Ironman messes with everything

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jonovision_man
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Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:33 pm

For better or worse?

http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/08 ... 015_103368

Highlights...
- Four separate starts at Kona
- Prize money & pro points yanked from most 70.3 and some ironman race (incl. muskoka) in favor of larger prize pools at others
- Mt tremblant won't be the north american championship anymore (moves to Texas)

The pros being there does add something... not sure I'll notice all that much though.

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:40 pm

This part is weird... they list muskoka with the full ironman list and again with the 70.3s. Mistake or preview of things to come?


Those Ironman races with no pro prize money are Boulder, Louisville, Wisconsin,
Maryland, Lake Tahoe, Florida, Muskoka, Los Cabos and Lake Placid.

In addition, 11 70.3 races will be purely age-group only races, with no prize purse
or points, and no validation for 70.3 worlds. Those races are Steelhead, Lake
Stevens, Muskoka, Lake Tahoe, Augusta, Haines City, Honu, Boise, Victoria and
Syracuse.

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby MINITEE » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:45 pm

jonovision_man wrote:This part is weird... they list muskoka with the full ironman list and again with the 70.3s. Mistake or preview of things to come?


Those Ironman races with no pro prize money are Boulder, Louisville, Wisconsin,
Maryland, Lake Tahoe, Florida, Muskoka, Los Cabos and Lake Placid.

In addition, 11 70.3 races will be purely age-group only races, with no prize purse
or points, and no validation for 70.3 worlds. Those races are Steelhead, Lake
Stevens, Muskoka, Lake Tahoe, Augusta, Haines City, Honu, Boise, Victoria and
Syracuse.



Wasn't Muskoka full announced last week at Placid?
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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:09 pm

wow I totally missed that announcement! Crazy... hope tremblant doesn't suffer too badly.

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby Jwolf » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:45 pm

I don't really see how this is messing with anything- they are making some good changes.
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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby Mark.AU » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:14 pm

Better.
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:26 pm

I get the issues they're trying to fix, I just think they only really half thought it through.

The Kona changes for example:
"If you put 500 athletes onto a bike course in five minutes, there’s no way you can maintain a 12-meter gap between them, he explained."

True, but splitting men and women means at best they'll still have 250 per 5 minutes... that's 50 per minute, almost one person starting every second. That's still not terribly spread out, going to still be big gluts of riders. If they really wanted to solve this permanently they'd go with full-on wave starts... nobody really wants that, but if they've abandoned the mass start anyway, then it's really just a matter of time.

Having two tiers of Ironman (ones with pros vs not) is just going that extra step further to making some of these races not all that special. There's so many now, 14 in N. America, starting to turn into just another race.

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby eme » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:54 pm

I was kind of surprised that Boulder is no longer going to be a pro race. Isn't that where half of the pros live? Granted, I have no idea of the quality of the race...

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Ironman messes with everything

Postby Jwolf » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:52 pm

There are so many races now because there is high demand - although it seems like the market could get saturated soon. But in the meantime I think it makes sense to concentrate the pro races in just a limited number of sites. Pros isn't what makes ironman "special" to most people- it's the challenge of the distance, the locales, and the value people get from the IM brand that people like.
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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:08 pm

Every time they add an Ironman they dilute the brand and make it a little less special.

Kona will always be special, but the rest of them? When there were only a handful they were all important, but now it's a brand they share with 20, 30, 40+ races? Not as special. Now you turn a bunch of them into second-tier events by taking out the pros, it pushes them a little further to being "just another race".

This is nothing new for them... 70.3, 5i50, they just keep tossing that Ironman name everywhere and making it mean less and less. I suppose this latest little jab is relatively minor in the big scheme of things.

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby Mark.AU » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:20 pm

jonovision_man wrote:Every time they add an Ironman they dilute the brand and make it a little less special.

I'm not sure I buy that argument at all. Does the Apple brand become more diluted with every product release?

Granted, Kona is special, but it's not IRONMAN, it's' the original Ironman race, that's why it's special - that plus it being the only one that requires qualification. No other IM has required qualification, and in fact Kona didn't either for the first few years. For the vast majority of the market, Kona is to them the same as Wimbledon is to the recreational tennis player; a spectacle and something to watch but by the same token something unrelated in a real sense to all the other IM's and their own participation in the events.

WTC isn't my favourite corp. by any means, but they are actually doing a both themselves and their market a favour by making more supply available to the market. As long as they manage the balance between market demand and available supply, they'll be able to maintain their premium pricing strategy. To keep that market, they need to maintain both the quality of their product and the mystique of the brand (to an extent, the two are intertwined). I don't see the proliferation of IM events as a danger to the mystique, as long as the quality maintains.
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:11 am

Mark.AU wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:Every time they add an Ironman they dilute the brand and make it a little less special.


I'm not sure I buy that argument at all. Does the Apple brand become more diluted with every product release?


No, but events are different than electronics. When your favourite band comes to town, it's a special event, it's a big deal. If they came to town every week, not so much. If they held the New York Marathon twelve times a year to accommodate demand, or if the Olympics were held every year instead of every 4, each one wouldn't be quite as special.

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby Mark.AU » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:17 am

jonovision_man wrote:
Mark.AU wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:Every time they add an Ironman they dilute the brand and make it a little less special.

