Dienstag, 11. Juni 2019

IRONMAN Triathlon-owner Wanda Sports Group starts IPO process with target to raise US$500 million

According to two recent sources (NASDAQ, Renaissance Capital), Dalian Wanda Group is starting the IPO process for IRONMAN with a target range to raise US$500 million up to US$1 billion. 3athlon reported earlier in 2018 and 2019. full 162 page prelimary SEC Form F1 linked below.

Quote, NASDAQ:
IRONMAN to IPO: Global sports owner Wanda Sports Group files for a $500 million US IPO 
Wanda Sports Group, the sporting and live events unit being spun out of China's Wanda Group, filed on Friday with the SEC to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering. 
Wanda Sports is one of the world's largest sports events, media and marketing platforms in terms of revenue in 2018, owning Infront Sports & Media, World Endurance Holdings (owner of the IRONMAN triathlon competition and brand) and Wanda Sports Co (owner of the China Cup International Football Tournament and the UCI Tour of Guangxi). 
The Beijing, China-based company traces its roots to 1980 and booked $1.3 billion in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2019. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol WSG. Wanda Sports Group filed confidentially on March 20, 2019. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Citi are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.  
The article IRONMAN to IPO: Global sports owner Wanda Sports Group files for a $500 million US IPO originally appeared on IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital's web site renaissancecapital.com.  
Investment Disclosure: The information and opinions expressed herein were prepared by Renaissance Capital's research analysts and do not constitute an offer to buy or sell any security. Renaissance Capital's Renaissance IPO ETF (symbol: IPO) , Renaissance International ETF (symbol: IPOS) , or separately managed institutional accounts may have investments in securities of companies mentioned.

Quote, Renaissance Capital:
IRONMAN to IPO: Global sports owner Wanda Sports Group files for a $500 million US IPO 
Wanda Sports Group, the sporting and live events unit being spun out of China's Wanda Group, filed on Friday with the SEC to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering. 
Wanda Sports is one of the world's largest sports events, media and marketing platforms in terms of revenue in 2018, owning Infront Sports & Media, World Endurance Holdings (owner of the IRONMAN triathlon competition and brand) and Wanda Sports Co (owner of the China Cup International Football Tournament and the UCI Tour of Guangxi). 
The Beijing, China-based company traces its roots to 1980 and booked $1.3 billion in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2019. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol WSG. Wanda Sports Group filed confidentially on March 20, 2019. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Citi are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. 
  1. NASDAQ: IRONMAN to IPO: Global sports owner Wanda Sports Group files for a $500 million US IPO
  2. Renaissance Capital: IRONMAN to IPO: Global sports owner Wanda Sports Group files for a $500 million US IPO
  3. Wanda Sports Group Company Limited, FORM F-1 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 7, 2019
  4. China's Wanda files for U.S. IPO of sports unit including WTC's IRONMAN series to raise up to $500 million: sources
  5. Wang Jianlin's sports holding within Dalian Wanda Group might consider an IPO and sale of overseas assets including Infront Sports & Media AG, World Triathlon Corp (Ironman)


Montag, 10. Juni 2019

Eleven Start Waves, Instead Of Three: IRONMAN Announces New Swim Start Protocol For 2019 IRONMAN World Championship

IRONMAN to introduce new wave start aimed at reducing athlete density on bike course. In the past there where only three different start groups: male pros, female pros and all the age group athletes, who qualified for the World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This is history, the so called and extensively in domestic and global events tested rolling start helps de-cluster the large and tight fields of competitive athletes of all age groups successfully.

Quote:
TAMPA, Fla. (June 10, 2019) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, announced today a new swim start protocol that will be implemented for the 2019 IRONMAN® World Championship. For the first time, the world championship event will utilize a wave start that separates the field into 11 groups. Like in previous years, the professional men’s field will start at 6:25 a.m., followed by the professional women’s field at 6:30 a.m. The PC/Open Exhibition and Handcycle divisions will then begin their day at 6:35 a.m. The first age group wave will start at 6:55 a.m. and continue every 5 minutes until all athletes are in the water.

“The swim start change is a reflection of, and reaction to, the extraordinary ability of our IRONMAN World Championship athletes,” said Andrew Messick, President & CEO of The IRONMAN Group. “While we appreciate the simplicity and iconic visual of the mass start, our primary responsibility is to create a fair race for all athletes. A single start each for age-group men and age-group women creates too much density on the bike course.”

The decision to move to an extended wave start was made following a comprehensive analysis of athlete data with the goal of reducing peak athlete density flowing onto the bike course. The new start times will not change the existing cut off standards for the IRONMAN World Championship – 2:20 for the swim and 10:30 for the bike. Athletes will also still have to reach the finish line within 17 hours to be official finishers of the race.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of our events in an effort to create a fair, safe and world-class experience for our competitors who work so hard to get to this start line,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President of World Championship Events of The IRONMAN Group. “The IRONMAN World Championship is the pinnacle of endurance racing and our belief is that this change will allow for the highest competition to occur while enhancing the quality of the race.”

