PTO announce $2million Annual Bonus Programme

Chief Correspondent

$2million bonus pool announced for 2020 PTO rankings

Top 100 athletes, male and female, to claim share of new funding announcement

For better or worse, the forthcoming Collins Cup has dominated the headlines and discussions around the activities of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO).

While the Collins Cup is a key part of the PTO offering, it is just that – a part – and while approaches towards bidding for IRONMAN are ongoing (or not, depending on current news), there was always planned to be a broader model put forward by the PTO team.

The next major announcement has just been made, with a new bonus pool of $2,000,000 revealed for 2020. Based upon the PTO Rankings (which take into account all professional, long distance races with a minimum prize purse, irrespective of organiser), this is effectively an ‘add-on’ to athletes, in addition to any prize money earned.

That $2million purse will go from $100,000 for the #1 ranked athlete (male and female), through to $5,000 for every athlete ranked 21-50 and $2,000 for every athlete ranked between 51 and 100. Based on the full press release (reproduced below), that makes the overall split as follows:

  • Top 20 athletes (1-20, male and female – 40 athletes in total) = $1,500,000 (75%)
  • Next 30 athletes (21-50, male and female – 60 athletes in total) = $300,000 (15%)
  • Next 50 athletes (51-100, male and female – 100 athletes in total) = $200,000 (10%)

Here are some other relative measures:

  • Challenge Family currently offers an annual World Bonus, totalling $150,000 within their races series. That pays five athletes deep – $30k / $20k / $14k / $8k / $3k.
  • Thus, the total amount payable under the PTO Annual Bonus Programme to athletes ranked outside of the top 50 ($200,000), is more than the total paid to the top five within the Challenge Family World Bonus scheme.
  • 50th place within the PTO World Rankings will be paid $5,000. That’s the same as the prize money for winning events such as IRONMAN Lanzarote, or IRONMAN 70.3 events in Staffordshire, Marbella, Kraichgau or Vichy.
  • The addition of this $2million bonus (along with the already announced $2million purse for the Collins Cup) represents an increase to the overall long-distance, worldwide prize money total of approximately 66%, based upon a quick calculation, using the 2019 data compiled by Thorsten Radde of in his 2019 Money List analysis. That summary suggests that the current IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3, Challenge Family and ‘other’ long distance prize money, globally, is circa $6million / annum. If that is broadly similar in 2020, we should see that jump to around $10million in total, with the addition of the PTO’s Collins Cup and Annual Bonus Programme.
  • The total annual prize money awarded by IRONMAN across its full and 70.3 distance events is circa $4.5million, meaning that the two announcements (to date) from the PTO have come close to matching that total, across the Collins Cup and Annual Bonus Programme.

More analysis and thoughts to come I’m sure, but here is that full announcement:


PTO Powered: Announcing a $2,000,000 Annual Bonus Programme

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has adopted a $2,000,000 Annual Bonus Programme pursuant to which athletes will be paid based on their PTO World Rankings at the end of 2020. The bonus amounts range from $100,000 for the PTO World No. 1 male and female athletes, to $10,000 for the PTO World No. 20 male and female athletes. In addition, male and female athletes ranked at the end of the year between 21-50 shall each be paid $5,000 and those ranked between 51-100 shall be paid $2,000.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO commented, “We are very pleased to be able to adopt an annual bonus programme that rewards athletes for outstanding performances throughout the year. The triathlon season is a long one and just because an athlete might have an off race in a large event, doesn’t mean that their year’s performance should go unrewarded.”

The PTO World Rankings is a first-of-its-kind ranking technology to measure the greatest non-drafting professional triathletes. It is a worldwide benchmark of consistent excellence in triathlon. In addition to being the basis for the PTO Annual Bonus Programme, it is used to determine automatic qualification spots for The Collins Cup.

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, stated, “The adoption of the PTO Annual Bonus Plan, together with the $2,000,000 payments at The Collins Cup, means that so far in 2020 the PTO will be paying 200 professional triathletes $4,000,000. We believe that this demonstrates the value and benefits of professionals being unified in our own organisation and we hope that this is just the beginning of the many ways the PTO can bring not only a voice but meaningful contributions to our sport.”

All licensed professionals are eligible to be members of the PTO and there are no costs or memberships fees. More information can be found at or by e-mailing us at

PTO Annual Bonus Programme

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
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