The two-day Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event to take place on September 1 and 2, 2018 in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa
TAMPA, Fla. / NELSON MANDELA BAY, South Africa (July 16, 2018) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, is proud to announce that Isuzu will be the title sponsor for the 2018 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship taking place on Saturday and Sunday, September 1 and 2, 2018 in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon will take place in Africa for the first time and expects to attract approximately 4,500 athletes from over 100 global qualifying events in locations such as Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is the apex event in the global IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon series. The 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship race in Nelson Mandela Bay will be a two-day event with professional and age-group women racing on Saturday, September 1, and professional and age-group men racing on Sunday, September 2.
“We are thrilled to bring on Isuzu for our IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event,” said Diana Bertsch, Vice President of World Championships for IRONMAN. “IRONMAN has a long-standing relationship with Isuzu in South Africa and we are thrilled to expand that to our pinnacle event in the IRONMAN 70.3 series while putting Nelson Mandela Bay on the world stage. We look forward to September and what is set to be a history-making weekend.”
IRONMAN and Isuzu expand their partnership this year as both celebrate anniversaries. IRONMAN’s 40 Years of Dreams campaign is in full swing, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the race that started it all on the shores of Oahu, Hawai’i, in 1978. Likewise, Isuzu also celebrates 40 years of vehicle production in South Africa.
“The support of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship strengthened the alignment which the company already had as the Official Vehicle Partner for the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championships, also held in Nelson Mandela Bay every year. The partnership opportunity is particularly exciting as it coincides with Isuzu’s own milestone – 40 years of Isuzu bakkie production in South Africa,” said Craig Uren, Executive Officer, Sales, Service and Marketing for Isuzu. “Our partnership with IRONMAN is aligned to the attributes of our vehicles which include outstanding endurance, durability, reliability and capability. While thousands of athletes have crossed IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 finish lines in South Africa, more than 600,000 bakkies have been built, representing six enduring generations of product. In fact, in support of this we will be launching a special, limited-edition IRONMAN Isuzu bakkie,” said Uren.
Athletes at the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will take on a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim at Kings Beach, followed by a 56-mile (90 km) bike through town heading towards Seaview and returning to transition at Hobie Beach. Capping the triathlon off will be a 13.1-mile (21 km) run along Marine Drive. The run will bring athletes closer to their family and friends pushing them through the finish on a high with 50,000-plus spectators cheering them home during the two days of racing.
“International events such as the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship boost the local economy through increased tourism,” said Michael Sacke, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for Isuzu. “Isuzu is keen to play its part in the economic development, growth and transformation of the country. Partnering with IRONMAN to make this event possible is evidence of our commitment to the city and the country.”
About Isuzu Motors South Africa
Isuzu Motors South Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Limited of Japan. Isuzu has had a presence in South Africa since 1964, when the first commercial vehicles entered the market, which was soon followed by the introduction of light commercial vehicles in 1972. The brand’s popularity grew and resulted in local production of light commercial vehicles in 1978. Today, Isuzu remains one of South Africa’s leading commercial vehicle brands and has become renowned for its durability and reliability. For more information on Isuzu products visit www.isuzu.co.za.
About IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the race returned to North American making it way to Chattanooga, Tennessee and marked the first time that the event would take place over two days. This year marks the first time the event will be held on the African continent, taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa and for the second year will be a two-day race. More than 190,000 athletes participated in a season of qualifying races for the championship, a series which consists of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Approximately 4,500 athletes from around the world are registered to compete in this prestigious race. Participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship range in age from 18 to 85-plus, and represent 90 countries, territories and regions. In 2019, the event will be hosted in Nice, France.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Holdings
Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.