For the casual observer, triathlon appears to be an individual sport, but triathlon is not always an individual sport! My personal success in triathlon so far was because of the experience 'triathlon family'. I have come to believe that in triathlon, the sport itself may be individual, but it is through the preparation, motivation and training that you can find the team. Triathlon is definitely also a team sport, and in recent years, we've seen a new trend in triathlon marketing.
Triathlon teams quickly gaining popularity
In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of high profile professional and/or development triathlon teams, as sponsors and athletes recognise that there can be greater brand awareness and exposure by being associated with a group of athletes, rather than individuals alone.
There's many reasons why is today more popular be part of a triathlon team rather than taking on the entire swim-bike-run challenge alone. An argument can be made that triathlon is, in actuality, a team sport. To realize the true benefits of this lifestyle requires a team approach. Certainly the athlete is the key component but there are many facets to the gem of success. The triathlete may do all the training, but without the support of a well-positioned team, their full potential may never be realized. It's not always easy to find sponsors and partners working as individual. Looking for some mainstream sponsors of the triathlon team could help the finances of the pro field.
While the sport of triathlon may be an individual event - at least at the non-drafting level - there is no doubting that the professional ranks of triathlon are increasingly seeing benefits of a team approach to the sport, and the marketing of athletes and brands in particular. Some people say that there is no better option for successful career in world of triathlon than to become part of the solid triathlon team and make history. Learning as much as possible from other triathletes in team during the season, is as one of the major benefits of this team structure in individual sport like it's triathlon.
It would be great to see more teams emerging in the sport for the benefit of the athletes. A team should also be the win-win partnership between athletes and sponsors. Companies as sponsors often are industry leaders and are striving to provide the absolute benchmark in terms of equipment and triathletes support and have the goal of creating a co-branded world leading triathlon team.
When the Abu Dhabi Triathlon team (headed by former Ironman World Champion Faris Al Sultan) was announced in 2009. , part of that
strategy was to 'establish a firm foundation for Abu Dhabi to host an international triathlon event in the not too distant future'., to promote the Emirate within Europe, and Al Ain in particular
as a training destination.
Among the first were Team TBB, Commerzbank Triathlon Team and Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team, and today in 2015 is quite extensive list
of well-known triathlon teams around the world.
Team TBB - 'the world’s longest running professional team' since its launch in late 2006, has been officially closed for business with the begining of the January, 2015. One of the pioneers, in recent years at least, was TeamTBB which has gained widespread public awareness in the triathlon world through the Brett Sutton coached squad. Chrissie Wellington turned pro with the team in 2007, and won her first two Ironman World Championships as a TBB athlete.
"The future of team triathlon will now have to be picked up by other high profile players. After the withdrawal of Commerzbank as title sponsor of its eponymous triathlon team in 2011, the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team is currently the largest and, arguably, most established pro triathlete team.
It is to be hoped that other teams, backed by well-resourced sponsors, will be able to join the fray and further raise the profile of triathlon." (Gary Roethenbaugh)
Will be announcement a blow to the emergence of triathlon teams, which have a role in raising the profile of triathlon and providing support to
professional triathletes? I don't think so, it's still obviously that emergence of triathlon teams is trend in sports marketing and sponsorship. No wonder that even in 2015, new teams
appear on the triathlon scene.
Bahrain Endurance Team - New in 2015! A new triathlon team has been recently announced by Chris 'Macca' McCormack who will be the ambassador of this super triathlon team.Itzu Tri Team - New in 2017! A new professional triathlon team under the leadership of Luc Van Lierde
Pro Triathlon Team Hotel Mohrenwirt - New in 2015!
Team Bravo Triathlon Team - New in 2015! Coke’s title sponsorship of the team is being funded by a group of private investors, including one with Coca-Cola’s Brazil office, and will for the first time put Coke’s red and white logo on athletes competing in the sport’s biggest races, including the annual Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
The Alameda O.N. Triathlon Team - New in 2015! Through joining forces with the Arab Triathlon Confederation, Alameda O.N. Tri Team will be going to schools and sports clubs around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region throughout the year, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, as well as raising awareness for triathlon.
Triathlon Team Tripep -
New in 2015! Evolved out of former teamTBB. As a coach Brett Sutton announced in 2014 his withdrawal from the Team TBB, further development of the team was almost in sight. Part of the teamTBB - teamTBB Germany continue to exist, however under the new
name and is led by Joseph Spindler (coach & triathlete). Just like the previous teamTBB, even Team Tripep wants to be more involved in the promotion of young
and aspiring professional triathletes.
Challenge Family Americas 2015 Age Group Triathlon Team - New in 2015! Challenge Family Americas has announced the roster for its 2015 Challenge Triathlon Team. The 65 amateur athletes on the team will play a key role in ensuring that the race series is in tune with athlete and spectator needs, as well as building relationships with the local communities where Challenge Family hosts its events. 'These athletes will help us with a variety of things including brand awareness, community outreach and social media outreach with the ultimate goal of driving registration for us,' explained Eric Opdyke, Challenge Triathlon America’s Operations Director. 'It is the single most important marketing program we have.'
Power Horse Triathlon Team - The Power Horse Triathlon Team was officially
launched in March 2013 in Lanzarote. After less than 2 years, in the begining of the February 2015, Austrian
energy drink manufacturer Power Horse ended their sponsorship activities in triathlon. On the team site, the content is currently not available, instead, reference is made to a
forthcoming new online presence. What comes after the Power Horse
Triathlon Team in 2015?
Team Sport For Good - New in 2015! - The Power Horse Triathlon Team is now TEAM SPORT FOR GOOD! For the first time a professional triathlon team is using its name to pledge for support for the Laureus Sport for Good foundation
Team Sirius Elite Triathlon Team - professional triathlon team coached by Siri Lindley
JFT Racing Triathlon Team - coached by Joel Filliol
..is triathlon a team sport? Yes, indeed, it is!
So, which triathlon team will make the biggest impact in 2015?
It should be definitely a full of fun season, and hopefully these teams should take advantage of the many benefits that brings a common work. Not only in terms of training and racing, even in terms of acquisition of sponsors, range of press releases and media attention. I look forward to following the action as the season unfolds.