Posts mit dem Label WTC werden angezeigt. Alle Posts anzeigen
Posts mit dem Label WTC werden angezeigt. Alle Posts anzeigen

Freitag, 2. Dezember 2022

Mythos IRONMAN Hawaii on the deathbed

Mythos IRONMAN Hawaii on the deathbed. How to dig yourself a very deep hole?

Just move the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship men's race from Hawaii (USA) to Nice (FRA) while the women’s race stays on Big Island.🌺 R.I.P. history

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?

Dienstag, 20. November 2018

Oliver Schiek neuer Geschäftsführer bei IRONMAN in Europa für Deutschland, Frankreich, Benelux - Björn Steinmetz verlässt WTC

Oliver Schiek führt seit einigen Tagen die Geschäfte der World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) in den europäischen Kernmärkten Deutschland, Frankreich und Benelux und hat den bisherigen Geschäftsführer für Deutschland (IRONMAN Germany GmbH), Björn Steinmetz ersetzt. Steinmetz zeigte sich für die Klassiker in Frankfurt, Wiesbaden und das von ihm bei seinem Wechsel von Challenge zu IRONMAN mit ausreichend kontroverser Diskussion mit in die WTC eingebrachte Event in Kraichgau verantwortlich. Zusätzlich wurde während seiner Amtszeit die Rennen in Hamburg und auf Rügen, sowie die Märkte in den Niederlanden und Luxemburg penetriert. Dies berichtet Frank Hellmann in einem aktuellen Artikel in der Frankfurter Rundschau. *1, 2

Der Hamburger Schiek kann auf erfolgreiche Projekte im Rahmen der Cyclassics Hamburg und der IRONMAN Triathlons in England und Irland zurückblicken. Ob das Engagement von Schiek in Frankfurt-Liederbach interimistischer Natur oder auf Dauer ausgelegt ist, ist nach aktuellem Sachstand und dem Fehlen einer offiziellen Pressemitteilung ungeklärt. Pascal Morillon bleibt weiterhin Renndirektor.

Nach Thomas Dieckhoff, Kai Walter und dem Gründer des IRONMAN Frankfurt, Kurt Denk und den ehemaligen Franchisenehmern in Österreich und der Schweiz scheidet ein weiteres Mitglied des euopäischen Seniormanagements aus.

  1. „Abschied durch die Hintertür“, Frank Hellmann, FR:
  2. Artikel zu Björn Steinmetz:

Freitag, 10. März 2017

IRONMAN names Matthieu Van Veen as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)

IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company, announced today that Matthieu Van Veen has been named to the newly created position of Chief Revenue Officer for IRONMAN. Van Veen will begin his new role with the company on March 13, 2017.

In the new position, Van Veen will be responsible on a global basis for sales, marketing, media and digital activities. His focus will be to create a more structured approach to driving the commercial side of the business.

“As IRONMAN has continued to grow, we have become a more complex organization; one that is operating in more industry segments and in more territories. The structured leveraging of IRONMAN’s vast capabilities and the capturing of best practices is vital for our future success,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “Matthieu’s exemplary international career and personal characteristics give me confidence that he will be successful in this new role.”

Van Veen brings broad skills and experiences to the position. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the global sports industry and joins IRONMAN after nine years with AEG Europe, where he was most recently Senior Vice President of Sports, based in Paris. During that time, Van Veen was responsible for the European leadership and management of AEG’s Sports Divisions which included the creation and management of a portfolio of sports properties for AEG’s European venues; AEG owned teams, Berlin Eisbären of the DEL and Hammarby Fotbol of the Swedish Allsvenskan; development of the partnership between AEG and the Amaury Sports Organization for the Amgen Tour of California; and overall leadership of AEG’s business in France. He was also pivotal in developing the partnership with the City of Paris in the management of the newly renovated AccorHotels Arena, formerly known as Bercy Arena.

Prior to joining AEG, Van Veen served as the National Basketball Association’s Senior Director, Global Media Distribution for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In his role as head of the NBA’s media business, Van Veen was responsible for all television and digital media rights for the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball. He has worked extensively in all Western European countries, as well as Russia and Turkey.

Dienstag, 31. Januar 2017

IRONMAN (World Triathlon Corporation) Partners with the International Triathlon Union (ITU)

According to a press release "two of the most influential forces in triathlon make history with an agreement to further develop the sport.

Marisol Casado (ITU) and Andrew Messick (WTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) . Phpto: WTC/ITU

IRONMAN and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced 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.  
Two teams of senior leaders of International Triathlon Union (ITU) and World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) worked a week onlocation for final drafts of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between both big players in triathlon. Photo: WTC/ITU 

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 toward 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
  • For more information on the ITU, visit
  • For more information on the IRONMAN® brand and global event series, visit

Dienstag, 19. Januar 2016

Hans-Peter Zurbrügg appointed as Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa

The experienced sports business professional will also continue to oversee the Active Lifestyle & Endurance business of the Infront Group.

IRONMAN and Infront Sports & Media are pleased to announce the expanded role of Hans-Peter Zurbruegg. The long-standing endurance expert has been newly appointed as the Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), while also continuing to lead Infront’s Active Lifestyle & Endurance business. 

“We are thrilled to have Hans-Peter join the team. He has an exceptional endurance business background, and as an IRONMAN finisher, understands the athlete experience and embodies our brand,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN.  “I am confident that with Hans-Peter’s leadership we will see strong growth in the region.”

Zurbruegg currently heads the Active Lifestyle & Endurance unit at Infront Sports & Media managing Operations, Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for the diverse portfolio. This includes media and marketing partnerships for the BMW Berlin-Marathon, the World Marathon Majors and the Swiss Cycling/Tour de Suisse, as well as full event management and organization for the Infront owned events – the European corporate running series B2RUN and the Happy 10k fun run events held in China. In his new role he will continue to oversee these properties as well as the IRONMAN EMEA business, which will remain headquartered in Liederbach, Germany.

“Following the creation and development of the Active Lifestyle & Endurance unit at Infront, I am delighted to add IRONMAN, the global leader in mass participation sports, to my responsibilities. I look forward to contributing to the sustainable growth of the sport of triathlon in Europe, Middle East & Africa, and helping the team continue to create unparalleled experiences for our athletes,” added Zurbruegg.

Philippe Blatter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Infront Sports & Media and Wanda Sports Holding: “With Infront and IRONMAN aligned under one roof, we are able to fully deploy our synergies and foster knowledge transfer within the Wanda Sports businesses. Overseeing both Infront’s Active Lifestyle business and IRONMAN EMEA, Hans-Peter Zurbruegg and his team will spur further growth, as well as enhance the individual profile and strength of all our diverse endurance properties – each according to its unique characteristics and participants.”

