DENVER, Feb. 9, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- The Quiznos Pro Challenge™, America's Pro Tour and premier world-class cycling event, today announced the appointment of Shawn Hunter as co-chairman to the race. In addition, Brian Farris has joined the executive team and will serve as chief operating officer. Hunter comes to the Quiznos Pro Challenge with a deep background in sports management and marketing as the former president and chief executive officer of Deportivo Chivas professional Soccer Club, after holding the position of chief marketing officer and president of AEG Sports. Hunter's experience with AEG included overseeing eleven sports teams worldwide and many of the brand's marquee sporting events, including the Tour of California professional bike race.
Hunter will utilize his experience in professional cycling and professional sports to help guide the development of the Quiznos Pro Challenge alongside Rick Schaden, the race founder, who also holds the position of co-chairman. Hunter's expertise in the sporting world will further bring premium attention to the sponsors, fans and cycling community for the marquee event.
"Shawn Hunter is a great asset to the Quiznos Pro Challenge team," said Schaden. "His experience leading world-class sports teams will be invaluable in guiding the strategy for one of the premier professional cycling events in the world. We have no doubt the Quiznos Pro Challenge will be the biggest spectator sport in the state of Colorado and will rank in the top five in the US."
Hunter also holds a position on the board of directors for Total Sports Asia, a company that has represented leading sports federations and rights holders from around the world including the US Open Tennis Championship, Badminton World Federation, Manchester United, and Real Madrid. He also served as President for the National Hockey League's (NHL) Phoenix Coyotes and held key executive roles for the Colorado Avalanche.
"Being a long time Denver resident, I know firsthand what the picturesque state of Colorado brings to a professional sporting event and to champion cyclists," said Hunter. "Hosting cycling's top athletes for a competition in some of the world's toughest altitudes and climbs will make for an epic race and we're determined to make it one of the most exciting sporting events in the world."
Since joining AEG in 2002, Hunter has also been influential in a number of major business developments in Major League Soccer (MLS). As one of AEG's representatives on MLS's Board of Directors, Hunter played a role in the formulation of the Designated Player Rule, which opened the doors for the arrival of such international stars, during the 2007 MLS season, as the New York Red Bulls' Juan Pablo Angel, the Chicago Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco, and the LA Galaxy's David Beckham. On behalf of AEG, Hunter also secured the Galaxy's multimillion dollar jersey sponsorship following Beckham's signing.
Farris comes to Quiznos Pro Challenge with most recent experience working as senior vice president of operations at Quiznos. "Having had an opportunity to work closely with Brian, he is the kind of get-it-done executive who always delivers on all levels," said Schaden.
The Quiznos Pro Challenge recently announced the first five teams confirmed to compete in the inaugural event, held August 22-28. The teams to sign on include; Team RadioShack (USA), Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy), HTC-Highroad (USA), Slipstream Sports/Garmin-Cervelo (USA), and BMC Racing Team (USA). In total, the Quiznos Pro Challenge will host as many as 128 professional cyclists from 16 teams for the 2011 competition.
These teams are comprised of many of the top cyclists in the world, including seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, world road champions Cadel Evans and Thor Hushovd, as well as legendary team directors Johan Bruyneel and Bob Stapleton. The riders from these teams who will participate in the Quiznos Pro Challenge will be defined once the team rosters are finalized for the 2011 season.
The Quiznos Pro Challenge is the most demanding professional bike race ever held in America, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes and nearly 600 mountain miles, for seven straight days. The inaugural 2011 Quiznos Pro Challenge will take place August 22-28, and it is expected to be the largest spectator event ever held in Colorado. The race travels through some of the world's most famous and beautiful destinations, including Colorado Springs, Salida, Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Golden and Denver. 128 of the world's best professional cyclists from 16 teams, including Team RadioShack, HTC-Highroad, Slipstream Sports/Garmin-Cervelo and Liquigas-Cannondale, will be put to the test like never before.
The competition, destined to become the most coveted prize in cycling, brings the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional cycling to heights more than two miles in elevation, across some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains. In the months leading up to the race, and throughout the live event, fans worldwide will be able to track their favorite cyclists like never before with the most advanced, interactive online, smartphone and broadcast television experience presented to date in professional cycling.
To keep in touch with the latest news and updates on the Quiznos Pro Challenge, visit www.quiznosprochallenge.com and follow the race on Twitter @qprochallenge or on Facebook.
Now in its 30th year, Denver-based Quiznos is a national chain designed for today's busy consumers who are looking for a tasty, freshly prepared alternative to traditional fast-food restaurants. Using premium ingredients, Quiznos restaurants offer creative, chef-inspired recipes for sandwiches, soups and salads.
CNN Money ranked toasty sub pioneer Quiznos as the No. 2 most popular franchise of the past decade in 2010. In 2009, Quiznos Toasty Torpedoes® earned a spot as one of the top 10 new product introductions from the Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey. Also in 2009, QSR Magazine ranked Quiznos No. 19 overall in its Top 50 Chains in system-wide sales. In October 2007, Quiznos was recognized for leading the QSR industry in wait time performance by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association's (MSPA) 2007 Wait Time Study. In May 2007, Zagat's consumer surveys listed Quiznos in the top 5 for Top Food, Top Facilities, Top Service and Top Overall, ahead of its direct competitors. For further information, please visit www.quiznos.com.
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SOURCE Quiznos Pro Challenge