Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Fred D] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Fred, to be honest I have no clue just what the deal, if any, the County of Hawaii has with WTC to provide the venue. Looking at it logically, it might actually be a deal with the State and may not involve the county at all. The venue they use for transition (the pier, which is done enough for the race this year btw), is state owned. The land around Hake Halewai is state controlled too, there was a minor snafu last year with a state bureaucrat over that.

If WTC is dealing only with the state, that would explain an awful lot as DLNR is not anyone's friend including the governor.

In reality, and after a very good nights sleep, I think that the real problem isn't the athletes per se or the vendor hawking their wares in town. It's people. We have the same issue with our regular tourists as well. Ironman simply concentrates lots of people in town instead of spreading them out as happens during tourist season. And instead of jay walking to trinket shops they're advertising themselves by wearing all that odd clothing and swarming the Queen K. It just magnifies things.

As for the impact in the local economy, it is big as you suggest. I really have no desire to put people out of work. But I'm quite annoyed by the preferences given WTC in their venue choice when organizations that put on swim and triathlon camps with far less negative impact (restricted access to the ocean during the event for example) are refused access at threat of criminal charges. Yes, people have been criminally charged for using our ocean. They bring business to our town as well and are, sadly, all abandoning Kona now. It takes two parties to allow the event but only one to chase an event away.

Edit: FYI there are only two levels of government in Hawaii. State and county. There are no incorporated cities as there are elsewhere in the country.


---------------------------------------------------------
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: Sep 26, 14 10:19
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Givingchase] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Keep in mind it's not just the pros chasing Kona. It's the sponsoring pushing them in the direction of IM events. Place at X WTC event, get bonus. Place at Y non-IM event, maybe/maybe not a bonus. So it's really more complicated than you make it out to be on the pros. It's really an industry that pushes IM over any other events.

------------------
@brooksdoughtie
USAT-L2,Y&J; USAC-L2
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [trail] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
trail wrote:
>>]Having prize money is what makes it a competitive sport. Without it, it's not a sport. It's a participation event. Like a charity walk.

>Side note, but I had to disagree with this. High school track for example is a competitive sport - no prize money.

Or any number of Olympic sports with no professional league to speak of...swimming, rowing, gymnastics, etc.

You can make good money doing what you Americans call "Olympic" sports. Maybe just not in the USA. But sports are global.

Just read that a female endurance athlete in an "Olympic" sport got a sponsorship agreement with one of her many sponsors valued at USD300,000 a year as long as she is competing.

Member of Valhalla Racing Team
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [tlc13] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
tlc13 wrote:
hmmm... sticking the fork in the 1st amendment.

It's not a first amendment issue. The first amendment only applies to government. It might still be heavy handed and be wrong, but it's not a.free speech issue.

Somehow I don't think the lawyers at WTC looked at it as a censorship issue. I think they might be needing to get a pr spin on this quickly. They do read Slowtwitch you know.


---------------------------------------------------------
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Halvard] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
>>Having prize money is what makes it a competitive sport. Without it, it's not a sport. It's a participation event. Like a charity walk.



>You can make good money doing what you Americans call "Olympic" sports. Maybe just not in the USA. But sports are global.

Right, but I was responding to the specific term "prize money" above. There is no prize money in most swimming, for example. (afaik). Phelps makes his money on endorsements.
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm not in favor of any cutoff unless there is a logistical need for one. Usually the run is mostly non-impact logistical element for the community, though not for volunteers. Something could be worked out. Anyway, the volunteers often stay way past the 17 hour cutoff to cheer on those hardy souls who wish to complete an Ironman, regardless of time cutoffs.

-Robert

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~Anne Frank
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [AlwaysCurious] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
AlwaysCurious wrote:
Gary Mc wrote:
markg wrote:
This smells just like the companies that have threatened to "fine" customers for leaving bad reviews on social media in places like Yelp. It doesn't work, and usually blows up in their faces.

Q: What would YOU do if your Ironman race-entry had a clause that "Thou shalt not criticize WTC or the Ironman event in social media"?