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg has worked for Infront since 2001 and has held several leadership positions, including Director of Business Development and Head of Controlling & Risk Management. Zurbruegg holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Corporate Finance from the University of Zurich/Lucerne, an MBA from Northwestern University, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit  For more information on Infront Sports & Media, visit

  1. CV Hans-Peter Zurbrügg

Hans-Peter Zurbrügg wird neuer Geschäftsbührer von IRONMAN Europe, den Mittleren Osten und Afrika

Der im Sportbereich erfahrene Geschäftsmann wird zudem weiterhin die Sparte 
Active Lifestyle & Endurance der Infront-Gruppe leiten

IRONMAN und Infront Sports & Media freuen sich, das erweiterte Aufgabengebiet von Hans-Peter Zurbrügg bekanntzugeben. Der erfahrene Ausdauersport-Experte wurde soeben zum neuen Geschäftsführer von IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) ernannt, bleibt aber gleichzeitig in der Leitung der Infront-Sparte Active Lifestyle & Endurance.

„Wir freuen uns sehr, Hans-Peter in unserem Team zu haben. Er hat einen außerordentlichen Hintergrund im Ausdauersport-Bereich, versteht als IRONMAN-Finisher was die Athleten erleben und verkörpert unsere Marke“, sagte IRONMAN-CEO Andrew Messick. „Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass es unter Hans-Peters Leitung ein starkes Wachstum in dieser Region geben wird.“

Zurbrügg leitet aktuell die Sparte Active Lifestyle & Endurance der Infront Sports & Media, ist dort verantwortlich für die Bereiche Abläufe, Marketing und strategische Initiativen diverser Portfolios. Darunter unter anderem Media- und Marketing-Kooperationen für den BMW Berlin-Marathon, die World Marathon Majors und Swiss Cycling/Tour de Suisse sowie für das gesamte Veranstaltungsmanagement und die Organisation der Infront-eigenen Veranstaltungen – die europäische Laufserie B2RUN und die Happy 10k FunRuns in China. In seiner neuen Rolle wird er weiterhin diese Aufgaben übernehmen und zusätzlich die Geschäfte von IRONMAN EMEA steuern, dessen Hauptsitz weiterhin im deutschen Liederbach bleibt.

„Nach Gründung und Entwicklung der Sparte Active Lifestyle & Endurance bei Infront freue ich mich, nun IRONMAN, den Weltmarktführer im Breitensportbereich, zu meinem Aufgabenfeld hinzufügen zu dürfen. Ich freue mich darauf, zum nachhaltigen Wachstum des Triathlonsports in Europa, dem Nahen Osten und Afrika beizutragen und darauf, das Team dabei zu unterstützen weiterhin unvergleichliche Erlebnisse für unsere Athleten zu schaffen“, fügte Zurbrügg hinzu.

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO von Infront Sports & Media und der Wanda Sports Holding: „Indem wir Infront und IRONMAN unter einem Dach vereinen sind wir in der Lage unsere Synergien voll zu nutzen und den Wissenstransfer innerhalb der Bereiche von Wanda Sports zu fördern. Dass Hans-Peter Zurbrügg und sein Team sowohl Infronts Acitve-Lifestyle-Sparte als auch IRONMAN EMEA überblicken wird das Wachstum weiter vorantreiben und das eigenständige Profil und die Stärken unserer verschiedenen Ausdauersport-Bereiche hervorheben – jeden gemäß seiner einzigartigen Merkmale und Teilnehmer.“

Hans-Peter Zurbrügg ist seit 2001 bei Infront und war in verschiedenen Führungspositionen tätig, unter anderem als Leiter der Geschäftsentwicklung und des Controlling & Risikomanagements. Zurbrügg hat einen Master-Abschluss in Wirtschaft und Unternehmensfinanzierung von der Universität Zürich/Luzern, einen MBA-Abschluss von der Northwestern University und ein Zertifikat in Projektmanagement (PMP).

Für weitere Informationen über die Marke IRONMAN und die weltweite Veranstaltungsserie besuchen Sie bitte Für weitere Informationen bezüglich Infront Sports & Media besuchen Sie bitte

  1. CV Hans-Peter Zurbrügg

Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2015

Familie Walchshöfer gibt Anteile an Challenge Family GmbH ab

Nach der erfolgreichen Übernahme der World Triathlon Corporaton (WTC) mit der globalen, marktbeherrschenden Serie unter der Marke IRONMAN durch die Dalian Wanda Group waren unmittelbare und mittelbare Auswirkungen auf den Wettbewerb abzusehen. Aktuell zieht sich die Familie Walchshöfer aus der Challenge Family GmbH zurück und wird ihre Anteile an der Triathlon-Weltserie mit derzeit 48 Rennen an ihren Mitgesellschafter Zibi Szlufcik übereignen. Gleichzeitig gibt Felix Walchshöfer auch seinen Posten als einer der beiden Geschäftsführer der Challenge Family ab. Szlufcik, ehemaliger erfolgreicher Ausdauersportler und Veteran in der Ausdauersport-Industrie, sieht offensichtlich eine Perspektive in der bereits etablierten Serie rund um die Marke Challenge. 

Trotz der feindlichen Übernahme verschiedener Franchise-Events der Challenge-Serie durch die WTC soll weiterhin versucht werden die einzige verbleibende echte Serien-Alternative zur WTC auf der Lang- und Mittelstrecke weiter global zu etablieren ohne bei der strategischen Ausrüstung zu sehr Rücksicht auf den Event in Roth nehmen zu müssen. CEO Szlufcik bekräftigte gegenüber, dass weiterhin der bisherige Weg beibehalten werden soll. Geschäftsmodelländerungen oder ein neuer Investor stünden demnach nicht auf der kurz- und mittelfristigen Agenda. 

Alternativ wäre die Serie zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt ein echter Übernahmekandidat als Gesamtpaket für Dalian Wanda. Wanda könnte aber auch weiterhin die bisherige Strategie der Tochter WTC verfolgen und die Rosinen aus dem Portfolio des Wettbewerbers erwerben. Allerdings ist mit dem Challenge Roth der Hauptevent zunächst einmal ausgeschlossen. Gemäß früherer Aussagen von Felix Walchshöfer steht das Rennen in Bayern auch nicht für einen Kauf durch IRONMAN zur Verfügung. Ein langfristiger Vertrag mit dem Titelsponsor stützt diese These.

Die nächsten Jahre bleiben unter obigen Aspekten für die Challenge-Serie weiter interessant. Mit dem Challenge Amazonia, Thailand (Kanchanaburi), Vietnam (Nha Trang) und Gran Canaria wird die Serie bereits 2016 um weitere Rennen erweitert, ein klares Signal für Kontinuität.

Über die Vor- und Nachteile der verschiedenen Geschäftsmodelle von WTC und Challenge ist bereits in diesem Blog eingegangen worden, ebenfalls auf einige der Übernahmen. Entsprechende Links sind in den Fußnoten.

