Sarah True and Skye Moench on the gender dollar disparity in professional long course triathlon

Sarah True and Skye Moench on the dollar disparity between sponsorship revenue for men and women.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Broaching a topic previously addressed by long course legend Mirinda Carfrae, American pros Sarah True and Skye Moench recently addressed the dollar disparity in sponsorships for professionals in long course triathlon.

Talking to TRI247, the pair, who both recently finished in the Top 10 at the IRONMAN World Championship, said that the issue is industry wide, with female professionals in many cases making much less than their male counterparts with similar results.

Drawing on their own experiences, True and Moench give an important insight into the barriers that are often put in place in triathlon, which ultimately prevents female pros from properly progressing in the sport.


Barriers to access

Explaining how and why the problem exists in triathlon, True revealed an example of the shocking justification a sponsor gave for overlooking an established female pro, with the problem institutionalised and unlikely to change unless there is a radical shift in hiring.

Duffy True Ryf Collins Cup swim 2022 photo credit PTO
[Photo credit: PTO]

She said: “There are a few female athletes who make more than their male counterparts with equal results, but by and large we are making a lot less money, which I think is the biggest difference.

“It’s access to tech, it’s access to products, it’s money, it’s exposure and it’s all across the sport, where if you had a male athlete with similar results it would be a very different landscape for them across the industry.

“How do you fix that? You get more women in those industries. The bike industry is super male dominated and it’s hard to get a lot of change without change in the industry itself and the people making decisions in marketing.

“There’s also a perception that male athletes, in a side-by-side comparison of male and female athletes, are more marketable, a female athlete with equal results also has to have a compelling back story and be attractive.

“I straight up have had somebody in the industry tell me that they couldn’t justify giving X athlete money because she was boring and wasn’t attractive enough. This was in recent years and this was a highly accomplished person they were talking about, so that was really appalling to me but made sense why some decisions are made.” 


“It is kind of a vicious cycle”

Following up on True’s points, Moench shared her belief that the sponsorship revenue made by the PTO Top 20 would be massively skewed towards the men.

“I have often wondered if we took the Top 20 in the PTO Rankings and we put in his sponsorship dollars alone, just ranking for ranking, it would be incredibly skewed and I don’t know what other athletes are making, but I know what I am making.

“I can guess what my male counterpart is making based on the travel they do, the camera man they bring to every event they go to and all the costs of what they’re doing.”

Moench says that if women can’t rely on the same foundations to build off when it comes to sponsorship revenue, it will become increasingly harder to justify the cost to benefit ratio of investing in their own performance.

“If women aren’t given the financial support that men are, it’s harder to progress and linking back to Sarah’s earlier point on tech and aerodynamics, I personally am extremely grateful for my sponsors but nobody is coming to me and saying ‘Hey, do you want to come to the wind tunnel?’, I did some aero testing and I had to pay for it, which is extremely expensive.

“It is kind of a vicious cycle as when you invest in yourself, you kind of hope that pays off, but then you also ask yourself am I going to have to not make money for a few years and continue to reinvest in myself with the hope that it’ll pay off some day and sponsors will decide to invest.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Anne Haug wins IRONMAN Lanzarote 2024
Anne Haug bounces back with SENSATIONAL season opener at IRONMAN Lanzarote
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
PTO European Open 2023 Ibiza - Max Neumann
Former PTO Tour winner targeting triathlon comeback at London T100 after injury spell
India Lee (GBR) and Kyle Smith (NZL) celebrate together at the finish line in Samorin.
Victorious India Lee and Kyle Smith react to course record breaking day at The Championship
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Men Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times for Kyle Smith, Joe Skipper and more
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Women Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times after emphatic India Lee win
India Lee (GBR) took the win at The Championship 2024.
The Championship 2024 women’s results: India Lee takes back-to-back titles and breaks her 2023 record
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...