On February 18, 1978, 15 competitors came to the shores of Waikiki, Hawaii to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge. It was an idea hatched by John Collins, a Naval Officer stationed in Hawai`i, and his wife Judy during a swim club gathering. Collins’ proposal was a friendly test of fitness combining the three toughest endurance races on the island into one race: The 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 112-miles Around-Oahu Bike Race, followed by a 26.2-mile run on the Honolulu Marathon course.
That very first race would go on to set the stage for what IRONMAN would become: not only the most challenging single-day sporting event in the world, but a brand symbolizing the belief that “Anything is Possible.” Building on the intrigue set in motion by that first race in Hawaii, races of the same distance began springing up all over the world—in Canada, New Zealand, Lake Placid, and Florida. In 1989, IRONMAN was purchased by Dr. James P. Gills, and the headquarters were moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida. In 2004, the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 was launched in Florida. Providence Equity Partners bought the company in 2008, and moved the company headquarters to Tampa.
In 2011, Andrew Messick was named CEO of IRONMAN and shifted the focus from licensing its name to events to buying the races back in order to provide a consistently high-end experience to athletes globally. In November of 2015, IRONMAN was purchased by Dalian Wanda, and Wanda Sports Holding was created to bring together three entities aimed at becoming the world’s leading sports business entity (Infront, IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China).
Over the past few years, IRONMAN has expanded beyond triathlon, purchasing running, cycling, and mountain biking events all over the world. The Auckland Marathon,
Across the Bay 10K (fifth largest 10K in US), the Santa Cruz Half Marathon/10K/5K, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and the highly regarded Cape Epic mountain bike race in South Africa are a few such acquisitions.
In 2016, the purchase of the Lagardere endurance event portfolio brought the UCI VELOTHON Majors road cycling series, the Bordeaux Marathon, and the Queenstown and Hawkes Bay
International Marathons into the fold. Most recently, the Dalian Wanda Group began a 10-year partnership with the Abbott World Marathon Majors, an association of the organizers of the world’s greatest running races in the world’s greatest cities: Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago and TCS New York City Marathons.
In 2017, IRONMAN acquired Competitor Group Holdings. With their more than 30 world-class events including the flagship Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series,
CGI events see over 600,000 athletes each year. Since the debut of the of the signature Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in 1998, CGI has continued to expand to key cities throughout the United States and eight international races from
the United Kingdom to China, creating the largest running series in the world. The series innovated the running industry by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams, and creating a block-party atmosphere.
IRONMAN’s family of events now provide more than one million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports. We now have 235 events in a portfolio of brands, including 40 IRONMAN races, 106 IRONMAN 70.3 races, and many other running, road cycling, and mountain biking events throughout 50 countries.
IRONMAN is seeking a smart, creative, personable, and results-oriented professional to fill a critical new position as Head of Sales, Global Partnerships North America. The successful candidate will drive the acquisition of Series wide partnerships, Title Sponsorships and overall Marketing Partnerships and contribute to the financial success of the organization. Reporting to the EVP, Global Partnerships North America, the Head of Sales, North America will oversee the sponsorship sales efforts for events in the United States and Canada with a combination of personal sales efforts as well as leadership role for the North American sales team. This executive should have an established network of brand decision-maker and agency relationships and exhibit the solutions-based approach and high-touch professionalism and demeanor that properly reflect the culture and opportunities with IRONMAN.
- Oversee North American Sponsorship sales team’s daily activities – Primary event portfolio today includes IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3 and Rock N Roll Marathon.
- As one of the senior sellers in the company, the expectation is that the Head of Sales will also sell national and global sponsorships across the IRONMAN portfolio.
- Responsible for achieving and exceeding individual and team revenue targets.
- Under the leadership of the EVP execute on strategic and aggressive sales plan to grow corporate sponsorship revenue by bringing in new partners as well as optimizing existing relationships through up-sells and cross sells.
- Research and identify prospective partners whose needs are well matched to the IRONMAN portfolio’s assets.
- Identify creative new streams of sponsorship revenue and strategically cultivate relationships to secure deals.
- Coordinate and support the sales efforts of North American Global Partnerships sales team and their event / revenue targets within each of their assigned regions.
- Provide direction and feedback to the BI group for the creation and development of selling materials (setting strategy, guiding creative and maintaining the overall integrity of the sales materials.)
- Primary sponsorship assets to include Premier, Technical, Title, Event, Supplier, digital and media-based sponsorships.
- Comfortable exercising a consultative sales approach balancing assertiveness with a “white-glove”, partner-focused strategy that maximizes title and partner sponsorship revenue.
- Understanding of the nuances and complexity of sponsorship sales and how to work successfully within a high performance environment
- Capable of utilizing analytics and articulating the value proposition that can enhance and properly express ROI to partners.
- Analyze and provide trend data relating to industries targeted by IRONMAN sales team along with plan of action reports to demonstrate how IRONMAN can capitalize upon opportunities.
- Be partner-focused and collaborate with current and potential partners to create new and innovative platforms which fit their unique business objectives.
- Create and deliver presentations that summarize key value points for prospective partners.
- Develop credibility with all potential corporate partners as a strong leader and an ambassador for IRONMAN.
- Liaise with the service teams regularly to ensure sponsor satisfaction on deliverables according to contractual obligations and growing clients into larger programs.
- Assist services teams in assessing renewals, developing proposed plans for renewals or expansions of sponsorships, or developing alternate plans for category (if sponsorship not renewed).
- Prepare contractual agreements for sponsors in accordance with company policy/process.
- Utilize Microsoft Dynamics CRM or other CRM systems for sales tracking and reporting on personal and direct report sales results.
- Work with Business Intelligence and Finance team on weekly sales under contract and pipeline reporting
- Support the EVP, Global Partnerships North America on strategy and promoting the business mission.
Education and work experience:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- 15+ years of sponsorship sales experience with 5+ years leading a sales team.
- Endurance industry experience and a passion for an active lifestyle is a plus.
- Must be willing to re-locate to IRONMAN Corporate Headquarters in Tampa, FL.
Skills and Knowledge:
- Superior leadership skills required to inspire and motivate top performance.
- Excellent sales management and communication abilities.
- Renowned solution-selling pedigree.
- Proven track record of successfully closing multiple complex sponsorship deals valued at six and seven figures annually.
- Must possess a significant number of established relationships in the corporate industry.
- Expertise in identifying opportunities, developing strategies, and negotiating creative solutions.
- Outgoing personality apparent in phone conversations and in-person communications.
- Willingness, and desire, to work as part of a professional team.
- Excellent communication and listening skills.
- Demonstrates professional ethics and demeanor at all times.
- Ability to travel to company events and business meetings (approximately 40% travel).
The above declarations are not intended to be an “all inclusive” list of duties and responsibilities of the job described, nor are they intended to be such a listing of the skills and abilities required to do the job. Rather, they are intended only to describe the general nature of the job, and are a reasonable representation of its activities.
This position is closed to new applications.