The IRONMAN Group Appoints Marieka Barnard as New Chief Marketing Officer

March 22, 2023

- Barnard promoted after successfully leading the European marketing organization; her 12 years at The IRONMAN Group provided unique capabilities, expertise, and credibility.

TAMPA, Fla. (March 22, 2023) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The IRONMAN Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Marieka Barnard to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) after serving most recently as Vice President of Event Marketing for The IRONMAN Group in EMEA.

Barnard has deep institutional knowledge and expertise of the endurance sports industry. Barnard joined the organization full time in 2011 as a marketing coordinator, progressing to her most recently held position as Vice President of Event Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa where she led the marketing efforts for one of the largest regions in the business. Throughout her time with The IRONMAN Group, she has showcased a commitment to excellence through effort, an exceptional work ethic, and a commitment towards elevating the journey and experience of our athletes.

“It gives me great pleasure to appoint Marieka into an executive leadership role; she has done excellent work, cares deeply about our brands and athletes, and has earned the respect from her colleagues,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “Marieka is a naturally effective leader, and her institutional knowledge is a significant asset in shaping our consumer facing business approach.”

In her new role, Barnard will define and execute The IRONMAN Group’s marketing strategies and lead the company’s continued evolution to a more customer-centric organization, not only through event experiences but also through products and services designed to support and motivate athletes along their journey. She will focus the organization on the core elements that have resonated with athletes for over 45 years with an eye towards creating and implementing direct to consumer engagement and marketing strategies that showcase the positive benefits and life-altering impact of world-class events and series within The IRONMAN Group’s portfolio. The global role will be focused on building capabilities around event and product marketing, analytics, digital platforms, and communications channels across all brands, ensuring the message is relevant for each specific community of the various sports the company engages with.

“Having been a part of the journey towards the finish line for nearly a million endurance athletes over the past 12 years, I am still inspired each time I see the pride and elation on the faces of athletes achieving their dreams with us around the world. I look forward to helping create a more engaging and personalized experience for our community and partners and evolving our marketing efforts to better meet our customers’ needs and aspirations,” Barnard said.

Barnard is a prime example of commitment, dedication, hard work and a passion for the industry leading to greater opportunities for positive impact on both the company and its consumers. In addition to her time with The IRONMAN Group, Barnard also spent time as a corporate communications specialist working with Coca-Cola Sabco, before joining agency Green Room in South Africa as a Public Relations Executive, with key account focuses on the agency’s sport, FMCG and automotive clients including General Motors South Africa, the Chevrolet Warriors cricket franchise and Coca-Cola Sabco.

Marieka is based in London and holds a master’s degree in applied media studies from Nelson Mandela University. She will report to Chief Revenue Officer Matthieu Van Veen.

Barnard succeeds Suzanne Cohen who departs The IRONMAN Group to pursue other personal and professional interests after working on customer focused efforts in a post pandemic environment.

“As Marieka steps into this important role, we are thankful to Suzanne for her contributions to the organization in helping to reestablish our footing with consumers post pandemic and wish her the very best in her future endeavors,” added Messick.

For more information on The IRONMAN Group and global event series, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including the Canyons Endurance Runs™ by UTMB®, Tarawera Ultra by UTMB® and Ultra-Trail Australia™ by UTMB®, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.

About Advance

Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.