Nova Entertainment launches exp. for activations and events

• Partnership with habitat. already attracting briefs from agencies

Nova Entertainment has launched exp., a live experience business established to deliver creative activations and events for brands.

For this new venture Nova Entertainment has partnered with habitat., a creative and strategic specialist, to utilise the assets of both partners to become the experts in live experiences for brands.

Nathan Reay, Nova Entertainment’s head of M&A, strategy & partnerships, told Mediaweek: “We have been active in event and activations for some time and we have helped clients with smaller activations over a long period of time. A year ago we thought we should be doing more within this space. habitat. is a company we have partnered with historically in the event space. We looked around for partners and it was our view there was a real gap in the market for an events business that can help clients with small scale activations, but also through to large scale events.

“At the larger events end of the spectrum, there is a real possibility of linking with Nova’s assets whether it be radio or digital or podcasting, giving brands the chance of really amplifying their events as well.

habitat. partners Mark Vincent and Antony Neeson

“With exp. you can have an events company that builds your event and you can have also have a media company that amplifies your event. That is a really exciting proposition for all clients. Given our Red Room experience and our smoothfm Festival of Chocolate, which has also been very successful, it is a space we want to play more in.”

Nova Entertainment will be the home of the business and will manage day-to-day relations with clients. “habitat. will be part of the engine room that sits behind exp. and will work alongside Nova’s create team,” added Reay.

Staff will be seconded from both partners for new clients with new hires dependent on the amount of business exp. attracts initially.

“Media companies need to react to the business they attract, but we won’t be holding back on searching for that new business.”

habitat. has been running since 2012 when former high school friends Mark Vincent and Antony Neeson reunited in business. Vincent has a background in radio sales while Neeson worked as an agency art director.

Brands habitat. have worked with include M&Ms, Oreos, Visit Victoria, Volvo, Land Rover Discovery, Visit Canberra, Vivid Festival and many more.

Neeson told Mediaweek the initial reception has been strong: “We did a national sales presentation recently with Kate Murphy, who heads Nova’s Create team, and we have already had five briefs from that in less than a week.

“Our vision is to be the first name in branded experiences in the Australasia market. The formation of exp. takes us one giant step closer to that.”

Reay said they are open for business to any client from any category, although it is hard to imagine they’d take on another radio broadcaster.

Reay: “There is one project we are close to announcing some initial clients.”

Reay and head of commercial Peter Charlton will be the two senior Nova Entertainment executives heading the initial activity.

Other recent Nova Entertainment initiatives include the Acast podcasting offering, the launch of the millennial platform GOAT and the recent strategic partnership with the esports company ESL.

Top photo: Nova Entertainment’s Nathan Reay

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