Interesting news overnight, which gives the first insight into at least one of the platform’s to be used for the recently announced IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ Series.
More news on that is expected later today, but what we can say here is that the virtual cycling app, ROUVY (www.rouvy.com), will be “a cornerstone of our virtual racing strategy”, for IRONMAN with this news.
It’s an interesting move for both parties, in what is an increasingly competitive market. It’s a sector which – for rather unfortunate reasons due to COVID-19 – is currently seeing a boom in use in what was already a fast growing market, with a host of applications battling for market share.
Will the link-up provide a step change to ROUVY in terms of exposure and usage, as competitors fight for market share behind the current industry leader in subscriber terms, Zwift? Will ROUVY be able to deliver a compelling experience to users and provide the “…up to 35 IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® bike courses on its platform…”? What impact will this have on users of other platforms, switching to ROUVY… and who will be impacted the most?
One (likely) restriction that will exist – the IRONMAN VR™ Pro Challenge events are unlikely to include athletes who are existing ambassadors of other platforms, who will almost certainly have restrictions in their deals to not ride on competitor products. Thus, I don’t think we’ll be seeing the current Men’s IRONMAN World Champion taking part in those events, for example.
Here is the full announcement from IRONMAN.
IRONMAN ANNOUNCES ROUVY AS OFFICIAL VIRTUAL CYCLING TRAINING PARTNER
Partnership will offer athletes unprecedented access to augmented reality experience to ride IRONMAN bike courses around
IRONMAN today announced a multi-year partnership with ROUVY, an industry leader in virtual cycling. As the Official Virtual Training Partner of IRONMAN, ROUVY will offer up to 35 IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® bike courses on its platform, providing IRONMAN athletes from around the world a virtual riding experience based on existing event courses.
ROUVY’s technology mixes real-world footage with 3D virtual racing. Athletes will experience accurate elevation profiles, as well as real-time Augmented Reality integration through their avatar allowing them to ride real IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 courses anytime, anywhere.
“This partnership is a cornerstone of our virtual racing strategy. ROUVY is an exciting platform for athletes to use to compete in the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ Series. The platform will also be an integral part of the IRONMAN VR™ Pro Challenge,” said Matthieu Van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer of The IRONMAN Group. “Riding on ROUVY is as close as virtual cycling gets to being out on the course.”
The first route to be created will be of the IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder triathlon, known for its stunning yet challenging bike course in Colorado, United States. Founded in Vimperk, Czech Republic, ROUVY has quickly become one of the rising stars in the world of virtual training and racing, stunning thousands of athletes with its industry-leading technology and an unprecedented virtual experience.
“We are thrilled that ROUVY is teaming up with IRONMAN to launch the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series. We have a long-term vision to become the leading global platform for Virtual Cycling and with the IRONMAN partnership that vision comes to reality,” noted Petr Samek, CEO of ROUVY. “Our 1:1 augmented/mixed-reality simulation of the outdoor courses provides highly realistic and entertaining routes for the athletes to explore and race on,” added Samek.
For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.