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WHITE PLAINS, NY - 18 Jun 1998: -- Elizabeth (Eli) Primrose-Smith, Vice President of Worldwide Olympic and Sports Sponsorships, IBM, was one of three Women of the Year honored by Women In Sports and Events (WISE) at an awards luncheon in New York City today.
Founded in 1993, WISE was created to provide access, opportunities and support for women in sports and special events. The Women of the Year award celebrates outstanding female executives whose accomplishments in sports or special events have earned them industry-wide recognition and respect. Primrose-Smith's co-honorees were Val Ackerman, President of the WNBA, and Robin Roberts, a commentator for ESPN and ABC Sports.
Primrose-Smith, a Pan American Games Gold Medalist in swimming and a sports marketing professional, joined IBM in November 1994 as Director of Worldwide Olympic and Sports Sponsorships. As a result of her success in this position, she was promoted to Vice President last month. Primrose-Smith leads IBM in its long-term agreement with the International Olympic Committee and oversees IBM's sponsorships with professional sports organizations in tennis, golf, basketball and hockey.
"During the last decade, women have made tremendous advances in sports management," commented Primrose-Smith. "I am very pleased to help forge paths for other women to contribute to the sports industry as athletes and business leaders."
Before joining IBM, Primrose-Smith was managing director and chief administrative officer of the most successful and profitable World Cup in history -- World Cup USA '94, Inc. Her wealth of sports marketing knowledge is drawn from experience with numerous high-profile sponsorships. She has also served as president and executive director of the U.S. Olympic Festival in Los Angeles in 1991, associate vice president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, and executive director of the first World Games in 1981.
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Lori Anne Kober
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