New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/14/2013 -- A collection of leading U.S. executives in sports, media, fashion, music, and entertainment has been assembled to form a committee to re-brand the sport of wrestling for the new Olympiad. In early-January, then-President of FILA (the international governing body of wrestling), Mr. Raphaël Martinetti, contacted former college wrestler, and current sports production executive Mario Mercado and requested such a committee be formed to develop unique and unbiased recommendations for effective strategies and tactics for FILA and the sport of wrestling to be attractive to its athletes, live event and television spectators, broadcasters, corporate sponsors, and the International Olympic Committee. Anne Pellaud, head of FILA’s Sport Department, laid out a framework of the issues to be researched and analyzed by the group. Reaching out to his network of friends and colleagues, Mr. Mercado, who is also a board member of the United Nations Young Professionals Association, formed the committee for Scientific and Technical Research InitiatIVE (STRIVE), all of whom are donating their time and professional expertise.
This extremely influential and diverse group of executives include, famed fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, Don Sperling, Vice-President and Executive producer of New York Giants, John Filipelli, President of the Yankees Sports and Entertainment (YES) network’s production and programming, Ken Aagaard. Executive Vice President, Operations, Engineering & Production Services, CBS Sport, Cary Glotzer, CEO of Tupelo-Honey Raycom, Peter Murray, President of Insignia and former NFL Vice president, partnership marketing and corporate sales, Marc Bouwer, fashion designer, Scott Woodward, President of Sew Branded, Roger Moenks, international fashion photographer, Eden Grimaldi, President of Media Craft, Francesco Rulli, President of Film Annex, Dr. Ehud Arbit, neurosurgeon, John Barrett, Associate Athletic Director at Columbia University, Janice Quinn, Associate Athletic Director at New York University, Dylan Wanagiel, Director of Sporting Events at Madison Square Garden, Renzo Gracie, MMA fighter and entrepreneur.
The STRIVE committee will be supported by a research team that includes students from New York University’s renowned Sports Management Department that had also been commissioned by Mr. Martinetti to be part of the independent study to evaluate all aspects of wrestling, which will include focus groups. Wrestling expertise will be brought by Dr. Hamid Kermanshah, PhD. Dr. Kermanshah was a member of the coaching staff of both the 1980-84 U.S. Olympic teams, 1991 Iranian World team, former wrestling coach at Syracuse University, and current head wrestling coach of the New York Athletic Club, which has a rich legacy in supporting Olympic wrestler and has a PhD in psychophysiology. The study will be conducted independently, outside of any influence from FILA, its members, or its national wrestling federations in order to avoid any bias whatsoever. “I am extremely pleased and honored that a group of executives of this caliber have agreed to give their insights in helping make amateur wrestling more modern and exciting.” reported outgoing FILA President, Raphaël Martinetti.
Famed fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger: "My brothers and I love wrestling, and we're here to do anything we can to keep it in the Olympics."
Peter Murray, President of Insignia and former NFL Vice president, partnership marketing and corporate sales: By asking the right questions to the right people we're going to come up with some solid ideas to position wrestling so that it's THE sport to watch at the Olympics."
Cary Glotzer, CEO of production company Tupelo-Honey Ray Com: "Wrestling is global, has a rich history, and a ton of passionate fans. We're going to look at different formats and show how hot it can look on television."
Eden Grimaldi, President of branding firm Media Craft, “Whether is cosmetics, apparel, or even sports every brand has to evolve to stay relevant, and we’ll brainstorm some concepts that can be effective for wrestling.”
Francesco Rulli, President of Film Annex, "Amateur wrestling has an incredibly rich history, and through social and digital media we'll show how FILA can display that history through independent films including short and feature-length narratives, animations, documentaries, classics, as wells as behind the scenes videos and interviews.."
Contact: Twitter @marioJrmercado
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