Virgin Group's latest endeavor, Virgin Sport, just added a leader: the woman behind the New York City marathon.
Mary Wittenberg, president and chief executive of New York Road Runners (NYRR), is leaving to join Virgin Sport, which aims to grow participation in running and cycling events, according to a Wednesday blog post by Virgin CEO Richard Branson. Wittenberg will be CEO of the new entity.
Virgin Sport is slated as a New York-based platform to help community leaders in the U.S., U.K. and South Africa plan events like marathons and triathlons. Sport, which will operate as an independent business owned by Virgin Group, would do the staffing and marketing to attract sponsors and participants, according to Virgin Group partner Evan Lovell.
As Virgin Group looks to expand its fitness portfolio with Sport, it is banking that Wittenberg can score it the same type of growth for Virgin Sport events as she did for the New York marathon.
"We [Virgin Sport] are looking to do multiple events in each different community and be a year-round presence there," said Wittenberg. "We are looking to be part of the connective tissue of the region."