The IRONMAN Group Launches IRONMAN VR – A New Global Racing Series – and The IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge
March 23, 2020
IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series and IRONMAN Virtual Club will allow athletes to train, compete and stay connected with the close-knit athlete community around the world
TAMPA, Fla (March 23, 2020)– The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), announced that it will add the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series to its portfolio, including the IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge that will debut on April 4 through the IRONMAN Now Page on Facebook Watch. The IRONMAN VR Series will be offered through the soon to be launched IRONMAN Virtual Club™, a web-based platform allowing athletes to train and compete from anywhere around the world at any time through the IRONMAN VR Series of weekly races and challenges.
“At the IRONMAN Group, our mission is to provide exceptional, life-changing race experiences for athletes of all levels from their first step to the finish line,” says Andrew Messick, President & CEO for The IRONMAN Group. “We believe that under extraordinary circumstances such as these, athletes should be able to maintain the structure and continuity that training and competition provides. The IRONMAN Virtual Club is an innovative digital platform that enables our athletes to continue training with purpose, remain connected to our community and provides an opportunity to compete through the IRONMAN VR Series.”
Athletes will compete in the traditional age-group categories and for select virtual races, will have the opportunity to earn qualifying slots to the 2020 IRONMAN®70.3® World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand scheduled to take place on November 28 and 29, 2020. Virtual races will begin on Fridays at 6 p.m. GMT and close Sundays at midnight GMT with the first competitive race, IRONMAN VR1, debuting on April 3. The format and distances may vary each race weekend. In order to be eligible for world championship slots, athletes will need to compete with devices providing GPS and heart rate data which will be uploaded to the IRONMAN Virtual Club platform. The IRONMAN Virtual Club platform will be compatible with most wearable technology and app trackers. Upon completion of a race, athletes will receive a finisher package including the collectible IRONMAN VR medal and finisher tees for that race. The IRONMAN Virtual Club will additionally provide an activity-based loyalty point system designed to motivate athletes as they train and reward them through merchandise, discounts and “money can’t buy” benefits.
During each weekend of competition, there will also be a Men’s and Women’s IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge. Two professional female athletes will compete on Saturday and two professional male athletes will compete on Sunday for prize money. Anyone around the world will be able to tune-in to the head-to-head battles through the IRONMAN Now Page on Facebook Watch. The coverage will also follow the competing age-group athletes through User-Generated Content shared on the interactive platform, allowing athletes to see how they match up against fellow competitors through live look-ins and leaderboard updates. Additionally, every Monday at 6 p.m. following the race weekend, the IRONMAN VR Rolldown Show will provide the best action from the weekend and an interactive live awarding of the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship qualifying slots. During the live coverage, the IRONMAN Foundation will also run Facebook fundraisers to provide support for our traditional host communities.
Full details and specifics regarding the IRONMAN VR Series and IRONMAN Virtual Club will be available at launch on April 1, 2020. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to [email protected].
About The IRONMAN Group
As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®VR™ Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Group
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.