Pressemitteilung TEAMCHALLENGE GmbH vom 15.12.2015

Hundertprozentige Konzentration auf Roth, Familie Walchshöfer gibt Anteile an Challenge Family GmbH ab 
Die Familie Walchshöfer wird sich aus der Challenge Family GmbH zurückziehen und ihre Anteile an der Triathlon-Weltserie mit derzeit 48 Rennen an ihren Mitgesellschafter Zibi Szlufcik übereignen. Gleichzeitig gibt Felix Walchshöfer auch seinen Posten als einer der beiden Geschäftsführer der Challenge Family ab.  
Von der Neuordnung ausgenommen ist der DATEV Challenge Roth, der in dem eigenständigen Unternehmen TEAMCHALLENGE GmbH organisiert ist und sich auch in Zukunft unverändert zu hundert Prozent im Besitz der Familie Walchshöfer befindet. Das größte Langdistanz-Rennen der Welt mit über 30-jähriger Tradition wird wie bisher von der Familie Walchshöfer veranstaltet, die längst ausverkaufte 15. Auflage unter dem Challenge-Label geht am 17. Juli 2016 wie gewohnt in Roth über die Bühne. 
Der Entschluss, die Anteile an der Challenge Family an ihren langjährigen Partner Zibi Szlufcik zu übergeben, wurde von Alice, Felix und Kathrin Walchshöfer übereinstimmend getroffen und ist der stetig steigenden Arbeitsbelastung geschuldet, die zusätzlich zur aufwändigen Organisation des DATEV Challenge Roth zu bewältigen ist.
Mit derzeit 48 Triathlon-Events auf vier Kontinenten (weitere in Vorbereitung) ist die Challenge-Weltserie weiterhin klar auf Erfolgskurs. Felix Walchshöfer: „Wir haben zusammen mit unserem Partner und engen Vertrauten Zibi Szlufcik die Weltserie auf den Weg gebracht und - als erklärten Gegenentwurf zu Ironman - zum Erfolgsmodell gemacht. Aber unser „Baby“ ist flügge geworden, und für uns als Familie ist dies jetzt genau der richtige Zeitpunkt, den Staffelstab der Challenge Family vertrauensvoll an unseren Freund Zibi Szlufcik weiterzugeben. Er ist der Beste und wird die Serie in unserem Sinne weiterentwickeln und erfolgreich in die Zukunft führen“.

Der erklärte Wunsch der Familie Walchshöfer ist es, sich künftig wieder mehr auf die strategische Weiterentwicklung des DATEV Challenge Roth, des berühmten „Flaggschiffs“ der Serie, konzentrieren zu können. Bereits fünf Mal in Folge hat der weltgrößte Triathlon-Wettkampf auf der Langdistanz den Triathlon-Award „Bestes Langdistanz-Rennen der Welt“ erhalten, viele weitere Preise und Auszeichnungen eingeheimst und genießt weltweit einen herausragenden Ruf als Triathlon-Legende. Felix Walchshöfer: „Wir bleiben als DATEV Challenge Roth natürlich ein Teil der Challenge Family und werden auch weiterhin beratend an Zibis Seite stehen. Ich wünsche ihm allen Erfolg der Welt. Aber ich freue mich jetzt auch unwahrscheinlich darauf, wieder mehr zuhause zu sein und mich intensiver dem DATEV Challenge Roth widmen zu können. Dafür schlägt mein Herz“.
  1. Challenge Family
  2. Challenge Roth
  3. Challenge vs. Ironman - Franchise vs. Eigentum - die unterschiedlichen Geschäftsmodelle und warum Adhäsion und Kohäsion im Triathlon eine Rolle spielen
  4. Dalian Wanda gründet Wanda Sports: Mit der Integration von Infront Sports & Media und World Triathlon Corporation (IRONMAN) entsteht das weltweit führende Sportbusiness-Unternehmen

Mittwoch, 25. November 2015

Dalian Wanda gründet Wanda Sports: Mit der Integration von Infront Sports & Media und World Triathlon Corporation (IRONMAN) entsteht das weltweit führende Sportbusiness-Unternehmen

Zug, Switzerland/Tampa, USA – Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., einer der führenden chinesischen Mischkonzerne und Chinas grösster Investor im Kultur- und Unterhaltungssektor, gab heute bekannt, dass Infront Sports & Media und die World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) mit ihrer Marke IRONMAN in die neu gegründete Unternehmenseinheit Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. integriert und entsprechend umfirmiert werden. Die Ankündigung folgt auf den Abschluss (Closing) der WTC Akquisition durch die Wanda Gruppe.

Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. brings together under one roof the newly founded Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). Logo: Dalian Wanda Group

Logo: Infront Sports & Media 

Logo: World Triathlon Corporation, Inc.

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO von Infront, steigt zum President & CEO von Wanda Sports auf und leitet das neue Unternehmen. Das erfahrene Top-Management von Infront und WTC (IRONMAN) bleibt bestehen.

Wanda Sports baut auf den erfolgreichen Strategien von Infront und WTC (IRONMAN) auf. Das Unternehmen setzt künftig auf  drei zentrale Geschäftsfelder – Zuschauersport (B2B; Medienrechte und Sponsoring), Teilnehmersport (B2C; Active Lifestyle & Ausdauersport-Events) und Services (Produktion, Digital & Service-Leistungen).

Wanda Sports operiert  auf Basis eines starken internationalen Netzwerks. Der operative Hauptsitz des Unternehmens wird in Zug, Schweiz sein. Die Holding ist in China ansässig. Das Active Lifestyle-Geschäft wird von WTC (IRONMAN) Chief Executive Officer Andrew Messick aus Tampa, Florida, USA geleitet.

Wang Jianlin, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Wanda Group, sagte: “Wanda hat hohe Erwartungen an die Entwicklung und Möglichkeiten der Sportbusiness-Branche. Die Gründung von Wanda Sports ist von grosser Bedeutung, weil Wanda damit einerseits die verschiedenen Sport-Investments integriert. Andererseits, weil es Wandas Präsenz im Sport stärken und erweitern wird, und dabei auch die sich rasant entwickelnden Chancen im chinesischen Sportmarkt nutzen kann. Wir wollen zur Weiterentwicklung des weltweiten Sports beitragen und etwas bewegen.“

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO Wanda Sports, ergänzte: “Die Integration von Infront und WTC mit seiner Kultmarke IRONMAN unter dem Dach von Wanda Sports ist ein wichtiger Schritt für die Wanda Gruppe, die damit ihre strategischen Investments im Sport bündelt und die weitere Expansion in diesem Sektor vorantreibt. Die neue Struktur sowie die vereinten Netzwerke und Ressourcen der integrierten Unternehmen bilden die Basis, um das umfassende Portfolio im Zuschauer- und Teilnehmersport schnell weiter auszubauen. Unsere geschätzten Partner und Kunden sowie Millionen Sportfans weltweit werden davon profitieren. Die neue Struktur ermöglicht Kontinuität und Stabilität, bietet ein aufgewertetes Service-Angebot und optimierte Ressourcen im Event-Management.“

