The Ironman Group announced several leadership promotions, including Stefan Petschnig to chief business development officer and Matt Wikstrom to chief partnerships officer. Thomas Veje Olsen was promoted to senior vice president and named the managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), replacing Petschnig.
- As Co-founder of Triangle Show and Sports Promotion in 1997, Petschnig established Ironman events in Austria, France, Monaco, and South Africa between 1998 and 2012 before joining Infront Sports and Media to develop the corporate running series B2Run in Europe and a series of then 10k running events in major cities across China. In 2014 he was named to the Ironman Hall of Fame. In his new role, Petschnig will plan corporate growth strategy while researching, vetting and driving new and emerging businesses.
“Stefan has been a part of the Ironman `ohana for decades and has been instrumental in our growth in EMEA and China,” said Andrew Messick, president & CEO, The Ironman Group. “We have a unique ability to continue to drive growth utilizing Stefan’s experience and aptitude in this new Chief Business Development role.”
- Replacing Petschnig as the head of EMEA, Olsen is responsible for all Ironman Group events throughout EMEA. He has been a part of the region’s growth, which expanded from 17 events in 2013 to 113 events scheduled for 2022. Olsen joined the Group in 2013 via its YWC Sports acquisition, which brought a series of Denmark-based events into the Group, including Ironman Copenhagen and Ironman 70.3 Elsinore. As part of the acquisition, Thomas joined the EMEA team first as a race director/country manager for Denmark, then as regional director for Scandinavia. In 2018 Olsen was promoted to vice president head of operations EMEA Region for the more than 90 events the region produced.
- Wikstrom joined Ironman in 2019 as the vice present, global partnerships and, most recently, was senior vice president. During his two years with the company, he has directed the sales team and the growth of the Group’s portfolio of partners across various series, including leading and closing negotiations directly. Since being promoted to his role in 2021, Wikstrom has restructured the partnerships management function under Louise Ravenscrof (newly promoted to vice president, global partnerships) and provided direction to the account executives and its activations team. He has implemented series-wide partnerships leveraging the Group’s events platforms, content programs and digital initiatives.
In addition to these leadership updates, Declan Byrne, Ryan Garka, Nick Paskiewicz, Julia Polloreno, Louise Ravenscroft, Stefan Scheuermann, Jeff Taylor, and Rebecca Van Pooss were promoted to vice president.