The IRONMAN Group has announced Elizabeth O’Brien as 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 such as 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 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 events in Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and San Jose among others. Eventually shifting into a Regional Director role, she built and grew 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.