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Olympics - 15 Jul 2021
On Location, the premium hospitality and events business owned by Endeavor, has brought in three senior executives after being appointed as the global hospitality provider for future Olympic Games.
The firm has hired David Geithner as executive vice-president of strategy and business development, Jaime Weston as chief marketing officer, and Heather Puglisi as senior vice-president of stakeholder services.
The additions to On Location’s senior leadership team come on the back of the firm last month being appointed the exclusive hospitality service provider for the Olympic programme, to work with future local organising committees to deliver hospitality experiences for spectators and Olympic stakeholders.
The International Olympic Committee has said the packages on offer will include tickets, travel, accommodation and “unique in-venue and host city hospitality”, and the tie-up will cover the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina and the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Geithner’s most recent role was as chief financial offer at healthcare technology company ReactiveCore, and he previously held the same role at Conde Nast. He also worked for over 20 years at Time Inc, including as vice president of the Time Entertainment Group.
Endeavor has said that “his experience across media and digital will prove invaluable".
Weston joins from Universal Music Group where she worked as executive vice president of consumer marketing. She previously spent 15 years in the senior marketing team at American football’s NFL, leading the strategic direction and management of the NFL brand.
Weston will be involved in supporting Endeavor’s roster of client events and entities including the Olympics, the NFL, and US college sport’s NCAA.
Puglisi’s background is in hospitality, having spent 11 years at Coca-Cola drinks as the senior director of global hospitality. While there, she was involved with multiple top-tier sporting events, including the summer and winter Olympics, and soccer’s Fifa World Cup.
Puglisi, who has also set up various consultancy agencies, will lead the hospitality aspect of the recently-agreed IOC partnership.
The IOC has claimed that its new hospitality model will ensure improved services for the families and friends of competing Olympic athletes, including tickets, support for travel and access to accommodation.
The strategy forms part of Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the next phase of the IOC’s reform programme, which was unveiled by president Thomas Bach in February of this year.
Until now, the IOC has worked with authorised ticket resellers in specific countries and regions to provide hospitality services for fans looking to attend the Olympics.
There will be no hospitality at this year’s summer games in Tokyo, given that spectators have been excluded from events because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting at Paris 2024, On Location will bring experience of delivering premium hospitality experiences at US events, including American football’s Super Bowl, NCAA college sports showpieces, golf’s Masters and Ryder Cup and tennis’ US Open.
Endeavor, the global entertainment, sport and content company, completed the acquisition of a majority stake in On Location at the start of 2020, in a deal worth about $660 million, with the NFL also increasing its holding, from 16 per cent to upwards of 20 per cent.
Activity in the hospitality sector has naturally been limited while spectators have largely been absent from venues because of Covid-19, but is expected to ramp up with restrictions being lifted in the US and other markets.