Women of Live Hall Of Fame: Marla Ostroff

Managing Director, North America | Ticketmaster

Seldom in my career have I had an opportunity to work with someone that I admire and respect as a business partner, that I also consider to be a true and amazing friend. Marla has been integral to my long-term Ticketmaster relationship while at AEG and now at Oak View Group. She has become a great friend. And she has also had an amazing influence on me and my daughter Francesca and our commitment to women driving our company and becoming such a huge part of our leadership. There are few people in this industry that have accomplished what Marla has. Still fewer have influenced many, including me, as dramatically as Marla and all with a smile, a charming personality, and a true and personal relationship. Congrats and well-deserved Marla!” – Tim Leiweke, Chairman and CEO, Oak View Group

WOL: 2021 & 2023, Impact 50: 2023, VenuesNow 2022 Cover Honoree

It started in a bar. While a college student, Marla Ostroff was slinging drinks and this guy kept talking about how computerized ticketing was going to change everything. No more waiting in line: Every ticket available everywhere to everyone (theoretically).

The chatty fellow was Mark Shoner, the company he was talking about was Ticketron and little did he know the ear he was bending was attached to a brain that would come to be one of the most respected forces in the tumult of the ticketing revolution he wrought.

Ostroff says it wasn’t just the technology that appealed to her, though she found that “fascinating.”

“The constant collaboration and opportunities in ticketing also appealed to me,” she says. “The rest is history.”

What a history it’s been. From Ticketron, she moved to Ticketmaster — Fred Rosen often told her Ticketmaster would be the dominant player in the market — and rose through the ranks, a reliable hand on the tiller in the choppy waters of regulation, mergers, legislative attention, grimace- and heartburn-inducing on-sales and unwanted (and sometimes unwarranted) negative attention.

Ostroff, it seems, is a natural, but she graciously points out she’s been able to work alongside some of the most innovative and powerful people in the business, citing the Pritzkers, Paul Allen and Barry Diller, among others. A savvy reader will notice her list of “industry leaders” is all-male; Ostroff certainly notices.

“While grateful for the support of these male leaders and the opportunities I’ve had, it’s important to recognize the gender gap in our industry. Despite some progress, there’s still much work ahead to ensure equal opportunities for women in leadership roles,” she says.

Ostroff, much as she has helped guide Ticketmaster, is helping guide women so they can take their place alongside her at the pinnacle of the industry.

“I’m happy to see our industry’s progress in embracing inclusivity and investing in women at all stages of their career. We must continue to prioritize mentorship, learning opportunities and inclusivity so women in the live industry feel supported and empowered to take on greater responsibilities and leadership roles,” she says. “Offering mentorship, whether within Ticketmaster or beyond the company, is important to me. Everyone wins when they take advantage of mentorship opportunities so it’s important that we actively encourage it.”