I expect we will see more parody accounts like TheRealStarky in response to this WTC "muzzling" of the pros. At least we can hope they will be half as entertaining as TRS...


Huge difference between the pros and the age groupers. Your comparison of a bad Yelp review is not valid. If I own a restaurant I can only control what the customers say by providing great service. But if an employee or business partner goes on to a public forum and slams my business I will find a new employee or business partner.

/


It's entirely valid. You haven't heard of the gag orders doctors are putting into patient/doctor agreements?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...IQA2KQhYQ_story.html



Fuming about a billing dispute with his dentist, Robert Allen Lee posted his complaints on two consumer review Web sites, triggering a legal battle over a technique designed to snuff out negative online commentary.

In late August, a day after Lee posted his comments on Yelp and DoctorBase, he received a letter from the dental practice threatening to sue him for at least $100,000 for “defamation, slander and libel.” The letter reminded him that he’d signed an agreement with his dentist that barred him from publishing a critique of her or her office.



This is exactly what wtc is trying to do with pros, who are in fact paying customers (paying $800/year to race ironman races). While the pros may have the option of taking their business elsewhere, I also have the option to loudly complain about this abhorrent business tactic. Trying to censor criticism is cowardly and an admission that wtc knows it's doing a terrible job. An organization confident and proud of its customer service is happy to have public conversations about it.

I disagree that pros who pay a fee as part of a professional organization are the same as age groupers who pay for a service as a customer. As I said the pros are more like business partners. Nearly all businesses and sporting organizations have a code of conduct. Expecting professional triathletes to abide by reasonable professional standards is not censorship. The pros can say anything they want, but they can't say anything they want without consequences.

/

Gary Mc
Did I mention I did Kona
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Gary Mc] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
As I said the pros are more like business partners.

________

The only issue I have with this. They seem to be business partners when only WTC wants them to be. I never would have qualified this relationship as a business partner 6 months ago. That's the issue I have with this. But that's WTC for you, and they can do it, because they are the big badass company in triathlon. I guess the tone of their approach came off to rough/strict for my taste.

------------------
@brooksdoughtie
USAT-L2,Y&J; USAC-L2
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
As for the 16:45 cut off in Kona, I think the integrity of the women's race is more important than the whether some of us age groupers can finish in 17 or 16:45. I think this affects 5-10 older athletes versus the pro women's competition. Perhaps a provision could be made for athletes over 70 to start right after pro women and each of them can have a kayak escort BEHIND them so that it is impossible to swim over them. Then it is win win for all!

Can't it be both? Or does it get darker between 12:00 AM and 12:15 AM?

I think the increased gap is a good thing. But that doesn't mean everyone can't get 17 hours.


We are so fucked.
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Gary Mc] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Being business partners assumes equitable exchange between the parties. The problem is that the current perception is the WTC-Pro "partnership" is anything BUT equitable.
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Bryancd] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Bryancd wrote:
It is worth noting that no where in #5 is there any specific threat of retaliation against pro's. There is a request to not use social media to air grievances.

Per the currently existing code of conduct. Minimal, but I also wonder how many pros are aware:

Sanctions
Athletes whose conduct is considered contrary to this Code is subject to penalties, including but not limited to one or more of the following:

  • Letter of reprimand.
  • Disqualification from event.
  • Loss of 500 earned qualifying points from any points ranking in which the Athlete is ranked.
  • Temporary suspension from WTC events—three months.
  • Permanent suspension from WTC events.


Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/...t.aspx#ixzz3ERZSJBNg


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | RokaSports | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [markg] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
markg wrote:
Being business partners assumes equitable exchange between the parties. The problem is that the current perception is the WTC-Pro "partnership" is anything BUT equitable.

Very few business arrangements are 50/50 in terms of equity, even when they are mutually beneficial.

/

Gary Mc
Did I mention I did Kona
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [snackchair] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
snackchair wrote:
Having prize money is what makes it a competitive sport. Without it, it's not a sport. It's a participation event. Like a charity walk. Except the charity in this case is a private company.

Really? So the Olympics are participation events?

