Freitag, 21. Februar 2020

2020 IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch Schedule Announced with 19 Featured Events

Facebook Watch enters third year as exclusive digital home of live race coverage. he IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), today announced it will continue live event coverage on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now® Facebook Page for the third straight year, featuring 19 events from around the world in 2020. As the number of events receiving Facebook Watch live coverage has increased each year, so too have the fans tuning in. Over the past two years, more than 5.3 million people have watched at least one minute of an IRONMAN live event broadcast on Facebook.

Available globally to fans on Facebook, the 19 events covered this season will come from 12 different countries and four continents with coverage debuting on March 7 from the Nutri-Grain IRONMAN® New Zealand in Taupo. The storylines are rich with intrigue throughout the year as four regional championships will be featured including the IRONMAN African Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa; the IRONMAN North America Championship in St. George, Utah; The Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns, Australia; and the Mainova IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany.

Back by popular demand will be the return of IRONMAN Austria- Kärnten, IRONMAN Italy Emilia-Romagna and the ever-challenging IRONMAN Wales.

Making their inaugural appearance on Facebook Watch will be the first edition of the Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa, and IRONMAN Switzerland’s first stop in Thun, while Subaru IRONMAN Canada makes its long-awaited return to Penticton, British Columbia. Long-standing host cities Panama City Beach, Florida, USA and Santa Rosa, California, USA will join one of the oldest and most popular events on the global circuit, Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand, as each also makes their debut on IRONMAN Now.

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 Vega IRONMAN World Championship, which takes place annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, will again receive robust week-long programming, culminating in nearly a full-day of live race coverage on October 10. Last year’s Vega IRONMAN World Championship included more than 20 hours of comprehensive live race day coverage, including everything from the early morning body marking to the final hour finish line celebration.

The extensive 2020 coverage concludes where it began in Taupo, New Zealand with the 2020 IRONMAN®70.3® World Championship taking place on Nov. 28-29. Nearly 6,000 of the best triathletes in the world will converge around The Great Lake Taupõ District for what will become the largest event in the series’ history.

The fully produced live event coverage will be hosted by past champions of IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events, including Dede Griesbauer, Matt Lieto, and Michael Lovato, as well as IRONMAN World Champions and Hall of Famers Paula Newby Fraser and Greg Welch.

Live race coverage of the following events as well as a range of on-demand programming will be available on Facebook Watch globally via the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/IRONMANnow. The full 2020 schedule can be found below.

2020 IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch Schedule


  • March 7 Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand Taupo, New Zealand
  • March 29 IRONMAN African Championship Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa
  • May 2 IRONMAN North American Championship St. George, Utah, USA
  • May 31 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa Tulsa, Okla., USA
  • June 7 Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns, Australia
  • June 21 IRONMAN Hamburg Hamburg, Germany
  • June 28 Mainova IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt, Germany
  • July 5 IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten Klagenfurt, Austria
  • July 12 IRONMAN Switzerland Thun, Switzerland
  • July 25 IRONMAN Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, Calif., USA
  • August 15 IRONMAN Kalmar Kalmar, Sweden
  • August 23 Subaru IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada
  • August 30 Subaru IRONMAN Canada Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
  • September 6 IRONMAN Wales Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom
  • September 19 IRONMAN Italy Emilia-Romagna Cervia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • September 26 IRONMAN Portugal – Cascais Cascais, Portugal
  • October 10 Vega IRONMAN World Championship Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, USA
  • November 7 Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN Florida Panama City Beach, Florida, USA
  • November 28-29 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Taupo, New Zealand


Donnerstag, 20. Februar 2020

Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Announces $2M Annual Bonus Programme, with Collins Cup whopping $4M purse

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has adopted a $2,000,000 Annual Bonus Programme pursuant to which athletes will be paid based on their PTO World Rankings at the end of 2020. The bonus amounts range from $100,000 for the PTO World No. 1 male and female athletes, to $10,000 for the PTO World No. 20 male and female athletes. In addition, male and female athletes ranked at the end of the year between 21-50 shall each be paid $5,000 and those ranked between 51-100 shall be paid $2,000.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO commented, “We are very pleased to be able to adopt an annual bonus programme that rewards athletes for outstanding performances throughout the year. The triathlon season is a long one and just because an athlete might have an off race in a large event, doesn’t mean that their year’s performance should go unrewarded.”

