content offering, Darren Aronofsky’s Postcard from Earth, generated approximately $44.5 million in total revenue from ticket sales from 111 showings.
Read more here.
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