Triathlon New Zealand and Contact Energy announced a significant long-term partnership that will contribute to the sports continued growth and success.
The agreement between Triathlon NZ and Contact is a four-year sponsorship partnership with funds being used to help continue to grow the sport and increase participation across all levels.
Tri NZ CEO Dave Beeche said he was delighted to be able to announce the partnership.
This is without doubt the most significant commercial partnership the sport has ever entered into and is a significant milestone in our evolution from an amateur to a professional sport, he said.
The four-year sponsorship partnership with Contact enables one of New Zealands fastest growing sports (Nielsen survey) to implement its strategic plan and impact on all levels of the sport and the community from grassroots to elite athletes, he said.
We have worked with Contact on our national series for two years now and have found a sponsor that is prepared to leverage its involvement in the sport for the benefit of both parties.
The Board and management of Tri NZ are delighted to be working in partnership with Contact, a company that shares so strongly our values, objectives and strategies around participation and high performance programmes that can have a positive effect on all New Zealanders.
Contact Chief Executive David Baldwin said he was also pleased to confirm a long-term relationship with Tri NZ, which now represented the companys single biggest sponsorship.
Not only will Contacts support for triathlon in New Zealand enable the sport to continue to grow, but it enables Contact to help deliver national triathlon events in communities that are important to us and to provide opportunities around the sport to our customers and our staff, he said.
Triathlon is an inspirational sport which is being picked up as a challenge by all kinds of New Zealanders, from children to retired people. Theres a great brand fit between Contact and triathlon and were really pleased to be helping to develop such a positive and inspiring sport.
Mr Baldwin said Contacts support for triathlon was very popular with the companys staff across the country, with 80 Contact staff participating in the Welling national championship event in March earlier in the year.
Dave Beeche agreed that triathlon is a sport that can be picked by a huge cross-section of people and that can be adapted across a lifetime.
From children in the Weet-Bix Tryathlon to the 40-something mums and dads setting their own challenges to the likes of Anthony Sepie who, at 70 years plus, is still competing and winning world championships, this sport offers something for the entire community, regardless of age and demographics.
Dave Beeche said the strong growth in participation and interest in the sport is based in part on the success of elite athletes such as Contact-sponsored athlete Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Sam Warriner, Andrea Hewitt, Debbie Tanner and others, but is also thanks to a strong participation and development focus from the national body.
Mr Beeche said Tri NZ has worked hard to capture the imagination and support of the community at large.
The atmosphere and camaraderie amongst the triathlon community is a special one. Whether training, racing or socialising together, there is a special bond formed and relationships that last a lifetime.
Tri NZ also took the chance to unveil its new brand strategy after months of work that has dovetailed perfectly into the partnership with Contact.
Beeche explained the reason for the change in focus and the road ahead.
Tri NZ is excited to announce a new brand and updated strategic plan for the organisation on the same day as we unveil our new partnership with Contact.
Triathlons new look and feel has come about after six months work on better understanding our core business, how we can best meet the needs of our stakeholders and members, what our ambition is for the sport and how Tri NZ should go about positioning itself in the market to achieve that ambition.
There will be a shift in positioning with a lot more focus on the social, fun and inspirational aspects of our exciting sport - something that is already happening on multiple levels around the country. Essentially we are putting more focus on participation and doing more for our growing membership of everyday Kiwis.
This doesnt mean we stop investing in or supporting the high performance and competitive end of our sport, or that we stop celebrating their successes. Tri NZ leads the world in our sport and we will continue to aim high in this regard but in the future will look to those successes and competitive goals as an inspiration to get people into participating in triathlon.