New start times:
Time | Division
6:25 | MPRO
6:30 | FPRO
6:35 | PC OPEN / HC
6:55 | M18-39
7:00 | M40-44
7:05 | M45-49
7:10 | M50+
7:15 | F18-39
7:20 | F40-54
7:25 | F55+
7:30 | Legacy

The IRONMAN World Championship is the ultimate and most iconic one-day test of body, mind and spirit with over 90,000 athletes competing to qualify at more than 40 global IRONMAN events each year. Last year’s record-breaking race welcomed approximately 2,500 registered athletes from 82 countries, regions and territories, marking the largest international field in race history.

The 2019 IRONMAN World Championship will enjoy 20 hours of comprehensive live race-day coverage globally via IRONMAN NOW™ on Facebook Watch (www.facebookwatch.com/IRONMANnow) and through regional television coverage, including NBC Sports in the United States. Last year’s IRONMAN World Championship live coverage included everything from the early morning body marking to the final hour finish-line celebration and had nearly 20 million total views on Facebook Watch.

Mittwoch, 8. Mai 2019

Post Holdings’ potential Active Nutrition IPO with PowerBar brand in it's portfolio is ‘on track’ with SEC and a strong second quarter

The initial public offering of Post Holdings' fast-growing Active Nutrition segment, which includes the iconic PowerBar brand and Dymatize and Premier Protein brands, remains “on track for a fall execution,” but may not happen before the end of the fiscal year, the company’s President and CEO Rob Vitale told investors during a May 3 earnings call. He explained that while “we previously discussed execution in our fiscal year,” which ends Sept. 30, “we have examined the calendar for financing, tax structuring and other activities, [and determined] the process may extend into October, subject to market conditions.” 

He added that the company has received and responded to comments from the SEC following the April 8 filing of a confidential draft registration statement for the IPO of its Active Nutrition business, which Post previously announced in November that it hoped to spin off this fiscal year.

According to DNF is no option Post Holdings acquired PowerBar for “USD 150M (400M including contractually assumed obligations) in cash” five years ago.

Mittwoch, 27. März 2019

Talbot Cox' IRONMAN Hawaii, Kailua-Kona Series Compilation

Vlogger and producer Talbot Cox has digged into his shelf with high quality shots from Kailua-Kona with many top triathletes in action from various angles. Just enjoy the 45 minute video with music and give the video producer a thumbs up on his channels on Youtube, Instagram, etc.

Donnerstag, 21. März 2019

Doping: Honolulu Marathon statt IRONMAN Hawaii

Nach Angaben der BILD soll es sich bei den Flügen nach Hawaii in der Erfurter Doping-Affäre um die Teilnahme beim Honolulu-Marathon gehandelt haben:
„Schmidt oder einer seiner Helfer flog extra nach Hawaii, um beim Honolulu Marathon im Dezember mindestens eine Sportler zu betreuen. Der Marathon gehört mit über 30.000 Läufern zu einem der zehn größten der Welt. Triathleten gehörten nicht zu Schmidts Kunden.“
IRONMAN Hawaii oder Honolulu Marathon? Nach Angaben der BILD soll es sich bei den Indizien für Doping auf Hawaii um mindestens eine Teilnehmerin oder einen Teilnehmer über 41,195 Laufkilomter beim Honolulu Marathon gehandelt haben. Photo: Pexels/Pixabay CC0
Diese Sichtweise wird von  einer Aussage der Staatsanwaltschaft gegenüber der FAZ in einem Artikel vom 22. März 2019 gestützt:
„Unterdessen hat die Staatsanwaltschaft München auf Anfrage erklärt, dass sie mit einem Hinweis auf den Doping-Tatort Hawaii nicht den berühmten IRONMAN der Triathleten gemeint habe. Stattdessen soll Anlass der Aktivitäten der Gruppe um S. der jährliche Marathon in der Hauptstadt Honolulu gewesen sein.“

Doping: Honolulu Marathon instead of IRONMAN Hawaii

According to BILD, the flights to Hawaii in the Erfurt doping affair are said to have involved participation in the Honolulu Marathon:
“Schmidt or one of his helpers flew specially to Hawaii to look after at least one athlete at the Honolulu Marathon in December. With over 30,000 runners, the marathon is one of the ten largest in the world. Triathletes were not among Schmidt's customers”.
IRONMAN Hawaii or Honolulu Marathon? According to BILD, the evidence of doping in Hawaii should have included at least one participant in the Honolulu Marathon. Photo: Pexels/Pixabay CC0
This view is supported by a statement made by the public prosecutor's office to the FAZ in an article dated 22 March 2019:

„Meanwhile, the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office, upon request, stated that by referring to the Hawaii doping scene, it did not mean the famous IRONMAN of the triathletes. Instead, the annual marathon in the capital Honolulu is said to have been the reason for the activities of the group around S.“.

Mittwoch, 20. März 2019

Erreicht die Affäre um Doping in Erfurt den Triathlon oder den Honolulu Marathon?

