TRI247
Search
shop

That Collins Cup money… where did it come from?

The Collins Cup will gain the headlines, but another announcement from the PTO is perhaps the most important factor for its long-term success.

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -
SHOP

PTO announce Crankstart Investments as Financial Partner

The ‘Cardiff-born billionaire’ who has partnered with the Professional Triathletes Organisation

Anyone can have a plan – but implementing it is a far more difficult task. More often than not, plans of any material size also need money. Even profitable businesses can fail because of cashflow, let alone sporting start-ups that have, as yet, to be a proven and sustainable model.

That was the position the Professional Triathletes Organisation was in back in February 2019, when it announced the appointment of North Point Advisors as its partner to raise institutional capital for its future plans which, at the time, had seen two delays to the debut of The Collins Cup. As we’ve seen elsewhere today, 2020 is the year, and the date, venue (and major prize purse) has been announced for that.

While the Collins Cup is the obvious headline news of the day, from a wider and longer-term perspective, a concurrent announcement of a financial investor for the PTO is perhaps the most important factor in the potential success of the organisation.

The Collins Cup has been designed as a flagship event for the organisation – but it is just the first step in a plan which sees other events being developed and, potentially (!), acquisitions, and additional services and resources for the athletes and wider sport.

For example, by its nature, not every professional triathlete will be able to compete in the Collins Cup – but its success could/would benefit other PTO members if over time profit is generated (via sponsorships / TV licence fees etc). With the PTO members being co-owners of the business, those profits can be utilised across a wide range of potential projects – increased prize money, pension plans, hardship funds, health insurance, education programmes and more – the type of initiatives that would be commonplace across other sports, that the PTO is seeking to aspire to within the likes of Golf and Tennis.

Back to the ‘how’ can that happen? The PTO has partnered with Sir Michael Moritz and his investment vehicle, Crankstart Investments, to move its plans forward. As well as a long and successful history as a venture capitalist, he’s a philanthropist of significant note (including a commitment to giving away at least 50% of his wealth to charitable causes through The Giving Pledge), and has also been recognised on multiple occasions by Forbes Magazine as the number one venture capitalist on their Midas List. Having been on the Boards of Google, PayPal, Linkedin and Yahoo! amongst many others, that’s a partner with some significant history.

Whether that investment will prove to provide a financial return or end up going the way of his philanthropic donations, only time will tell. From the PTO’s perspective however, it looks like a good partner to have on your team at the start of a journey.

Here is the formal announcement that was released today.


Advertisement

PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETES ORGANISATION ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL PARTNER AND $2,000,000 COLLINS CUP

The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has partnered with Crankstart Investments, an investment vehicle for Michael Moritz, in establishing a platform for professional triathletes to begin to realise their goal of athlete self-determination. As a result of this partnership, the PTO is also announcing that The Collins Cup will be held from 29-30th May 2020 at the x-bionic® sphere, in Samorin, Slovakia, and there will be over $2,000,000 in prize money for the event.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented “This day has been long in coming and we are grateful to the great professional triathletes who have, through all their blood and sweat over many years, paved the way for this opportunity to materialise. The Collins Cup will be a true celebration of both the history and the future of the sport we love so much, and we look forward to hosting the event and engaging the entire triathlon community.”

Charles Adamo, Chairman of the PTO, stated that “The PTO has been working for a number of years to create an environment and structure where professional triathletes have a meaningful voice in the way the sport is operated and can contribute to its growth for the benefit of the entire triathlon community. We are very pleased to have teamed up with Crankstart Investments and Michael Moritz, who share our vision in the potential of the sport and the best means by which to see it grow and thrive.”

Under its partnership, the PTO and Crankstart Investments share equally in all profits generated by operations. Michael Moritz, Chairman of Crankstart Investments, commented “The spread of the internet, the rise in the number of media outlets thirsty for top-notch sporting content, combined with the latest production techniques now make it possible to bring to international audiences the extraordinary accomplishments of today’s highest performing athletes – the top forty male and female triathletes in the world. A major part of the attraction of the PTO is that, unlike every other sport, men and women compete for equal prize money and the athletes are co-owners of the business. This means that all participants will share, on an equal footing, in the PTO’s collective success – a recipe that is a mainstay of the Silicon Valley investment model.”

Tim O’Donnell, Co-President of the PTO, commented “We are very pleased to be able to provide professional triathletes with the platform to put on display their tremendous athletic performances and make a difference in our sport. We are grateful for the confidence that Crankstart Investments and Michael Moritz have placed in us, and we appreciate that with this confidence comes great responsibility. As co-owners in this partnership, the PTO and its professional members are committed to not only making it a success, but also to being a contributor to the growth of the sport and the wider triathlon community. While arranging the investment, we were working behind the scenes and over 100 professional triathletes have become members of the PTO, including all of the top 35 men and top 35 women in the PTO World Rankings. Now that we have been able to make this announcement, we can invite all licenced professionals to become PTO Members. There are no costs or membership fees involved and any professional can find out more information by e-mailing us at membership@protriathletes.org.”

North Point Advisors has acted as exclusive placement agent for the 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.

THE SBRX Show

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
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
TRI-FIT RAPID-X goggles black
TRI-FIT RAPID-X swimming goggles review – A contender for the best swim goggles for pool and open water?
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
Kristian Blummenfelt Paris Test Event [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
Kristian Blummenfelt admits he was “expecting more” from WTCS Yokohama
Gwen Jorgensen reflective World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mer 2023
Gwen Jorgensen shares thoughts after missing out on automatic Olympic selection at WTCS Yokohama
Jonny Brownlee WTCS Yokohama 2023 run
More questions than answers as Britain’s Olympic triathlon puzzle heads for Cagliari conclusion
Dorian Coninx Paris Test Event 2023 [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes]
Triathlon World Champion’s Olympic hopes hang in the balance after WTCS Yokohama bike crash
Men's podium at the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships
The Championship: Our analysis and predictions for the professional races in Šamorín
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

SBRX
RUN247
Share to...