A couple of days ago Ironman bought Competitor Group, the folks who put on the Rock N Roll races. A short while ago Ironman also bought races in California and North Carolina, rebranded them, and upped their entry fees. Before I started triathlon, I didn’t know that Ironman was a brand, I thought it was just the name of the distance and while the 140.6 is called the iron distance, the M-Dot is their brand symbol. How genius is that? You’ve gotten a bunch of people to pay you money for a massive sufferfest and to tattoo your brand on them forever?
Ironman is awesome at branding and putting on big events. The Rock N Roll series is pretty similar, my first marathon was the Seattle Rock N Roll and it was a blast, so I completely understand the appeal and why people go back for more. But the down side is that costs money. Ironman’s race fees are insane, which discourages people from trying the distances. It’s pretty smart of them to acquire the running series to help boost their profit, but I’m worried that the races they just bought might also up their fees and that Ironman may disband some of their less-profitable but still-fun races just as they did with the triathlon series.