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PTO pays out $2.5million bonus early due to Coronavirus impacts

The Professional Triathletes Organisation has made a significant statement today - by paying out a total of $2.5million dollars to its athletes in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

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PTO raises Year-End Annual Bonus – and pays it all early

The Collins Cup is rescheduled for 2021 ‘in this uncertain environment’

There’s been a lot of criticism in some quarters of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (, with many doubting that any of their aims would be delivered. One thing you have to admire however is the resilience shown to date to have got this far… only to then arrive on the scene at the same time as a global pandemic. None of us saw that one coming.

One of those objectives, The Collins Cup, was first put forward as as an idea in 2016 and, finally, after a number of false starts it looked like 2020 was going to be the year it was delivered. That is however no more – with news that it will be rescheduled to 2021 (again, at the x-bionic-sphere® in Samorin, Slovakia), though given the situation with the entire triathlon calendar around the world right now, that can’t really be held against them.

The big news…

What has happened – and this is a case of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ – is that with the 2020 Pro triathlon calendar currently in lock-down in most parts of the world, the PTO have paid out, in advance, the Year End Annual Bonus Programme. They have also increased that total by $500,000 to $2.5million. In addition, ALL of that extra funding will go to athletes ranked from 21st to 100th, male and female, none of that extra funding going to the top-20 (and hence, already the highest paid, with a minimum bonus of $10,000 already).

Bottom line numbers:

  • If you are an athlete, male or female, ranked in the top-100 of the PTO rankings (either as at January 1st 2020 or March 15th 2020), you will be paid a minimum of $5,000. That’s the same as winning, for example, IRONMAN Lanzarote. Prior to this additional $500,000, athletes 51st to 100th were due to receive $2,000.
  • If you are ranked from 21st to 50th on either of those dates, you will be paid $8,000. That’s the same as winning, for example, IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire ($5,000 first prize) AND IRONMAN 70.3 Finland ($3,000 first prize). Previously, those 60 athletes (30 male, 30 female), would have received $5,000 each.
  • If you are ranked in the top 20, the minimum payout is $10,000 (for 20th), rising to $100,000 for the #1’s (Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf).

Given the current environment for Pro triathletes who are unable to race, and what might have been regarded by some as a top heavy allocation of the initially announced $2million bonus, paying out $2.5million (and still not being able to deliver the flagship race of the fledgling organisation), that’s a pretty big statement from both the PTO and its funding partners, Crankstart Investments.

The PTO’s mantra is that Pro athletes are valuable partners to be invested in. Paying up $2.5million, at a difficult time for everyone – while not being able to deliver an event that was a key part of generating interest and revenues for future years – is a very significant way of turning those words into real action.

Here is the full announcement.

PTO Pays Athletes $2,500,000 in Response to COVID-19

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced its response to COVID-19 by increasing its Year-End Annual Bonus Programme from $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 and paying it all immediately based on the PTO World Rankings. The $500,000 increase would go to men and women athletes ranked 21-50, who previously would have been paid $5,000 each in a year-end bonus, but will now see that amount raised to $8,000, and men and women athletes ranked 51-100, who previously would have been paid $2,000 each in a year-end bonus, but will now see that amount raised to $5,000. Athletes will be paid based on their PTO World Ranking as of January 1 or March 15, whichever is higher.

During this period that the race schedule is disrupted, the top ten PTO World Ranked men and women athletes have committed to work together with the PTO to engage in appearances and online exhibitions and any revenue from these will be distributed to athletes ranked 20-100.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented, “The world finds itself in a difficult and almost unprecedented time. We appreciate that many people are struggling both physically and economically. For our athletes, like many others, the future is filled with uncertainty. With many races cancelled, the ability of our athletes to be able to race in the near future has been greatly reduced. The PTO has been looking for a way to support our athletes in this time of instability. We appreciate that many race operators and race directors are struggling with financial constraints and the PTO is fortunate to be in a position to be able to provide some support to our athletes. We hope that our response in paying athletes a total of $2,500,000 today will help them manage the immediate disruption they are experiencing. We are now looking to work with sponsors, governing bodies, race organisers and other groups in exploring additional opportunities to help alleviate the hardships that COVID-19 is causing to the triathlon community.”

Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO, stated that, “The actions taken by the PTO today are indicative of the way our athletes are viewed as valuable partners. Once events were being cancelled, the Crankstart Investments team immediately contacted us and wanted to find the best way to provide short-term support to the athletes. We will continue to monitor the ongoing impact and hope to be able to adopt additional programmes where athletes are not only supported, but also are able to provide support to others who may be struggling in this current environment. As an organisation, the PTO and its professional athletes will look to work with governing bodies, race directors, race organisers and our entire triathlon community to see how we are able to help.”

The PTO also has also announced that under the current circumstances, The Collins Cup, scheduled for May 30, will need to be postponed and will be rescheduled for 2021 at the x-bionic-sphere®. For THE CHAMPIONSHIP, scheduled for May 31, Challenge Family and the x-bionic-sphere are working closely with the local authorities to determine if the event should and can be rescheduled for a later 2020 date. Sam Renouf, CEO of the PTO, commented that, “Given the complex and innovative broadcast production we were going to deliver for The Collins Cup, it is just impossible to logistically have all the worldwide vendors and suppliers gearing-up in this uncertain environment and be able to hold The Collins Cup this year.”

PTO / Professional Triathletes Organisation

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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