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Ironman takes on several ITU races with acquisition of Lagardère Sports’ endurance division

ITU Hamburg. Credit: www.triathlon.org
ITU Hamburg. Credit: www.triathlon.org

This morning, Ironman announced that it has signed an agreement with Lagardère Sports to acquire their endurance division, which includes races on three continents. Under the acquisition, Ironman will own and/or operate five ITU races, four marathons, six cycling races and other endurance events.

This announcement explains the rumours of Ironman adding a Hamburg race next year. Besides operation of ITU World Triathlon Hamburg, Ironman will now assume responsibility for ITU World Triathlon Leeds, ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, ITU World Triathlon Stockholm and ITU World Triathlon Cape Town. With their current ownership of the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast, Ironman now owns and operates six of the nine events in the ITU World Triathlon Series.

This acquisition marks a second big development for the brand since it was purchased by Wanda Group in late 2015.

“Lagardère Sports has built innovative and world-class events which, when added to our global event portfolio, further builds our company and strengthens the entire endurance business under the roof of Wanda Sports Holding,” said Andrew Messick, CEO of Iroman. “These iconic events, and the teams that have created and managed them, will further strengthen our position in triathlon, expand our portfolio in running, and establish ourselves in cycling.”

The current CEO of Lagardère’s endurance division, Christian Toetzke, will join Ironman’s global executive team as Chief Development Officer and Global Head of Cycling. “With the acquisition, Ironman is extending its portfolio in world class running and cycling. I look forward to being a part of this growth in my new role,” he said.

Ironman and the ITU have been long-term partners in the sport. They collaborate on global, standard rules for triathlon and athlete development initiatives.

“Lagardère Sports has been a long-standing and fantastic partner to the ITU. It is with their commitment to the sport of triathlon that we raised the bar and brought triathlon to the masses over the last eight years. I fully believe the transition of these events to Ironman will serve to further strengthen our sport on a global level,” said Marisol Casado, ITU President. “Congratulations to both Lagardère Sports and Ironman. ITU looks forward to continuing to work together to keep triathlon a major player in the world of sports.”