In den kommenden Monaten wird das Management von Wanda Sports die Organisationsstruktur überprüfen und optimal an der Unternehmensstrategie ausrichten. Weitere Details werden im Lauf des ersten Quartals 2016 kommuniziert.
  1. Dalian Wanda Group
  2. Infront Sports & Media
  3. World Triathlon Corporation

Dalian Wanda announces Wanda Sports: World’s leading sports business integrates Infront Sports & Media and World Triathlon Corporation (IRONMAN)

Zug, Switzerland/Tampa, USA – Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd., one of the leading Chinese conglomerates and China's largest investor in cultural and entertainment sector, has announced today that Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) with its IRONMAN brand will be integrated in a newly formed entity named Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. and are to be rebranded accordingly. The announcement follows the formal closing of the WTC’s acquisition by Wanda Group.

Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. announced a new holding: Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd. will incorporate both Infront Sports & Media and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) with its IRONMAN brand. Logo: Dalian Wanda Group

Logo: Infront Sports & Media 

Logo: World Triathlon Corporation, Inc.
Infront’s President & CEO Philippe Blatter will step up to lead the Wanda Sports’ business as President & CEO with the experienced top management of both Infront and the WTC (IRONMAN) remaining in place.

Wanda Sports will build on the successful strategies of Infront and WTC (IRONMAN). It will be based on three core business pillars – Spectator Sports (Media & Marketing business), Participation Sports (Active Lifestyle business) and Services (Production, Digital & Service business).

Relying on a truly international network, Wanda Sports’ operational headquarters will be in Zug, Switzerland. The holding company is based in China. The Active Lifestyle business will be led by WTC (IRONMAN) Chief Executive Officer Andrew Messick from Tampa, Florida, USA.

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, said: “Wanda has a very high expectation for the development and prospects of the sports industry. The significance of establishing Wanda Sports is not only to integrate Wanda's interests in sports, but also to truly expand and strengthen Wanda's businesses in the industry, while at the same time grasping the rapidly growing opportunities in the Chinese sports market. We want to truly impact the development of sport around the world.”

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Wanda Sports, added: “The integration of Infront and the WTC with its iconic IRONMAN brand under the roof of Wanda Sports represents an important step in the expansion of Wanda Group’s strategic investment in the global sports business. Under the new structure we expect the growth and acceleration of the company’s impressive portfolio of both spectator and participation sports based on the shared networks and resources of the integrated companies. All valued partners and clients as well as millions of sports enthusiasts worldwide will benefit. The new structure will provide continuity and stability, a much enhanced service offering and strengthened resources in event development and delivery.”

In the following months, the management of Wanda Sports will further review the entity’s structure to maximise strategic alignment. Further details will be announced in the course of Q1/2016.
  1. Dalian Wanda Group
  2. Infront Sports & Media
  3. World Triathlon Corporation

Donnerstag, 27. August 2015

Infront and IRONMAN - a deadly combination in endurance sports marketing

Following the recent acquisition of World Triathlon Corporation, Inc. by Dalian Wanda Group for est. $890 million including assumed obligations raises a couple of questions. Three particular will be addressed in this article.

How and when can get Dalian Wanda get a return on investment?

Dalian Wanda is separated into two divisions. The Real Estate division owns 100+ shopping malls and 70+ hotels and is the powerhouse of Dalian Wanda Group's wealth. The second division is called The Cultural Industry Group are 6,600+ movie screens, including the largest movie theater chains like Hoyts Group in Australia, Wanda Cinemas China and AMC Entertainment Theaters in the U.S. Other assets are Sunseeker yachts from Great Britain and Swiss Sports Marketing firm Infront Sports & Media AG.
The 2015 acquisitions of Ironman and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. Logo: Dalian Wanda Group
Infront was acquired in February 2015. His CEO Philippe Blatter, a nephew of FIFA long term president Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, is a triathlete with 15 Ironman finishes under his belt. Infront is in charge of being WTC's marketing and media service partner for EMEA region since 2011. Infront was also one of the parties conducting due diligence on WTC's assets in year 2014, but stepped away from a deal. Maybe the price tag was too high or Dalian Wanda was already approaching early talks of an acquisition of Infront itself. But at one time, a Dalian Wanda Group owned company had already all important data concerning WTC's core assets like IRONMAN and M-Dot brands and owned races.

IRONMAN is missing a real and long term sponsorhip deal and tv coverage on a global scale. Logo: WTC
The Cultural Industry Group could leverage IRONMAN with current Dalian Wanda Group assets like film industry and sports marketing. Short-term exceptional growth rate can be expected in Aisa and esp. in China, while other regions may consolidates.
Infront already manages media and marketing assets for IRONMAN in EMEA region. Logo: Infront 
A major role could play Infront. IRONMAN lacks for years on a real global title sponsorhsip deal or at least a branded sponsorship for all regional championship races as a series, same applies to the majority of regional races. Infront could contribute here and build a win, win situation for Dalian Wanda at this stage: generating commission for sponsorship deals and the deal itself for two of its own companies. Dalian Wanda movie studios, movie screens, Infront and IRONMAN - a deadly combination in endurance sports marketing.

Update: Sportspromedia has released a similar point of view of the importance of Infronts future role and how Dalian Wanda Group acquired WTC:
The Swiss-based agency [...] lead by its chief executive Philippe Blatter, an Ironman participant and enthusiast, was the driving force behind bringing the WTC and Wanda together. 
For its part, Infront made the following statement to SportsPro: “The acquisition of the WTC represents an important step to further expand the strategic involvement in global sports business, a strong move into the fast growing field of active lifestyle and mass participation events as well as into event ownership. Further it perfectly complements Infront’s portfolio, including major marathon events as well as the B2RUN and Happy 10K running series. “Our shared aim is to build a number one position in the global sports market through a variety of major expansion projects.” [2]

Will IRONMAN continue its aggressive groth and expansion plan?

Yes, according to an email Andrew Messick, CEO of IRONMAN sent on August 27: "This ownership transition marks the start of another exciting chapter and opportunity for growth of our company.  This sale allows IRONMAN to continue its aggressive growth, particularly throughout Asia, and reinforces our global appeal."

Will IRONMAN's Senior Management stay in place?

There is no answer for the long term, but the same email addresses this topic as well: "Although this is big news for our organization, rest assured that the IRONMAN team will stay focused on our races, our people, our athletes and our partners.  IRONMAN has a very bright future: I intend to remain the CEO of IRONMAN and will be signing a contract extension as will the core of our senior management team. More broadly, our teams and leadership will remain intact, we will continue to grow and provide opportunities for partners and athletes."

