The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, has signed an agreement to acquire four mass-participation events from Nine’s events and entertainment division (formerly Fairfax Events and Entertainment). The acquisitions include ‘the world’s largest fun run’, The Sun-Herald City2Surf presented by Westpac, which takes place in the heart of Sydney, Australia, every August and sees 80,000+ participants running to Bondi Beach.
In addition to this event, the acquisition will include The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, Melbourne Corporate Triathlon and Carman’s Women’s Fun Run. The IRONMAN Group will also seek to operate the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle event which takes place on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These events are expected to serve an estimated 100,000+ participants in 2019.
Nine’s publications will continue to have an ongoing relationship with the respective events, continuing as naming partners.
“As the largest mass participation event company in the world, we are continually looking for great races in exceptional locations,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of The IRONMAN Group. “This is a fantastic opportunity to expand in two major Australian cities – Sydney and Melbourne – and further the global recognition that these premiere events deserve.
“With more than 20 established races in Oceania, the addition of these events, including the historic and world-renowned City2Surf, will further cement our position as the market leader.”
City2Surf will celebrate its 50th year running in 2020. It will join The IRONMAN Group along with The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, the largest half marathon in Australia, and Carman’s Women’s Fun Run, which is Australia’s longest-running women’s-only fitness event. Branching further into triathlon and cycling, the Melbourne Corporate Triathlon adds an entry-level event focused on team building and well-being – while the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle Challenge give riders an exclusive and unique opportunity to ride on the road across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Also expected to join The IRONMAN Group will be the events’ respective management teams, making Sydney a new permanent office of The IRONMAN Group in Oceania, adding to office locations in Melbourne and Noosa in Australia, as well as Auckland and Queenstown in New Zealand. The IRONMAN Group now has 28 offices globally.
“The Nine events team are outstanding and have a reputation for delivering world-class events,” said Dave Beeche, Managing Director for The IRONMAN Group in Oceania.
“Sydney and Melbourne are considered two of the world’s greatest cities and with the addition of these events, we now have a major presence in each with staff expertise that will allow for us to be forward thinking as we evolve and develop.
“We look forward to integrating those involved with the events into our business as we continue to ensure our global community receives the life-changing race experiences that they have come to know and expect from us.”
Alex Parsons, Acting Managing Director of Nine’s Events and Entertainment division, added “Today’s announcement sees iconic events like The Sun-Herald City2Surf and The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon bought by an owner who is well placed to maximise the value of the business and help it grow into the future.”
The Sun-Herald City2Surf
The World’s largest fun run, City2Surf sees 80,000+ participants annually start in the city centre of Sydney and finish at the iconic Bondi Beach. Entering its 49th year running, City2Surf has established itself as a community event attracting entrants from all walks of life and ages. The 14km run has become a bucket list event among adventure seekers, and casual and serious runners alike. In 2018, the event celebrated 28 Legends who have participated in the event since its very first race in 1971. The 2019 event is scheduled for Sunday, August 11.