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NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon
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Y'all must be training or commuting right now, because I assumed this article would be lighting up Slowtwitch.

Title:
A New Challenge for Professional Triathletes: Toppling Ironman Inc.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/sports/professional-triathletes-organization-ironman.html
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [AirWeaver] [ In reply to ]
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I think Challenge and the PTO have an opportunity to be a disrupter to Ironman. It looks like Talbot and the media crew are getting prepared to push out quality content this weekend which will have a positive impact on the Pro athletes for endorsements and also motivating folks that may stumble upon the coverage.

I think it would actually be cool if Challenge pushed out the 100k distance more frequently and to AG races too. It is a clean distance and I think it the distances are equally weighed.

USAT Level 1 Coach- Milestone Racing (milestoneracingtn.com)
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [AirWeaver] [ In reply to ]
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Not much there. Title is deliberately misleading—there really isn’t any new pros vs IM argument.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [AirWeaver] [ In reply to ]
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Not too bad of an article. The author needs to do a little more research to get some facts better. Still nice to see tri on a national level site.

An interesting quote:
The new series will only work if fans actually watch. That would drive up media rights fees and spur potential sponsors to try to reach a very desirable audience.
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And yet still doesn't give people a solid idea as to how to watch the series other than it will be featured on media outlets. Or what time the race starts. So if someone stumbled across this article and was piqued, they'd not know how to tune in should they want to without significant, and non-guaranteed success, hunting.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
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Tri-Banter wrote:

An interesting quote:
The new series will only work if fans actually watch. That would drive up media rights fees and spur potential sponsors to try to reach a very desirable audience.
---
And yet still doesn't give people a solid idea as to how to watch the series other than it will be featured on media outlets. Or what time the race starts. So if someone stumbled across this article and was piqued, they'd not know how to tune in should they want to without significant, and non-guaranteed success, hunting.

But that's an issue for Challenge/PTO PR folks, not a NYTimes writer covering the broader issue of pros/competition in the sport.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [AirWeaver] [ In reply to ]
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That whole article, while very welcome, doesn't necessarily paint triathletes in the best light. Kind of makes pros look whiney and all participants look like spoiled 1%ers. I get the narrative they're going for, but I don't think complaining how "Just $80,000 in winnings was good enough for a spot in the top 10 on the money list." looks very tasteful to anyone but triathletes themselves.

Of course I hope triathlon becomes more popular than darts, but it hasn't been, and we are still racing, which just makes us look more like suckers. But what this article doesn't capture is that 99% of pro triathletes I know aren't trying to, or expecting to, get rich. If we can make enough to live relatively comfortably, and race whenever we're able to, we'll be happy. Hard to articulate my thoughts here, but I guess I feel like it's the wrong approach to complain that the people already making the most amount of money in the sport aren't making enough money. The PTO's goals have been to help everyone, and while they have, the vast bulk of money has still gone to the already top performers. If they're going for improving the whole sport from a top down approach, I just hope they can achieve that before they run out of money.

Benjamin Deal - Professional - Instagram - TriRig - Without Limits
Deals on Wheels - Race reports, pictures, sponsors, and more!
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Last edited by: realbdeal: Dec 4, 20 6:27
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [dand] [ In reply to ]
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But that's an issue for Challenge/PTO PR folks, not a NYTimes writer covering the broader issue of pros/competition in the sport
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I don't necessarily disagree. But, I find it disingenuous for the writer to include a blurb on "fans need to watch" without giving them an idea how to watch. The PTO/ Challenge is having a universal struggle in communicating how people could tune in. Here was an excellent opportunity for the people being interviewed for the article to hammer it home and get free advertising. Neither the author nor the PTO/ athletes did the race any favors on that front.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
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I am somewhat surprised that an event like this couldn't get time on the Olympic Channel or NBCSN (maybe that one is a stretch).

I do not see how this is any less watchable than Vuelta.

____________________________________________________________________________________________
2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, St. George, Utah, USA 17-18 Sept. 2021 |--| IRONMAN LAKE PLACID 2021 |--| EAGLEMAN 70.3 2021
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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realbdeal wrote:
That whole article, while very welcome, doesn't necessarily paint triathletes in the best light. Kind of makes pros look whiney and all participants look like spoiled 1%ers.

uhh, you basically just described triathlon exceptionally well.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:
realbdeal wrote:
That whole article, while very welcome, doesn't necessarily paint triathletes in the best light. Kind of makes pros look whiney and all participants look like spoiled 1%ers.


uhh, you basically just described triathlon exceptionally well.