Other sources wrote about a 5 year agreement between Dalian Wanda and the senior management of IRONMAN and its core members. [3]
  1. Transaction confirmed, Dalian Wanda Group acquires World Triathlon Corporation and Ironman for $650 million
  2. WTC new star of Wanda after US$650m deal
  3. Transaction confirmed, Dalian Wanda Group acquires World TriathlonCorporation and Ironman for $650 million

Transaction confirmed, Dalian Wanda Group acquires World TriathlonCorporation and Ironman for $650 million

As reported earlier, Tampa based World Triathlon Corporation, Inc. (WTC) confirmed acquisition by Dalian Wanda Group for $650 million from private equity company Providence Equity Partners (PEP) in August 2015. In this price tag, Ironman's debt of around $240 million isn't included. The consolidated price with pending assumed obligations is around the $890 million mark. [1, 2]

The 2015 acquisitions of Ironman and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. Logo: Dalian Wanda Group
PEP bought Ironman for est. $85 million from former owner, Dr. James P. Gills in 2008. The Gills family paid $3 million to Valerie Silk in 1990. Business value increased around 764% since Providence invested in the company, valuation exploded around 21,666% from first transaction in 1990. PEP invested during their ownership around $216m into WTC, mostly for acquisitions of former independent franchisees with Ironman events around the globe. This would reduce the valuation to roughly 400%, exceeding PEP's minimum goal of 250%.

U.S. Navy Commander John Collins founded the race in 1978 to compare three already existing endurance races. Around 1979 Collins no longer wanted to direct the Ironman race and approached Nautilus Fitness Center owners Hank Grundman and Valerie Silk about taking over control of the race. Following personal circumstances in 1981 Silk received ownership of Ironman. [2]

Davis Noell, Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, Andrew Messick, CEO of WTC comments on the deal, following lastest Dalian Wanda acquistions of Infront Sports & Media and Atletico Madrid. Surprisingly a Dalian Wanda Group spokesperson didn't released a statement in this press release:

Wanda Group Acquires IRONMAN for Equity Value Of $650 Million From Providence Equity Partners 
Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. (“Wanda Group”), one of the leading Chinese private conglomerates, has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of IRONMAN for an equity value of approximately $650 million from Providence Equity Partners. As part of the transaction, Wanda Group will work with the current lending group and assume IRONMAN’s existing indebtedness. The acquisition by Wanda Group heralds yet another landmark investment in the sports sector following Infront Sports & Media and Atletico Madrid.

“Wanda Group’s acquisition of IRONMAN marks another exciting chapter and opportunity for the future growth of IRONMAN after seven very successful years of ownership by Providence Equity Partners,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “Wanda Group is a global-minded organization that shares our desire for excellence and continued growth, particularly in Asia. We are delighted to be part of the Wanda Group family of companies and are excited about the future of IRONMAN as we continue to provide life changing race experiences for athletes of all levels from their first step to the finish line.”

The iconic IRONMAN brand is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Its flagship races are IRONMAN® triathlons, which consists of a 3.9km (2.4 mile) swim, 180km (112 mile) bike and 42km (26.2 mile) run, and IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlons, which consist of a 1.9km (1.2 mile) swim, 90km (56 mile) bike, and 21.1km (13.1 mile) run. From its beginnings on the shores of Waikiki Beach on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii in 1978, IRONMAN has organized, promoted, and licensed triathlon events for 37 years, and owns five exclusive triathlon brands, operating at least 250 events every year around the world.

IRONMAN is expected to generate $183 million in revenue in 2015 and has increased revenue at a CAGR of 21% over the past four years. Due to its unique business model and proprietary intellectual property, the company is expected to deliver strong continued growth going forward.

The 2015 acquisitions of IRONMAN and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. With these new businesses, Wanda Group now has sports sales, media & marketing, and operational capabilities on six continents with strong positions in North America, Europe, China, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Davis Noell, Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with IRONMAN over the past seven years and are pleased with the company’s growth and operational excellence under Andrew’s leadership. We have great respect for Wanda Group and its leading global sports platform and believe IRONMAN is well positioned to continue its success with their support.”
Upd.: According to Slowtwitch all top management staff members are required to stay at WTC a 5 year term. [7]
Dalian Wanda required key employees to agree to 5-year employment agreements as a condition of the deal, and the office is not moving from Tampa, Florida. It seems to want stability and continuity. 
  1. Dalian Wanda Group in talks to acquire World Triathlon Corporation and IRONMAN triathlon for USD 850 million
  2. Ironman History
  3. Dalian Wana Group
  4. Providence Equity
  6. The New York Times: China's Dalian Wanda Buys Ironman Triathlon Brand for $650M
  7. Ironman sold to Dalian Wanda
  8. Ironman to be Acquired by China's Dalian Wanda

Samstag, 8. August 2015

Dalian Wanda Group in talks to acquire World Triathlon Corporation andIRONMAN triathlon for $850 million

According to South China Morning Post, Dalian Wanda Group, owned by China's richest man Wang Jianlin is in talks to acquire IRONMAN's parent company World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). An mass participation sports asset would follow other acquisitions in the sports and media segment. Switzerland based sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media was bought for EUR 1.05 billion in February 2015. A group, that was interested in  WTC itself, but walked away from a deal. [1]

Maybe Infront's parent company can close a deal, certainly on a much lower price, than introduced from South China Morning Post. Not very reasonable sounds the "very high" price tag of $850m, considering assumed obligations like the $220m loan (due 2021) to pay a dividend to it's current owner Providence Equity partners and a $20 revolver due 2019 on WTC's balance sheet. Rating agency Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B2 Corporate Family Rating (CFR) and B2-PD Probability of Default Rating (PDR) to World Triathlon Corporation ("WTC" or "the company") in 2014. [2]

South China Morning Post wasn't able to get a confirmation from any involved party, but several of our own insider sources confirmed the negotiations and a very specific time window to close the deal around 10th of August 2015:

Dalian Wanda outbid other potential buyers for Ironman and is now in negotiations to finalise a deal with its owner, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, the person said this week. There is no certainty that Dalian Wanda will manage to finalise a deal, the person added.
The source asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. A spokesman for Providence declined to comment, while representatives for Dalian Wanda and Ironman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  1. China’s richest man in talks to buy Ironman triathlon competition for more than US$850m. Wang Jianlin's company, Dalian Wanda Group, is in talks to purchase triathlon firm, says source.
  2. Rating Action: Moody's assigns B2 corporate family rating to World Triathlon Corporation, Global Credit Research - 17 Jun 2014

Samstag, 4. Oktober 2014

One time Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs with an open letter to Ironman CEO Andrew Messick

Andrew Messick, CEO of Ironman Triathlon recently compared one time Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs with professional cyclists who don't peform on triathlon portal Pete Jacobs took a few deep breaths before he wrote back - in an open letter. Messick, meanwhile picked up the phone finally and called the 2012 World Champion.

