Opening Session at 2020 Running USA Conference to Address “The Start Line for Evolution”


When change is needed, how can we successfully adapt, evolve and move forward?

Detroit, MI (Oct. 17, 2019) – With the running industry at a critical juncture due to participation trends, increasing costs and competitive pressures, the opening panel discussion at Running USA 2020 will feature prominent speakers in sports and media who have led transformative organizational changes.

Whether you view evolution as a constant process, something that happens in waves, or something you’re set to begin, there are inevitable junctures in the life of your business where change is necessary,” said T.K. Skenderian, co-emcee of the 2020 event, who will moderate the conversation. “We will sit down with three leaders of their respective industries to talk about when and why they evolved, how they evaluate their adaptations, and their road map for the future.”

Two of the three panelists are now being announced for the first time.

Paul Rabil is a professional lacrosse player and co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League – a new professional lacrosse league launched in October 2018, with 160 of the best players in the world and a major media rights deal with NBC Sports Group. The PLL has been a changemaker for the visibility and branding of the sport of lacrosse.

Off the field, Rabil has leveraged his sophistication in media and tech to build a robust multi-channel influencer network, anchored by his YouTube channel with 200,000+ subscribers and an Instagram account with 350,000+ followers. In 2017, SportTechie awarded Paul as “Most Tech-Savvy Athlete on the Planet,” and in 2018, the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards named him the 2018 “Best Athlete in a Web Series.”

Patrick Stiegman is Vice President and Editorial Director, Global Digital Content, overseeing the development of ESPN’s digital editorial content around the world. Stiegman leads the editorial efforts for more than 20 international editions of, global sport verticals such as and, and coverage of major global events, working closely with ESPN’s international digital product and the DTCI global business teams.

Though he only embraced the sport in recent years, Stiegman has become an avid runner, having completed more than 100 half marathons, 21 marathons and two IRONMAN 70.3-mile races since 2012. He has finished three Boston Marathons, four New York City Marathons, two Marine Corps Marathons and two Walt Disney World Marathons, including runDisney’s  “Dopey Challenge” in 2019. He brings a unique perspective on global sports media and running’s particular challenges in attracting widespread attention.

The third panelist will be announced at a later date.

“We know our sport is at a crossroads, and this panel will push our audience to think innovatively around evolving their businesses,” said Christine Bowen, vice president of programming, partnerships and operations for Running USA. “It’s time to be open to changing mindsets and get out of the dusty old ‘this is how we do it’ box.”

The 2020 Running USA conference is set for Sunday to Tuesday, Feb. 9-11, at Caesar’s Palace Resort and Casino. Register today for the best rate.

About the Industry Conference

Since its origins as a small gathering of Running USA’s founders in Southern California in 2004, the Running USA annual conference has grown to becoming the best-attended, most esteemed gathering of running industry professionals from around the USA and the world. Now moving locations each year, the conference has been held in Los Angeles, San Diego, Savannah, Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, New Orleans, San Juan, Puerto Rico and now Las Vegas, Nevada.  Register here.

About Running USA

Running USA is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization devoted to improving the status and experience of distance running and racing in the United States through collective marketing and promotions, information and communications within the industry and to the national media, services to events and industry members, and the development of American world class stars. It seeks the advancement of the sport and the provision of value to each of its members' events and businesses. For more information, visit