Heralding what he describes as a new business model and fresh standards for creativity and service, SFX founder Robert F.X. Sillerman has announced an integration of the companies comprising "SFX Entertainment" which will henceforth be bundled into a "unified corporate entity" called "SFX."
The consolidation arrived with a new corporate logo and tagline that Sillerman said would "underscore SFX's positioning as the one-stop-shop for access to a broad range of live entertainment for fans, and also for corporate marketers who can use the company's integrated marketing platform to reach nearly 60 million people attending over 23,000 events." The new SFX tagline is "It's better live."
According to an SFX paper statement, Sillerman announced the name change in an address to more than 5,000 SFX employees. His presentation included cameos by tennis star Andre Agassi and rock vocalist Rod Stewart, who symbolize, respectively, the world-class sports and entertainment image that SFX cultivates with the public. SFX describes itself as the "world's largest player in the field of diversified live entertainment." The SFX portfolio is impressive. More than 40 premier sports and entertainment marketing companies have been acquired by SFX in the past few years. On Feb. 29, SFX was purchased in a $4.4 billion stock swap deal by Clear Channel Communications, a world leader in radio broadcasting and billboard advertising. The Clear Channel deal is expected to go through in the third quarter of this year.
The key companies acquired by SFX in its long-term program include "Delsener/Slater Enterprises, Bill Graham Presents and Don Law in music; PACE in music, theater and motor sports; MagicWorks in family entertainment; F.A.M.E., The Marquee Group and Integrated Sports International in sports; and the music and sports company Apollo Leisure Group in the UK among others," SFX reports.
Sillerman was joined in his announcement by SFX President and CEO Michael G. Ferrel who added to the company statement saying, "The proposed merger of the company with Clear Channel Communications does not affect SFX's new initiative. Upon the merger's completion this year, Clear Channel is committed to strengthening SFX as a separate brand. The merger will amplify the energy and entrepreneurial spirit that have made SFX the dynamic organization it is today." As reported earlier, SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 122 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets. Once Clear Channel finalizes a previously announced $14 billion deal to purchase AMFM and the subsequent $4.4 stock swap deal for SFX, the company will operate 874 radio and 19 television stations in the United States and will have equity interests in over 240 radio stations around the world. In its other significant business, Clear Channel operates more than 550,000 outdoor advertising displays, including billboards, street furniture and transit panels.
-- By Murdoch McBride