Newsroom Archive

May 8, 2011

Wise Adds New Award & Announces Presenters for WOMEN OF THE YEAR Luncheon


Rachel Gary
(201) 615-9629

NEW YORK, NY (May 18, 2011) – Women in Sports & Events (WISE), the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports and events, announced today the addition of a new honor to its 2011 WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon. For the first time ever, WISE will present the WISE Champion Award to a male executive who has championed women in the workplace. The inaugural recipient of the WISE Champion Award is Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports and an executive vice president of HBO.

Long acknowledged as one of sports' televisions most innovative executives, Greenburg created "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" in 1995, which has established itself as the leading sports journalism program on television. Greenburg has won more than 85 major television sports awards including eight Peabody Awards, 51 Sports Emmy Awards and 21 Cable ACE Awards. To a large degree, Greenburg redefined and reinvigorated the genre of sports documentaries with his award-winning documentaries on topics ranging from the Golden Age of baseball to sports personalities Arthur Ashe, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, among others. His ground-breaking films -- "Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer," "Dare to Compete: The Struggle of Women in Sports" and "Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team" — showcased his dedication to the advancement of women in sports.

"Ross Greenburg has been a strong advocate of women's participation and ascension in sports, both in front of the camera and behind it," said Sue Rodin, national president and founder of WISE. "From his documentaries showcasing female athletes, to his personal philosophies, to his continued support of WISE, Ross has proven to be a great champion for women."

Greenburg was selected as WISE's inaugural recipient of the WISE Champion Award based on the following criteria: Champions the role of women in the business of sports and events through the successful creation of new jobs, mentoring and networking opportunities; Clearly communicates a vision for women in the industry and their continued advancement; and Shows consistent commitment to the promotion of women's careers and recognition of their professional accomplishments.

"I am honored to be chosen to receive this special award from WISE," said Greenburg. "Telling the stories of pioneering female athletes is not just an obligation but a joy to us at HBO Sports. What makes me so enthusiastic is that we will have some many more compelling stories to share with our audience in the coming years as women athletes and executives continue to make remarkable accomplishments. HBO Sports is also proud of our diverse workforce, which includes some of the most accomplished women working in sports television."

As previously announced, the honorees for this year's WISE Women Of the Year are Stacey Allaster, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Women's Tennis Association (WTA), Lisa Baird, Chief Marketing Officer, United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Wendy Lewis, Senior Vice President of Diversity & Strategic Alliances, Major League Baseball (MLB). These three distinguished women will be honored at the 17th annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 8 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Presenters of the WISE Women of the Year awards include Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush and now president of Ari Fleischer Communications (presenting to Allaster), Paul Tagliabue, former Commissioner of the NFL and chairman of Georgetown University (presenting to Baird), and Jonathan Mariner, executive vice president & chief financial officer of Major League Baseball (presenting to Lewis). Other expected attendees include past WISE Women of the Year winners Jean Afterman, Val Ackerman, Christine Driessen, Sheila Johnson, Molly Solomon and Lydia Stephans. The event will be hosted by Tracy Wolfson of CBS Sports.

Additional information about the WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon, including purchasing of tickets and/or sponsorship can be found at www.WISEworks.org.

About WISE WISE (Women in Sports & Events) is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the sports and events industries. Through ongoing meetings, special events and mentoring programs, WISE aims to offer its members the opportunity to gain valuable industry insights and connections that can give them a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. Founded in 1993, WISE is a membership organization headquartered in New York City with chapters in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, NYC-Metro, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, as well as Syracuse University's WISE on Campus. WISE and its affiliated chapters are 501 (c) (6) not-for-profit corporations. To become a member of WISE, please visit www.WISEworks.org.