Press Release

U.S. Figure Skating announces new partnership

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment on board

David Raith, the executive director of U.S. Figure Skating, said it was an easy decision to choose Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment.
David Raith, the executive director of U.S. Figure Skating, said it was an easy decision to choose Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment. (Getty Images)

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(03/31/2008) - U.S. Figure Skating, the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States, and New York-based Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment announced Monday a multi-year partnership that will see Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment serve as U.S. Figure Skating's sponsorship and media sales agency.

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, a leading sports marketing and media sales organization, was selected from a number of candidates that responded to U.S. Figure Skating's request for proposals circulated in late January.

"We were extremely pleased with the number and quality of responses we received to our RFP," said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating. "But in the end, our decision was easy. Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment is one of the leading sponsorship and media sales agencies in the market, and they provide all the key qualities we were looking for when we started this process."

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment offers a range of products and services, from TV-visible sports signage and sponsorships to promotional and media property consulting. The company holds relationships with several major sports teams and leagues across the nation including MLB, NBA, NCAA and a recently announced partnership with UFC.

"Through the review process, it became clear that partnering with Van Wagner will provide U.S. Figure Skating the expertise and resources of a large company that possesses the attention to detail and focus on figure skating you would expect to find only in a smaller firm," Raith said.

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment will assist U.S. Figure Skating with the sale of its NBC television media, event entitlement, in-arena and on-air signage, grassroots programs and icenetwork.com broadband assets. The deal also allows Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment and U.S. Figure Skating to partner on the development of future assets.

"We are honored and excited about partnering with U.S. Figure Skating for their sponsorship and media sales efforts," said Cliff Kaplan, president of Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment. "As U. S. Figure Skating is now in direct control of all aspects of its sponsorship program, this represents the first time that it is having a direct dialogue with sponsors. We anticipate great excitement on behalf of marketers within the U.S. Olympic movement and beyond, as its platform presents a tremendous vehicle to connect with a passionate and loyal audience that follows these athletes in both Olympic and non-Olympic years."

The multi-year, exclusive agreement will allow U.S. Figure Skating and Van Wagner to build 360-degree integrated packages that provide complete solutions to partners, while enabling U.S. Figure Skating to provide support to its athletes and to continue to grow the sport of figure skating.

"What marketers will be impressed with is the array of media and marketing assets that comprise U.S. Figure Skating's offering, as well as the strength of those assets," Kaplan continued. "Our offering will consist of commercial inventory on NBC programming, extensive camera-visible signage, official marketing rights and designations, a robust broadband platform that allows fans to get even more content highlighting their favorite athletes and events, opportunities to create closer associations with the athletes themselves, and grassroots platforms that will enable sponsors to extend their association into communities across the country."

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment and U.S. Figure Skating are actively engaged with several potential sponsors and will be exploring new partner opportunities in the coming months.

U.S. Figure Skating
U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of approximately 1,425 member clubs and Basic Skills programs representing nearly 184,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States, including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment
Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, a leading sports marketing and media sales organization, is organized into three groups that offer a variety of services and platforms within the sports and entertainment industries. Van Wagner Dorna USA, LLC is the industry-leading provider of rotational signage utilized by most MLB and NBA teams, as well as over 100 NCAA institutions. Van Wagner's Media and Properties Division delivers advertising, sponsorship, and programming opportunities with best-in-class sports properties to corporate marketers. Van Wagner's Strategies and Solutions group identifies and develops sponsorships and promotions that maximize a brand's marketing initiatives. Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Van Wagner Communications, LLC.