In a dramatic move to assist the world of aquatics in keeping our history alive, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is merging it’s operations with Swimming World Magazine. The combination will provide the International Swimming Hall of Fame with a much needed outreach arm, that Swimming World can provide, to the athletes, coaches and volunteers around the world in aquatics. Brent Rutemiller will become the Chief Executive Officer overseeing the merger, effective immediately.
Bill Kent, chairman of the ISHOF Board of Directors, made the announcement today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“ISHOF is entering into a new era with the retirement of Bruce Wigo and the merger with Swimming World. With Brent Rutemiller as the new leader and with his generous gift of the Swimming World business to ISHOF, the combined organization will have a platform for sending the good message about the benefits of aquatic activities to the world at a new level,” said Kent.
Rutemiller, CEO of Sports Publications International and owner of Swimming World Magazine, will remain in Phoenix, Arizona.
“The driving force behind the merger is to combine the areas that ISHOF and Swimming World have in common. The merger is a synergy of strengths. Sports Publications International will remain a separate entity but will spin off its Swimming World Magazine division to become the marketing arm of ISHOF. The merger is a classic example of the whole being greater than its parts,” said Rutemiller.
Bruce Wigo, who served as CEO for the last 12 years, will remain a part of the organization as its Historian, replacing Bob Duenkel, who retired after serving ISHOF for over 40 years.
“ISHOF has been a big part of my life. My work is not over as there are many stories still to be told about the history of aquatics. I look forward to supporting Brent and being part of the new ISHOF team as its Historian.” – Bruce Wigo
ISHOF and Swimmng World Areas of Synergy
- Swimming World Magazine (SWM) reports the news, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) archives the news.
- Swimming World owns the copyrights to one of the largest reserves of aquatic images and content in the world. ISHOF is the repository for historical items.
- SWM reports and ISHOF honors swimming, water polo, synchro, diving, open water, masters and Paralympic athletes on a worldwide level.
- ISHOF honors athletes, coaches, etc. with multimedia elements. SWM produces multimedia news segments and documentaries about athletes, coaches, etc.
- SWM covers major events around the United States and the globe. ISHOF honors athletes and coaches during major events around the globe.
- SWM exhibits at major clinics and conventions. ISHOF exhibits at major clinics and conventions.
- ISHOF has a wealth of historical information for marketing. SWM can be the marketing arm for ISHOF.
- ISHOF has members and SWM has subscribers. Subscribers will become members of ISHOF with additional benefits.
- SWM has an advertising sales force and over 1200 advertising relationships in the industry. ISHOF reaches out to the same industry clients. These relationships will move from advertisers to sponsors, bringing more value to everyone.
- ISHOF and SWM have relationships with almost every aquatic national governing body in the world. The merger will combine those relationships under one roof.
ISHOF and Swimming World Common Goals
- Invest heavily in the next generation of internet connectivity, expanded content, and interactive museum exhibits
- Merge worldwide relationships and contacts
- Find new media partners
- Consolidate marketing efforts
- 24/7 marketing and exposure (ISHOF-SwimmingWorld.com)
- ISHOF representation at national and international events
- Focus on social media connectivity toward younger generations
- Provide ISHOF with a growth plan while new ISHOF leases are being negotiated or new museum facilities are being built
- Increase sponsorship values by combining benefits, circulation and membership numbers, and advertising opportunities
- Increase event opportunities such as the crowning of High School Swimmers of the Year, High School National Champions, Swimmers of the Year, and Master Swimmers of the Year
“I welcome Brent to the ISHOF family. It is a perfect fit. We look forward to his vision, dedication and leadership knowing that Swimming World will ensure the future success of one of aquatics most valuable treasures – The International Swimming Hall of Fame.” – Donna Deverona, Past President of ISHOF, Olympic gold medalist, former world record-holder, and television sportscaster
“The history and future of swimming is enshrined at ISHOF, and Brent’s proven leadership will ensure its continued impact for all who love water sports globally ….and with Bruce Wigo’s enduring legacy assured.” – Dennis Carey, English Channel ‘80, ISHOF Board member
“I have been at every level of this community for over forty-five years and I have never been more excited about the impact that this will have on aquatics world-wide. We will merge these institutions in a way that will benefit everyone in the swimming community. I see many positive outcomes from this merger,” concluded Rutemiller.