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Saturday, December 9, 2023

“Bringing Global Icons to Dubai: Behind the Scenes with the Manager of Coca-Cola Arena”

Mark Jan Kar, General Manager of Coca-Cola Arena initially aspired to become a professional tennis player, but his career took a different path.

A Change in Course

Mr. Jan Kar, born in New Zealand to Polish parents, joined Coca-Cola Arena as a Commercial Director five years ago, leveraging his experience in strategic partnerships and sponsorship deals in the sports and entertainment industry.

Balancing Family and Career: Coca-Cola Arena

Aside from his professional pursuits, Mr. Jan Kar also embraces the role of a father to two children.

A Shift in Ambitions: Coca-Cola Arena

Mr. Jan Kar’s early dreams of a tennis career led him to play at a high level until a pivotal conversation with his father changed his path.

Embracing the Business of Sport

After leaving his tennis ambitions behind, Mr. Jan Kar pursued a career in the business side of the sports world.

Taking the Helm: Coca-Cola Arena

Mr. Jan Kar became General Manager of Coca-Cola Arena in May 2021 and has since been instrumental in bringing major live acts to the venue.

Adapting to Challenges

Navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic and working towards reopening the arena has been a significant part of Mr. Jan Kar’s role.

A Multifaceted Role

As General Manager, Mr. Jan Kar oversees various aspects of the arena’s operations, including programming, stakeholder relations, and commercial revenue.

Global Perspective

Mr. Jan Kar’s role also involves collaboration with international teams, including those in the US, the UK, and Australia.

The Magic Number

Mr. Jan Kar aims to maintain an affordable average ticket price of Dh199, ensuring accessibility to a broad audience.

Negotiating Artist Fees

Dealing with artist fee expectations can be challenging, but Mr. Jan Kar and his team negotiate based on what makes commercial sense.

Team Leadership

Mr. Jan Kar likens his role to that of a football manager, where building a strong team and achieving results are key.

Diverse Entertainment Landscape

The UAE’s multicultural environment allows for a wide variety of concert genres and performers, which keeps Mr. Jan Kar continually learning.

The Reality of Showbiz

While working in entertainment sounds glamorous, the focus is on creating memorable moments and experiences for the audience.

Unique Backstage Requests

Mr. Jan Kar shares interesting backstage rider requests from artists, including specific cleaning products and tissue arrangements.

Leveraging Dubai’s Infrastructure

Dubai’s excellent infrastructure, including hotels, logistics, and transportation, greatly benefits the arena.

Phases of Event Management

Mr. Jan Kar describes the different phases of event management, from contract negotiations to the final moments of a show.

Personal Aspirations

In the future, Mr. Jan Kar hopes to establish a sports franchise team in Dubai and host major acts like Metallica and prominent hip-hop and country artists.

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