Wednesday, March 26, 2014


(Tulsa, Okla.) February 28, 2014 – SMG is pleased to announce John Bolton has been promoted to Vice President, SMG Entertainment.  Bolton is a 25 year industry veteran of which the last nine years have been with SMG in various venues.  Most recently, Bolton served as General Manager for SMG in Tulsa managing a multi-complex campus of venues. Jeff Nickler, current Assistant General Manager for the BOK Center, has been promoted to SMG General Manager of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center.
In addition to his role as General Manager, Bolton acted as a Regional Vice President for SMG for its venues in Puerto Rico and the West Coast.  John also serves as National Director of Marketing for SMG overseeing a regional network of Arena Marketing executives.  Additionally, John is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) –representing more than 4,000 venue managers around the world.
In his past roles, John has been responsible for creating new events and festivals in every venue he has managed including five new festivals and self-created events in Tulsa that attract more than 200,000 people per year.    His success in the booking, programming, and marketing of venues has placed his venue as one of the consistent top 10 venues in the nation.
John will be relocating to the corporate office in March, and will join Senior Vice President of Entertainment Jim McCue to provide leadership and support for initiatives in booking, marketing and growing SMG.
“John Bolton has turned the BOK Center in Tulsa into a must play for all touring artists, clearly one of the hottest buildings in the US.  He is also a masterful marketing executive so adding his skills to our corporate booking team will allow us to further align out booking and marketing efforts for our SMG Stadiums and Arenas,” said Jim McCue, SVP of Entertainment for SMG.
“I am tremendously excited to join our corporate team.  I am looking forward to coordinating our booking and marketing efforts to maximize our brand and assist our clients nationally in achieving success,” said John Bolton.
Nickler joined the SMG Tulsa team in 2008 as Premium Services and Sales Manager and was an integral part of the Grand Opening team for the BOK Center. He also served as Special Events Manager and later Director of Booking and Special Events. In 2011, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager. Under Nickler’s leadership, the BOK Center completed successful bids to host the 2013 Bassmaster Classic and the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Second and Third Rounds. As Director of Special Events, Nickler created and produced highly successful events including Rock ‘n Rib Festival, Winterfest, Dodgebrawl and others. As Assistant General Manager, Nickler’s primary role has been booking the BOK Center and developing new concert traffic for Tulsa.
“I have been fortunate to be part of our SMG team in Tulsa for the past seven years and I look forward to sustaining our city’s reputation as one of the country’s top markets for live entertainment,” Nickler said. “We can be very proud of what we have accomplished here at BOK Center and Cox Business Center and I am confident we can maintain our success while continuing to elevate Tulsa’s status on a national scale.”
Nickler will assume the responsibilities of General Manager in March.
Local leaders have responded with appreciation for Bolton’s accomplishments in Tulsa and excitement at Nickler’s expanded role as General Manager.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett said: “John has been integral in creating a world class successful arena in Tulsa.   We will miss him, but are excited he will remain involved in Tulsa not only with his new position, but also continuing to have regional oversight of both the BOK Center and Cox Business Center for SMG.”
We are excited that Jeff Nickler who has been involved with the BOK Center since day one will step up into the role as General Manager,” Bartlett added.
Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber said:
"This promotion could not be more well-deserved. We have thoroughly enjoyed having John as a part of the Tulsa community, and his industry expertise has been integral in the development of the BOK Center as a top-ranked arena. Our biggest congratulations to him on this incredible promotion. He will be missed as he moves to SMG's corporate offices as Vice President.
The Chamber and VisitTulsa look forward to the continued growth of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center under the leadership of Jeff Nickler, who will continue to build on John's work and further enhance the wonderful impact of SMG, and their facilities, in the Tulsa community."
Former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, who played an important role in bringing Bolton to Tulsa said:
“As part of the initial selection committee who hired John Bolton in 2007, I couldn't be more pleased with the success he has achieved in Tulsa. Under his leadership, the BOK Center not only opened to overwhelming success but has sustained that same level of achievement over the past five years. I have full confidence in Jeff Nickler's ability to carry on that legacy.”