Andrew Messick on Slowtwitch (1):
I will give you two contrasting examples. The contrast between the two is relevant and germane to this conversation. Last weekend one of our former world champions validated for Kona at the largest triathlon in one of the world’s five financial centers. And that athlete went 11:42 with a 51 minute swim, 5 hour and 37 minute bike and a 4:56 run. [Messick was referencing 2012 Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs of Australia who was validating his 2014 Kona entry at Ironman Switzerland in Zurich] There was never any doubt that this was simply punching a ticket.
When I ran the Tour of California, Tom Boonen came almost every year. Boonen organized his year around the cobble classics, the Tour de France and at times the world championships. But he was a two peak [per year] guy. He was in phenomenal shape on April 10. He then did not get on a bike for 3 weeks. He came to the Tour of California [in May] and he was not fit. But he knew it. We knew it. Patrick Lefevere, who ran that team, sent Boonen, with 10 kilometers left in the sprint stages, to go to the front with his guys. If you look at the pictures of Tour of California sprint finishes, there was Boonen getting beat by Mark Cavendish. There was Boonen getting beat by other top sprinters. Tom Boonen is a professional. He was not in [peak] shape but he goes to a race and he tries. And there is the contrast. 
Pete Jacobs' response (2):
As per the WTC Ironman rules, I had to validate for Kona by completing an Ironman. The only time I could now fit this in, after the depressing bout of fatigue and the troubling inability to race or train at an elite level for many months, was to complete Ironman Zurich one week after Challenge Roth. This was the event that was after my bout of fatigue had cleared, had the minimal amount of travel involved, and the minimal time away from preparing for your marquee race, and my main goal, of the Ironman World Championship.
But whatever race it is, you have no idea how I feel about not being able to race for the win. This year has been full of hard times, disappointments, and days I could barely think straight. In Zurich I did irreversible damage to my body to push to a point of stressful pain and still have 12km’s left to walk. It was no fun at all. It was a very long, very stressful, hard and tiring day.
Not once have I ever spoken up against your validation rule. Even in Zurich I accepted it for what I had to do and did not complain, but respected it was the rule that I had to abide by. I have never said a bad word against this rule. 


Dienstag, 1. Juli 2014

Number of the month: World Triathlon Corporation takes USD 220 million loan and pays out dividend to shareholders

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) pays out a USD 220 million didvidend to its shareholdes Providence Equity Partners. The USS 220 million term loan is due for repayment in 2021 and a USD 20 million "revolver" (revolving credit facility) is due for repayment in 2019. Standard & Poor’s and Moody's analysts published their rating following the latest developments.

Fortune's analysis, based on Standard & Poor's rating is harsh, but sees some real company value anyway [1]:
The debt left World Triathlon highly leveraged and earned a “B” junk rating from Standard & Poor’s because of the company’s exposure if the economy sours. But the financing, which was oversubscribed, also reflects all the untapped potential Providence still sees in an investment it is likely to hang on to for a few more years. (An IPO is a less likely possibility given the small size of the company.)  
“It’s exciting. We’ve helped build Ironman into a global sports platform and there’s still lots of work to do,” said Davis Noell, a managing director at Providence Equity Partners and an Ironman board member. 
Ironman has one big advantage any corporation would dream of having while it ramps up: its ownership of the “Ironman” name, the result of years of defending its intellectual property. While anyone can put on a triathlon of the same distance, no one else can bestow on finishers the status of “Ironman,” a near mythical status for triathletes. 

Meanwhile Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B2 Corporate Family Rating (CFR) and B2-PD Probability of Default Rating (PDR) to WTC [2].
WTC's B2 CFR reflects its highly predictable and recurring revenue, strong brand loyalty and good free cash flow generation due to its minimal capital requirements. Moody's also expects WTC to benefit from the positive industry trend of higher participation rates in triathlon races as it expands by offering additional events around the world. These strengths are offset by the company's small scale, low margins, its narrow business focus, lack of tangible assets, reputation risks and high leverage from an aggressive financial policy reflected by the dividend recap.
WTC has experienced strong revenue growth over the past several years by introducing new IRONMAN races to additional locations around the world. IRONMAN races continue to experience strong demand , fueled by a higher rate of participation in triathlons globally. The IRONMAN brand is the most valuable aspect of the company and its strong following and high level of awareness, even amongst non-participants, allows WTC to successfully market and sell out many of its races well in advance of the event date. Additionally, due to the high level of brand awareness, Moody's believes that it would be extremely difficult to displace WTC from its current leading position the world of endurance triathlon.
Pro forma for the transaction Moody's expects the company to maintain moderate leverage going forward in the 4x to 5x Debt/EBITDA range(Moody's adjusted).. However given the company's low capital intensity, Moody's expects free cash flow will be over 10% of debt each year over the next several years.
In 2008, New York based private equity company Providence Equity Partners became the new owner of WTC and bought out forme owner Dr. James P. Gills. WTC was under the umbrella of the then created World Endurance Holdings. WTC made during the 6 years ownership some bold and strong acquisitions and is for sale for some time now. Latest aqcquired companies and races are:

  • Auckland Marathon, largest road running event in New Zealand. May 2014
  • Lifesport Properties, Subaru Western Triathlon Series. May 2014
  • Tritlon Spain SL, Challenge Barcelona and Half Challenge Barcelona. April 2014.
  • ChesapeakeMan, race acquisistion from The Columbia Triathlon Association. April 2014
  • YWC Sports, races in Denmark like Copenhagen and Aarhus. June 2013.
  • USM Events,  Australian triathlons in Cairns, Geelong, Mooloolaba, Noosa and Sydney World Triathlon Series. February 2012.
  • North American Sports, U.S. Ironman races. 2009.
  • Xdream Sports & Events, German Ironman races. 2009.
  • Triangle Sports Promotion, Austrian, South African Ironman races. 2009
  • BK Sportpromotion, Swiss Ironman races, 2009.
  • etc.