Bei Razzien unter dem Projektnamen „Operation Aderlass“ hoben Ermittler rund um die Staatsanwaltschaften in Deutschland und Österreich am 27. Februar 2019 bei der Nordischen Ski-WM im österreichischen Seefeld und im deutschen Erfurt ein Doping-Netzwerk um den verhafteten Erfurter Mediziner Dr. Mark Schmidt aus. Das Netzwerk war bis zu seiner Zerschlagung in diesem Frühjahr seit 2011 mit  einer dreistelligen Anzahl von Fällen der Blutentnahme und -rückführung aktiv. Wachstumhormone und bislang nicht identifizierte Stoffe sollen ebenfalls Verwendung gefunden haben. Ob neue, experimentelle Dopingpraktiken stattgefunden haben, ist derzeit nicht bekannt.
Doping im Spitzensport ist einmal mehr im Fokus der Berichterstattung in den deutschsprachigen Medien. Photo: Pexels/Pixabay CC0
Neun Doper identifiziert, elf sind der Öffentlichkeit noch unbekannt
Im Rahmen der Operation durch die Ermittlungsbehörden wurden bisher 9 Sportler aus Österreich, Estland, Kasachstan sowie weitere mutmaßliche Drahtzieher und Komplizen identifiziert und ggf. festgenommen und umfangreiche Beweismittel (z. B. 40 Blutbeutel) sichergestellt. Unter den neun bekannten Sportlern sind drei estnische Langläufer, drei Österreicher und ein Kasache. Zwei österreichische Radprofis, darunter Georg Preidler. Bleiben elf der Öffentlichkeit unbekannte betrügende Sportlerinnen und Sportler dieser Doping-Zelle.

Video mit Nadel im Arm
Langläufer Max Hauke wurde bei der Razzia durch die österreichischen Spezialeinheit Cobra auf dem Hotelzimmer mit der Nadel im Arm erwischt, als er sich nur vier Stunden vor dem Start des 15-Kilometer-Langlauf-Rennens der WM Eigenblut zurückführen wollte. Ein Video der Szene wurde wenige Stunden später illegal auf ein Videoportal hochgeladen und von dort als Kopie verteilt.

Weitere Sportler, wie Preidler stellten sich selbst. Der österreichische Ski-Langläufer Johannes Dürr hatte die Ermittlungen mit seinen Äußerungen in der ARD-Dokumentation „Die Gier nach Gold - Der Weg in die Dopingfalle“ von Hajo Seppelt im Januar 2019 ausgelöst, als er Dopingpraktiken öffentlich machte und ist zwischenzeitlich ebenfalls wegen Betrugs verhaftet worden.

Videoaufzeichnung der Pressekonferenz
Wie die FAZ am 20. März 2019 von einer Pressekonferenz der Staatsanwaltschaft München I berichtet, haben 21 Athleten aus 8 Nationen die verbotenen „Dienstleistungen“ des Arztes Schmidt inklusive Eigenblutdoping in Anspruch genommen. Eine zusammenfassende, rund 5 Minuten lange Videoaufzeichnung der Pressekonferenz ist z. B. beim MDR erhältlich

Pikant für den Triathlon und die deutschsprachige Triathlonszene ist ein Detail, das Oberstaatsanwalt Kai Gräber von der Schwerpunktstaatsanwaltschaft München I im Rahmen der Pressekonferenz mitteilte:
„Die 21 Athleten kommen aus fünf verschiedenen Sportarten, darunter sind drei Wintersportarten“, sagte Gräber. 
Von Pyeongchang nach Hawaii
Die Bluttransfusionen seien weltweit unter zum Teil fragwürdigen hygienischen Bedingungen durchgeführt worden. Sie seien unter anderem in Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz und Finnland, aber auch in Südkorea und auf der us-amerikanischen Inselgruppe Hawaii vorgenommen worden. Im Februar 2018 hatten im südkoreanischen Pyeongchang die Olympischen Winterspiele stattgefunden. Auf Hawaii finden jeweils einmal im Jahr im Oktober der legendäre IRONMAN der Triathleten über die Langstrecke und auch der Honolulu Marathon im Dezember statt.

Marathon statt IRONMAN
Update: Nach Angaben von BILD und FAZ soll es sich bei den Flügen nach Hawaii um die Teilnahme beim Honolulu-Marathon gehandelt haben:
„Unterdessen hat die Staatsanwaltschaft München auf Anfrage erklärt, dass sie mit einem Hinweis auf den Doping-Tatort Hawaii nicht den berühmten IRONMAN der Triathleten gemeint habe. Stattdessen soll Anlass der Aktivitäten der Gruppe um S. der jährliche Marathon in der Hauptstadt Honolulu gewesen sein.“ 
„Schmidt oder einer seiner Helfer flog extra nach Hawaii, um beim Honolulu Marathon im Dezember mindestens eine Sportler zu betreuen. Der Marathon gehört mit über 30 000 Läufern zu einem der zehn größten der Welt. Triathleten gehörten nicht zu Schmidts Kunden.“
Praxisbeispiele verdeutlichen Gefahren des Dopings
Oberstaatsanwalt Gräber erläuterte auch anhand einiger plastischer Beispiele die Gefahren, die sich aus den konkreten Dopingpraktiken ergeben haben. Zu den negativen Highlights dieser Pressekonferenz zählen Kreislaufprobleme, Gefahren von Infektionen durch Hygienemängel und Athleten die sich nach der Behandlung beide Arme bis zu den Schultern in den Schnee gesteckt. Offensichtlich, weil der Kreislauf und die Temperatur zu hochgefahren waren und er kühlen musste.

