World Triathlon Corporation Partner with Infront to Attract Sponsors

October 7, 2011

The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) and the international sports marketing group, Infront Sports & Media, have announced a partnership that will create a structure to organize sponsorship sales including Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. 

Infront will partner with WTC on sponsorship sales for Ironman (140.6 miles, 226 kilometres) and 70.3 (70.3 miles, 113 kilometres) races focusing on Europe and South Africa and will also serve as a media advisor. The key feature of this partnership is a central approach that brings sponsorship sales and media assets for both event brands under one roof, thereby enhancing the appeal for commercial partners.

Taking a strong sports brand to the next level The Ironman and 70.3 brands continue to gain popularity among athletes and athletic enthusiasts. Ironman participants convey a
unique and attractive combination of strengths and no other sport combines endurance, discipline, willpower and dedication in such a way.

In total, each year, approximately 200,000 international participants and professional triathletes compete in Ironman and 70.3 events. An estimated two million spectators a year in six continents watch the events live. Competitions in Europe and South Africa represent a community of nearly 40,000 participants and an estimated 800,000 spectators. The races take place in the world’s leading economies, including USA, China, Brazil, Germany, France and the UK, adding to the appeal of the two series for sponsors who want to focus on affluent industrial and consumer markets.

WTC will offer sponsors both the potential for exposure across more than 17 Ironman and 70.3 events annually in Europe and South Africa as well as more than 75 events worldwide. The races will be marketed from one central source, giving commercial partners an opportunity to get involved in a consistent way throughout the year. Infront will pursue sponsorship packages at various levels, including title/presenting/event partners, suppliers and licensees with a main focus on the European and South African events.

One important task for Infront is the provision of a dynamic, high-quality television product, in order to increase the quantity and quality of coverage of the Ironman and 70.3 events.

In 2012, production of the European and South African Ironman and 70.3 races will be overseen by Host Broadcast Services (HBS), the leading specialist host broadcaster in the world and Infront’s wholly-owned subsidiary. Race material are planned to be packaged into formats that are attractive to broadcasters, including a series of 14,
26-minute shows covering events from the Ironman and 70.3 race calendars. Magazine-style content will include race footage, results and standings, athlete profiles and background information and features on training and equipment and the Ironman lifestyle.

Infront will also advise WTC on the distribution of its worldwide media rights. The objective is to establish continuous, wide-reaching coverage of Ironman and 70.3 events and deliver the excitement of the sport to a wide range of distribution channels.

Andrew Messick, CEO of WTC, said: “We believe there is tremendous scope for extending the impact of the Ironman and 70.3 brands. Our partnership with Infront and the new platform will enable commercial partners to engage with both series even more effectively and encourage more broadcasters and fans to closely follow the

Mike Pine, CSO of WTC, commented: “Interest in the sport of triathlon continues to grow, but there are untapped European markets where we can increase mainstream exposure and make people say, ‘I want to align with this.’ With Infront in place as a direct extension of our global sales team, we can offer our sponsors and partners a unique opportunity to get involved with both brands.”

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront, added: “The Ironman and 70.3 series are truly inspirational in terms of what human beings can achieve and how their willpower and performance inspires. It is not only an inclusive sport that involves huge numbers of friends and family, but also a unique lifestyle-creating and immensely attractive
international communication platform for commercial partners. For Infront, the partnership with WTC marks a move into the fast growing field of mass participation events, which create close-knit communities on a global basis and offer excellent activation potential.”