Following the acquisition of YWC Sports ApS in Copenhagen by Ironman brand owner World Triathlon Corp (WTC) – the two key events run by YWC have been rebranded under the Ironman marque as KMD Ironman Copenhagen and KMD Ironman 70.3 Aarhus.
These two new triathlons in Denmark are the newest additions to the global Ironman race calendar and have replaced the previous Challenge Family events: KMD Challenge Copenhagen and KMD Challenge Aarhus.
Retaining the title sponsor at both events, Denmark’s public sector IT infrastructure company KMD, the full distance Ironman Copenhagen will offer 50 slots for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
KMD Ironman Copenhagen takes place on 18 August – with those athletes who signed up to race Challenge Copenhagen now racing an Ironman. (Last year’s third edition of Challenge Copenhagen attracted 2,000 athletes and 150,000 spectators.)
KMD Ironman 70.3 Aarhus, which replaces KMD Challenge Aarhus, is expected to run in June 2014. The 2013 event got under way in Hørhaven, Denmark, on Sunday 23 June.
“Together with our friends at YWC Sports, which we acquired a short while ago, title sponsor KMD and the city of Copenhagen, we are delighted to add Copenhagen to our list of superb events around the world,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of WTC, at a press conference in Copenhagen.
“We all believe that our acquisition of YWC Sports provides a unique opportunity for the race to grow into one of the top in the world and become an anchor race in Scandinavia.”
Other attendees of the press conference included Pia Allerslev, Mayor of Culture and Leisure, KMD Chief Executive Officer Lars Monrad-Gylling, YWC Sports Chief Executive Officer Thomas Veje Olsen and Thomas Dieckhoff, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman Europe, Middle East and Africa.
There are now four Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races taking place in Scandinavia: Ironman Kalmar (Sweden), Ironman 70.3 Haugesund (Norway), KMD Ironman Copenhagen and KMD Ironman 70.3 Aarhus.
“After YWC Sports approached us, we immediately realized that Thomas Veje Olsen and his team are perfect partners to bring the iconic Ironman brand and the unique quality expected from our races to Denmark.” said Thomas Dieckhoff.
“This step consolidates our position in Scandinavia but we are even happier for the athletes as the ‘Road to Kona’ now runs through Denmark.”
WTC CEO Andrew Messick added, “There’s incredible demand for Ironman events in Europe. This becomes our ninth full-distance Ironman race in the region, and the only one that’s not sold-out this year. We’re very focused on bringing the Ironman experience to more people in Europe, and this will give us a wonderful opportunity to do that.”
He continued, “Over an extended period of time, YWC Sports ApS tried to convince us to allow them to become part of our organization. They’ve done an incredible amount of work to build their race into a world-class event over the last three years.
“YWC Sports, KMD (the title sponsor) and the City of Copenhagen felt that the only way the race could become all that it could be was through an affiliation with Ironman. They want to make their race a better tourism event and destination, while providing a better experience for their athletes. They felt that being part of Ironman was the best way to take the race to the next level.”