How about college or high school sports?
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [BDoughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hmm so more dialogue but no public griping ?

At least he put his hands up and admitted they blew it with WC 70.3 TV coverage.

So any young up and coming triathletes have to race in stacked fields to earn some corn or go to Challenge/ Rev 3 ?
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Gary Mc] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yes, I guess from an pro side of it, I need to see what they will actually be getting. How will acting as a unified front, get them more money in their pockets.

FYI, I also don't even think this is that big of an issue. If they are worried so much over the whole TRS pay issue, then that's something they need to really look at themselves in the mirror. I don't think many pros actually degrade WTC often. Many raise issues, and if that's what is trying to be censored, ok fine.

------------------
@brooksdoughtie
USAT-L2,Y&J; USAC-L2
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [BDoughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks for the insight.

The pressure on Professional Triathletes must be very intense and I am sure that a lot influences their decisions. A couple of questions...

Why have they not formed an organization to represent them as a group?

Should they not have a better relationship with their sponsors with open discourse about what is better for the sport and ultimately everyone's bottom line?

Why not have approach other race organizations about setting up an alternative world championship?

If all of this is already in the works then great! I can't wait to see the sport grow from such endeavors.

Ready or not here I come!
Coaching NY's Southern Tier
Swift^3
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Givingchase] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Givingchase wrote:
You are completely right. If the Pros would STOP chasing Kona and WTC's trumped up World Championship then that would make a real statement. No pros, no championship event. Instead they whine like a bunch of little kids about not being able to have their cake and eat it too.

If you agree to participate then you agree to follow the rules of the event. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

The A list pro's can't stop chasing Kona because that's where the money is. And other organizations won't have an easy time with launching a competing product because Kona is where the corporate sponsors are and WTC has a pretty good lock on that. When you're the market equivalent of the 900 pound gorilla you have a responsibility to exercise that power in a reasonable and responsible manner. I do not think. however, that WTC intended to promote any action that would kill their goose. But I also feed my cat too many treats because I love it and that's not good for the cat either. Unintended consequences and this letter is going to expose a lot of those.


---------------------------------------------------------
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A fake Albert Einstein "quote"
Last edited by: KonaCoffee: Sep 26, 14 10:50
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Gary Mc] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Gary Mc wrote:
[

Guardian, Are you willing to have all of your personal business, your salary negotiations, your taxes, your will, your disagreements with your family discussed in a public forum? Or are there some things that better handled privately? If you owned a business would you expect that the people you do business with refrain from making negative statements about you in a public forum? Expecting people we work with to behave professionally is not being imperious.

/

I can ask the people in my life to act in a certain way, but unless I am their boss, I can't tell them to act in a certain way. WTC is not an employer of the pros, it is more of a partner. If I had a partner telling me what I can and can't do, there would have to be a large benefit to me to suck it up.

Now, I may be putting too much weight on the exact wording of the communication: perhaps WTC has no intention of trying to order people around, but given the general history of communication from WTC, I doubt it.

For context, I am not a WTC hater. I don't do IM, so I don't think about them very often - negatively or otherwise.
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Furious D] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Furious D wrote:
motoguy128 wrote:
tlc13 wrote:
hmmm... sticking the fork in the 1st amendment.


Why does everyone go there. I may not be a lawyer or constitutional scholar, but my educated understanding of it is that it's not an all inclusive right. It is illegal for example to yell "fire" in a crowed place. Slander, Libel, plagiarism, terrorism, harassment, copyrights are other forms of public communication that are illegal and go against a simplistic interpretation of the 1st amendment. You are not free to say or write whatever you want, if it negatively impacts the rights of someone else.

Not really. A professional athlete is essentially an entertainer. The promoter of a private event can have control over it's "performers". They I assume, sign an agreement when they pay their annual registration fee and are essentially being paid to perform since they are receiving a discount on normal entry fees, receive some amount of marketing, promotion from the event without additional fees. Just having their own swim wave start, special color race bibs, etc. though minor, is a form of promotion.

Correct - Much like the second amendment provides you the right to bear arms. It doesn't say that you have the right to bear arms without regulation.

