IMG will help manage the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s media rights deals globally for the next three years as the PTO attempts to grow the sport’s fanbase.
The PTO’s first flagship event will be the Collins Cup, a team competition that will pit 12-person squads from the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world against each other in 12 separate three-person races. Pushed back three months because of the pandemic, the event will take place on Aug. 28 in Slovakia.
“The PTO has enormous potential with their ambitious plans to professionalize the sport around top-tier major events, with best-in-class production and athlete focused storytelling,” IMG head of Americas and global media partnerships Hillary Mandel said in a statement. “Their unique approach to athlete ownership and innovative new formats like the Collins Cup makes for a compelling broadcast proposition to take to the broadcast market.”
IMG has already been working with the PTO, helping it land distribution in more than 100 countries for its 2020 Championship at Daytona International Speedway, with U.S. coverage on Peacock. In January, the PTO hired Tim Godfrey to lead its media strategy.
“Bringing this level of strategic media experience to Professional Triathlon is absolutely core to the remit of the PTO,” Godfrey said in a statement. “IMG is truly the best in the business of building televised sport, and we look forward to building on the success from working together on the PTO 2020 Championship with the upcoming Collins Cup and for our future events in the coming years.”
The PTO is a not-for-profit representative body for professional triathletes, who are commercial profit-sharing partners with Crankstart Investments. Crankstart is chaired by Michael Moritz, who is also a partner at Sequoia Capital. The PTO has also brought in FilmNova to handle the live broadcast and Engage Digital Partners as a digital advisor.
IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, which recently set its IPO pricing.