News UK has launched News Live, a standalone events business that will develop face-to-face, branded experiences as well as managing the media group’s existing events portfolios.
The new division is headed by David McLean, current general manager of News UK’s content studio, Bridge Studio.
With a core team of 22 and a portfolio of events including the Times+ series, RunFestRun (pictured), the CEO Summit, The Sun’s Who Cares Wins and The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards, the new business will look to rapidly develop a range of additional B2C and B2B event brands on its own and in partnership with advertisers.
McLean said: “Events have been a growing part of News UK’s portfolio for some time, led by the editorial and commercial success of brands such as the CEO Summit and Times Travel Awards. With a growing demand post-pandemic for new formats and types of live experience, this is now the time for us to bring events forward as part of our multi-channel media portfolio and to grow and invest in our proposition for partners and sponsors.
“The events market has been changed, perhaps forever, by the experience of the last couple of years but there is still a huge opportunity here for brands and for media businesses who can understand and leverage the new ecosystem.”
The addition of a standalone events business aligns with News UK’s strategy to be a truly multi-platform media owner across its print, digital, audio, video and now experiential businesses. For advertisers, events can provide additional brand uplift as well as valuable direct consumer engagement opportunities.
The pandemic inevitably had a significant impact on all events businesses but a rapid pivot enabled News UK to continue to grow its event revenues through a busy virtual schedule. These learnings will be translated to the News Live business as it develops hybrid propositions to meet the demands of a changed events marketplace.
Dominic Carter, group chief commercial officer, News UK, said: “There is a considerable opportunity for News UK to leverage our brands, our journalism and our businesses in the events market. By creating News Live we’re putting live experiences forward as a key part of our content portfolio and advertiser proposition.
“There’s still a lot of opportunity to grow and develop our existing events portfolio but we also want to focus on creating new events, partnerships and investments to grow this business into a substantial part of News UK in the future.”