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Nova Entertainment builds on events strategy with launch of Exp

Nova Entertainment is venturing further into the events space, launching new business Exp, in partnership with creative specialist Habitat.

The new agreement will see Nova act as the sales-lead for the business, providing clients with opportunities for small scale events, while Habitat will help execute each project.

Nathan Reay, Nova’s head of M&A, strategy and partnerships, told Mumbrella whilst the company already plays in the events space, the new business will allow the company to own “interactions” with clients.

“Yes we have a very successful core business in radio, but we can’t stand still and let that just be who we are and let us be defined by who we are. We are Nova Entertainment, we are not Nova radio, so we are looking for ways to create and ensure we have a multi-platform media business,” Reay said.

Nova’s Nathan Reay said the business will work as the ‘engine’ room for Exp’s client relationships and will work with Habitat on each project

“For us, that’s been set out in the last year or so through things such as Goat, the e-sports partnership with ESL that we’ve done, the podcasting partnership with Acast, and one of the remits we have is to always be looking for new opportunities or where the next opportunity is.”

Under the new business, Nova and Habitat will work together on creating small scale activations and events for clients. The business will also use its current radio and digital assets, including Goat and Acast podcasting, to amplify the events for clients, should they choose.

“We have been doing some ad-hoc smaller scale activations for clients over the last year or so. Habitat has partnered with us on a number of those, so Habitat is a business we knew and had experience working with historically. How the partnerships work is that Nova will be the engaging entity, the engine room of the relationship with clients of Exp. Habitat will work alongside the Nova creative team to bring those opportunities to life creatively but also practically on the ground,” he said.

But Reay said it wasn’t necessary to bring the skills of Habitat in-house.

“What I believe is you need credibility to play into this space and what we are excited about is the credibility and skill set that Habitat brings to the table. They already are a full service events business and have operated in this space for a number of years.

“Our view is that yes you can create this from nothing inside your business but what is important for us is that we are demonstrating to the market that we’ve actually got the skill set of a business that’s been doing this.”

Habitat managing partner, Mark Vincent, added the partnership very much aligned with Habitat’s “values” and culture”.

We want to really push ourselves to be the best that we can be and we really feel that this partnership with Nova is going to allow us to do that. In a commercial sense to not have to worry about recruiting essentially 100 150 sales staff under our belt, which is what Nova brings to the table – that’s a resource on its own like. We don’t have to market to get that. We don’t have to pay for account managers to do all of it – it all comes from Nova,” Vincent explained.

Habitat managing partner, Mark Vincent, with co-founder Antony Neeson

“Our strength is the creativity and experience of knowledge of what we do and from what I can see, Nova’s benefit to us is the exposure to a client base that we might not necessarily always be in front of.”

Vincent said for the time being the new partnership would not include Nova Red Room or Smooth Chocolate Festival events. He also noted the business had not been bought by Nova Entertainment, adding it would be a long term goal.

“Obviously that would be an awesome long-term play for us as a business but that’s very early days for us,” he said.

And while other businesses have also ventured into bespoke events for clients, Nova’s Reay is confident the media company has a point of difference: “Nova has the proof points in market. Red Room, most people have widely accepted, is a hugely impressive asset and what Red Room pulls off in terms of the events that we are running are market leading on anyone’s terms. And also then, just purely through day to day voice and our day to day scale in market, and our award-winning creative team that stands behind that and is the powerhouse behind that, we have a really unique offering.

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