In wenigstens einem Fall musste ein Sportler als Versuchskaninchen herhalten, um ein bezüglich der tatsächlichen Zusammensetzung unbekanntes Dopingmittel zu testen, von dem weder Wirkung noch Nebenwirkungen bekannt gewesen seien. Nach der Applikation begann das Herz des Athleten mit doppelter Geschwindigkeit zu schlagen und weitere Versuche mit diesem Wirkstoffkomplex wurden verworfen.

Eigenblut-Bodypacker“ auf Langstreckenflügen
Explizit nannte Gräber auch Eigenbluttransfusionen kurz vor den Langstreckenflügen nach Pyeongchang in Südkorea oder nach Big Island, Hawaii und verwendete einen klassischen aber leicht abgewandelten Begriff aus dem kriminellen Drogenschmuggel: Eigenblut-Bodypacker

„Man hat zwar Thrombose-Prophylaxe mit zugegeben, aber das ist sicher medizinisch nicht in Ordnung“, sagte Gräber. Nach der Landung auf Hawaii sei das eigene Blut wieder abgenommen worden.

Weitere Festnahmen
Er gab außerdem bekannt, dass am Montag in Erfurt noch ein vierter mutmaßlicher Komplize festgenommen wurde. Schmidts Vater, der Sanitäter Sven M. und die Krankenschwester Diana S. sitzen bereits in U-Haft.

Alte Bekannte
Mit Stefan Matschiner taucht ein bekannter Name aus der Vergangenheit im Umfeld des Doping-Netzwerks aus Erfurt auf. Wie die FAZ berichtet, spielte Matschiner in der Entstehungsgeschichte des Erfurter Netzes eine erhebliche Rolle:

Als Matschiner aufgeflogen war, die österreichischen Ermittler aber keine Handhabe hatten, seine Zentrifuge einzuziehen, so stellt es Gräber dar, kamen der Österreicher und der Thüringer Arzt ins Geschäft: Statt sie, wie angekündigt, „gemeinnützigen Zwecken“ zukommen zu lassen, verkaufte Matschiner sein Gerät an S. zusammen mit einer Tiefkühltruhe für 50.000 Euro. 2018 musste sich S. eine neue Zentrifuge beschaffen, auch diese wurde bei der Razzia am 27. Februar beschlagnahmt. 
Langwierige Aufarbeitung
„Ich bin an der ganzen Geschichte interessiert“, sagte Gräber. „Nicht nur an dem, was noch nicht verjährt ist.“ 
ITU lagert Kompetenzen zum CAS aus
Der internationale Dachverband der Triathleten, die International Triathlon Union (ITU) hatte am 15. März 2019 mit Zitaten hochrangiger Sportfunktionäre mitgeteilt, dass weitreichende Kompetenzen bzgl. der operativen Anti-Doping Prozesse und Strukturen durch einen neue Kooperation mit der Anti-Doping Einheit des Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) neu aufgestellt werden sollen, um die Unabhängigkeit und Integrität der Anti-Doping Maßnahmen durch Gewaltenteilung sicherzustellen.

Die ITU ist damit der erste Spitzensportverband, der diesen Schritt geht. Das Timing könnte, wortwörtlich und ironisch gesprochen, nicht besser sein.

Does the blood doping affair in Erfurt reaches triathlon or Honolulu Marathon?

During raids under the project name "Operation Aderlass" on 27 February 2019 at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld (Austria) and Erfurt (Germany), investigators from around the public prosecutor's offices in Germany and Austria excavated a doping network around the arrested Erfurt physician Dr. Mark Schmidt. The network had been active since 2011 with a "three-digit number of cases of blood collection and return" until it was dismantled this spring. Growth hormones and previously unidentified substances are also said to have been used. Whether new, experimental doping practices have taken place is currently unknown.
Doping in top-class sport is once again the focus of reporting in the German-language media. Photo: Pexels/Pixabay CC0
Nine dopers identified, eleven still unknown to the publicAs part of the operation by the investigating authorities, 9 athletes from Austria, Estonia and Kazakhstan as well as other suspected manipulators and accomplices have so far been identified and arrested and extensive evidence (e.g. 40 blood bags) seized. Among the nine known athletes are three Estonian cross-country skiers, three Austrians and one Kazakh. Two Austrian cycling professionals, including Georg Preidler. There remain eleven publicly unknown cheating athletes of this doping cell.

Video with needle in arm
Cross-country skier Max Hauke was caught during the raid by the Austrian special unit Cobra in the hotel room with a needle in his arm when he wanted to lead himself back only four hours before the start of the 15-kilometer cross-country race of the World Championships. A few hours later, a video of the scene was illegally uploaded to a video portal and distributed as a copy.

Other athletes, such as Preidler, presented themselves. The Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Dürr triggered the investigation with his statements in the ARD documentary "Die Gier nach Gold - Der Weg in die Dopingfalle" by Hajo Seppelt in January 2019, when he made doping practices public and has meanwhile also been arrested for fraud.

