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USOC hires Fleischer for communications issues

The U.S. Olympic Committee has hired Ari Fleischer as a communications consultant, bringing on board the former White House press secretary at a critical time for the organization and Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

Fleischer

Fleischer will not be a spokesman for the organization but will counsel it on communications issues and support the USOC in its search for a new communications chief.

Longtime communications executive Darryl Seibel, who resigned from the organization earlier this month, is due to leave June 1. The USOC has hired a search firm to help it replace Seibel but has not publicly set a timetable for when it hopes to hire someone. Fleischer will advise and consult the USOC during the search.

“[Ari] has done considerable work for a number of sports organizations in recent years and we’re pleased to have him on board,” USOC acting CEO Stephanie Streeter wrote in an e-mail. “He will help us with a variety of important communications matters.”

Fleischer said he’ll work on overall communications issues by helping “the USOC to think about the big picture” and working with the organization’s communications staff as it goes through a transition period with the impending leadership change. He’ll also be able to offer the organization both domestic and international political expertise as it pushes Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics. The IOC will vote on the host Oct. 2.

“The USOC is one of the most exciting brands in sports,” Fleischer said. “Everyone looks up to Olympians, and it’s an honor to be able to work with them.”

Since Fleischer joined IMG last year to form the Ari Fleischer Sports Communications company, he has been a consultant for MLB and the Women’s Tennis Association, and done media training for seven NFL teams and NASCAR. MLB didn’t renew his contract this year.

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