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Why Olympic great Alistair Brownlee is CONVINCED triathlon CAN be a TV hit

Double Olympic gold medallist on how the T100 Triathlon World Tour can deliver on its goal.

News Director
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Redefining triathlon

“We are going to make triathlon, the PTO T100, one of the biggest sports entertainment products in the world. Fact.”

Those were the attention-grabbing words of the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s Executive Chairman Chris Kermode at the launch of the eight-race series earlier this week.

It’s a very bold claim – and understandably so – but how does one of triathlon’s best-known names think it can be delivered?

Making ground in mainstream market

Alistair Brownlee transcended the sport in the UK and further afield with his gold medal-winning display at a home Olympics at London 2012, before becoming the only triathlete to retain their title at Rio 2016.

His exploits – along with brother Jonny, including that ‘Brothers in Arms’ moment which went viral in 2016 – have taken triathlon to a wider audience. But can the sport as a whole now cut into the mainstream?

Speaking this week about the challenges ahead, Alistair believes the T100 Triathlon World Tour provides a strong platform, explaining: “I really believe in the importance of giving fans the opportunity to watch and engage with the sport at multiple times across the course of the year. So to have eight chances to do that is brilliant.”

Alistair Brownlee at T100 Triathlon World Tour launch 2024
Alistair Brownlee at T100 Triathlon World Tour launch
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‘We’ve seen there’s a market’

But talking more specifically about growing and engaging an audience through the broadcast product, he added: “I think there’s lots of elements towards making a successful media proposition.

“One is talking about the characters and backgrounds of the people racing that helps people engage and get to know some of the athletes.

“And plainly another is putting on great, competitive sporting events that people want to watch.

“And triathlon isn’t the only sport that’s struggling with making a successful commercial proposition.

Here in the UK, almost any sport that isn’t football is having this conversation in some shape or form.

“I think it’s finding the part of the population that you can engage – and then engaging with them in an effective way.

“We’ve seen there’s a market for people doing endurance sport – whether that’s triathlon or ultrarunning or ultracycling. They may be interested in the competitive element of it – or it could be the science or the data behind it.

“I’m convinced there is a market there so it’s just finding the way to do that.”

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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