Inside Olympia’s incredible growth

In the world of fit bodies and muscular physiques, there is no name that shines brighter than Olympia. Created nearly 60 years ago by bodybuilding pioneer Joe Weider, the Olympia logo has become the ultimate symbol of achievement, earning distinction as the most prestigious event brand in the category. As companies maneuver to secure their place at Olympia Expo, the global brand thrives in part because there is no more coveted title or more prestigious stage.

How popular is the Olympia? Popular enough to completely sell out their main Saturday night events during the two pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. Strong enough to rake in prize money in excess of $1.6 million, more than double the fitness industry’s next biggest event . And ambitious enough to deliver a stage production that rivals a rock concert, while still making room for the biggest pay-per-view audience in sports. A year ago, Olympia Weekend set records for total referrals, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story.

In 2018, longtime media and production industry insider Dan Solomon was hired to take the reins of Olympia, a move that marked a change in the management of the brand. “For many years the Olympia was considered simply a world championship event.” explains Solomon. “When I took the job, my goal was to make Olympia a multi-faceted brand throughout the year, not just a weekend event. So far, the results have been overwhelmingly positive.

As Olympia Weekend continues to grow in every way possible, the 365-day strategy has been nothing short of remarkable. In 2019, the Olympia clothing line was launched and it didn’t take long for products bearing the Olympia logo to become the hottest products on the market, a sign of the brand’s strength globally. . And that was just the start. The Olympia licensing program continues to gain momentum around the world with agreements in place for equipment and other commercial initiatives. The Amateur Olympia program has become the largest amateur event franchise in the world, with over 5,000 athletes competing in NPC-sanctioned events in 12 countries, with more planned for years to come.

While developing the largest social media reach of any fitness event in the world, Olympia enjoys a powerful partnership with the NPC and the IFBB Professional League, the top competitive physical organizations in the world. Simply put, all roads lead to the Olympia, a reality cemented by an athlete qualification system that positions the event as the “Superbowl” of bodybuilding, fitness and physique competition.

Jim Manion, the man who sits atop both competitive organizations, has watched closely as Olympia continues to raise the bar. “The Olympia is a one-of-a-kind experience,” says Manion. “There’s a sense of history, prestige and a level of production that makes it special. The fans dream of being there and the athletes dream of walking on this stage. It’s the holy grail of bodybuilding, it’s the top of the mountain.

In 2020 Olympia was acquired by Jake Wood, one of the most passionate supporters in the industry. Since the acquisition, the event has benefited from his vision and a commitment to delivering more value in several areas, evidenced by increases in production budgets and prize money. With Solomon in charge of overseeing all phases of Olympia, the team is bolstered by production guru Tamer El-Guindy, VP Angelica Nebbia and a powerful production team.

The show’s growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by top brands and celebrities as more and more people line up to enjoy the fitness industry’s most famous tradition. This year’s event, scheduled for December, brings Olympia to the heart of the Las Vegas Strip at Planet Hollywood Resort, home to the Zappos Theatre, one of Vegas’ top entertainment venues. The Olympia World Fitness Expo will take place across the street at the Venetian Convention Center (formerly known as the Sands Convention Center). An event that began in an auditorium in 1965 is now staged in the best venues around the world, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

As the crowds have grown so has the number of A-List celebrities who have been spotted at the Olympia in recent years, a list that includes Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Dave Bautista, Marcus Allen and other notables from the worlds of music, sports and entertainment.

Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are now available for this year’s event. VIP packages are already sold out, but regular tickets are on sale now.

Solomon adds: “There is nothing more rewarding than meeting fans attending the Olympia for the first time. Seeing their raw emotion and hearing their stories of inspiration and motivation is nothing short of amazing. We take things to a whole new level in December. »

Visit www.MrOlympia.com for full details, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities. But don’t delay, good seats sell out fast and premium exhibitor locations won’t last long.

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