Mittwoch, 21. Mai 2014

Verbände der Deutschen Triathlon Union und IRONMAN Germany vereinbaren Zusammenarbeit

Kooperation zwischen Veranstaltern, Landesverbänden und der DTU soll einheitliche Qualität sichern und Breitensport fördern. Planungen für langfristige Zusammenarbeit vor allem im Bereich der Wettkampfrichter, erste Änderungen bereits in der IRONMAN-Saison 2014.
Der Veranstalter der Mittel- und Lang-Distanzrennen in Frankfurt und Wiesbaden, IRONMAN Germany, will in Zukunft wieder mit den Verbänden und der DTU zusammenarbeiten. Ziel der Kooperationspartner ist es, den Triathlonsport in Deutschland nachhaltig zu fördern und mit Blick auf die Entwicklung und zum Wohle der Sportart gemeinsame Ziele zu verfolgen. Die Zusammenarbeit bei Veranstaltungen und darüber hinaus ist dabei maßgebend.
Björn Steinmetz, Managing Director bei der IRONMAN Germany, [...] legt besonderen Wert auf das Vertrauen zwischen Verbänden und Veranstalter: „Es ist an der Zeit, dass IRONMAN und die DTU wieder intensiv miteinander kooperieren. Mit dem Austausch von Erfahrungen und daraus resultierenden gemeinsamen Ideen wollen wir den deutschen Triathlon zukünftig noch mehr unterstützen. Auch im Kampf gegen Doping werden wir gemeinsam vorgehen und uns für einen sauberen Sport – im Profifeld wie auch im Breitensport – stark machen. “
Diesen Schritt begrüßen auch die DTU und ihre beteiligten Landesverbände. Die Verbands-Vertreter aus den Ländern, in denen IRONMAN-Wettkämpfe stattfinden, haben sich entsprechend mit den Verantwortlichen aus Hanau zusammengesetzt und – auch unter Mithilfe der DTU – die Zusammenarbeit abgestimmt. DTU-Präsident Dr. Martin Engelhardt sieht die Annäherung positiv. „Es ist erfreulich, dass wir als Dachverband zusammen mit den betroffenen Landesverbänden ab sofort mit einem der wichtigen Veranstalter der Triathlonszene zusammenarbeiten. Unsere Ziele sind in vielen Punkten deckungsgleich und die Verbände haben in einigen Bereichen Kernkompetenzen, die ein Zusammenwirken auch für IRONMAN sinnvoll machen. Mein ausdrücklicher Dank diesbezüglich gilt den Landesverbänden aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Hessen für ihren Einsatz in der Abstimmung.“
Diese haben sich unter Leitung von Peter Richter vom Hessischen Triathlon Verband auf ein zukünftiges Miteinander verständigt, was beide Parteien nun leben wollen. Richter ist froh, „dass wir beim Triathlon nach mehreren schwierigen Jahren nun wieder an einem Strang in die gleiche Richtung ziehen, um unseren Sport noch attraktiver für die Athleten zu machen.“
Im Zuge der Zusammenarbeit werden die Verbände zukünftig vor und während der Wettkämpfe aktiver eingebunden. Erste und wichtigste Neuerung: Alle deutschen IRONMAN–Rennen ab der Saison 2014 werden wieder von Schiedsrichtern der DTU beaufsichtigt. Der erste Einsatz erfolgt beim nächsten IRONMAN-Rennen am 6. Juli in Frankfurt.

Freitag, 9. Mai 2014

Kraichgau Triathlon offers 2015 Slots for Kona and 70.3 World Championship Zell am See-Kaprun

After a long public back an forth battle around Kraichgau Triathlon, new owner World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) announced an inaugural 2015 Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau Triathlon. The race, known until 2014 and before as Kraichgau Triathlon Festival and Half-Challenge Kraichgau will maintain existing sponsors, most of the team and established venues.

Additionally WTC pushes the event with qualifying spots for both World Championship races in Kona and Zell am See-Kaprun

IRONMAN® adds IRONMAN® 70.3® Kraichgau
powered by KraichgauEnergie 
Tradition, emotion, passion have made the Kraichgau region in southwestern Germany one of Europe’s premier triathlon hotspots. Now the course is set for the future, as IRONMAN is proud to announce the latest addition to its growing IRONMAN European Tour – the inaugural Sparkasse IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau powered by KraichgauEnergie on June 7, 2015.

“The Kraichgau region has made itself a household name for German triathletes. Together with the team that has organized all Kraichgau races up until today, we are looking forward to making the race and the region known in all of Europe. At the same time, we will focus on keeping its local character and respect its heritage and tradition,” said Thomas Dieckhoff, CEO IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa.

To celebrate the inaugural race athletes will enjoy these benefits unique to any European IRONMAN 70.3 race:
  • 30 qualification slots for the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • 100 qualification slots for the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria
  • guaranteed priority entry into the 2015 IRONMAN Austria, or the 2015 IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt or the 2015 KMD IRONMAN Copenhagen
“We are thankful to for the support of the two largest existing sponsors, the Sparkasse Kraichgau and KraichgauEnergie and we are delighted they support the direction we are taking with this race,” Dieckhoff adds.

It's a dream come true for Bjoern Steinmetz who co-founded the race: “I am extremely proud of how we started out with the idea of a small race which has now become a triathlon festival. It’s been thrilling watching the race grow and we are so excited that we will now award slots for both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlons.”
The Kraichgau Triathlon-Festival was operated under the licensed name “Challenge”. Challenge, grantor of the license, terminated the license contract July 30th, 2014 after the Kraichgau Sports Promotion UG was acquired by the IRONMAN Germany GmbH in October 2013.

“The Kraichgau Triathlon-Festival is the original race and it’s always been our goal to create a perfect blend of elite athletes and amateurs while establishing the race as an event where everyone – age-groupers, short and sprint distance athletes as well as kids – can enjoy our beautiful sport. This remains our promise for the future. Triathlon has found a perfect ground unlike any other in Germany to grow here. Athletes like Thomas Hellriegel and Sebastian Kienle are known world-wide. The success is owed to the local team and hundreds of volunteers. We are looking forward to an amazing future,” adds Steinmetz.

Registration for the race is open now at

Mittwoch, 30. April 2014

Aus nach dem Premierenjahr: IRONMAN 70.3 Berlin abgesagt

Wir die Hanauer Europazentrale der World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) mitteilt, findet die 2. Auflage des IRONMAN 70.3 Berlin im Jahr 2014 nicht statt. Herausforderungen und Hürden bei den Streckengenehmigungen zwangen Organisation und Veranstalter bereits im Jahr der Premiere zu Streckenänderungen. Ein großer Teil der Radstrecke fand etwa auf dem Rollfeld des Flughafens statt. Die vom Organisationsteam eingebrachten Streckenwünsche fanden leider auch für 2014 kein Beachtung. In den letzten zwei Jahren setzt die Stadt Vorgaben um, die Veranstaltungen im öffentlichen Raum stärker reglementieren.

