NEW YORK, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- David Pecker, Chairman and CEO of American Media Inc., and Ben Weider, President of The International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB), announced today that the two companies will be forming a joint venture to produce one of bodybuilding's best known professional events, the Joe Weider's Mr. Olympia Competition. The 2004 event will be staged at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Hotel, Las Vegas, from October 28 thru October 30, 2004 . (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040520/NYTH159 ) This landmark agreement will see AMI and the IFBB join forces to produce the world's premier professional bodybuilding, fitness and figure contests that comprise the Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend. This historic alliance between the sport's governing body and one of the country's largest publishing companies raises the prestige of the Olympia to a whole new level. The IFBB was founded in 1946 by Joe and Ben Weider. Today, it has national affiliates in 174 countries worldwide, making it one of the largest sport federations in the world and the only bodybuilding organization recognized (since 1969) by the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the International World Games Association (IWGA), and over 90 National Olympic Committees. The IFBB Joe Weider's Mr. Olympia has produced some of the sport's greatest bodybuilding icons, like Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and seven-time Mr. Olympia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Ms. Olympia debuted in 1980; the Fitness Olympia in 1995; and the Figure Olympia in 2003, adding names like Cory Everson, Lenda Murray and Susan Curry to the growing list of stars. "Mr. Olympia is the Super Bowl of bodybuilding, and this partnership between AMI and the IFBB will allow us to promote it so it achieves that degree of worldwide recognition," said Mr. Pecker. Mr. Weider added, "AMI and David Pecker were so enthusiastic about getting behind the Mr. Olympia property that the IFBB had to find a way to make it work. Muscle & Fitness and Flex are the #1 magazines in the industry, and with their marketing power and David Pecker's commitment to success, this was the perfect partnership." Muscle & Fitness and Flex recently announced that world renowned bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger was becoming Executive Editor of both magazines. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a statement on the partnership of AMI and the IFBB said, "The pairing of these two great organizations will take the Mr. Olympia competition and weekend to new heights. It will also bring the sport to new audiences and give it even greater exposure." As the details become firm for the 2004 competition, the partnership is already looking at sponsors to get behind this strong platform to reach this passionate and dedicated audience. "We intend to make Mr. Olympia the biggest event in Las Vegas in late October, and a must see for everyone in town. And as we fine tune our broadcast plans and promotional packages, advertisers and sponsors from a wide range of categories will see the potential this event presents to reach millions of fans, both here and abroad," Mr. Pecker said in regards to the marketing opportunities for the event. American Media Inc. is one of the largest media companies in the U.S. and the leading publisher of celebrity journalism, health and fitness and Spanish language magazines. These include the all new glossy Star magazine, Shape, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Hers, Flex, Fit Pregnancy and Natural Health magazines, the largest newsstand Latino magazine, Mira; Shape En Espanol and Thalia magazine, The National Enquirer, the best selling country music magazine, Country Weekly; and more than 200 mini-mags and digests. AMI recently launched its own book division with 10 titles released to date. In addition to print properties, AMI owns Distribution Services, Inc., the country's #1 in-store magazine merchandising company.
SOURCE American Media Inc.