The Olympia brand has a new owner… What does the future hold?
A detailed look into the Olympia brand, the new owner Jake wood and what we can expect in the future.
History of the Olympia brand
The history of the Mr. Olympia goes way back to 1965.
Joe and his brother Ben Weider created the Mr. Olympia, a contest to crown the best bodybuilder in the world.
The contest expanded and continued to grow every year with prize money increasing and more athletes fighting for their place on this prestigious stage.
As the Weider brothers started to get older and also realized they need somebody else to move their dream and legendary contest forward, they teamed up with American Media Incorporated (AMI) David Pecker.
This relationship started in 2003 when AMI acquired the popular consumer fitness brands Muscle & Fitness and FLEX from Weider Health and Fitness.
Mr. Pecker worked closely with Joe and Ben Weider to continue to grow the event from 2003 to 2005 when the Mr. Olympia joint venture was established between IFBB Pro League and AMI and AMI began its operational control of the event.
Finally in 2017, AMI acquired full ownership of the Olympia brand.
As AMI took complete ownership in 2017, the big split between the IFBB (Rafael Santonja) and NPC (Jim Manion) took place.
This hit the industry like a bolt of lightning and it is still being felt today.
The IFBB carried on with their major events and a number of Arnold Sport Festivals. They also created their own Pro division called the IFBB Elite Pro.
The Olympia brand continued to be sanctioned by NPC and Pro League.
Since their involvement, AMI has brought the Olympia brand at the highest level with the help of their vast experience in marketing and publishing.
As 2020 arrived, AMI’s David Pecker focus was diverted due to other matters affecting him and his company.
The writing was on the wall and as Evolutionofbodybuilding.net reported on a number of occasions, it was time for AMI to find a new owner for their company.
This website also predicted that Jake Wood could be a potential buyer.
When Jake’s Wings of Strength became one of the 2019 Olympia Weekend’s main sponsor, rumors already started to spread that Jake could eventually make an offer to buy the Olympia brand.
The Olympia brand is sold
The date, 14 February, 2020 will go down in history as the day the Olympia brand was sold to it’s third owner.
Wings of Strength owner Jake Wood, is the new exclusive owner of the Olympia brand and its related publications that were included in the deal from the previous sale to AMI.
As well, along with the great news of this sale, we will be seeing Dan Solomon at the helm for the next five years. We can surely expect great things from Dan and his team.
Jake Wood and his Wings of Strength already have vast experience in organizing major bodybuilding and fitness events, so the Olympia should be a smooth transition.
Now, it’s an event produced and owned by a fan, for the fans
Who is Jake Wood?
The Olympia brand’s new owner Jake Wood is a passionate bodybuilding fan.
His love for bodybuilding started when he was a teenager as he frequented Gold’s Gym with his friends to train.
This is when Jake noticed the female bodybuilder and was fascinated that a female can grow muscle like that.
When Jake was 19, he was involved in the family aircraft fastener manufacturing business for the next few decades.
When Jake was 46 in 2008, he sold the business and finally could concentrate on promoting shows and getting involved in bodybuilding in general.
Jake also launched a website called Wings of Strength, which showcased female competitors in bodybuilding, fitness, and figure.
Wings of Strength partnered with Gardner on the inaugural Chicago Pro in 2011.
When the Ms. Olympia was cancelled in 2015, Jake seized the opportunity to create his own women’s bodybuilding competition with substantial prize money for the female athlete. The contest is called Rising Phoenix.
In September 2018, Jake Wood acquired DigitalMuscle.com from Dan Solomon.
Dan would go on to run the Olympia for AMI in 2019.
When Jake Wood purchased DigitalMuscle.com, he needed somebody with experience in the industry on and off the stage to run the site.
Shawn Ray would be the man that Jake brought onboard to run the site.
Shawn Ray also helped to organize the reunion of the past Ms. Olympia winners at the 2019 Olympia Weekend to launch the return of the Ms. Olympia contest in 2020.
In 2019, Jake Wood’s Wings of Strength would become the presenting sponsor for the 2019 Olympia Weekend. The return of the Ms. Olympia for 2020 was also revealed.
Find out more about Jake Wood on muscleandfitness.com.
What can the fans expect in the future?
The 2019 Olympia Weekend was a success compared to the previous couple of years. As well it would turnout to be a huge challenge for the new man at the helm Dan Solomon.
With defending champion Shawn Rhoden being suspended along with Big Ramy and even Phil Heath not competing due to injuries, questions were being asked if the 2019 Olympia Weekend would be a success.
Dan and his team took all the criticism and ended up organizing one of the most successful events in recent years.
Still, after the 2019 Olympia Weekend ended, the AMI’s dedication to the Olympia brand was questioned.
Various media outlets spoke about the Olympia being sold to Dwayne Johnson or even Jim Manion.
With Jim Manion expanding his NPC brand internationally and Dwayne Johnson starting up his own competition, these theories went out the window.
In 2020 and future editions of the Olympia Weekend, we can expect an expo and show brought closer to the fans.
Now, it’s an event produced and owned by a fan, for the fans.
We can expect efforts to bring the media closer than ever, plus advertisers will surely have a better platform to advertise and promote their products.
Part of the decline of the Olympia brand in its final years was the lack of communication with the media. Only a selected few had access and the permission to cover certain parts of the event.
As the media have noticed in the past, it was not so easy to work with the people that ran the show in the past, Dan has changed all this and opened the doors to make it easier to promote and cover the expo and show.
If certain elements of the show were criticized in the past, you can expect to have your press application rejected.
This has changed now. Dan and his team take the criticism and make things right.
Women’s bodybuilding will eventually be given the same importance as all the other divisions.
The star factor at the Olympia Expo
In 2019, Dan Solomon invited Mark Wahlberg as a guest and it was a immediate hit with fans going crazy to get a glimpse of one of the film industries hottest stars.
4X Olympia winner, Jay Cutler was made Olympia Ambassador and he did a great job representing the brand.
The Olympia Ambassador for 2020 will be basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. Shaquille will bring star power to the event along with his great basketball history.
We can expect a buff Shaquille. Footage of Shaquille hitting the gym has been spreading like wildfire on social media.
More exciting news in the lead up to the 2020 Olympia Weekend will surely be revealed in the coming months.
All roads lead to the Olympia
Every competitor that competes in the NPC, NPC Worldwide and Pro League has one dream and that is to compete on the Olympia stage.
All roads lead to the Olympia. No other competition can replace the prestige of the Olympia.
Every pro competitor competes at the Arnold Classic, New York Pro and other major Pro League competition with the goal to qualify for the Olympia Weekend.
The Mr. Olympia is the hottest competition.
Only 15 athletes have lifted the Sandow trophy it its 55 year history.
Many have been celebrating the fact that Dwayne Johnson’s Athleticon will take over the Olympia, but this is far from the truth.
The Athleticon will have a pro show called The ICON World Classic in 2020. This show is not bigger than the Olympia; it’s just another qualifier for the 2021 Olympia Weekend.
Qualification points are not awarded to compete for the ICON World Classic, qualification points are awarded to athletes to compete at the Olympia.
At the beginning of the contest season, every athlete will plan out his or her season with one goal and that is to step on the Olympia stage in September.
Regardless who competes and wins the ICON World Classic, they will not be labeled the best in the world. The best in the world will be admiring the title they won a few weeks earlier at the Olympia Weekend.