This letter from the Ironman CEO to the pro athletes is weird on multiple levels. Obviously, the idea that they have to first build up the women’s field before they can add women’s pro spots at Kona has some chicken-egg problems. But, it’s nice that they’re trying to build the sport and making a media effort. The craziest part, though, is the section where he roughly outlines coming ‘social media guidelines.’ Like what? If you say something bad about Ironman on Twitter, they won’t let you race their events? (Yes, yes, that’s pretty much exactly what I think they’re going to do.) It’s part of the fundamental problem with a private equity company owning a sport’s world championship and its biggest brand events. A distinction no one outside the sport ever really seems to know. A very well-informed speaker came to talk to one of my classes the other day and among the many lists of national sports organizations and leagues he had worked with, he included Ironman. I so wanted to point out that it wasn’t the same.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=0e87c568-951e-4405-a6c8-75264b42cf1f&c=988b7b70-b53c-11e3-b571-d4ae528ed502&ch=99d25350-b53c-11e3-b586-d4ae528ed502

4 thoughts on “This letter from the Ironman CEO to the pro athletes is weird on multiple levels. Obviously, the idea that they have to first build up the women’s field before they can add women’s pro spots at Kona has some chicken-egg problems. But, it’s nice that they’re trying to build the sport and making a media effort. The craziest part, though, is the section where he roughly outlines coming ‘social media guidelines.’ Like what? If you say something bad about Ironman on Twitter, they won’t let you race their events? (Yes, yes, that’s pretty much exactly what I think they’re going to do.) It’s part of the fundamental problem with a private equity company owning a sport’s world championship and its biggest brand events. A distinction no one outside the sport ever really seems to know. A very well-informed speaker came to talk to one of my classes the other day and among the many lists of national sports organizations and leagues he had worked with, he included Ironman. I so wanted to point out that it wasn’t the same.

  1. “We are prepared to engage in a vibrant dialog about professional racing with you and your fellow professional athletes, but the dialog cannot take place publicly.” Well that’s kind of creepy…

  2. This part about the wave starts — “this change will affect the other 2,000+ athletes competing for a world championship in the age groups whose race will be shortened to 16:45” — struck me as very HEY EVERYONE, BLAME THE LADIES FOR RUINING YOUR RACE. Also a logical fallacy, right? Nobody competing for a world championship regardless of age group needs 17:00 to finish an Ironman, right?

      1. OH, right, I wasn’t even thinking about that — good point. It was more the “competing FOR a world championship” that I reacted to — like yes, the lottery folks are competing IN a world championship, but I feel like the ship has sailed on WINNING one by the time you’re coming in at 16:45.

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