The Ironman Group names Elizabeth O’Brien Managing Director for North America
September 2, 2019
In new role, O’Brien will oversee and grow all aspects of the North America Business unit for The IRONMAN Group, including 70+ events
TAMPA, Fla. (August 30, 2019) – The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company, is pleased to announce Elizabeth O’Brien has been named the company’s new Managing Director for North America. O’Brien brings to the position a significant wealth of experience and knowledge through her 24 years in the mass participation sports industry working in every facet from operations, race directing, marketing, finance, and sponsorships.
In this new role, O’Brien will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the North America Business unit for The IRONMAN Group, leading the four North American offices (Louisville, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; San Diego, California; and Tampa, Florida) and the more than 150 full-time employees. The North American business unit is The IRONMAN Group’s largest with more than 70 annual events, O’Brien and her team will be responsible for the performance of running and triathlon events through the IRONMAN®, IRONMAN® 70.3® and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® brands, while developing other platforms like mountain biking throughout the region.
“Elizabeth has had positive impact since joining our team through the Competitor Group acquisition and has proven that she is capable of leading and growing our North America business,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “As our largest and most critical region, someone of her background, knowledge, leadership and personability, positions us to continue our industry leading growth in the mass participation industry. We look forward to seeing the continued successes of the region with Elizabeth at the helm.”
O’Brien joined The IRONMAN Group in June of 2017 with the acquisition of Competitor Group (CGI). As Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Strategy with The IRONMAN Group, O’Brien oversaw the financial analysis functions for the business while developing key advisory relationships with leaders across all areas of the business. She also led the improvement of systems and processes utilized to provide the organization with critical business insight.
During her time with CGI beginning in 2001, O’Brien was instrumental to the growth of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, overseeing the launch of successful events in Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, and San Jose among others. Eventually shifting into a Regional Director role, she built and grew crucial business units for CGI such as medical, group sales, and athlete development programming.
O’Brien began her professional career with PowerBar where she spent five years as a Field Marketing Manager and Assistant Sports Marketing Manager for the Southwest region responsible for onsite activation at events including the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona Hawai`i.
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About The IRONMAN Group
As part of Wanda Sports 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 Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, 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. 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 more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Group
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes.
Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.