Video recording of the press conference
As the FAZ reported on 20 March 2019 from a press conference of the public prosecutor's office Munich I, 21 athletes from 8 nations have made use of the forbidden "services" of the doctor Schmidt including self blood doping. A summary video recording of the press conference, about 5 minutes long, is available e.g. from MDR .

A spicy detail for the triathlon and the German-speaking triathlon scene is a detail that Chief Public Prosecutor Kai Gräber of the Munich I Public Prosecutor's Office in the context of the press conference announced:
"The 21 athletes come from five different sports, including three winter sports," said Gräber. 
From Pyeongchang to Hawaii
The blood transfusions had been carried out worldwide under partly questionable hygienic conditions. They were carried out in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Finland, among other countries, but also in South Korea and on the us-American archipelago of Hawaii. In February 2018, the Olympic Winter Games were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. On Hawaii the legendary IRONMAN over the long distance and also the Honolulu Marathon take place once a year in October respective December.

Marathon instead of IRONMAN
Update: According to BILD and FAZ, the flights to Hawaii are said to have been the participation in the Honolulu Marathon:
„Meanwhile, the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office, upon request, stated that by referring to the Hawaii doping scene, it did not mean the famous IRONMAN of the triathletes. Instead, the annual marathon in the capital Honolulu is said to have been the reason for the activities of the group around S.“. 
“Schmidt or one of his helpers flew specially to Hawaii to look after at least one athlete at the Honolulu Marathon in December. With over 30,000 runners, the marathon is one of the ten largest in the world. Triathletes were not among Schmidt's customers”.
Practical examples illustrate the dangers of doping
Gräber also explained the dangers arising from concrete doping practices with the help of some vivid examples. The Chief Public Prosecutor also illustrated the dangers of doping practices. Among the negative highlights of this press conference are circulatory problems, the risk of infections caused by poor hygiene and athletes who, after treatment, "put their arms up to their shoulders in the snow". Obviously, because the cycle and the temperature were too high and it had to cool down," are the negative highlights of this press conference.

In at least one case, an athlete had to serve as a guinea pig in order to test a doping agent unknown in terms of its actual composition, of which neither effects nor side effects were known. After the application, the athlete's heart started beating at double speed and further attempts with this complex of active ingredients were rejected.

"Self-blood body packers" on long-haul flights
Gräber also explicitly mentioned autologous blood transfusions shortly before the long-haul flights to Pyeongchang in South Korea or to Big Island, Hawaii and used a classic but slightly modified term from criminal drug smuggling: "autologous blood body packer".
"Although thrombosis prophylaxis has been admitted, this is certainly not medically correct," said Gräber. After landing in Hawaii, his own blood had been taken again.

Further arrests
He also announced that a fourth suspected accomplice was arrested in Erfurt on Monday. Schmidt's father, paramedic Sven M. and nurse Diana S. are already in custody.

Old acquaintances
With Stefan Matschiner, a well-known name from the past appears in the environment of the doping network in Erfurt. As the FAZ reports, Matschiner played an important role in the history of the Erfurt network:

When Matschiner was discovered, but the Austrian investigators had no means of pulling in his centrifuge, the Austrian and the Thuringian doctor came into the business: Instead of sending it to "charitable purposes" as announced, Matschiner sold his device to S. together with a freezer for 50,000 euros. In 2018, S. had to procure a new centrifuge, which was also confiscated during the raid on 27 February.

Protracted reprocessing
"I'm interested in the whole story," said Gräber. "Not only that which is not yet statute-barred." 
ITU outsources competencies to CAS
On March 15, 2019, the International Triathlon Union (ITU), the international umbrella organization for triathletes, announced with quotes from high-ranking sports officials that far-reaching competencies with regard to operational anti-doping processes and structures are to be reorganized through a new cooperation with the Anti-Doping Unit of the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in order to ensure the independence and integrity of anti-doping measures through the separation of powers.

The ITU is thus the first top sports association to take this step. The timing could not be better, literally and ironically speaking.

Montag, 18. März 2019

IRONMAN Announces Partnership Expansion with Facebook For Global Programming

Despite the current political turmoil Facebook faces, Ironman announces partnership expansion with Facebook Watch for global programming up to 17 events per year. As early as 2018, coverage was very popular among athletes, fans and viewers in general and a clear success for the interactive streaming format.

2019 FacebookWatch will host 17 races from the IRONMAN circuit. Image: WTC, IRONMAN

2019 Ironman Facebook Watch
07.04.2019 Ironman African Championship (Port Elizabeth, RSA)
27.04.2019 Ironman North American Championship (The Woodlands, Texas, USA)
05.05.2019 Ironman Australia
09.09.2019Ironman Boulder
23.06.2019 Ironman Ireland
30.06.2019 Ironman European Championship (Frankfurt am Main, GER)
07.07.2019 Ironman Austria
14.07.2019 Ironman Vitoria Gateiz
28.07.2019 Ironman Lake Placid
18.08.2019 Ironman Copenhagen
07./08.09.2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship (Nice, FRA)
15.09.2019 Ironman Wales
21.09.2019 Ironman Italy
29.09.2019 Ironman Chattanooga
12.10.2019 Ironman World Championship (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA)
02.11.2019 Ironman Florida
24.11.2019 Ironman Arizona

