Vancouver, Canada (February 19, 2008) - The International Triathlon Union (ITU) today revealed that 2007 was the most successful year in the sport's history with record levels of media exposure, prize money and athlete participation. More than US$3.6-million, the most ever for an ITU season, was up for grabs across all ITU sanctioned events including the BG Triathlon World Cup series, BG Triathlon World Championships and other ITU World Championships. ITU participation records were smashed at the Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships where approximately 8,000 athletes competed. It was all communicated to the world thanks to the integration of ITU media platforms including television, print and online.
"We made some very important strides in our key markets last year," stated Brian Mahony, ITU Director of Media and TV. "We made strong inroads in the U.S., with the placement of the BG Triathlon World Cup Series on FSN and also having our Des Moines BG Triathlon World Cup aired on NBC."
The triathlon show on NBC was the highest rated show of its time slot beating the Tour De France coverage on CBS and British Open golf on ABC.
In Germany, triathlon established record TV ratings with national broadcasters ARD and ZDF airing the Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships live over two days. There were over 49 million viewers in Germany with a market share of 18.7%. Independently audited figures of the event showed over 4460 articles published in the print media with an effective reach of over 400 million people.
Triathlon.org, the official website of the ITU, also continued to grow at a rapid pace with over 6.13 million unique viewers and over 45 million page impressions in 2007. This was an increase of over 200% from the previous year.
"Cross promotion of our sport across all media platforms was a key strategy in 2007 and we saw tremendous results," stated Mahony. "We will continue to aggressively push all our online services to provide content to the rapidly expanding MultiSport market."
With the Beijing Olympic Games triathlon event scheduled for prime time in the key North American market, 2008 is expected to once again be a record year for triathlon.