Of course, and that's why we are a very desirable audience to potential sponsors. I feel like my wife and I are the poor triathletes when we show up. Then I realize we are top 5-10% on income earners in the United States. (of course, we live in high COL America)

____________________________________________________________________________________________
2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, St. George, Utah, USA 17-18 Sept. 2021 |--| IRONMAN LAKE PLACID 2021 |--| EAGLEMAN 70.3 2021
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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Benjamin,

Does your diet allow for unlimited chocolate cream pie? ;)

The Adamo quote - "these athletes should be highly paid co-owners" - doesn't come across well as a one liner in the article.

O'Donnell and Joyce have impressed me with their professional approach to our sport. Why wasn't O'Donnell identified as the other PTO co-president in the article? He should have been if he still has that title, which he does on the PTO website. Edit: the NYT took my suggestion and added that info to the article.
Last edited by: Mark Lemmon: Dec 4, 20 12:05
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Once-a-miler] [ In reply to ]
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Once-a-miler wrote:
I think Challenge and the PTO have an opportunity to be a disrupter to Ironman. It looks like Talbot and the media crew are getting prepared to push out quality content this weekend which will have a positive impact on the Pro athletes for endorsements and also motivating folks that may stumble upon the coverage.

I think it would actually be cool if Challenge pushed out the 100k distance more frequently and to AG races too. It is a clean distance and I think it the distances are equally weighed.

I think that would be a gift to Ironman and make Challenge look even less appealing to North American athletes. They are only cutting 8 miles off the bike making it more of a run-dominant event. By contrast, the TriStar 111 format (1K, 100K, 10K) was more palatable by catering to those who didn't grow up swimming and hate running (perhaps a good deal of the real market) and yet it DIED. If you are in business, you aren't trying to make the distances "clean" (whatever that is) or equitable; you are trying to find a distance that is desired by the majority of the actual market. The 70.3 distance has proven to be very popular, and will be difficult to sell to large numbers as a better alternative to 70.3.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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realbdeal wrote:
That whole article, while very welcome, doesn't necessarily paint triathletes in the best light. Kind of makes pros look whiney and all participants look like spoiled 1%ers. I get the narrative they're going for, but I don't think complaining how "Just $80,000 in winnings was good enough for a spot in the top 10 on the money list." looks very tasteful to anyone but triathletes themselves.

I tend to disagree. Understandably, You might be too close to the situation. I can see why you might find that distasteful. But, I’m far more aware of earnings of pro athletes in other sports than I am in triathlon despite being FAR more aware of some things triathlon than the average person. The public is well-accustomed to $100+ million earnings from pro athletes. I don’t think anyone will consider a pro athlete “complaining” about $80k in earnings will come across as the least bit distasteful. To the extent it registers at all, I think the average Joe will be surprised their earnings are so little.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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HuffNPuff wrote:
Once-a-miler wrote:
I think Challenge and the PTO have an opportunity to be a disrupter to Ironman. It looks like Talbot and the media crew are getting prepared to push out quality content this weekend which will have a positive impact on the Pro athletes for endorsements and also motivating folks that may stumble upon the coverage.

I think it would actually be cool if Challenge pushed out the 100k distance more frequently and to AG races too. It is a clean distance and I think it the distances are equally weighed.


I think that would be a gift to Ironman and make Challenge look even less appealing to North American athletes. They are only cutting 8 miles off the bike making it more of a run-dominant event. By contrast, the TriStar 111 format (1K, 100K, 10K) was more palatable by catering to those who didn't grow up swimming and hate running (perhaps a good deal of the real market) and yet it DIED. If you are in business, you aren't trying to make the distances "clean" (whatever that is) or equitable; you are trying to find a distance that is desired by the majority of the actual market. The 70.3 distance has proven to be very popular, and will be difficult to sell to large numbers as a better alternative to 70.3.

I would say it doesn't necessarily become a run-dominated event. I think it evens it out, the cycling in the traditional IM/70.3 distance is the dominant leg, I more often see top split bikes + mediocre runs rank higher than mediocre bike + top slit runs. I'd love to take some stats from certain races to see if I can prove my point but I need to work today :( maybe tomorrow.