Actually there is that part of the 2nd admendment that mentions that it shall not be infringed... but whatever.
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Ellsworth53T] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I am not aware of any contract or agreement that professional triathletes are under with either WTC or any other bodies (USAT, UCI, etc).

I am sure that back when the other leagues were formed, before they started receiving money from TV deals they were paying living wages for all of their athletes too.
I guess NFL players were always paid real well.... even in the 20s-50s. Man those guys signed their NFL contracts and just began living the high life......

As late as the 50s (30+ years after some guys began creating this Football league thing) the average player was getting $6000 a season, if he was playing a whole season.... multiple games instead of 2-4 races. It wasn't until the 70s that players received a minimum salary $9-$10k per season. That took 50 years from the inception of the league, multiple reorganizations, dealing with competing leagues, and some major TV deals.

NASCAR doesn't outright pay a salary to its racers (AFAIK). The drivers are contractors that are paid by their racing team. They are generally paid salary by their sponsors/ race team and receive bonuses by winning races. Why are we not cursing Specialized (which happens all the time anyway) for not paying pro triathletes enough?

Maybe I am off base, but until WTC or another company identifies how to market the event to a TV audience there will not be much of an incentive to pay a salary to athletes.
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Givingchase] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Why have they not formed an organization to represent them as a group?

I'm not really sure what a organized group really helps within triathlon. There are no "leagues" where you get paid regardless of how good/bad you race. Triathlon really is independent contractors, so I mean it kinda sounds cool to have a "pro union", but then what's really the benefit? How does it actually get implemented. WTC isn't paying pros to be part of their organization (maybe a few here and there get an appearance fee), but 98% of pros are really on their own. Now it seems like WTC wants to have "their" pros when they want to push them around, but then a month earlier, they'll rip them in public, just like WTC doesn't want them to do.

Should they not have a better relationship with their sponsors with open discourse about what is better for the sport and ultimately everyone's bottom line?

Sponsors will really act no differently than how WTC does, as businesses. So if a sponsor thinks IM race is more valued than HITS or Rev3, then they'll urge the athlete to do that race. This idea that WTC is the only bad guy is false, there are lots of companies out there looking out for themselves instead of the "better for the sport". That mindset needs to go out the window when talking business. So that's the issue. Sponsors and AG'ers are clearly saying IM events are "THE" events in the sport, so the industry as a whole is saying it's IM or nothing.

Why not have approach other race organizations about setting up an alternative world championship?

Good question, but it has a complicated answer. Some don't feel the need to do it right now.

------------------
@brooksdoughtie
USAT-L2,Y&J; USAC-L2
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Bootlegger Ben] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Bootlegger Ben wrote:
Furious D wrote:
motoguy128 wrote:
tlc13 wrote:
hmmm... sticking the fork in the 1st amendment.


Why does everyone go there. I may not be a lawyer or constitutional scholar, but my educated understanding of it is that it's not an all inclusive right. It is illegal for example to yell "fire" in a crowed place. Slander, Libel, plagiarism, terrorism, harassment, copyrights are other forms of public communication that are illegal and go against a simplistic interpretation of the 1st amendment. You are not free to say or write whatever you want, if it negatively impacts the rights of someone else.

Not really. A professional athlete is essentially an entertainer. The promoter of a private event can have control over it's "performers". They I assume, sign an agreement when they pay their annual registration fee and are essentially being paid to perform since they are receiving a discount on normal entry fees, receive some amount of marketing, promotion from the event without additional fees. Just having their own swim wave start, special color race bibs, etc. though minor, is a form of promotion.


Correct - Much like the second amendment provides you the right to bear arms. It doesn't say that you have the right to bear arms without regulation.


Actually there is that part of the 2nd admendment that mentions that it shall not be infringed... but whatever.


Infringe: to do something that does not obey or follow (a rule, law, etc); to wrongly limit or restrict (merriam webster)

The second amendments rights have not been wrongly limited or restricted, except perhaps in DC v. Heller (and a couple others) where the Supreme Court ruled that DC could not ban handguns from individuals. They did however note that the right to own a handgun did not come without limits seeing as its probably a bad idea to say anyone can have a gun without infringement, like you know, felons, mentally ill people, 3 year olds, etc.