2019 FacebookWatch will host 17 races from the IRONMAN circuit, 8 from Europe. Image: WTC, IRONMAN

Press release:

Ironman announces partnership expansion with Facebook for global programming

Facebook Watch to be exclusive digital home to fully-produced live race coverage for at least 17 IRONMAN events per year, including the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
Facebook Watch to be exclusive digital home to fully-produced live race coverage for at least 17 IRONMAN events per year, including the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Screenshot: IRONMAN Now on Facebook

IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company, is pleased to announce a multi-year partnership extension with Facebook for live and fully produced IRONMAN race coverage. In response to an exceptional fan response in 2018 (IRONMAN content on the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page drew 4.5 million engagements), the agreement calls for Facebook Watch to be the exclusive digital home of 17 live events in 2019 and increasing to 19 events in 2020, with a third-year option for 22 events in 2021. This includes full live coverage of the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, as well as VOD recaps of every event broadcast on Facebook Watch. In the coming weeks, IRONMAN will announce the 2019 Facebook Watch schedule of IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events that will be featured. All coverage will be available globally on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page.

"Participatory sports are a great fit for Facebook Watch because they're highly communal with established and engaged fanbases on our platform," said Devi Mahadevia, Facebook North America Sports Programming Lead. "IRONMAN is a perfect example, so we're thrilled to build on the success of our 2018 partnership by teaming again to bring fans around the world full-length coverage of the competition's top events."

In just the first year of the Facebook partnership in 2018, IRONMAN showcased a large and engaged audience with more than 3.5 million people watching at least one minute of an IRONMAN live broadcast, while totaling 4.5 million engagements through all content posted on the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page. The engagement performance ranked among the top sports organizations programing on Facebook in 2018.

The extended agreement with Facebook provides an opportunity to accelerate the global growth of triathlon while also raising the profiles of professional triathletes. Widely known as the pinnacle of all endurance sports, the IRONMAN World Championship captured the attention of fans on Facebook Watch through more than 20 hours of comprehensive live coverage, including everything from the early morning body marking to the final hour finish line celebration.

"The partnership with Facebook has given us the unique ability to showcase our sport to a global audience while taking them inside the inner workings of race day," said Matthieu van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer of IRONMAN. "With events on every continent and in more than 50 countries, we continuously strive to provide our athletes, fans and sponsors with content and platforms to connect. Facebook Watch provides the most innovative tools to allow our community to interact and engage throughout the 10 hours of live coverage for each of the events. The numbers from our Facebook Watch programing in 2018 are astounding and illustrate the deep interest and reach of our world class events. We look forward to our continued work with Facebook in bringing a truly global schedule of live event coverage to our broadening community."

IRONMAN will produce its live coverage for a connected audience, incorporating unique viewer interaction through Facebook Watch Parties, real-time polls, fan discussion, and user generated content from spectators along the course.

The fully produced live event coverage will be hosted by past champions of IRONMAN events, including Dede Griesbauer, Rachel Joyce, Matt Lieto, and Michael Lovato, as well as IRONMAN World Champions and Hall of Famers Paula Newby Fraser and Greg Welch.

Live race coverage as well as a range of on-demand programing will be available globally via the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page.

For more information on IRONMAN and events in the IRONMAN portfolio, visit www.ironman.com.

  1. Ironman announces partnership expansion with Facebook for global programming

IRONMAN kündigt Erweiterung der Partnerschaft mit Facebook für globale Programmierung via Facebook Now an

Trotz der aktuellen politischen Turbulenzen auf Facebook kündigt Ironman eine Erweiterung der Partnerschaft mit Facebook Watch für die globale Programmierung von bis zu 17 Veranstaltungen pro Jahr an. Bereits 2018 war die Berichterstattung bei Athleten, Fans und Zuschauern im Allgemeinen sehr beliebt und ein klarer Erfolg für das interaktive Streaming-Format.
FacebookWatch wird 2019 17 IRONMAN übertragen. Bild: WTC, IRONMAN

Ironman Facebook Watch 2019
07.04.2019 Ironman African Championship (Port Elizabeth, RSA)
27.04.2019 Ironman North American Championship (The Woodlands, Texas, USA)
05.05.2019 Ironman Australia
09.09.2019Ironman Boulder
23.06.2019 Ironman Ireland
30.06.2019 Ironman European Championship (Frankfurt am Main, GER)
07.07.2019 Ironman Austria
14.07.2019 Ironman Vitoria Gateiz
28.07.2019 Ironman Lake Placid
18.08.2019 Ironman Copenhagen
07./08.09.2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship (Nice, FRA)
15.09.2019 Ironman Wales
21.09.2019 Ironman Italy
29.09.2019 Ironman Chattanooga
12.10.2019 Ironman World Championship (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA)
02.11.2019 Ironman Florida
24.11.2019 Ironman Arizona
FacebookWatch wird 2019 17 IRONMAN übertragen, davon finden 8 in Europa statt. Bild: WTC, IRONMAN

Pressemitteilung:

Großartiges Feedback der IRONMAN-Triathlon-Fans im ersten Jahr führt zu mehrjähriger Partnerschaft mit Facebook für weltweite Live-Berichterstattung

IRONMAN, Teil der Wanda Sports Holdings, gibt die mehrjährige Verlängerung der Partnerschaft mit Facebook für die Live-Berichterstattung der IRONMAN®-Rennen bekannt. Durch die Vereinbarung wird Facebook Watch zur exklusiven Plattform für 17 Live-Events im Jahr 2019 sowie 19 IRONMAN-Veranstaltungen im Jahr 2020, mit der Option auf eine Verlängerung der Partnerschaft für ein drittes Jahr mit 22 Live-Events.
Großartiges Feedback der IRONMAN-Triathlon-Fans im ersten Jahr führt zu mehrjähriger Partnerschaft mit Facebook für weltweite Live-Berichterstattung. Screenshot: IRONMAN Now on Facebook

Dies beinhaltet die komplette Live-Übertragung der IRONMAN® World Championship und der IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship, sowie die Wiederholungen aller auf Facebook Watch übertragenen Veranstaltungen auf Abruf. In den kommenden Wochen wird IRONMAN bekannt geben, welche IRONMAN- und IRONMAN 70.3-Rennen 2019 auf Facebook Watch übertragen werden. Sämtliche Inhalte werden weltweit auf Facebook Watch über die IRONMAN Now Facebook-Seite verfügbar sein.

"Sportarten, die von einem Großteil der Bevölkerung ausgeübt werden können, passen hervorragend zu Facebook Watch, da diese auf großes Interesse bei unseren bestehenden und interaktiven Fangemeinden stoßen", sagt Devi Mahadevia, Facebook North America Sports Programming Lead. "IRONMAN ist das perfekte Beispiel dafür. Deshalb freuen wir uns, auf dem Erfolg unserer letztjährigen Partnerschaft aufzubauen und uns erneut zusammenzuschließen, um die Fans auf der ganzen Welt in voller Länge über die Top-Events des Wettbewerbs zu informieren."

Bereits im ersten Jahr der Partnerschaft mit Facebook konnte IRONMAN ein großes und interaktives Publikum ansprechen. Mehr als 3.5 Millionen Zuschauern sahen mindestens eine Minute lang eine IRONMAN-Liveübertragung, wobei es insgesamt 4,5 Millionen Interaktionen gab über alle Inhalte, die auf der IRONMAN Now Facebook-Seite veröffentlicht wurden. Die gemessenen Interaktionen zählen zu den besten Ergebnissen aller Sportorganisationen, die 2018 auf Facebook einen Livestream angeboten haben.

Der Fortsetzung der Partnerschaft mit Facebook bietet die Möglichkeit, den Triathlon-Sport weltweit weiter wachsen zu lassen und gleichzeitig die Bekanntheit von Triathlon-Profis zu steigern. Die IRONMAN World Championship, weitgehend betrachtet als der Höhepunkt aller Ausdauersportarten, weckte die Aufmerksamkeit der Fans auf Facebook Watch durch die über 20-stündige Live-Berichterstattung, von der einzigartigen Atmosphäre beim Schwimmstart frühmorgens bis hin zu den letzten emotionalen Zieleinläufen.

"Die Partnerschaft mit Facebook hat uns die einzigartige Möglichkeit gegeben, unseren Sport einem globalen Publikum zu präsentieren und den Zuschauern den Ablauf eines Renntages näher zu bringen", so Matthieu van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer von IRONMAN. "Mit Veranstaltungen auf allen Kontinenten und in mehr als 50 Ländern möchten wir unseren Athleten, Fans und Sponsoren Inhalte und Plattformen zur Verfügung zu stellen, die sie miteinander verbinden. Facebook Watch bietet die innovativsten Möglichkeiten für unsere Gemeinschaft, um während der 10-stündigen Live-Übertragung der jeweiligen Events miteinander zu kommunizieren. Die Zahlen unserer Facebook Watch Übertragungen im Jahr 2018 sind verblüffend und veranschaulichen das große Interesse und die Reichweite unserer Weltklasse-Events. Wir freuen uns auf die weitere Zusammenarbeit mit Facebook, um unserer wachsenden Gemeinschaft ein umfassendes Programm für die Live-Übertragung von Events auf der ganzen Welt zu bieten."

IRONMAN wird die Live-Berichterstattung mit einzigartigen Zuschauerinteraktionen ergänzen, wie Facebook Watch Partys, Echtzeit-Umfragen, Fan-Diskussionen und nutzergenerierten Inhalten von Zuschauern entlang der Strecke.

Die Live-Übertragungen werden moderiert von ehemaligen IRONMAN-Siegern, darunter Dede Griesbauer, Rachel Joyce, Matt Lieto und Michael Lovato, sowie von den IRONMAN-Weltmeistern und Hall of Fame-Mitgliedern Paula Newby Fraser und Greg Welch.

Die Live-Übertragung der IRONMAN-Rennen sowie weitere Formate auf Abruf werden weltweit auf der IRONMAN Now Facebook-Seite zur Verfügung stehen - www.facebook.com/IRONMANnow.