The PTO World Rankings is a first-of-its-kind ranking technology to measure the greatest non-drafting professional triathletes. It is a worldwide benchmark of consistent excellence in triathlon. In addition to being the basis for the PTO Annual Bonus Programme, it is used to determine automatic qualification spots for The Collins Cup.

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, stated, “The adoption of the PTO Annual Bonus Plan, together with the $2,000,000 payments at The Collins Cup, means that so far in 2020 the PTO will be paying 200 professional triathletes $4,000,000. We believe that this demonstrates the value and benefits of professionals being unified in our own organization and we hope that this is just the beginning of the many ways the PTO can bring not only a voice but meaningful contributions to our sport.”



Editor‘s note:

Together with the $2,000,000 prize purse from inaugural Collins Cup a new dimension in sport of triathlon is opened with contributions from PTO‘s support network around Billionaire Mike Moritz, who likely want to build a platform from the NBA, NFL, NHL league’s blueprint in the U.S. with various shareholders from different group of interests.

Dienstag, 18. Februar 2020

Wanda Sports considering $1 billion sale of Ironman triathlon, Bloomberg reports

Wanda Sports Group Co., part of Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s conglomerate, is considering selling the global Ironman triathlon business it bought in 2015 for est. USD 650 million. Wanda Sports Group Co. is working with an adviser and has held discussions with some private-equity buyers that expressed interest in the business according to unnamed sources. The company holds also other sports assets outside China like Infront Sports & Media AG and many more.
A deal could come after Wanda Sports declined to enter talks last year with The Professional Triathletes Organization, which was interested in acquiring the Ironman business. The organization said at the time that excessive leverage has hampered Wanda Sports’s ability to invest in Ironman operations. 
Wanda Sports shares have dropped about 63% in New York trading since their July 2019 debut, paring the company’s market value to about $409 million. With total debt at about $968 million, the company has an enterprise value of about $1.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Read more on Bloomberg.

Dienstag, 4. Februar 2020

Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Approaches Wanda Sports Renewing Interest In IRONMAN Acquisition and Expressing Willingness To Work With Other Potential Acquirers

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today released the following letter sent to the Board of Directors of Wanda Sports Group Company Limited on 3rd February 2020 advising the Board that the PTO has closed on its financial partnership with Crankstart Investments and renewing the PTO’s proposal to enter into discussions to acquire the Ironman® business.

3rd February 2020

Board of Directors
Wanda Sports Group Company Limited
Wanda Plaza
Tower B, 9th Floor
93 Jianguo Road Chaoyang District
Beijing, China
Attn: Mr. Hengming Yang–CEO

Andrew Messick
Chief Executive Officer
World Triathlon Corporation
407 W. Martin Luther King Blvd
Suite 100
Tampa, Florida 33607

Dear Members of the Board:

We are writing on behalf of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (the “PTO”) to advise you that we have closed on our partnership financing with Crankstart Investments. We again want to put forth our proposal to enter into discussions for the acquisition by the PTO of all of the assets of the Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (“WSG”) related to its worldwide triathlon and mass participation business (the “WTC Business”).

The PTO is prepared to consider an all-cash transaction or one in which the existing shareholders of WSG are able to participate in the growth of the WTC Business that the PTO is uniquely positioned to deliver. We strongly believe that it is only with the assistance of the PTO and its professional athletes that the WTC Business has the ability to stabilise and grow, and that without our cooperation the WTC Business would deteriorate.  We are happy to work with any other financially stable group who may be interested in acquiring the WTC Business, reducing its debt load and unleashing the value only the PTO and its professional athletes can deliver.

The PTO and North Point Advisors, our financial advisors, are prepared to begin discussions forthwith with your senior management and your financial advisors and to sign a customary confidentiality agreement in order to commence certain confirmatory due diligence.  In light of the significance of this proposal to your shareholders and the triathlon community, as well as the potential for selective disclosures, we will publicly release the text of this letter tomorrow morning.

We believe this proposal represents a unique opportunity to realise significant value for WSG shareholders and employees, and that the PTO can uniquely provide a healthy and growing environment for the WTC Business.

We hope that you and your Board share our enthusiasm and, consistent with applicable fiduciary duties, we look forward to a prompt and favourable reply.



