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WJHW embracing the challenge after expansion into UK and Europe

Featured image credit: PMY

Featured image credit: PMY

PMY Group, a leading international venue, events, and infrastructure technology solutions firm, is confident that the recent expansion of its WJHW subsidiary into the UK and Europe will be a win-win for fans and partners alike.

WJHW, a Dallas-based firm offering state‐of‐the‐art design services and consulting, was acquired by PMY back in April 2021. The acquisition followed years of collaboration between the two companies, with PMY describing the convergence as the “natural progression” in creating a fully integrated technology company required to service the future needs of the venue, infrastructure and events sector.

WJHW has worked with leading architecture firms and key players across all US major leagues, contributing to iconic projects like Allegiant Stadium, Globe Life Field, and Chase Center. Following its acquisition by PMY, WJHW has experienced a remarkable surge in success, continually building on its impressive legacy.

In August, PMY announced the expansion of WJHW to meet “increasing global demand” for its expertise. Under the dynamic leadership of global president René Garza, and with the strategic acumen of Kym Shilton and Charles Adkinson (both pictured), now Senior Vice President – International and Senior Vice President – Sports Development respectively, the company has launched into a new era of innovation and growth.

The leadership team is supported by new strategic and technical personnel throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa market, as well as the Asia Pacific region.

In their new roles at WJHW, Shilton and Adkinson enhance Garza’s leadership. Garza, with his diverse expertise, guides the business globally. Adkinson, an audio-visual expert with major projects like SoFi Stadium under his belt, spearheads the sports division. Shilton, with over 20 years in infrastructure and venue development, aims to grow the international business. Together, they uphold and advance WJHW’s 30+ year legacy of excellence.

Concept to operation

The initial acquisition of WJHW by PMY has allowed both companies to grow together and provide an end-to-end service to clients across the entire project lifecycle, from concept through to delivery and operation. “We think this 360-degree view of venue technology is both unique and valuable in terms of the advice it allows us to offer the market,” explains Shilton.

The expansion into new markets was the obvious next step for WJHW and the company is keen to embrace both the opportunities and challenges this presents.

“While we’ve executed many successful projects throughout the APAC region, the Middle East, South America, and Mexico, we’ve always approached these projects with caution and consideration, given time zone differences and our respect for the work-life balance of what was historically a largely US-based team,” says Adkinson.

“International expansion, meaning boots on the ground and local expertise from London to Barcelona to Sydney, allows us to bring our specific experience, knowledge, and skills more directly to these parts of the world, where notably, some of the industry’s biggest and most exciting projects are happening.”

Shilton adds: “It’s fundamental to our approach to respect and respond to local context, culture, and the way these projects are actually developed in each local market. We want to grow organically in these regions, through local expertise and capability, guided and fully supported by WJHW’s global leadership team and local experts.”

Venue experience

WJHW is committed to honouring the heritage of historic venues across Europe and the UK, while simultaneously elevating the fan experience through innovative technology design. 

Discussing the differences between the venue experience in the US compared to Europe and the UK, Adkinson says: “From a technology standpoint, the main difference we’ve observed is that in the global market, there’s a stronger emphasis on tradition and fan participation.

“Technology tends to be more in the background, supporting the overall experience. In North America, we’ve seen technology play a more prominent role in enhancing the fan experience and generating revenue for the teams.”

PMY already has a substantial presence in the UK and Europe where it has 70+ employees. The company is also relocating some US-based team members and hiring locally to support its growth in the region.

Accelerating growth 

The news of WJHW’s expansion came just two weeks after PMY announced that it had secured a significant investment from sports, media, and entertainment private equity firm Bluestone Equity Partners.

Bluestone was launched in the first quarter of 2023 by Bobby Sharma, a former executive at the NBA basketball league and the IMG agency. The deal marked PMY’s first-ever institutional capital raise.

Paul Yeomans, who founded PMY in 2009 and also serves as its chief executive, said the company would leverage the investment to accelerate growth through both “organic and inorganic” expansion opportunities.

Yeomans added: “We see Bluestone as a true partner and look forward to benefiting from the firm’s expertise across sports, media and entertainment as we continue to grow all over the world.”

WJHW, a PMY company, is sponsoring TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit 2023, which takes place at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on December 6-7.