Only thing I would say is that if they really wanted to even it out, they would push that swim out a bit more, say 1.5 miles, or even better 2. But we know that if they do that for AGers too, that would likely stop many AGers from signing up. However I don't see why they couldn't do that for pros only. And fwiw, the swim is by far my weakest leg, I enjoy swimming in the open water but hate racing in open water. I still think that swimmers are at a much higher disadvantage than anyone else.

808 > NYC > PDX
2020 Races?: Nope.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [AirWeaver] [ In reply to ]
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How is this not the most controversial line in the article for us

The dirty secret about elite triathletes, with their chiseled physiques, $8,000 bikes and training schedules that allow for unlimited chocolate cream pie, is that for most of the pros, the pay is relatively lousy.

808 > NYC > PDX
2020 Races?: Nope.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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hadukla wrote:
How is this not the most controversial line in the article for us

The dirty secret about elite triathletes, with their chiseled physiques, $8,000 bikes and training schedules that allow for unlimited chocolate cream pie, is that for most of the pros, the pay is relatively lousy.
Right? That isn't even close to a fair description of me! I'd estimate my bike to be more like $8,100 and I'm lactose intolerant so it's unlimited Oreos instead. So insulting...

Benjamin Deal - Professional - Instagram - TriRig - Without Limits
Deals on Wheels - Race reports, pictures, sponsors, and more!
Most recent video: $20 photochromic cycling sunglasses review
Most recent blog post: A Nod to Women in Sports
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [DFW_Tri] [ In reply to ]
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DFW_Tri wrote:
realbdeal wrote:
That whole article, while very welcome, doesn't necessarily paint triathletes in the best light. Kind of makes pros look whiney and all participants look like spoiled 1%ers. I get the narrative they're going for, but I don't think complaining how "Just $80,000 in winnings was good enough for a spot in the top 10 on the money list." looks very tasteful to anyone but triathletes themselves.


I tend to disagree. Understandably, You might be too close to the situation. I can see why you might find that distasteful. But, I’m far more aware of earnings of pro athletes in other sports than I am in triathlon despite being FAR more aware of some things triathlon than the average person. The public is well-accustomed to $100+ million earnings from pro athletes. I don’t think anyone will consider a pro athlete “complaining” about $80k in earnings will come across as the least bit distasteful. To the extent it registers at all, I think the average Joe will be surprised their earnings are so little.


Agree with the disagreement here -- I think especially when framed in terms of what people in sports like golf and tennis earn, and in terms of the apparent value of IMcorp, it's showing (or at least attempting to show) that getting a relatively low payday.

But appreciate RBDs general concern about relative income ...maybe pitch Futterman a story about the working class pro who is really working hard and creatively to make it work?
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Waingro] [ In reply to ]
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Waingro wrote:
Not much there. Title is deliberately misleading—there really isn’t any new pros vs IM argument.


The argument isn't new. A credible championship-quality race with a ~$1M pro purse is pretty new. At least that's my understanding as a roadie.

The PTO thread right near this one currently has >300 posts. That's the most I've seen from a pro-related tri-race thread in a while.
Last edited by: trail: Dec 4, 20 9:29
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [AirWeaver] [ In reply to ]
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"Tim O'Donnell who is the Co-President of the PTO"

Tim O'Donnell who is an Ironman Foundation Ambassador.

The attempt to paint Ironman in a bad light continues for what reason I don't care. What do pros actually bring to the table for any race promoter? The value is quite limited. We have multiple threads on this:

https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/How_Important_Is_A_Pro_Field_P7393335/?page=unread#unread

Generally speaking the Olympic and Sprint Distance products put on by the ITU are what is easily digestible. Super League also easily digestible.

Long Course Triathlon is more like how the HSBC World Series is set up in Rugby. A Massive 8-10 hour TV block that broadcasters don't want to give up for better revenue generating sports. So it goes onto the OTT platform in countries with networks that pay for the rights (US, was on ESPN+ and is now on NBC Sports Gold now the Peacock). Or it is streamed for free in countries that don't have a rights holder.

I looked at the schedule for even this race, it's not going to be a compact product and it will still compete with revenue generating sports.


Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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realbdeal wrote:
hadukla wrote:
How is this not the most controversial line in the article for us

The dirty secret about elite triathletes, with their chiseled physiques, $8,000 bikes and training schedules that allow for unlimited chocolate cream pie, is that for most of the pros, the pay is relatively lousy.

