USA Triathlon has announced Toyota as its Exclusive Mobility & Automotive Partner for the next two years, marking the first such category partnership in the national governing body’s history. Toyota will directly support USA Triathlon’s top elite athletes leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the ‘development of innovative technologies to enhance individual performance.’
In doing so, Toyota will serve as the first-ever entitlement partner for the US Paratriathlon National Team.
A member of The Olympic Partner (TOP) Program through 2024, Toyota is an official partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC), as well as the US Olympic Committee (USOC).
As a Founding Partner of USA Triathlon, Toyota will also help elevate grassroots initiatives, membership programs and events across the United States, such as National and Regional Championships. This includes serving as the title partner for the organization’s largest owned event, the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships (sprint and Olympic-distance), which will return to Cleveland this August after hosting its second-largest field in the event’s 36-year history in 2018.
Toyota will also be the title partner for the USA Paratriathlon National Championships. The event will next be held in July as part of the inaugural Legacy Triathlon in Long Beach, California – site of the triathlon venue for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“USA Triathlon is proud to align with Toyota as our exclusive mobility partner leading up to Tokyo 2020, which includes entitlement of our US Paratriathlon National Team,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO.
“We look forward to delivering significant value while supporting Toyota’s overarching commitment to the Olympic Movement and our country’s top athletes. Given Toyota’s position as a widely admired global brand, we also look forward to successfully leveraging the partnership to directly support our membership, elevate our national events and grow the sport.”
Toyota’s support of the US Paratriathlon National Team program extends to the US Paratriathlon Development Team and the US Paratriathlon Resident Team, based at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
As USA Triathlon’s mobility partner, Toyota and USA Triathlon will focus on the development of innovative technologies to be incorporated into athletes’ training and equipment. The company will also provide two vehicles to USA Triathlon: one dedicated to the US Paratriathlon Resident Team, and another for use by the Colorado Springs-based national office.
“We’re excited to announce our partnership with USA Triathlon,” said Dedra DeLilli, Group Manager, Toyota Olympic/Paralympic Marketing. “It was apparent from our very first conversation that the values and objectives of our organizations were well aligned. With such a highly engaged fanbase and the continued growth of triathlon in the US, we see a unique opportunity to leverage the USA Triathlon platform to communicate our mobility message, promote Toyota vehicles, and advance the sport of triathlon nationwide.
“Additionally, Toyota and USA Triathlon have a shared passion for the para side of the sport, and we’re confident that we’ll make a significant impact on the Paralympic Movement through our work together. We look forward to collaborating closely with USA Triathlon to bring the spirit and ideals of USA Triathlon and Toyota together in what we know will be a powerful partnership.”
Through the partnership, the sport will be featured in the leading auto manufacturer’s national media campaign prior to Tokyo 2020, including television advertising through NBC Universal. USAT adds that this alignment provides a significant opportunity to showcase triathlon to the mainstream US population.
In addition to Age Group and Paratriathlon National Championships, Toyota will support USA Triathlon’s full calendar of 2019 and 2020 National Championships, encompassing other owned (Collegiate Club & High School, Duathlon, Youth & Junior) and non-owned events, as well as the new Legacy Triathlon. Toyota’s involvement and activations through local dealerships will be designed to provide added value to participants and enhance the overall race-day experience.
Outside of support for events, members and elite athletes, USA Triathlon and Toyota will collaborate to build strategic grassroots platforms. This includes the potential to develop a triathlon corporate wellness program for Toyota employees – helping to grow the sport – as well as forming community service and sustainability initiatives.
The partnership will also result in original content creation and media integration to communicate Toyota’s mobility message, as well as tell inspirational stories of elite and amateur triathletes alike. This connectivity between Toyota and multisport was reportedly evident in a 2016 USA Triathlon membership survey, which revealed that Toyota is the most popular vehicle among triathletes. (In the survey, 15.9% of more than 14,500 USA Triathlon annual members indicated they drive Toyota — more than any other brand.)
Innovative Partnerships Group (IPG360) is the sales agency of record for USA Triathlon and assisted in securing this strategic corporate partnership.