Der IRONMAN 70.3 Berlin findet nach durchwachsener Premiere wegen Problemen bei der Streckengenehmigung 2014 wegen identischer Schwierigkeiten nicht statt. Logo: WTC

Absage des IRONMAN 70.3 Berlin

SC Charlottenburg erhielt keine Genehmigung für Radstrecke. Vollständige Rückerstattung des Startgeldes für alle Athleten. IRONMAN bietet unkomplizierten und vergünstigten Umstieg auf ein anderes Rennen der IRONMAN 70.3-Serie an.
(HANAU/BERLIN – 30. April 2014) – IRONMAN bedauert, die Absage des IRONMAN 70.3 Berlin bekannt geben zu müssen. „Wir wurden von unserem Lizenznehmer, dem Sport-Club Charlottenburg e.V. (SCC), darüber informiert, dass dieser nicht in der Lage ist, den IRONMAN 70.3 Berlin dieses Jahr auf der geplanten Radstrecke durchzuführen, da die Stadt Berlin keine Genehmigung erteilt. Die angebotenen Alternativen entsprechen nicht dem hohen Qualitätsniveau, das sich Athleten von einer IRONMAN-Radstrecke erwarten dürfen“, sagt Thomas Dieckhoff, Chief Executive Officer von IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa.
„Wichtig ist für uns jetzt vor allem rasche und unkomplizierte Hilfe für die betroffenen Athleten. SCC wird das Startgeld inklusive der Registrierungsgebühr vollständig zurückerstatten. Gleichzeitig haben wir bereits allen bislang angemeldeten Athleten ein Sonderangebot für den Umstieg zu einem anderen IRONMAN 70.3-Rennen zukommen lassen. Es ist eine der Stärken von einer Serie wie IRONMAN, in solchen Situationen rasch reagieren zu können. Als Athleten wissen wir, dass sich jeder angemeldete Sportler langfristig und gezielt auf den Wettkampf im Sommer vorbereitet hat und diesen Wettkampf werden wir allen Sportler ermöglichen, auch wenn uns die Absage natürlich sehr verärgert“, bekräftigt Björn Steinmetz, Managing Director Germany bei IRONMAN.

Montag, 28. April 2014

Mercedes-Benz V-Class named the official car of the IRONMAN European tour

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) announced for their flagship race in Frankfurt am Main, Germany a new major supply partnership. Automotive giant Mercedes-Benz extended their existing partnership for 2014 and 2015. IRONMAN is considered the global leader in long and half distance triathlon events. The European Championship events in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden accumulate the biggest budgets beside the World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Additional sponsorship announcements are expected soon.


Stuttgart/Frankfurt. (April 28, 2014) –– IRONMAN® today announced Mercedes-Benz as the Official Car Partner of the IRONMAN European Tour for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. With its involvement in the best-known European long-distance triathlon series, the premium automotive brand is extending its presence in this elite class of endurance sport. The new Mercedes-Benz V-Class is the youngest and most spacious member of the Stuttgart passenger car family and the ideal car for sporty, active people. 
“IRONMAN and Mercedes-Benz make a perfect and powerful combination. Both brands are renowned for their firm belief in passion, quality and determination to provide their customers with a great experience. We are confident that IRONMAN is the perfect platform to present the new V-Class and are happy to welcome Mercedes-Benz as a major partner of our races and our flagship event in Frankfurt,” adds Thomas Dieckhoff, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa. 
In 2014, Mercedes-Benz will be present at nine races in eight countries, including Germany, Denmark, France, Austria and Spain. They will also be an important part of the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt am Main, IRONMAN’s premier event in Europe. On July 6, 2014 the international triathlon elite will again compete here in the IRONMAN European Championship. 
"The IRONMAN European Tour is the ideal platform for addressing sports enthusiasts and people who are active in their leisure time in our most important sales markets and to make the V-Class part of their lifeworld,” says Klaus Maier, Head of Marketing and Sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Versatile and uncompromising like an IRONMAN athlete, our new MPV holds its own in the various disciplines of everyday life. That makes it the perfect vehicle for athletes who have special requirements where space is concerned because of their training and competition equipment, and at the same time need the highest standards from their vehicle where their work and family life is concerned.”
As well as general support for the IRONMAN European Tour national organisers will have at their disposal V-Class vehicles as a support and shuttle service throughout the year at all the competitions. In addition to this the new Mercedes-Benz MPV is accompanying the European series with wide-ranging communications activities and comprehensive branding along the race course, plus vehicle displays and its own exhibition area at the IRONMAN EXPO at each event location. 
About the V-Class – The Mercedes Among MPVs
The new V-Class impresses with maximum flexibility and performance with highest-possible safety and efficient energy consumption – properties which also characterise the best triathletes. It blends the generous amount of space and the functionality of an MPV with the hallmark strengths of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car. This makes the V-Class the Mercedes among MPVs. 
The interior facilitates countless seating and loading configurations for the various moments in life. In a few minutes it can be converted from a luggage compartment for several bicycles to a comfortable oasis of wellbeing for the whole family or for business partners. And the V-Class offers an extraordinary comfort experience – including the quietest and highest-quality interior in the segment, the most modern control and display system plus the best road roar and tyre vibration characteristics thanks to the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with its new frequency-selective damping. 
Top performance is ensured by the ultramodern 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with two-stage turbocharging. The V 250 BlueTEC top model develops 140 kW (190 hp) and with a maximum torque of 440 newton metres effortlessly achieves the output level of the previous V6 turbodiesel. Yet at 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres it consumes up to 28 percent less fuel. In the acceleration phases it even reaches an impressive figure of 480 newton metres. In just 9.1 seconds the V 250 BlueTEC sprints from 0 to 100 km/h. Thanks to speed-dependent electromechanical power-assisted steering with active steering response and a variable steering ratio the V-class is always safe in bends. A total of eleven driver assistance systems also ensure exemplary safety. 
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. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit


Montag, 23. Dezember 2013

Kommentar: IRONMAN vs. Challenge - Ich bin dann mal weg

Ich habe in über 20 Jahren, den ich den Triathlon intensiv begleite und mehr oder minder ebenso intensiv betreibe selten so ein hässliches Schmierentheater erlebt, wie es zwischen der World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) und der TEAMChallenge GmbH wenige Stunden vor Weihnachten tobt. Mir geht es hier nicht um Schuldzuweisungen. Das schaffen beide Veranstalter von ganz alleine. Das ist mir nur zu verkrampft, unehrlich und last but not least unsportlich. Triathlon ist nicht nur Sport oder Geschäft, Triathlon ist Lifestyle. Schämt euch, dass ihr so mit meinem, unserem Lifestyle umgeht!
Zeit für ein Päuschen. Der heutige 23. Dezember 2013 wird als der vorläufige Höhepunkt im "PR-Krieg" zwischen WTC und TEAMChallenge eingehen. Logokollage: auf Basis der Logos von TEAMChallenge und World Triathlon Corporation
Ich klinke mich an dieser Stelle bis zur erfolgreichen Durchführung des Kraichgau Triathlons 2014, ehemals IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau,  Challenge Kraichgau, Kraichgau Triathlon Festival einfach mal aus. Vielleicht gibt es im kommenden Jahr auch Neuigkeiten zu einem noch neu  zu schaffenden IRONMAN 70.3 Badenser Land, Interesse scheint in der Region vorhanden zu sein.