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John Cappo
President & CEO

John Cappo has over 30 years of sports and entertainment industry experience in the Asia Pacific region. From 2008 to 2016 he was the President & CEO of the Asia region for the Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Cappo established AEG’s business in Asia Pacific and directed the benchmark development and management of the Mercedes-Benz Arena Shanghai, an 18,000-seat capacity multi-purpose venue whose name is the result of a landmark 15-year naming rights deal concluded by Cappo, marking the first naming rights deal in of its kind in Asia. Cappo also directed the redevelopment of the 2008 Olympic Basketball arena in Beijing into a multi-functional venue, subsequently also procuring the naming rights deal and launch of the MasterCard Center.  He further spearheaded the development of the Dalian Sports Center, an 18,000-capacity arena purpose-built for the China National Games, also securing the naming rights which marked the birth of the Daimai Center in Dalian. Cappo thereby pioneered China’s entertainment venue industry, creating unparalleled commercially successful ventures not requiring government subsidies – the first of their kind in China.  

 

As a content provider and promoter, Cappo previously toured the biggest names in the music business in China and throughout Asia, with a roster including Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Metallica, Maroon 5, Queen w/ Adam Lambert and the Rolling Stones. He also produced and promoted the Angela Zhang World Tours.

In addition, Cappo was also instrumental in bringing the first ever LPGA event and the first PAC 12 Season basketball game to China. 

 

Prior to AEG, Cappo was the Managing Director at International Management Group (IMG), now called WME/IMG. During this tenure, Cappo was a representative backing Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics and secured several prominent sponsorships for the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) . 

 

Over the course of a decade at IMG, Cappo set records raising sponsorship funds for sports leagues and events across Greater China, including raising the funding that helped commercially establish the Chinese Football League (CNFL) and the Chinese Basketball League (CBA).  

 

Cappo was additionally involved in the creation of some of the largest sponsorship contracts in China’s sports history, including the Pepsi, Siemens and Tom.com deals for the Chinese National Football League (CNFL), Hilton for the China Basketball League (CBA), the Volkswagen Masters and an key member in the founding of the HSBC Champions golf tournaments. The HSBC Champions is now a World Golf Champions (WGC) event and considered Asia’s Major.

 

Cappo also established the HSBC Junior Golf Development Program in 2007 which has since produced some of China’s top golfers now setting records on the world stage of the PGA and European tours. 

 

As a sports agent at IMG, Cappo represented China’s top golfers, Zhang Lianwei and Liang Wenchong; top seed women’s tennis players Zheng Jie, Li Na and Peng Shuai, as well as Taiwan’s leading tennis athlete Jimmy Wang. He also worked closely with China’s national diving team, golfers Tiger Woods, Trevor Immelman, Retif Goosen, tennis players Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer on events and endorsement deals in the Asia region. 

Prior to IMG, Cappo was the Vice President of Sports International for Greater China, based in Taipei. He brought world-class events to the island and was a key player in developing the sports marketing industry in Taiwan, including the Davidoff Taiwan Golf Tour.   

 

Cappo continues to represent iconic musicians such as the world renown Chinese pianist Lang Lang and Yu Long, China’s leading conductor and artistic director of the Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou symphonic orchestras. 

Cappo is also a Board Member of the China Grammys and an advisor to the Grammy organization in Greater China. 

 

Cappo was the first native English speaker to graduate from the Business Administration Department of National Taiwan University and is fluent in Chinese.

In 2013 Cappo received the “Shanghai Silver Magnolia Award” and later the “Gold Magnolia Award” and Honorary Citizenship from the Shanghai Mayor in 2016.

 

With over 35 years of experience and relationships in China and Asia, Venue Asia (VA) was formed in 2018 together with former colleagues. Based in Shanghai, VA’s focus is to connect leading brands with iconic venues and world-class IP to develop unique communication platforms and impactful experiential marketing opportunities. 

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Cappo at Magnolia Award 2016.JPG
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