After AEG froze out Pollstar following the trade magazine’s sale to former AEG CEO and rival Tim Leiweke, SMG is weighing its own plan to potentially boycott an OVG event, viewing the company as a competitor it doesn’t want to financially support.
A group of general managers at SMG have been told they are not to attend Leiweke’s VenuesNow summit in Los Angeles later this year. Only about a half-dozen SMG officials attended last year’s inaugural VenuesNow conference, and the impact is expected to be small, but will send a not-so-subtle message to Leiweke about his attempt to steal away a marquee SMG client — the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
“If Leiweke had managed to win the Greek, it would have been 100% game over between the two companies,” one source tells Amplify.
SMG has been managing the Greek since 2015 and both SMG and OVG bid for a 10-year-contract to manage the Greek starting in 2019. On Friday, SMG won an endorsement from the Rec and Parks Department, significantly outscoring OVG’s proposal, but Leiweke has told Amplify he vows to bring his fight “as a positive force for disruption” to the LA City Council.
SMG officials are also not happy about the attempt to pull the Greek in to the OVG camp and are weighing their options — skipping this year’s VenuesNow conference seemed an obvious way for the company to express its displeasure. Whether the company will take further measures — skipping the annual Pollstar Conference, pulling financial support for the magazine and refusing to hand over valuable dates to their competitor — is yet to be determined.