La Professional Triathlon Organization (PTO) has announced that it is making contacts with the multinational WANDA with the intention ofacquire IRONMAN and all its assets.
From the web 220triathlon They have interviewed Sam Renouf, CEO of PTO, to learn more about the decision and what it means for triathlon.
They intend to inject money to encourage production, the promotion of sport and even a health insurance for professionals
Why did the PTO decide to try to buy IRONMAN?
Since Providence Capital Partners first charged WTC with a debt of $ 200 million and prepared for sale, the business has been deprived of investments. When WSG acquired WTC, it charged the operation with additional debt, which restricted any capacity of dedicated management to invest and promote the business.
Our goal in acquiring the assets of Ironman is Free him from this excessive debt burden.
We are in talks with partners for iinject a healthy portion of capital into the business to reduce interest payments and increase investment in things like promotion, production, career standards and cash prizes, and maybe even a Health insurance program for professionals.
I must admit that something is wrong when athletes such as Matt Russell and Tim Don are reduced to GoFundMe pages and donations from charitable sponsors to pay medical bills after bicycle accidents at a World Championship event.
It is really heartbreaking to see it and, to be honest, we are a little surprised that the community is no longer bothered by this.
Has there been any signal from Wanda that they want to sell IRONMAN?
While we have not received any open signal from Wanda before our letter, our bankers, North Point advisors, have analyzed WSG's financial statements and IPO performance, and They have advised us that this is an opportune moment To start the discussions.
We send our letter and publish it publicly, we will not be allowed to comment on any ongoing negotiations.
You never know how these things work. By acting through a collective body such as the PTO, professionals are able to provide significant value to our partners and support and grow the sport we love.
It is about the athlete's self-determination. Our sport is mature and economically large enough that the PGA Golf Tour and the ATP Tennis, the PTO, with or without Ironman, will begin to take responsibility and control the direction and economy of the sport, and will continue to reinvest that economy. .
If successful, what will this mean for professional athletes?
This is the first step in the logical path for the self-determination of professional athletes in our sport, but we believe that this will not only benefit the elite: we believe that we can raise the profile of triathlon for all those interested in our sport (sponsors, age) Age groups, other event organizers.
We believe that IRONMAN is an incredible brand and business and we want to guarantee its longevity and success in the future.
Prize money is an important component and cannot be ignored (as an example: The Kona awards portfolio has experienced zero growth in the last 8 years although the income of the age group increased by 66%), but the path towards the self-determination of the athletes continues well beyond that, from the contribution to the schedules, the regulations, the sponsor's commitment, the promotion, joining to guarantee our sporting success.
And how will this affect the careers of Age Groups?
Our sport is unique in the sense that professionals and age groups they run in the same competition and at the same time, so we want that lThe age groups have a voice with us while we play the sport we all love so much.
How does this impact Challenge and your relationship with them?
Zibi and Felix and the entire Challenge family have been great supporters of the PTO and professionals from the beginning, and we will continue to be great supporters of them.
We believe that the sport has not benefited well from the 'rivalry' between IRONMAN and Challenge, andWe believe that the existing operations of the organizations are quite compatible and that we would try to work with Challenge and will be a great asset to help the sport thrive.
While we will have strategic financial partners, the PTO itself is a nonprofit entity, which means we canallocate resources to other organizations in the triathlon community We believe they are looking to benefit the sport.