The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has finalised a long-term partnership with leading sports marketing company Infront. Under the terms of the agreement, Infront – a Wanda Sports company alongside IRONMAN – will take on shared responsibility for developing sponsorship opportunities and digital strategies for the ITU World Triathlon Series and the new ITU World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series.
Infront will also sell international media rights and offer broadcasting services for both.
According to a release from Infront, the announcement will allow for further growth of the series, with new digital developments helping to engage an even wider fan base. This includes through ITU’s over-the-top (OTT) streaming channel, TriathlonLIVE.
Stephan Herth, Executive Director of Summer Sports for Infront said “We are delighted to be working directly with the ITU in order to jointly develop the media rights as well as other potential revenue streams. Infront has a history of providing a high-quality service for our endurance sport partners. I’m confident our strong track record will continue with this latest collaboration.”
“We are delighted to have on board a company with the expertise and deep knowledge of the sports market as Infront,” said ITU President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado. “Under this new agreement, we expect to grow together and expand our beloved sport even further. Especially taking into account that this year is the beginning, for all our athletes, of the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We want to show all the amazing performances to the entire world, which I’m sure will be possible with the help of Infront.”
ITU notes that triathlon is already one of the fastest growing Olympic sports worldwide. The ITU World Triathlon Series in 2018, with events in eight countries across the world, attracts over 40,000 participants – among them the top elite triathletes of the world, and most of the Olympic contenders – and some 1.5m spectators worldwide.
This year, the ITU World Triathlon Series will begin in Abu Dhabi on 2 March, with events in Bermuda, Yokohama (Japan), Leeds (UK), Hamburg (Germany), Edmonton (Canada), Montreal (Canada) and the Grand Final in Gold Coast (Australia).
New ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay Series to act as precursor to Tokyo 2020
This year will mark also the start of the brand new ITU World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series, with events in Nottingham (UK) in June and Edmonton (Canada) in July, as well as the World Triathlon Mixed Relay Championships held in Hamburg (Germany).
The new series will bring together teams of two men and two women, with each athlete completing a ‘super-sprint’ triathlon of swimming, cycling and running, before tagging off to their next team mate.
The format has already gained Olympic recognition with the IOC including the discipline for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. ITU adds that ‘This new and thrilling format, with its non-stop action and fast pace, will help capture the imaginations of competitors and spectators alike ahead of its Olympic debut in two years.’
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the international governing body for the sport of triathlon and other multisport disciplines such as duathlon, aquathlon and other variations, including paratriathlon. With headquarters in Lausanne (Switzerland), Madrid (Spain) and Vancouver (Canada), it sanctions the ITU World Triathlon Series, ITU Mixed Relay Series, the ITU World Cups and other properties as the ITU Multisport Festival and the ITU Paratriathlon Series.
Infront, a Wanda Sports company, is a leading sports marketing company managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront notes that it covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions – and has ‘won a reputation for its high standards of delivery’.
As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer sports and corporate and personal fitness, Infront enjoys partnerships with over 180 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, ‘delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year’.
In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Group, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.
Wanda Sports Group is billed as the world’s leading sports business entity, ‘founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape’. Led by President & Vice Chairman Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN and Wanda Sports China. Wanda Sports’ headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.