To recap that last post on this subject, my feeling is that the WTC doesn't consistently align the brand with products and services that build image and expose the brand to channels where it could garner more "good eyeballs".
When I was in Penticton it was more of the same in terms of observations. For example, in the race literature the official apparel sponsor was listed in a full page color as Adidas. However, at the expo under the giant souvenir tent the apparel was anything but that, Sugoi was the main provider of IMC cycling gear and then several other producers whose names I don't recall.
At the finish line I was not surprised to see I received a Zorrel "technical tee" and a Headsweats cap.
Sweet. I guess. I'm not complaining about the swag mind you..
Just chuckling at what appears to be lack of attention to alignment of large corporate sponsorships on one hand and legacy agreements with vendors to provide & produce individually branded product.
What to do about it if you're WTC Corp?
Well, for starters you can sell your entire outfit to a private equity firm and hope that they bring some expertise to the table. :)
Or you can work more closely with North America Sports (NAS) who produces all the Ironman events (excluding 70.3 events) in North America to align their partnerships with the WTC corp sponsorships. Or, just lay down some non-negotiables around who, how and what gets thrown on the event banner.
Also, and again per the previous post, as WTC you'll need to stop pedaling the sponsorship opportunities to just anybody who can pony up the dollars. Just because you can collect sponsorship dollars from some entity doesn't mean you should, if you feel your brand image means anything.
How about some decent market research and a long tail marketing approach? The market research WTC throws around doesn't seem that updated, other than median incomes.
Some of the comments to the previous post on this were really insightful.. I'd say I agree with some of it in spirit; I read them to mean that as WTC wouldn't you want to build out the 70.3 series as a spring board to full-length IM events?
And I also agree that many people are excited about having that premium experience with less commitment that goes with preparing for a full IM.
However, the posts aren't about that.
It's about what WTC is doing with the brand. The 70.3 series is potentially more an issue over the mid-term because unlike the full IMs that NAS manages in North America the number of event managers for the 70.3 is not just one manager, there are several entities managing and promoting the events.
Some may be wondering why I haven't addressed the events outside North America, well it's because the problem is, in many respects, mostly like the problem with 70.3 events, that is, many orgs running & promoting many events.
It has to be hard as WTC for example to correctly assess whether or not the local sponsors & partnerships lined up for Ironman Malaysia really support and build out the brand. They can make reasonable guesses at it but that seems like a poor strategy.
Needless to say, it will be very interesting to see what happens at WTC going forward under new ownership.