SBD/March 12, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Competitor Group Names David Abeles CEO, Plans Rock 'N' Roll Marathon Expansion

Abeles said growing sponsorship in Rock 'n' Roll running events will be a priority
Competitor Group Inc. named TaylorMade-adidas Golf Exec VP & GM DAVID ABELES CEO, ending a three-month search. CGI also KEITH KENDRICK CMO and BARRETT GARRISON CFO. Abeles said he hopes to grow participation and national sponsorship at Rock 'n' Roll running events (Fred Dreier, Correspondent). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Kevin Helliker noted former CGI CEO SCOTT DICKEY "incited a firestorm within the running community by discontinuing appearance fees for elite athletes at the company's Rock 'n' Roll marathon and half marathon series." CGI earlier this year announced that it "would reverse that decision." Abeles yesterday "emphasized his commitment to recruiting elite athletes." Abeles said, "Having elite athletes is an absolute must." He added, "It's incredible to have a chance to run beside a world-class athlete." Abeles said that CGI, owned by the private-equity firm Calera Capital, "had a three-year plan to 'dramatically' increase the number of athletic events it stages," which will number 53 in '14. Expansion of the Rock 'n' Roll series "will include an aggressive push overseas" (WSJ.com, 3/11).
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