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.