The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) today announced that its Professional Athlete Board has unanimously voted to reduce the age group registration pricing in its inaugural PTO Tour.
Having announced the three-part race series in early January, the PTO’s commercial team received immediate feedback from the PTO Professionals that the pricing of the events did not align to its goal of growing the sport. The PTO Tour events are owned by the PTO Professionals and as such, the professionals are the hosts and age group athletes are their invited guests.
Apologising to the age group community and to PTO Professionals for the error, the PTO’s CEO Sam Renouf said: “We are excited to add age group racing to the PTO Tour this year. This will allow fans to not only watch the greatest athletes on the planet – but to step up and challenge themselves in competing at the very same event. In planning this, we looked at other bucket list events, including world championship triathlons and the major marathons. With closed road courses, grandstand seating, the chance to get closer to pro athletes, ancillary events for friends and family to enjoy and unmatched event merchandise, our goal is to create unforgettable VIP moments for every age-grouper.
“Having often shared the concern that age group pricing is too high, we initially priced our events lower than the championship events we took inspiration from, with the aim of making the sport more accessible. We also sought to remove the pain points in such races, such as mandatory extra fees and continual upselling for items we feel should be all-inclusive.
“However, having spoken with our PTO Professionals, we quickly realised that although we believe PTO Tour events will soon become bucket list races on every fan’s calendar, this is not a status that we can automatically assume.
“Like an ambitious young athlete, we must first earn our stripes through proven results before we can be compared to the greats.
“We apologise for not recognising this at the outset and hope that the triathlon community can forgive the error. We are grateful for the structure of the PTO, which provides the chance for the immediate feedback of the PTO Professionals when we’ve mis-stepped. Following a unanimous vote from the PTO Athlete Board, we have subsequently reduced all age group pricing by 50 per cent and will automatically issue a refund to all existing entrants to reflect this.”
The inaugural PTO Tour consists of the PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton, Canada, on 23-24 July, The Collins Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia on 20-21 August and the PTO US Open in Dallas, Texas, on 17-18 September. The PTO Canadian and US Open will feature racing over the 100km and 25km distances and The Collins Cup over 100km where age group athletes will not only race their race, but also get a VIP experience to watch the greatest PTO professionals battle it out for the US$1,000,000 plus prize purse.