Global endurance leader adds to running, triathlon, and cycling portfolio with acquisition of four mass participation events in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
SYDNEY, AUS/TAMPA, Fla. (May 20, 2019) – The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire four mass-participation events from Nine’s events and entertainment division (formerly Fairfax Events and Entertainment), including the world’s largest fun run, The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, which takes place in the heart of Sydney every August and sees 80,000+ participants running to Bondi Beach. In addition to this iconic event, the acquisition will include The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon®, Melbourne Corporate Triathlon™ and Carman’s Women’s Fun Run. The IRONMAN Group will also seek to operate the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle event which takes place on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These events are expected to serve an estimated 100,000+ participants in 2019.
Nine’s publications will continue to have an ongoing relationship with the respective events, continuing as naming partners.
“As the largest mass participation event company in the world, we are continually looking for great races in exceptional locations,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of The IRONMAN Group. “This is a fantastic opportunity to expand in two major Australian cities – Sydney and Melbourne – and further the global recognition that these premiere events deserve. With more than 20 established races in Oceania, the addition of these events, including the historic and world-renowned City2Surf, will further cement our position as the market leader.”
Firmly established as a must-do race, City2Surf will celebrate its 50th year running in 2020. It will join The IRONMAN Group along with The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, the largest half marathon in Australia, and Carman’s Women’s Fun Run which is Australia’s longest-running women’s-only fitness event. Branching further into triathlon and cycling, the Melbourne Corporate Triathlon adds an entry-level event focused on team building and well-being while the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle Challenge give riders an exclusive and unique opportunity to ride on the road across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Also expected to join The IRONMAN Group will be the events’ respective management teams, making Sydney a new permanent office of The IRONMAN Group in Oceania, adding to office locations in Melbourne and Noosa in Australia, as well as Auckland and Queenstown in New Zealand. The IRONMAN Group now has 28 offices globally.
“The Nine events team are outstanding and have a reputation for delivering world-class events. Sydney and Melbourne are considered two of the world’s greatest cities and with the addition of these events, we now have a major presence in each with staff expertise that will allow for us to be forward thinking as we evolve and develop,” said Dave Beeche, Managing Director for The IRONMAN Group in Oceania. “We look forward to integrating those involved with the events into our business as we continue to ensure our global community receives the life-changing race experiences that they have come to know and expect from us.”
“Today’s announcement sees iconic events like The Sun-Herald City2Surf and The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon bought by an owner who is well placed to maximise the value of the business and help it grow into the future,” said Alex Parsons, Acting Managing Director of Nine’s Events and Entertainment division.
Below are further details about each of the events included in the deal.
The Sun-Herald City2Surf
The World’s largest fun run, City2Surf sees 80,000+ participants annually start in the city centre of Sydney and finish at the iconic Bondi Beach. Entering its 49th year running, City2Surf has established itself as a true community event attracting entrants from all walks of life and ages. The 14km run has become a “bucket list” event that is one of the most loved among adventure seekers and casual and serious runners alike. In 2018, the event celebrated 28 Legends who have participated in the event since its very first race in 1971. The 2019 event is scheduled for Sunday, August 11. More information can be found at www.city2surf.com.au.
The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon
Taking place in Sydney’s central business district each May, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Half Marathon is the largest in Australia with 13,000+ participants. Beginning in 1992, the SMH Half Marathon course has evolved to take runners past the Opera House, Royal Botanical Garden, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Pyrmont and Hyde Park. The event includes not only the half marathon but also a relay division and Elite Wheelchair Sprint. The 2019 event is scheduled for Sunday, May 19. More information can be found at www.smhhalfmarathon.com.au.
Carman’s Women’s Fun Run
Celebrating female health and wellness, the Carman’s Women’s Fun Run is Australia’s longest-running women’s only fitness event consisting of a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Girls Mini Run. Walk, Run, or Just Have Fun™, the event focuses on getting together with friends and family for a great day full of smiles and accomplishments. The 2019 event is scheduled for Sunday, December 1. More information can be found at www.carmanswomensfunrun.com.au.
Melbourne Corporate Triathlon
Consisting of a 400m swim, 10k bike and 4k run, the Australian Corporate Triathlon Melbourne takes place around Elwood Beach Park, Ormand Esplanade and Elwood in early March. Overlooking Port Phillip Bay, the flat bike and run course promotes fun, team building and wellbeing. More information can be found at www.corporatetriathlonseries.com.au/melbourne/.
All previously announced race information for each of the events, including race date will remain the same.
For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.
When it comes to connecting brands with the passions of Australians, there’s no other media company like Nine. As the home of Australia’s most trusted and loved brands spanning news, lifestyle, entertainment and sport, we pride ourselves on creating and curating quality content, accessed by consumers when and how they want. In December of 2018 Nine merged with Fairfax Media creating the largest locally owned media company in Australia with investments spanning television, video on demand, print, digital, radio and real estate classifieds. Nine’s assets include the Nine Network, major mastheads such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Australian Financial Review, digital properties such as nine.com.au, 9Honey, Pedestrian.TV, CarAdvice, subscription video platform Stan and majority investments in Domain and Macquarie Radio.
About The IRONMAN Group
As part of Wanda Sports Holdings, The IRONMAN Group 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, trail running like Ultra-Trail Australia™, 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 Holding
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 and 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.
Dan Berglund, Global Director of Communications
Media Manager – Australia Lead
Media Manager – New Zealand Lead