Ironman brand owner World Triathlon Corp (WTC) has unveiled a new initiative designed to honour and build upon the lasting legacy of past, present and future Ironman triathlon champions. Through custom-designed race kits, the Ironman Champions Program will celebrate the iconic brand’s upcoming 35th anniversary while paying homage to those who have helped make Ironman ‘the largest participation sports platform in the world.’
The IM Champions Program will kick off by honouring Ironman World Champions and will give them – whether retired, former or active – the opportunity to wear a badge of honour recognizing their IM race accomplishments. The program integrates artwork onto athletes’ race kits, which showcases their unique Ironman World Championship triumphs.
Professional male and female Ironman World Champions will be presented with a champions jersey and will also have the opportunity to forever integrate the champions badge, leg band and victory stars into their race kits at future Ironman races or non-Ironman branded events. The reigning IM World Champion earns a jersey with the gold trademark MDOT badge for a year, while previous champions may apply a white MDOT to their race kits or apparel. Race kit and apparel integration will be exclusive to professional athletes.
“I encourage all Ironman World Champions – professional and age group – to participate in this special opportunity,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of WTC.
“I am excited to add this new program to a growing list of initiatives that builds on our relationship with our athletes. This is a chance to be easily recognized as an Ironman World Champion in a way that will bring positive attention to our talented athletes.”
“As an athlete, it is fantastic to see Ironman recognize that being a World Champion is very symbolic and that being in this ‘club’ is truly very special,” said Michellie Jones, 2006 Ironman World Champion. “As a former Ironman World Champion, I am excited and will proudly wear the Ironman champions badge.”
WTC will honour age group champions with custom jerseys showcasing the iconic red MDOT to pay homage to the traditional representation of the brand’s logo.
“This new program is a terrific idea,” said Cherie Gruenfeld, a 10-time Ironman Age Group World Champion. “This will provide athletes with extra incentive to do their best, and spectators will have a richer experience knowing where the champions at all levels are and who’s chasing them.”