Respectfully yours,



Charles D. Adamo
Chairman

Sam Renouf
Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Joyce
Co-President

Tim O’Donnell
Co-President

cc: David Jacquin
North Point Advisors
580 California Street
Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94104

Dienstag, 21. Januar 2020

Professional Triathletes Organisation Announces Financial Partner And $2,000,000 Collins Cup

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has partnered with Crankstart Investments, an investment vehicle for Michael Moritz, in establishing a platform for professional triathletes to begin to realise their goal of athlete self-determination. As a result of this partnership, the PTO is also announcing that The Collins Cup will be held from 29-30th May 2020 at the x-bionic® sphere, in Samorin, Slovakia, and there will be over $2,000,000 in prize money for the event.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented “This day has been long in coming and we are grateful to the great professional triathletes who have, through all their blood and sweat over many years, paved the way for this opportunity to materialise. The Collins Cup will be a true celebration of both the history and the future of the sport we love so much, and we look forward to hosting the event and engaging the entire triathlon community.”

Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO, stated that “The PTO has been working for a number of years to create an environment and structure where professional triathletes have a meaningful voice in the way the sport is operated and can contribute to its growth for the benefit of the entire triathlon community. We are very pleased to have teamed up with Crankstart Investments and Michael Moritz, who share our vision in the potential of the sport and the best means by which to see it grow and thrive.”

Under its partnership, the PTO and Crankstart Investments share equally in all profits generated by operations. Michael Moritz, Chairman of Crankstart Investments, commented “The spread of the internet, the rise in the number of media outlets thirsty for top-notch sporting content, combined with the latest production techniques now make it possible to bring to international audiences the extraordinary accomplishments of today’s highest performing athletes – the top forty male and female triathletes in the world. A major part of the attraction of the PTO is that, unlike every other sport, men and women compete for equal prize money and the athletes are co-owners of the business. This means that all participants will share, on an equal footing, in the PTO’s collective success – a recipe that is a mainstay of the Silicon Valley investment model.”

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, commented “We are very pleased to be able to provide professional triathletes with the platform to put on display their tremendous athletic performances and make a difference in our sport. We are grateful for the confidence that Crankstart Investments and Michael Moritz have placed in us, and we appreciate that with this confidence comes great responsibility. As co-owners in this partnership, the PTO and its professional members are committed to not only making it a success, but also to being a contributor to the growth of the sport and the wider triathlon community. While arranging the investment, we were working behind the scenes and over 100 professional triathletes have become members of the PTO, including all of the top 35 men and top 35 women in the PTO World Rankings. Now that we have been able to make this announcement, we can invite all licenced professionals to become PTO Members. There are no costs or membership fees involved and any professional can find out more information by e-mailing us at membership[AT]protriathletes.org.”

North Point Advisors has acted as exclusive placement agent for the Professional Triathletes Organisation.

Professional Triathletes Organisation Announces The Inaugural Collins Cup With $2,000,000 Prize Purse

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that the inaugural Collins Cup will be held on 29–30th May 2020 at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia and will have a prize purse of over $2,000,000. It will bring together the greatest professional triathletes in the world in a team competition to do battle to see who dominates the sport.

USA vs. INTERNATIONSALS vs. EUROPE

Modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup, The Collins Cup is a competition among USA, Europe and the Internationals. Each team will consist of 12 professional triathletes, six men and six women. Eight athletes, four men and four women, will earn a place on their respective teams by way of the PTO World Rankings™ System and the remaining four athletes, two men and two women, will be selected by the non-athlete PTO Board Members with advice from Team Captains.

The Team Captains for The Collins Cup 2020 are:

USA
Mark Allen
Karen Smyers

INTERNATIONALS
Craig Alexander
Simon Whitfield
Erin Baker
Lisa Bentley

EUROPE
Normann Stadler
Chrissie Wellington

An athlete from each team will battle against one another in an individual race of three, so there will be 12 separate race matches, each staggered 10 minutes apart. Athletes will be awarded points for their team based on performances in their respective race match and the team with the most overall points from the 12 race matches will claim the spoils of The Collins Cup and bragging rights as the most dominant force in the sport. The team that finishes last will receive The Broke Spoke Trophy. Click here to view “How It Works”

Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO, commented, “The format of USA vs Europe vs Internationals will add a whole new level of competition and pure excitement for triathlon. By adopting a proven format like the Ryder Cup with its nationalistic intensity, and having a points system that creates drama throughout the race, The Collins Cup is designed to be a compelling live TV event that appeals not only to the fans of endurance sports, but also to the general sports enthusiast.”

