INNOVATION & TRANSFORMATION
Michael Capiraso is an executive with more than 25 years’ experience driving large-scale organizational transformation in entertainment, sports, and consumer products.
Most recently, Capiraso was President and CEO of New York Road Runners (NYRR), growing it to an $100 million organization, and responsible for the New York City Marathon. He is also a shareholder and advisor to JoggingBuddy, a free app that connects runners with jogging partners or groups near them.
Previously, Capiraso served in C-level roles with Cole Haan and WPP Prism. He has also held leadership roles with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and Calvin Klein. A longtime runner, he has competed in 28 consecutive NYC Marathons and raised more than $100,000 for the NYRR Team for Kids charity.
RECENT PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Michael Capiraso joined JoggingBuddy in 2020 as an advisor and shareholder. He joins a team of six advisors based in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.
At JoggingBuddy, Capiraso brings his considerable expertise in running and corporate administration to bear on the app’s rapid international expansion. JoggingBuddy is already available in 130 countries and has thousands of active users. Capiraso and CEO Tony Piedade are now focused on deepening users’ relationships with the brand and building out the app’s premium version, which allows users to automatically log runs in the app, receive geotargeted registration alerts, and communicate directly with potential running buddies.
Prior to coming onboard with JoggingBuddy, Capiraso served as President and CEO of New York Road Runners from 2015 to 2020. He was promoted internally, having previously held the role of COO/EVP of operations, administration, and strategy from 2012 to 2015.
During his time at NYRR, Capiraso oversaw a signature event, the New York City Marathon, that welcomed 53,000 finishers, raised more than $40 million for charity, drew more than 1 million in-person spectators, drove some $415 million in cumulative local economic impact, and appeared on screens in more than 700 million households worldwide.
NYRR grew considerably under Capiraso’s watch. Revenue rose from about $50 million to more than $100 million; the organization’s reserve endowment also doubled, to more than $70 million. Capiraso added 20 free Open Run weekly running events to NYRR’s annual calendar and grew total annual event and program participation to more than 700,000.
Capiraso also developed and rolled out NYRR’s profitable virtual racing business in partnership with Strava, bringing an additional 250,000 users into the organization. He established premium sponsorship agreements with top brands like New Balance, TCS, United Airlines, Gatorade, and UPS at a total annual value of $25 million. He also deepened NYRR’s commitment to the NYC community, launching the “1 for You, 1 for Youth” running shoe donation program in partnership with New Balance and establishing the NYRR Run Center, an inclusive community space that attracts 350,000 visitors annually.
MICHAEL CAPIRASO BACKGROUND AND EARLY CAREER
Michael Capiraso’s prior leadership experience includes a term as chief marketing officer at Cole Haan, a subsidiary of Nike. There, he oversaw a comprehensive brand transformation that included its first five-year multichannel plan that aimed to double revenue, leverage Nike’s endorsement relationship with tennis star Maria Sharapova, and strengthen Cole Haan’s e-commerce capabilities. He also executed the brand’s first social media marketing campaign.
Previously, Capiraso served as North America CEO for WPP Prism, a sports and entertainment consultancy. He was responsible for all aspects of the firm’s performance, including profitability, talent development and recruitment, and sales and marketing. While there, Capiraso closed deals with major clients, including AT&T, Coca-Cola, PGA of America, Rolex, Ferrari, and the Miami Dolphins’ business arm.
From 2003 to 2007, Capiraso worked as vice president of marketing and executive creative director for the National Football League under Commissioners Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell.
While in this role, Capiraso spearheaded the launch of the NFL Network television network and modernized branding for the league’s most recognizable IP elements, including the NFL football and shield. He also established or deepened brand relationships with major sponsors such as Coors, Burger King, Visa, Pepsi, and Gatorade, as well as NFL licensees Reebok, VF, and EA. Finally, he was responsible for $200 million in traditional and digital media assets and was integral in the development of the league’s youth- and Hispanic-focused content and media assets
From 2002 to 2003, Michael Capiraso served as a media consultant for Major League Baseball. Here, he ran ad campaigns for Major League Baseball Productions, including MLB teams, DirecTV, MLB Postseason, and MLB Authentic Apparel. He also served as an advisor to the This Week in Baseball program.
From 1994 to 2001, Capiraso held positions of escalating responsibility with Calvin Klein. As a producer, director of creative services, and finally a company vice president, he oversaw major ad campaigns for the company’s flagship apparel products, including ck one, Escape, Eternity, ck be, Calvin Klein Jeans & Underwear. He was responsible for Calvin Klein’s first interactive digital advertising campaign as well.
Capiraso earned his bachelor’s degree in management from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He returned to Fairleigh Dickinson to complete his MBA.
MEDIA, THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, AND AWARDS
Michael Capiraso is regularly featured as an expert in major media and industry publications, including NPR’s Planet Money, Bloomberg’s Business of Sports, CEOWorld, and Tech Times. He writes about running, corporate branding, and the business of sports on his personal blog and LinkedIn page.
Capiraso has won numerous awards and accolades over the course of his career:
Profile in Excellence Award (NYU Sports Business Society Awards, 2019)
Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism (Sports Destination Management, for his work with the NYC Marathon in 2019)
Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility (New York State, 2018)
Community Pacesetter Award (Back On My Feet NYC, 2017)
Volunteer Service Award (Westside YMCA, 2016)
Capiraso lives in New York City. A lifelong runner, he’s a tireless advocate for the benefits of exercise and a champion of well-designed outdoor public spaces. He has finished 28 consecutive New York City Marathon races and raised more than $100,000 for his Team for Kids charity.