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Corporate triathlon rush in Australia

On Monday 22 November entries opened for the Nissan/BRW Corporate Triathlon National Series 2011 in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. By 25 November, race organiser SuperSprints announced that entries for the Melbourne event had already sold out, amid reports that all registrations for the race had been sold in under an hour.

As with other ‘corporate triathlons’ in other key triathlon markets, such as the US and Europe, the appeal of multisport for predominantly desk-bound athletes continues to grow.

The Nissan/BRW Corporate Triathlon National Series is aimed at the corporate market across Australia and is positioned as ‘a fantastic team building and bonding event.’

With an estimated 16,000 participants in the series the Nissan/BRW Corporate Triathlon starts with race 1 in Melbourne on 20 February 2011; race 2 follows in Adelaide on 27 February 2011; with race 3 in Perth on 13 March 2011; race 4 in Sydney on 3 April 2011; and race 5 hits the Gold Coast on 7 May 2011.

Event organiser SuperSprints is focusing the series on fun and rivalry:

‘Industry rivalry is set to flourish this year with an exciting new points system in place for companies and the chance to be crowned the NISSAN/BRW “National Champions”. Bragging rights (and an office plaque) will be awarded to the winners of each of the 20 Industry Types for each State, as well as overall National Industry Winners. From Accounting, through to Construction and Law – your company could be a 2011 winner!’

Echoing a trend for car manufacturers to align with triathlon in a headline sponsorship capacity (such as Ford and Subaru with Ironman), Nissan is back for a third year as principal sponsor for the Nissan/BRW Corporate Triathlon National Series in Australia.

BRW, as the series’ other headline sponsor, is Australia’s leading business magazine. It is part of the Fairfax Media group and provides news and commentary on the economy, business and investment in Australia. The magazine ‘focuses on success, highlighting business strategies, investments and entrepreneurialism that work.’

The triathlon originally began as a BRW initiative over 20 years ago but the media organisation handed the reigns over to sports event company SuperSprints as the event built scale.

Fairfax Media Marketing Director Simon Wake, recently interviewed by Marketing magazine in Australia, said “It’s really part of the brand’s DNA, it’s been 20 odd years. The race is associated with the brand and it works so well on so many levels it would be stupid to let it go.”

Wake added that sponsorship is “not necessarily a commercial opportunity, we don’t get money out of it necessarily, but it doesn’t cost a lot to be involved and it’s great brand association. The brand alignment is a no brainer for us, the participants are a younger, corporate, high-end market, and they’re our readers.”