The Professional Triathlon Organisation (PTO) have announced that they have approached WANDA with the intent to acquire Ironman and its assets. We spoke to Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO, to find out more about the decision and what it means for triathlon
Why has the PTO made the decision to try and buy Ironman?
Ever since Providence Capital Partners first saddled WTC with $200 million debt and prepared for their exit sale, the business has been starved of investment. When WSG acquired WTC it burdened the operation with additional debt, thus restricting any ability of the dedicated management to invest and promote the business.
Our goal in acquiring the Ironman assets is to free it from this excessive debt burden and we are in discussions with partners where a healthy portion of equity is injected into the business to reduce interest payments and increase investment in things like promotion, production, race standards and prize money, and maybe even a health insurance programme for professionals.
You must admit something is wrong when athletes like Matt Russell and Tim Don are reduced to GoFundMe pages and charitable sponsor donations to pay medical bills after bike accidents at a World Championship Event. It is actually heartbreaking to see, and to be honest, we are a bit surprised the community is not more upset by this.
How confident are you this will happen – has there been any signs from Wanda that they’re open to this?
While we have not had any overt signs from Wanda before our letter, our bankers, North Point Advisors, have analysed the WSG Financial Statements and the performance of the IPO, and have advised that this an opportune time to start discussions.Since we have now sent our letter and released it publicly, we will not be permitted to comment on any ongoing discussions.
– 40 years of inspirational and aspirational IRONMAN athletes, stories and iconic moments showcase how a single event has grown into a global phenomenon –
New hour long special, IRONMAN “40 Years of Dreams” will premiere this Friday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
TAMPA, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – In continuation of the celebration of IRONMAN’s 40th anniversary, a new broadcast special IRONMAN® “40 Years of Dreams” will premiere this Friday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. This broadcast special highlights the remarkable stories of the awe-inspiring athletes and unforgettable moments that have grown the iconic triathlon brand into a global phenomenon since its very first triathlon event, which took place in Oahu, Hawai`i in 1978.
“There are so many amazing athletes and moments that have embodied the spirit of IRONMAN and captured the imagination of our community over the past 40 years,” said Christopher Stadler, Chief Marketing Officer for IRONMAN. “This broadcast special celebrates everything that athletes and fans around the world have come to love about IRONMAN.”
The 60-minute show highlights some of the most memorable moments and personalities that have left their mark on IRONMAN since its inception in 1978. Interviews include, Paula Newby-Fraser, Erin Baker, Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda Carfrae, Jan Frodeno and Greg Welch as well as Hines Ward, Sean Astin, Alex Zanardi, Al Trautwig, and Mike Reilly among others.
Since 1978, IRONMAN has showcased not only the limitless physical capability and competitive nature of the top-endurance athletes around the world, but also some of the most inspirational and impactful stories of courage and resilience from the age-group athletes and everyday individuals competing alongside them. The fortitude of these individuals has helped create a community that believes ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Four decades later, hundreds of thousands of athletes have fulfilled their dreams at finish lines all over the world.
Viewers should check local listings for broadcast information in their areas. To follow the IRONMAN “40 Years of Dreams” celebration all year long, visit www.ironman.com/40years.
About IRONMAN A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Holdings Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media and marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
IRONMAN AND INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON UNION AGREE TO HISTORIC PARTNERSHIP TO FURTHER DEVELOP THE SPORT OF TRIATHLON
TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2017) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company, and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced today that they have agreed to a historic cooperation framework to further develop and grow triathlon. After a week of meetings at IRONMAN headquarters in Tampa, Florida, senior leaders from both organizations, including ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado and IRONMAN President and CEO Andrew Messick, agreed on a historic growth framework that is the culmination of several years of work together.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by both parties citing key priorities and next steps to ensure the growth and harmonization of the sport. In particular, the MOU focused on standardized rules, further collaboration on anti-doping efforts, national federation relations, sanctioning, a single-set of rules, and collaborative marketing initiatives to grow the sport at the age-group level.
“Our collaboration with the ITU is of considerable importance for the prolonged and continuous growth of triathlon,” said Messick. “We share a common goal, have worked well together in recent years, and have developed trust in the ITU leadership group. I believe that the productive conversations that led to this milestone are pivotal for the continued progression of triathlon.”
“The best way to grow triathlon, and improve the sport at all levels, is to do so together,” said Casado. “Continuing strong collaboration with IRONMAN will serve to further evolve triathlon across the world. I look forward to many more fruitful meetings, and creating the best possible environments for athletes, following this cornerstone moment.”
Among the key priorities the ITU and IRONMAN have agreed to, are the following:
– Harmonizing anti-doping efforts to continue to protect clean athletes and the integrity of the sport
– Working towards ITU being recognized as the singular international federation leading the sport of triathlon
– The ITU sanctioning select IRONMAN® events as international events
– The ITU leading coordination and communication with its member National Federations to implement standardized rules and reinforce the ITU’s “Clean, Fair & Safe” mandate
– IRONMAN will leverage ITU resources in certain ethics-related matters, including technological fraud, code of conduct, manipulating of sport competition, etc.
– Working towards a single set of rules (ITU Competition Rules) for long-distance triathlon beginning in 2018
– Developing an athlete-focused edition of those rules with specific distance categories
– Alignment of efforts to foster the growth and development of the sport specifically focused on safety, first-time athletes, development of women in the sport, and education
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 44 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon and all related MultiSport disciplines including Duathlon, Aquathlon, Cross Triathlon and Winter Triathlon. ITU was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France. It has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and maintains offices in Vancouver, Canada and Madrid, Spain. It now has over 165 affiliated National Federations on all five continents. Triathlon was awarded Olympic Games status in 1994 and made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000. Triathlon is also featured in the Asian Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. Paratriathlon was accepted into the Paralympic Games in 2010 and will make its Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. ITU is proudly committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high-performance level. For more information, visit: www.triathlon.org.