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, commented, “We could not be more thrilled with the first Collins Cup being hosted at x-bionic® sphere in Samorin. The primary mission of the PTO is to celebrate the sport of triathlon. The Collins Cup, by bringing together legendary team captains to lead today’s top triathletes in a battle to see which region dominates the sport of triathlon, will not only be a riveting competition, but will serve as a platform for professionals and fans alike to celebrate our sport.”

Zibi Szlufcik, Chairman of CHALLENGEFAMILY, commented, “We are delighted to be working with the PTO to host the inaugural Collins Cup at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia. The spectacular venue could not be more perfect for the PTO’s inaugural event and the weekend promises to be a triathlon celebration unlike any other.”

Mario Hoffman, owner of x-bionic® sphere stated “It is a great honour for Slovakia, Šamorín and x-bionic® sphere to host such a magnificent event. I can say for the whole team that we are thrilled to be a part of history and we are ready to help with our knowledge and vast experience in organizing huge international sports events.”

Professional Triathletes Organisation Announces Selection Of Dave Scott As The Athleta Emeritus Honouree For Inaugural Collins Cup

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has selected Dave Scott as the Athleta Emeritus Honouree for the inaugural Collins Cup. The Collins Cup is a Ryder Cup style triathlon event in which teams from the USA, Europe and the Internationals do battle to see who rules the world of triathlon. The Collins Cup is the flagship event for the Professional Triathletes Organisation, an association representing professional triathletes with a mission to celebrate the sport of triathlon.

The PTO has determined that each year the The Collins Cup race will honour an individual who has distinguished themselves in the sport of triathlon by recognising them as the Athleta Emeritus Honouree. For the inaugural Collins Cup, it has been decided that there would be no better person upon whom to bestow this honour than Dave Scott.

Tim O’Donnell, President of the PTO, commented “While we are deeply indebted to all the tremendous triathletes whose blood and sweat over many decades has paved the way for the PTO and The Collins Cup to become a reality, Dave was truly the progenitor of professional triathlon. In 1980, when, in his first IRONMAN® championship race in Hawaii, he cut nearly two hours off the previous record, he established standards of performance that would forever drive all triathletes, amateur and professional, to challenge limits thought impossible.  It is only fitting that the inaugural Collins Cup, the first ever event owned and operated by professional triathletes, pay tribute to Dave.”

It is nearly impossible to list all of Dave Scott’s accomplishments. The six-time IRONMAN® World Champion is known by the nickname “The Man” for his intense training regimens and his unrelenting race performances that created a record number of wins. Dave Scott is the Roger Bannister, Pele, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Jack Nicklaus of triathlon. His performances transcended what was ever thought possible.  On a full distance course, he was the first athlete to go under 11 hours, under 10:30, under 10:00, under 9:30, under 9:00 and under 8:30. He also was the first to go under 3:00 hours for the IRONMAN® marathon, the first under 2:55 and the first under 2:50.  He has spent a lifetime defining triathlon first as an athlete, then as a coach, including coaching European Collins Cup Captain, Chrissie Wellington.

Dave commented, “It is truly an honour to be named by the PTO as the Athleta Emeritus Honouree for the inaugural Collins Cup. I am thrilled to see the PTO come together. It has been 40 years in the making and I am very pleased to see today’s generation of professionals have their own organisation and a voice in the sport.  Given the $2,000,000 prize purse at The Collins Cup, I am very tempted to come out of retirement and attempt to qualify for the event myself.”

The Collins Cup is a unique new broadcast-friendly triathlon race which brings together the world’s greatest triathletes in a team competition to do battle to see who dominates the sport. Modelled on golf’s Ryder Cup, the format of USA vs. Europe vs. the Internationals will add a whole new level of competition and pure excitement to triathlon. The PTO will host the inaugural Collins Cup at the extraordinary x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Western Slovakia on 29-30th May 2020.