The Merger That Shook Up And Revitalized The Sport

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

For 33 years, Brent Rutemiller has led Sports Publications International that publishes Swimming World Magazine.

Along the way, he also coached for decades and published SWIM, Swimming Technique and Water Polo Scoreboard magazines, and and produced The Morning Show as published a number of important stories from exposing drug-taking scandals to authoring Below the Surface, a groundbreaking book about the administrative side of coaching that USA Swimming recommended to its coaches and swim team officers. It was the first comprehensive collection of procedures and policies to unify a team’s mission with its attitudes and expectations.

But it was in November 2017 when he really shook up the aquatics world when he merged the International Swimming Hall of Fame with Swimming World Magazine. The merger was a completely unexpected and visionary as Rutemiller has now combined the archives of the history of the sport with contemporary reporting and future prognostications.

His vision for the sport of swimming is now being executed as he concurrently services as the Chief Executive Officer of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Swimming World Magazine.

Bill Kent, chairman of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Board of Directors, explained the announcement in 2017, “ISHOF is entering into a new era with the retirement of Bruce Wigo and the merger with Swimming World. With Brent Rutemiller as the new leader and with his generous gift of the Swimming World business to ISHOF, the combined organization will have a platform for sending the good message about the benefits of aquatic activities to the world at a new level.”

Rutemiller describes the synergy among two of the best-known brands in the swimming community, “The driving force behind the merger is to combine the areas that ISHOF and Swimming World have in common. The merger is a synergy of strengths. Sports Publications International will remain a separate entity, but will spin off its Swimming World Magazine division to become the marketing arm of ISHOF. The merger is a classic example of the whole being greater than its parts.

Swimming World Magazine reports the news, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame archives the news. Swimming World owns the copyrights to one of the largest reserves of aquatic images and content in the world. ISHOF is the repository for historical items. Swimming World reports and ISHOF honors swimming, water polo, synchro, diving, open water, masters and Paralympic athletes on a worldwide level.

We will invest heavily in the next generation of internet connectivity, expanded content, and interactive museum exhibits.

I have been at every level of this community for over 45 years and I have never been more excited about the impact that this will have on aquatics worldwide. We will merge these institutions in a way that will benefit everyone in the swimming community. I see many positive outcomes from this merger

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Steven Munatones