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 and Gershenson begin their new roles immediately. Rotolo will report to Steve Fraser, president, Coachella Valley Arena, and Coachella Valley Firebirds, while 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.