In 1978 in Hawaii by American servicemen between John Collins and his colleagues have a fight, who is stronger: swimmers, cyclists or runners. Officer John Collins and his wife Judy who have already had experience of participation in sports, decided to organize a race which will bring together all these contests. Felt not so much the endurance of the human body, how much willpower athletes.
In the first Ironman race in February 1978, started 15 athletes, mostly colleagues-the military John Collins, who already did triathlons and members of the local sports clubs. In honor of one of the local runners, who exhausted himself training and was named the competition. Then Collins said, “Whoever finished first, we’ll call him the Ironman!”. To reach the finish line managed 12 of 15 enthusiasts.
Before the triathlon, each participant received a piece of paper with the caption: “Proplyne 2.4 miles (4 km)! Cycling 112 miles (180 km)! Runs of 26.2 miles (42 km)! Proud of it the rest of my life!!!”. Now this phrase is a registered trademark. The participants had to cover the distance clockwise around the island of Oahu and finish near the Aloha tower is one of the main attractions of the city of Honolulu. This first race gave start to the contest, which eventually turned into a brand.
The impact of one report
Competition John Collins could quickly end, but the second race was attended by the Sport Illustrated journalist Barry McDermott. The concept of sporting events is so impressed that he wrote a great story. After the material Ironman became interested in the program Wide World of Sports ABC. The producers wanted to make a documentary, but John Collins suggested that they just broadcast the race live. As a result, the third competition was watched by all sports America. From this point on, the number of participants from year to year has increased from hundreds to several thousand. And even the introduction of the entry fee ($600-800) is not cooled the ardor of wanting. The Ironman brand began to develop rapidly, and by 1986 the prize Fund of the competition was already $100 million and the brand comes the first big sponsor — Bud Light.
In 1990, American ophthalmologist and businessman James P. Gills, which repeatedly took part in the “iron” races, buys the rights to the competition for $3 million for brand Development became involved in his company, World Triathlon Corporation (WTC).
Ironman out of the race for those wishing to test their body endurance, becomes a trademark for a billion dollars, with regular sponsors (Active, Craft, Isuzu, Subaru), his merchandise (product with logo Ironman) and reports in the world media. Under the Ironman brand, sells clothing, accessories, sports equipment, and even the license itself to use the name Ironman you can buy.
The company profits not only from registration. For $9 000, for example, athletes get the services of a personal assistant that will order the tickets and book a hotel, watch the kids or buy your favorite food on the road.
All this has brought the company each year an income of $180 million. Area — Asia!
In 2015, Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda bought the WTC for $650 million, the Company said it plans to come out with the Ironman brand in the Asian, particularly the Chinese market. This should increase the popularity of this type of extreme races on the continent, the Ironman race took place mainly in the USA and Europe. Held annually in hundreds of different triathlon under the auspices of the Ironman brand and take part in them hundreds of thousands of people. In Asia before the end of 2019 is planned to conduct 26 events. “White collar” — new “Ironman’s”?
Starting in 2012, bubbles begin to participate more and more business owners and top managers. Fortune magazine found that, the average income of people who participate in Ironman, is $174 thousand a year. If we talk about top managers, their main income is salary. The presidents and CEOS of companies that participate in these races, derive their income primarily from ownership of the investment, venture capital funds or business in the field of IT.
Ironman race gradually rises in line with the Golf, Polo and other sports of the rich and wealthy people. Good physical form and desire to reach the finish line is not the only thing you need to have to participate in it. The registration for the competition costs about $700. In addition, you need to buy a good bike, swimming suit, sport shoes and various gadgets for measuring speed, heart rate, etc. the cost of the whole equipment can reach up to $30 thousand
Despite its elitism, today Ironman is gaining massive popularity. It is visited by middle-class office clerks and pros.
Are there competitors?
World Triathlon Corporation, especially after the purchase by a Chinese conglomerate Dalian is the undisputed leader in terms of organizations of various sporting events. And if direct competitors in Ironman races today not, alternatives do exist. Some companies try to attract people with lower registration fees, such as race Vineman Race. Or more sophisticated tracks like Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon or. The closest competitor Ironman is a series of races to The Challenge Family. But at the time when WTC organizes several hundred races a year around the world, The Challenge Family while this figure reaches only a few dozen.