Right? That isn't even close to a fair description of me! I'd estimate my bike to be more like $8,100 and I'm lactose intolerant so it's unlimited Oreos instead. So insulting...

Oreos are lactose free? Learn something new every day.

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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TheStroBro wrote:
realbdeal wrote:
hadukla wrote:
How is this not the most controversial line in the article for us

The dirty secret about elite triathletes, with their chiseled physiques, $8,000 bikes and training schedules that allow for unlimited chocolate cream pie, is that for most of the pros, the pay is relatively lousy.

Right? That isn't even close to a fair description of me! I'd estimate my bike to be more like $8,100 and I'm lactose intolerant so it's unlimited Oreos instead. So insulting...


Oreos are lactose free? Learn something new every day.
Incredibly, they're actually fully vegan, which of course makes them healthy.

Benjamin Deal - Professional - Instagram - TriRig - Without Limits
Deals on Wheels - Race reports, pictures, sponsors, and more!
Most recent video: $20 photochromic cycling sunglasses review
Most recent blog post: A Nod to Women in Sports
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
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The new series will only work if fans actually watch. That would drive up media rights fees and spur potential sponsors to try to reach a very desirable audience.


This is valid - and ultimately where this all needs to go, to make a sustainable business model out of it.

The challenge, and I have said this here on the forum NUMEROUS times, in the largest media market in the world, the U.S., Endurance Sports (all of them - running, cycling, triathlon, nordic skiing, swimming . . .), are totally off the radar screen. There's a bot of hype coverage and interest during the Olympic Games every 4 years, IF, the U.S. has a contender/winner, but then it fades back into obscurity for another four years. We know what Lebron had for breakfast this morning but can't find ANYTHING about what is going on in running, cycling or triathlon.

The only time that there does seem to be coverage that breaks through is some big doping bust (which never puts the sport in a good light), or there is some freak running a marathon every day for a year - so the sport is looked at as some freaky carnival side show!

Part of this challenge in North America (the U.S. and Canada), is that there is little if any what I call Endurance Sports Culture. It's all Pro Team stick & ball sports all the time. In many other countries around the world, after Soccer, which is the #1 Sport, cycling is often the #2 Sport in terms of media coverage - so there is respect and understanding of what endurance sport is all about. It's why you see more triathlon coverage in the sport media in Europe! Ironically, the estimates of the number of people who pin on a bib number and enter a running, cycling or triathlon race in North America each year is 50 million!! So there is sizeable market of people who, would be the first layer of interest, one would think/hope!


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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realbdeal wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:
realbdeal wrote:
hadukla wrote:
How is this not the most controversial line in the article for us

The dirty secret about elite triathletes, with their chiseled physiques, $8,000 bikes and training schedules that allow for unlimited chocolate cream pie, is that for most of the pros, the pay is relatively lousy.

Right? That isn't even close to a fair description of me! I'd estimate my bike to be more like $8,100 and I'm lactose intolerant so it's unlimited Oreos instead. So insulting...


Oreos are lactose free? Learn something new every day.
Incredibly, they're actually fully vegan, which of course makes them healthy.

Vegan depending on who you ask (https://www.google.com/...-really-vegan/%3famp) but most would say pretty damn close at least.
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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I don't know if it would help, but the fact that we had a Marathon Trials race probably hypes up that segment of Endurance sport.

Filling out the US Triathlon team through trials rather than a points system from the series would likely be better since there are no WTS races in the US anymore.

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: NYTimes Cover Article on Triathlon [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
IF, the U.S. has a contender/winner, but then it fades back into obscurity for another four years. We know what Lebron had for breakfast this morning but can't find ANYTHING about what is going on in running, cycling or triathlon.


I think your NBA comparison is excessive, though. The point isn't to reach NBA-grade money. It's to get a small fraction of what Lebron *alone* makes feeding back to all pros so it's a viable way to make a living.

There are sports that are effectively non-existent in North American (or world) mainstream media that have healthy, sustainable markets for their elites. And who use niche media rather than depending on major networks.

Hoping to, say, become a sport that's featured daily on ESPN is neither what we *want* our sport to become, nor necessary for it to be a healthy professional sport.

I've participated in niche sports my whole life (cross-country, rowing, triathlon, marathon, road cycling, track cycling), and over that time have had zero hand-wringing because Lebron gets all the attention. (granted I was pro/elite for almost none of that)
Last edited by: trail: Dec 4, 20 9:58
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