Muscle Sport Magazine

Wings of Strength Sponsorship Deal – the Return of Ms. Olympia?

Andrzej Jaworski/AJ JAWA Photo

Much has changed with the Olympia since last September when Shawn Rhoden was crowned the king of bodybuilding. American Media, Inc., the parent company who owns the competition and expo, has been having financial issues and their top publication – The National Enquirer – was recently sold for $100 million, a basement bargain price tag for the best-selling supermarket tabloid.

Even with the sale of the Enquirer (and its sister publications The National Examiner and Globe), AMI is still in debt of the tune of $355 million. David Pecker, AMI Chairman and CEO, has been the face of Olympia Weekend since the Joe and Ben Weider both passed away and already had folded/merged his top bodybuilding title “FLEX” into a 50-something-page ‘insert’ included with “Muscle & Fitness.” 

Long-time Olympia producer Robin Chang was reassigned as International Director for the NPC Worldwide and the IFBB Professional League, while Dan Solomon was brought on board and given the title of Chief Olympia Officer and it appeared that the strategy was to hit the sponsorships hard, thus addressing the all-important bottom line. They put out a press release on April 8 entitled, “Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend Fueled By New Sponsors and Renewed Vision,” which named Tamer El-Guindy as Chang’s replacement, announcing that more prize money will be handed out for the women’s events and to “keep an eye out for some exciting announcements in the coming weeks,” according to Solomon.


The recent news about Wings of Strength agreeing with AMI on a “presenting sponsorship”  makes all of this appear to come together and point towards a return of female bodybuilding – and hopefully the Ms. Olympia – to the September event.

“This is a landmark achievement for Wings of Strength,” Jake Wood, president of WOS stated in the release. ‘We started our company because of a genuine passion for bodybuilding, providing opportunities for female bodybuilders and anyone who shares our love for this incredible sport.  Over the years we have grown in many different ways.”

Part of that growth was purchasing Digital Muscle a few months ago from the aforementioned Solomon, giving WOS a larger platform to promote their global series of female bodybuilding competitions that culminates with the Rising Phoenix World Bodybuilding Championships, which has become the de-facto ‘Ms. Olympia’ since it was shelved following Iris Kyle’s win in 2014.

Another ‘hint,’ if you will, was the sub-headline for the Muscle & Fitness article announcing the WOS – Olympia deal. “The 2019 Olympia’s Presenting Sponsor is Devoted To Expanding Bodybuilding For Every Body.” Since the show already includes every category EXCEPT for female bodybuilding, one can read into that and surmise that the only competition-based company putting female bodybuilders in the spotlight would be spending what is sure to be a boatload of money to promote their own product.


“The new deal with WOS is exciting on several fronts,” Solomon told mSm. “With added visibility, Jake and his team can provide an entirely new level of opportunities for all athletes. This is a significant sponsorship and I think fans are going to like what WOS has planned for Olympia Weekend.”

According to one of our sources who requested to remain anonymous, the time table for the return of female bodybuilding to The Orleans Arena during Olympia Weekend is 2020.

“There will be something at the expo this year,” the source informed us, “but Jake is working on it. (He) has to prove to David Pecker that the women are worth the return. Jim Manion is on board, as is Robin Chang.

“But it looks for sure next year there will be a return (of female bodybuilding).”

A change for the better for once, we may add…

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