I'm not sure I buy that argument at all. Does the Apple brand become more diluted with every product release?

No, but events are different than electronics. When your favourite band comes to town, it's a special event, it's a big deal. If they came to town every week, not so much. If they held the New York Marathon twelve times a year to accommodate demand, or if the Olympics were held every year instead of every 4, each one wouldn't be quite as special.

jono

Your analogy doesn't hold up though, IM's only happen once a year in any given location. It's a very personal thing, this IM game. You, me, 95% of all participants are in it for ourselves; we create the mystique for ourselves and as I said in my post above, as long as the WTC doesn't screw up the event we take part in, there's no possibility of "dilution."
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby La » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:27 am

Mark.AU wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:
Mark.AU wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:Every time they add an Ironman they dilute the brand and make it a little less special.

I'm not sure I buy that argument at all. Does the Apple brand become more diluted with every product release?

No, but events are different than electronics. When your favourite band comes to town, it's a special event, it's a big deal. If they came to town every week, not so much. If they held the New York Marathon twelve times a year to accommodate demand, or if the Olympics were held every year instead of every 4, each one wouldn't be quite as special.

jono

Your analogy doesn't hold up though, IM's only happen once a year in any given location. It's a very personal thing, this IM game. You, me, 95% of all participants are in it for ourselves; we create the mystique for ourselves and as I said in my post above, as long as the WTC doesn't screw up the event we take part in, there's no possibility of "dilution."

I agree with you, Mark. Especially the part about making sure they keep the quality of the race and not screwing things up so that the "brand" continues to be special.

Though I have to say that part of the mytique (ritual?) in the recent past (when races sold out within minutes) was being there in person, getting up early to stand in line for hours to sign up. And having to sign up a whole year in advance, which made sure that you really were committed to it. There was something special in being able to say, "I got in!" That likely won't happen now with so many races in proximity to each other.
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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby jonovision_man » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:31 am

Mark.AU wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:
Mark.AU wrote:
jonovision_man wrote:Every time they add an Ironman they dilute the brand and make it a little less special.

I'm not sure I buy that argument at all. Does the Apple brand become more diluted with every product release?

No, but events are different than electronics. When your favourite band comes to town, it's a special event, it's a big deal. If they came to town every week, not so much. If they held the New York Marathon twelve times a year to accommodate demand, or if the Olympics were held every year instead of every 4, each one wouldn't be quite as special.

jono

Your analogy doesn't hold up though, IM's only happen once a year in any given location. It's a very personal thing, this IM game. You, me, 95% of all participants are in it for ourselves; we create the mystique for ourselves and as I said in my post above, as long as the WTC doesn't screw up the event we take part in, there's no possibility of "dilution."


We're in it for ourselves, sure, but the overall feel of the event is what makes it worth doing. You can do the distances anywhere, lots of non-branded events without the hooplah, so there's something we derive from it being a spectacle and something worth being part of. When you see a guy like Craig Alexander out there on course, it's a bit of a thrill... not the reason I do or don't do a race, but adds something to it. Guys who play beer league hockey probably won't get to suit up against Sydney Crosby, but I raced against Craig Alexander (and got destroyed, but hey) :).

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby Annelizabeth » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:41 pm

I am going to do Mt tremblant next year and am overjoyed about not having to drive 10hours to sign up. Makes the distance more accessible. I did consider Musokoka which is only a three hour drive but the spectacle is not the same .

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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby FishHog » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:18 pm

I'm think overall most of these changes are going in the right direction. Are they perfect? NO. But the smart way is to make a smaller change, see how it works and fine tune from there. I think they are moving in the right direction.

Having a pro race with 1 or 2 pro's really isn't much of a pro race. I think putting a bunch of pro's into one race is a good thing and will be much more exciting. While its kind of fun to see if I can get out on my run before the pro's finish, they really don't add that much to my race.

The fact is its a good business, and until they find that saturation point, I'm sure they will keep adding races. I would. But agree, they have to maintain the quality of the race, and with the odd minor issue, it seems like they do that very well. Removing a couple of pro's from that race shouldn't impact that at all.
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Re: Ironman messes with everything

Postby RobAllen » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:01 pm

I look at the pro changes in a different light. While many think it does not affect them in the age group environment it will affect the races. I understand I am in the minority but I have no interest in Muskoka because there will be no pro field there. But, the bigger impact will be on the race organization and searching out the agreements with cities and sponsors. The pro field brings a huge amount of goodwill to the event that goes a long way to impress local council's who make the decision to provide tax dollars in services for the event. Same goes with sponsors. A pro field provides exposure in the triathlon media - it provides a story for the race.

I think a better idea would have been to provide a pro purse at each event but only have one gender competing for the prizing if the issue is there is not enough prize money or the depth of the pro field is weak. This allows Lake Placid to have a pro race (say women) and Muskoka (say Men). The race prize purse is half they are currently espousing at $50k per race but paid only to one gender.

Without a pro field, Lake Placid becomes less of an event and will continue to take longer and longer to sell-out. It will sell-out next year but possibly in two weeks, then maybe two months in 2016, then it will be a harder sell. The impact isn't now, it will be in 5 years but by that time PEP will most likely have rid themselves of the company.


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