The PTO Makes Amends – Pricing Structure Adjusted for Majors
A huge part of the PTO’s marketing and communications line over the past two years has focussed on the fact that they are an organisation of the people, for the people. Clearly stating on several occasions that they are different from other well-known organisations in the world of Triathlon. As such, it came as quite a surprise when the PTO announced the pricing structure for the Age Group racing at their Major events this year.
Speaking on The Greg Bennett Show, the CEO of the PTO Sam Renouf had said that the pricing of their Age Group races would be significantly cheaper than equivalent events organised by Ironman and Challenge. However, when registrations opened initially for the Canadian Open, US Open and Collins Cup Age Group races it seemed like déja-vu. The Sprint Distance races were priced at $150 USD or more, & the 100km / nearly-70.3 races were priced at $300 or more. Moreover, this was the Tier 1 pricing which meant Tier 2 pricing was to be more expensive. A quick google search/market survey of race entry fees quickly confirmed that only a few Ironman branded races were priced at this level or higher, meaning that the promise of cheaper more affordable racing for Age Group athletes (the lifeblood of the sport according to the PTO) had not been delivered.
The PTO came under heavy scrutiny on social media and across the inter-webs, with many calling into question the credibility of the claims around affordable racing and rebalancing the costs of the sport away from participants towards partners and sponsors. Credit where credit is due however and following all the feedback from amateur and professional athletes the PTO called upon its professional board members to vote on a price reduction for the Age Group racing. It was announced this afternoon that all their Age Group entry fees for the 2022 Major events (US Open, Canadian Open, The Collins Cup) have been reduced by 50%.
The CEO of the PTO, Sam Renouf, shared their reasoning in the official press release: “Having often shared the concern that age group pricing is too high, we initially priced our events lower than the championship events we took inspiration from, with the aim of making the sport more accessible,”
“However, having spoken with our PTO Professionals, we quickly realised that although we believe PTO Tour events will soon become bucket list races on every fan’s calendar, this is not a status that we can automatically assume.”
“We apologise for not recognising this at the outset and hope that the triathlon community can forgive the error. Following a unanimous vote from the PTO Athlete Board, we have subsequently reduced all age group pricing by 50% and will automatically issue a refund to all existing entrants to reflect this.”
In demonstrating their willingness to listen and reconsider decisions, and the flexibility and reactiveness afforded by the structure of the organisation, the PTO has demonstrated here an ability to understand its market and its true willingness to grow the sport of triathlon. Feedback on social media was immediately positive, with professionals and age group athletes alike sharing their appreciation for the PTO’s revised decision.
All that remains to be seen is what the races are like. With a second edition of The Collins Cup and the first editions of the US and Canadian opens, triathlon fans and triathletes across the globe are excited to see what the PTO can deliver in 2022. Here’s hoping the Age Group experience will be second to none and that the Pro racing will be tense and entertaining.
Read the full press release here: https://protriathletes.org/professional-triathletes-vote-to-lower-age-group-registration-pricing-at-pto-tour-events-by-50