But similarly to this situation, the WTC has every right to say that you cannot bring a gun to a race. Just like they have the right to say that if you want to participate in our races, you need to follow the code of conduct we set forth.

If you want to bring a gun to a race, find a race that allows them. If you want to be a pro in triathlon and badmouth the race organizers, find a supporting organization that will pay you for performance and not care what you say about them on social media.

But silly me for bringing facts and not slinging random amendments.
Last edited by: Furious D: Sep 26, 14 11:12
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [grindmonkey] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
No one is suggesting that triathletes be paid the same as the average annual salary in the nfl ($2 million), mlb ($3 million), or nba ($5 million). But many of us think the sport would be better off if there were higher prize purses.

WTC has obviously had little incentive to pay more or find a television audience. And this is where we as fans can play a role; we can provide that pressure and incentive to do so. And as long as they ignore us, I'll continue to support people like realstarky who will mock and shame them, with the hopes of degrading the ironman brand enough so that age groupers do start to notice and do start to take their business elsewhere.

Fanciful thinking? Not really. WTC is small potatoes in the realm of organizations that have been upended overnight by public outcry.




The Age Group Home on Facebook
Twitter jokes
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Bootlegger Ben] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
And you're both forgetting the first part of that amendment about a 'well regulated militia'. Interpretations abound, but it's mainly the 2nd 1/2 that people cite.


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | RokaSports | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
Quote Reply
Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Givingchase] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I am a first-year pro. My season this year did not go very well due to a variety of factors, so I don't have the pull of a stellar palmares, BUT that also puts me in a totally free position.

Even on a local level, it is very difficult to find sponsors or even generate interest in organizations/people who could support athletes. Long course triathlon has an advantage in that the athletes are free-agents – not tied by the bureaucracy of national federations – but that is also a pitfall, as there is no common ground for athletes to meet. ITU short course athletes have a great, proven set up that is used by many other sports, so the support system is there.

Talking with some fellow new pros, a common theme is the desire to work hard and create some value for potential sponsors. No one just wants free swag; we are all looking to build a partnership. But we are all essentially "freelancers", and it's a matter of shooting blindly when trying to build up support. There is no platform for the athletes. This is something that has to change. I know that in the early days, there were a couple attempts at rallying the pros, but it didn't reach very far as a consensus could not be reached. That is really too bad.

It's interesting to note that the race that should actually be the true world championship gets very little attention and a small field: ITU Long Course. ITU is a non profit organization. It handles Olympic qualification and athletes enter the races through their national federation, representing their country. This makes sense. Yet the field at the world's race, year after year, is not very stacked, and the media does not give it the same kind of attention.

Since I am starting out and have nothing to lose, I will be leading an Ironman boycott. I will be racing Challenge/Rev3 and targeting the real World Championships.
The current top professionals are in a tough spot. They can't simply switch; their contracts, sponsors and fans are tied up in Ironman. It's up to the new pros to make changes.

As for value of professional athletes to the sport...that is a very difficult question to answer. I have thought a lot about it this year. What do pros in other sports have to offer? This is the issue with triathlon: other sports are pro only. Triathlon is amateurs + pros on the same day. When you watch a football game, you are watching only the pros. There are local, amateur games/matches/races, but the marketed, televised and otherwise promoted events are pro. Pro triathletes don't have that same pull. I was talking to a local sponsor (with international reach), and he said to me that, "you [pros] don't do much for us; you provide a great story and excitement, but sales and business growth don't come from you." Luckily, I have other, non-sport related, marketable skills that allow me to offer something beyond athleticism, but it is still proving difficult to leverage that and use it to my advantage.

This definitely requires a lot more thought before a good solution can be found. It's frustrating to see other sports pull in millions upon millions, while triathlon is just scraping by.

Group Eleven – Websites for Athletes / staernathan.com / @mstaer
Quote Reply

Prev Next