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Ironman Hall of Famer buys Super Bowl Ad to promote CAF

Bob Babbitt, CAF co-founder, finds innovative way to air commercial during this weekend's big game

Photo by: Mitzi Byrd / X

Ironman Hall of Fame inductee Bob Babbitt is one of triathlon’s most revered historians. The co-founder of Competitor Magazine also wrote the coffee table books commemorating the 25th, 30th and 35th anniversaries of the Ironman World Championship. The USA Triathlon hall of fame inductee is also the co-founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

Video: The Challenged Athletes Foundation celebrates 30 years

Since it began in 1994, the Challenged Athletes Foundation has raised over US$159 million and has fulfilled over 44,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in over 70 countries. The foundation “give(s) opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, healthy lifestyles,” offering grants for handcyles, carbon fibre running feet and a myriad of other types of equipment and support to those who are in need.

To celebrate the achievements of CAF athlete Parker Byrd, Babbitt has purchased a commercial that will air during this weekend’s Super Bowl telecast. Byrd was just about to start his college baseball career in 2022 when he was involved in a tubing accident. Doctor’s were forced to amputate Byrd’s right leg below the knee. CAF and OSSUR provided Byrd with a prosthetic leg in order for Byrd to pursue his dream of playing competitive baseball again.

Reece Barclay and Ironman Hall of Famer Bob Babbitt at the Hoala swim before the 2023 Ironman World Championship

Before you reach out to Babbitt asking for a loan, it’s important to understand that Babbitt is only paying $500 for the 60 second ad. It will only air in the Greenville, North Carolina – Byrd’s hometown and the site of East Carolina University.

“Parker Byrd’s journey embodies the spirit of resilience that defines the Challenged Athletes Foundation,” Babbitt told Endurance Sportswire. “By highlighting his story on Superbowl Sunday in Greenville, we aim to inspire the local community and beyond, proving that challenges can be overcome with determination and support.”

You can watch the ad here.

This is the third time Babbitt has aired an ad during the Super Bowl. In 2022 an ad focused on quadruple amputee baseball player Landis Sims aired in Cooperstown, New York.

“In 2018 I bought an ad to create buzz around our film ‘We are Triathletes’ and we bought the ad in the smallest ad market in the U.S. up in Montana,” Babbitt told us in an interview earlier today.