Oak View Group Grows Team at Coachella Valley Arena

Posted on

News: New Hires

Gina Rotolo, VP of Marketing & Communications, Coachella Valley Firebirds
Drew Gershenson, Director of Booking, Coachella Valley Arena

PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 9, 2021) – The Coachella Valley Firebirds, the American Hockey Leagues’s (AHL) newly unveiled 32nd franchise and the affiliate of the Seattle Kraken, and Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, today announced the appointments of Gina Rotolo as vice president of marketing & communications for the Coachella Valley Firebirds and Drew Gershenson as director of booking for Coachella Valley Arena. Rotolo will begin her new role effective immediately, with Gershenson starting January 25, 2022. Rotolo will report to Steve Fraser, president, Coachella Valley Arena, and Coachella Valley Firebirds, and Gershenson will report to JoAnn Armstrong, vice president of programming, Coachella Valley Arena.

“We are ecstatic to add an individual with Gina’s experience as we continue to compile our team of top-end talent with the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Our goal for a winning franchise is building out a strong foundation for this organization and growing our presence throughout Southern California,” said Fraser.

With more than 15 years of communications experience in overseeing the marketing strategy and the development of concert tours, artist residency shows, venues, professional sporting team, and events, Rotolo will be responsible for building marketing, public relations, and social teams along with overseeing facility presentation and broadcasting personnel. As part of her new role, she will place a core focus on creating marketing and communication strategies to build the team brand, foster fan, community, and league engagement, and drive revenue across all areas of operations.

Rotolo commented, “I am excited to be a part of Oak View Group and the Coachella Valley Firebirds. I look forward to working alongside this talented group of leaders tapped to bring hockey and entertainment to the Coachella Valley. I am eager to build the Firebirds brand and create impact through innovative marketing and communications strategies along with a core focus of fostering roots within the local community, with the Seattle Kraken, and with hockey fans around the world.”

Before joining OVG, Rotolo worked as a consultant representing clients including DoorDash, City of Houston, NHL, Live Nation, and Houston Astros. Prior to that, Rotolo worked for MGM Resorts International for four years where she served as executive director of artist relations and business development. Her experience also includes roles with BBVA Compass Stadium/AEG Facilities as senior director of booking and special events, as well as the director of marketing and media relations for Sam Houston Race Park. Rotolo earned her Bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and holds certifications from Yale and Cornell University.

“We look forward to Drew joining the programming team,” said Armstrong. “Continuing to build out a cohesive team is a key part of our strategic vision in making Coachella Valley Arena a must-play major destination for the biggest artists, concerts, and sporting events in the world once our 11,000-seat venue opens later next year.”

With more than 10 years of industry experience in working with artists, agents, managers, and labels, Gershenson will be responsible for overseeing strategic content programming of all concerts, family shows, and special events, as well as facilitating the AHL hockey schedules.

“I’m honored to be joining an amazing team to help bring this dynamic new arena to life,” Gershenson said. “Palm Springs is on the verge of an entertainment explosion, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team to take it over the top. Coachella Valley Arena will be the premier destination to see top-notch entertainment.”

Before joining OVG, Gershenson served as director of programming for ASM Global’s Paycom Center in Oklahoma City where he was responsible for booking content and working closely with NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Prior to that, he spent ten years at Live Nation Entertainment where he served most recently as senior tour director where he oversaw all aspects of the tour cycle including routing strategy, offer creation, contracting, on-sale, and inventory management. Gershenson holds a Bachelor of business administration, international finance and marketing from the University of Miami.

# # #

About Oak View Group (OVG)

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across four global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia). OVG leads the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center and UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY as well as arena development projects for Moody Center in Austin, TX; Coachella Valley Arena in Palm Springs, CA; and Co-op Live in Manchester, UK. OVG Global Partnerships, a division of OVG, is the sales and marketing arm responsible for selling across all OVG arena development projects. OVG Facilities, a division of OVG, is the facility management, booking, security, and sanitization services arm that performs services for both OVG’s arena development projects and clients on a 3rd party basis. OVG Media & Conferences, a division of OVG, publishes Pollstar and VenuesNow, in addition to hosting live entertainment-centric conferences around the world. OVG’s Arena Alliance, a division of OVG, is a collection of the top 32 venues in North America that provides a platform for booking, content, and sponsorship sales opportunities. Learn more at OakViewGroup.com, and follow OVG on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

About the Coachella Valley Firebirds

The Coachella Valley Firebirds are the AHL’s 32nd Franchise and the affiliate of the Seattle Kraken. The team is set to play its inaugural season in 2022-2022 at Coachella Valley Arena. Visit www.CVfirebirds.com for the latest news and information.

About Coachella Valley Arena

America’s hottest music festival destination is finally getting the world-class arena it deserves. Opening in late 2022, the Coachella Valley Arena will provide the greater Palm Springs area of Southern California with a premiere 11,500+ seat venue to host the biggest artists and events on the planet. Designed specifically for hockey and concerts, the new arena will provide top-tier hospitality, artist amenities, and all of the benefits of a modern music and sports venue. In addition, the facility will serve as the new home of the American Hockey League affiliate of the Seattle Kraken, the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

The Coachella Valley Arena is a $250+ million project that is being 100% privately funded through outstanding partners Oak View Group, Seattle Kraken, and Live Nation. Visit CoachellaValleyArena.com for the latest news and information.

About Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken are the National Hockey League’s newest franchise, are the league’s 32nd Franchise who play at Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center. The team is led by majority owner, David Bonderman, CEO, Tod Leiweke, and GM Ron Francis. Visit www.nhl.com/kraken for the latest news and information including press releases, multimedia content, and the latest hires.

Gina Rotolo
Drew Gershenson


Sam Threadgill
Scoop Marketing for Coachella Valley Arena and OVG

(818) 761-6100