Putting its money where its mouth is, the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) will pay its year-end Annual Bonus Program immediately to provide short-term support to professional athletes.

Athletes at the announcement of the PTO’s new partnership with Crankstart Investments: From left to right: Sarah Piampiano, Lionel Sanders, Holly Lawrence, Rachel Joyce, Michael Moritz (Crankstart Investments), Scott DeFelippis, Carrie Lester, Ben Hoffman and Heather Jackson.

As the world works to deal with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, many professional athletes are struggling to make ends meet as the triathlon world shuts down for at least the next couple of months. Today the PTO announced that it will increase the Year-End Annual Bonus program it was planning on paying out to the top-100 athletes in the PTO rankings, and also make that money available to athletes immediately.

The bonus program has been increased from $2 million to $2.5 million. The additional $500,000 will be distributed to “men and women athletes ranked 21-50, who previously would have been paid $5,000 each in a year-end bonus, but will now see that amount raised to $8,000, and men and women athletes ranked 51-100, who previously would have been paid $2,000 each in a year-end bonus, but will now see that amount raised to $5,000. Athletes will be paid based on their PTO World Ranking as of January 1 or March 15, whichever is higher.”

The top athletes in the PTO Rankings have also agreed to “work together with the PTO to engage in appearances and online exhibitions and any revenue from these will be distributed to athletes ranked 20-100.”

“The world finds itself in a difficult and almost unprecedented time,” says Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO. “We appreciate that many people are struggling both physically and economically. For our athletes, like many others, the future is filled with uncertainty. With many races cancelled, the ability of our athletes to be able to race in the near future has been greatly reduced. The PTO has been looking for a way to support our athletes in this time of instability. We appreciate that many race operators and race directors are struggling with financial constraints and the PTO is fortunate to be in a position to be able to provide some support to our athletes. We hope that our response in paying athletes a total of $2,500,000 today will help them manage the immediate disruption they are experiencing. We are now looking to work with sponsors, governing bodies, race organisers and other groups in exploring additional opportunities to help alleviate the hardships that COVID-19 is causing to the triathlon community.”

“The actions taken by the PTO today are indicative of the way our athletes are viewed as valuable partners,” continues Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO. “Once events were being cancelled, the Crankstart Investments team immediately contacted us and wanted to find the best way to provide short-term support to the athletes. We will continue to monitor the ongoing impact and hope to be able to adopt additional programs where athletes are not only supported, but also are able to provide support to others who may be struggling in this current environment. As an organisation, the PTO and its professional athletes will look to work with governing bodies, race directors, race organisers and our entire triathlon community to see how we are able to help.”

Collins Cup rescheduled to 2021

Today’s announcement also included news that the much-anticipated Collins Cup won’t be happening at the end of May. The event has been rescheduled to 2021. The Challenge Family Championship event, which was scheduled to take place the same weekend at the X-Bionicsphere in Samorin, Slovakia, may be rescheduled to a later 2020 date.

“Given the complex and innovative broadcast production we were going to deliver for The Collins Cup, it is just impossible to logistically have all the worldwide vendors and suppliers gearing-up in this uncertain environment and be able to hold The Collins Cup this year,” says  Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO.

Report error or omission