Rob Urbach was named Chief Executive Officer of USA Triathlon in February 2011, and has quickly made an indelible mark while advancing both the organization and the sport. In his role, Urbach oversees all day-to-day operations for the National Governing Body for triathlon — the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement — as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon. As the largest multisport organization in the world, USA Triathlon serves more than 500,000 members and sanctions more than 4,300 local events each year. In addition to its focus on age-group athletes, race directors, coaches and officials at the grassroots level, USA Triathlon is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
Under Urbach’s guidance, USA Triathlon has reached all-time highs in membership, youth participation, sanctioned events, certified coaches and official clubs, as well as many key revenue centers, including corporate sponsorship and fundraising. His leadership was instrumental in the development of the inaugural ITU World Triathlon San Diego race, which debuted in May 2012 to rave reviews from all levels of the multisport community. The event, which also served as a qualifier for the 2012 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Team in London, returns as part of the ITU World Triathlon Series in April 2013.
One of the most accomplished executives in the sports industry, Urbach possesses more than 25 years of proven leadership experience. A proficient age-group triathlete, Urbach joined USA Triathlon from Cortview Capital Markets where he was a Managing Director providing mergers and acquisition, advisory and corporate financial services to sports industry clients.
Prior to Cortview, Urbach served as Executive Vice President for Octagon and led operations for one of the top global sports management and marketing firms. During his tenure at Octagon, Urbach oversaw the deployment of the firm’s resources around the world and led initiatives in diverse markets including South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey, Singapore and China. He also initiated, structured and negotiated numerous divestitures, acquisitions and joint ventures. Octagon owns and manages events in professional soccer, tennis, golf, athletics, motorsports, running, swimming, basketball, cricket and rugby; represents several hundred elite athletes such as Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps; and manages the sports marketing investments of major global companies such as BMW, MasterCard and Sony.
Before joining Octagon in 2005, Urbach was Executive Vice President of the SFX Sports Group, a division of Clear Channel Communications. In this role he reported to the Chairman and served on a four-person management committee that operated the company. He held sole responsibility for the marketing division and led all acquisition/business development initiatives. He developed and produced internationally televised sporting events and provided sports marketing and corporate consulting services. He also created sports-related programming for this interrelated group of sports management and marketing companies that represented more than 800 professional athletes, including such stars as Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi and David Beckham. While at SFX, and its predecessor companies from 1991-2005, Urbach was instrumental in identifying, negotiating and integrating 14 acquisitions.
Urbach began his career working for legendary sports agent David Falk, who represented Jordan, Patrick Ewing and numerous other National Basketball Association (NBA) stars. During this period he negotiated more than 300 athlete endorsement, event sponsorship, licensing and media deals with companies such as Electronic Arts, Nike, Coca Cola, Sony, IBM, General Motors, AT&T, Nabisco, Microsoft and Pfizer. Urbach also structured partnerships for elite clientele including Jordan, Agassi and Mike Krzyzewski.
Urbach is an MBA recipient from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Ky., where he was an All-American tennis player. He has won numerous age-group triathlons and finished the Ironman Kona World Championships in Hawaii, first in 1982 and then again – 30 years later – in 2012.