Ironman expands marathon portfolio with Competitor Group takeover

The Ironman triathlon series has struck a deal to acquire Competitor Group Holdings, which owns the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

Since the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 1998, Competitor Group has expanded to host events across 22 major markets in the US and eight international races from the UK to China.

Competitor Group’s events attract about 600,000 competitors each year, with the latest event being the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon, which took place at the weekend.

“This is an important step in the growth Ironman has seen over the last decade,” Ironman chief executive Andrew Messick said. “As a globally-recognised endurance brand, the acquisition of the world’s largest running platform puts us in an exciting position for the future growth of running worldwide. The ability to help globalise the successful Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series brings about many opportunities to demonstrate our leadership in this industry.”

Ironman already owns or operates more than 20 running races worldwide, including the Singapore Marathon, Auckland Marathon, Marathon Bordeaux and Across the Bay 10k.

“We are committed to providing our athletes with consistent, high-quality experiences across each of our events,” Messick added. “Our distinct expertise in event operations will allow us to ensure that athletes across the entire endurance life cycle are able to achieve their goals at any stage in their endurance journey – from 5K to Ironman.”

Competitor Group president Josh Furlow described the deal as “a game-changing development” for the future of his company “and a clear signal into the investment being made in the global running community.”

He added: “Ironman is a tremendous organisation with incredible brand strength and I look forward to working with Andrew to bring together two of the world’s greatest event producers collectively as one team.”