Weitere Informationen über IRONMAN und Veranstaltungen im IRONMAN-Portfolio finden Sie unter www.ironman.com.

Sonntag, 17. März 2019

Scenic commercials: Kona Brewery with Big Wave Golden Ale & Long Board Island Lager

Kona Brewery has put up three funny spots with Duncan Channon, featuring Kona's Big Wave Golden Ale & Long Board Island Lager alcoholic beverages (aka beer), on Youtube. As always: drink, drive and live responsible.




Mittwoch, 13. März 2019

Mike Reily presents his book: Finding My Voice. Tales from Ironman, the World's Greatest Endurance Event

Mike Reilly's “Finding My Voice: Tales from Ironman, the World's Greatest Endurance Event” isn't a sports record book, it isn't a professional athletes shadowing book. It's all of them but mostly a book with 30+ years experience and memories from the finishline of various long and shorter distance triathlon races around the world.
Mike Reilly digged from more than 30 years of memories many storues from the finish lines around the globe and from IRONMAN Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Photo: Steeplechase Entertainment Corporation

Mike the “Voice of IRONMAN” Reilly was finish line speaker of over 180 IRONMAN events, including 30 straight years of the World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. More than 350,000 athletes have heard his iconic pronouncement, “You are an IRONMAN!” as they crossed the finish line. Now it's time to listen to all the great stories and memories Mike shares with written text and great photos. Don#t have a present for a passionate athlete yet? Now you might have.

What athletes have to say:
“Every day for six months of training before Kona, as I visualized crossing the finish line, I didn't see an image, I just heard the sound of Mike Reilly's voice declaring, 'Sean Astin, you are an IRONMAN!' Just the thought of the sound of Mike's voice, saying those words, in that way, at that time, was the beacon that kept me going.” Sean Astin, actor-producer-director 
“Whether it's on race day or getting to the start line, nobody finishes an IRONMAN without a personal struggle. Mike Reilly does a masterful job of showing us why those struggles are so worth it in the end.” Mirinda Carfrae, 3 x IRONMAN world champion 
“As I hit the top of the finish ramp I heard that amazing voice and those unbelievable words, 'Hines Ward...you are an IRONMAN!' Like the touchdown pass I caught to win the 2005 Super Bowl, hearing Mike Reilly declare me an IRONMAN was one of the greatest moments of my life.” Hines Ward, Super Bowl XL MVP 
“No one knows the Ironman spirit better than Mike Reilly, having witnessed firsthand countless athletes come through the finish line. This is a passionate and inspiring book that will mark the beginning of the journey for tens of thousands more.” Lionel Sanders, 2017 ITU world championship, 4 x IRONMAN champion 
“The voice and passion of Mike Reilly bringing you home lifts you up and fulfills dreams for a lifetime. You'll love discovering what's behind that passion in this book.” Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director/DMSE Sports
  1. Order on Amazon 

Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2019

China's Wanda files for U.S. IPO of sports unit including WTC's IRONMAN series to raise up to $500 million: sources

According to report by Reuters (by Kane Wu, Julia Fioretti, Julie Zhu, Joshua Franklin, Julia Fioretti, Simon Cameron-Moore) China's Dalian Wanda Group files just 4 years after the acquisiation of World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) in 2015 for U.S. IPO of sports unit including WTC's IRONMAN series to raise up to $500 million.[1] This would be the long expected step towards public trading of iconic races like IRONMAN Hawaii Triathlon on the Big Island of Hawaii.[2]:

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has filed confidentially for a U.S. initial public offering of its sports unit that could fetch up to $500 million, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. 
The company made the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the listing, which could happen in the first half of this year, the sources said.
The IPO could raise between $300 million and $500 million, the people said, though one cautioned that $500 million might be high. 
A Wanda spokesman did not provide any immediate comment. 
Wanda’s sprawling business empire ranges from real estate to sport to cinemas, but it has been rattled in the past years by a government-led crackdown on overseas deals and high leverage. 
The company owned by Wang Jianlin, one of China’s richest men, has since started offloading domestic and overseas holdings, including stakes in cinema operator AMC Entertainment and Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid and a handful of property developments. 
Other Chinese conglomerates such as HNA group and Fosun International (0656.HK) have also faced government pressure to cut down on what Beijing has termed irrational overseas deals. 
An IPO of Wanda’s sports assets would include Infront Sports & Media AG, a Swiss sports marketing company and World Triathlon Corp, the organizer and promoter of the Ironman race, three sources previously told Reuters. 
The two were acquired in 2015 for $1.2 billion and $650 million respectively. Wanda, while preparing the IPO, had also received offers for the businesses from a number of private equity firms, Reuters reported. 
Citigroup (C.N), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are working on the deal, the sources said. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
Chinese companies have dominated the ranks of those looking to go public worldwide, raising $58.2 billion in IPOs last year, accounting for 29 percent of global issuers, according to Refinitiv data. 
They have also been very active in U.S. listings, raising $9.1 billion last year, the highest level since 2014, Refinitiv data showed.


  1. China's Wanda files for U.S. IPO of sports unit to raise up to $500 million: sources 
  2. Bulle oder Bär - kommt ein Initial Public Offering im Ironman Triathlon?