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2012-08-20 10:31 PM
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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

Tom, my son raced the Youth Elite ITU series this year.....maybe you need to get out and see what USAT is doing with High Performance Youth Teams in this country.  Olympic medals are coming.  I've been around triathlon for as long as you have, and there has never been a time when 14,15, and 16 year old kids could show up and win sprint races, JUST FOR FUN.  They can now....but they get REALLY serious at the ITU cup races around the country.  Maybe most triathletes don't know where these races are, but kids with Olympic dreams do, and from what I've seen, we can all be proud of what USAT is doing with triathlon with regards to future Olympics and Olympians.  

There is an absolute wave of smoking fast kids coming.....watch out...these are not the triathletes you are used to seeing.  Thank USAT....and they're not going anywhere.



Edited by Left Brain 2012-08-20 10:41 PM


2012-08-20 11:28 PM
in reply to: #4372133

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

gsmacleod - 2012-08-20 4:41 PM
Tom Demerly. - 2012-08-20 7:36 PM Quick, without Google, who were the top three in London???? Who?
Surely you are joking? If you don't think Mike knows who stood on the podium in London, both men and women, then I would suggest you are just trolling. Shane

Ha, ha, thanks Shane. That was better than anything I could think of. I've watched more ITU racing in the past few years than IM racing. The better athletes are racing ITU and that's being proven when they come up to race HIM and IM. It's exciting to watch ITU. IM, with the diluted fields, not so much.

I hope you are well Shane and I hope that business is good for you!

2012-08-20 11:31 PM
in reply to: #4372123

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

Tom,

There was nothing in the article about him buying another company and certainly he doesn't need WTC. As an entreprenuer, he's building his own brand. I think he's on the right track. And he's a University of CO grad, I might add!

As far the silly talk - well, we don't that around here at BT, that's for the folks on ST. Take that business over there, thank you very much.

2012-08-20 11:33 PM
in reply to: #4372346

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
rkreuser - 2012-08-20 7:27 PM

Damn, typed this once and the computer ate it. Before I start, I'm not privvy to any inside information. I just study this space fairly closely. Not an insider. That said, here it goes again:

1) Still think it's low probability. Mostly because LTF would have to pay a premium valuation for WTC AND, probably most importantly, accept another strong brand into their portfolio (IM). 

2) LTF doesn't accept others' brand into their portfolio as major players. They grow their own (with the exception of Zumba). Case-in-point: Spinning (TM) is a non-LTF brand, with formats, certifications, etc. LTF doesn't offer a Spinning (TM) class. They are all CYCLE classes. They've done the math, and doing their own class development, certification, and quality control is either better for their idea of a 'healthy way of life', margins, or both. 

3) To acquire WTC, they'd have to decide that the premium they'd pay would be offset by additional memberships, additional sell through of nutrition/personal training/food/other services, and improved margins in event production, and do so fairly quickly. Remember - LTF is public - markets aren't gonna give 'em 5 years to make it work. 

And lastly, LTF has lots of incentive to play the waiting game for WTC: PE firms make investments with a scheduled payout, on a scheduled date, and known (target) margins, and manage to that. If the investment doesn't get liquid before that date, partners get nervous and careers end. The WTC investors will sell, and the pressure will mount. It's who blinks first. And especially with the unknown and untested liability related to swim deaths for tri, I'd assume LTF would hold off to understand how that changes the viability of a race. 

If I was LTF, I'd wait. You can get incremental growth in the short term, learn the business, provide some competition to WTC without *huge* investments of time or money, and let WTC sweat. The only competition to buy WTC, at this point, appears to be Active.com, or an apparel manufacturer.

That's just me. 

I think Falcon media is the one to watch, with regards to buying WTC, or at least that's what I read on ST 3 years ago. Dan does write decent articles every once in a while.

2012-08-20 11:35 PM
in reply to: #4372491

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
Left Brain - 2012-08-20 9:31 PM

Tom, my son raced the Youth Elite ITU series this year.....maybe you need to get out and see what USAT is doing with High Performance Youth Teams in this country.  Olympic medals are coming.  I've been around triathlon for as long as you have, and there has never been a time when 14,15, and 16 year old kids could show up and win sprint races, JUST FOR FUN.  They can now....but they get REALLY serious at the ITU cup races around the country.  Maybe most triathletes don't know where these races are, but kids with Olympic dreams do, and from what I've seen, we can all be proud of what USAT is doing with triathlon with regards to future Olympics and Olympians.  

There is an absolute wave of smoking fast kids coming.....watch out...these are not the triathletes you are used to seeing.  Thank USAT....and they're not going anywhere.

 

here, here! We've got a long way to go, but we are making progress at these lower age groups. At the World Cup level, we are the laughingstock of the world, as we have no depth and we don't have one man capable of winning a major race. Not sure how that happened, but it's where we are.

2012-08-21 10:05 AM
in reply to: #4372491

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

"...maybe you need to get out and see what USAT is doing with High Performance Youth Teams in this country."

We drove across the country and were the official vendor at the event, in person, Sir.



2012-08-21 10:09 AM
in reply to: #4372955

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
Tom Demerly. - 2012-08-21 9:05 AM

"...maybe you need to get out and see what USAT is doing with High Performance Youth Teams in this country."

We drove across the country and were the official vendor at the event, in person, Sir.

then you are admitting you are just stirring the pot for no good reason? USAT is going a nice job with our youth teams. You saw this in person. So, please leave the crap over at ST. We really don't need it here on BT.

2012-08-21 10:19 AM
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2012-08-21 10:20 AM
in reply to: #4372955

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
Tom Demerly. - 2012-08-21 10:05 AM

"...maybe you need to get out and see what USAT is doing with High Performance Youth Teams in this country."

We drove across the country and were the official vendor at the event, in person, Sir.

 

If you were there than you KNOW what direction ITU style racing is going in this country...and you know darn well who is driving the bus.  The fact is, if you want to see the U.S. catch up then you and others in your position should be doing more to promote that style of racing.........it's easy to sit back and stir up the pot while USAT carries the ball...and they're doing a fine job of it!

You were at that event as the official vendor, you have a big voice on this board, and you said NOTHING about those races or the young athletes participating?  Shameful. 

2012-08-21 10:54 AM
in reply to: #4372990


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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

Fred

Thanks for the back up and I'm glad you are talking to me again.

We did win a few titles (3 in a row actually) but they are not designated as NCAA, but Club Sports championships, as there is no NCAA Triathlon as of yet. There has been talk of USAT/NCAA Triathlon (draft legal), but I'm not sure that's not too late for kids to get involved with triathlon if they want a shot at ITU.

 

It may be best that it starts at earlier ages - like 13-15 years old. Look at the Brownlee's - they have the new blue print. They work a run coach who prescribes old school run drills (A, B, C skip type stuff) and same for their swim coach. The one thing that separates them is that they just ruin each other and their training partners in training. We don't do a lot of that here in the US. We need to step it up by a lot.

 

Thanks again Fred and good luck at IMWI, right?

2012-08-21 11:09 AM
in reply to: #4372133

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

gsmacleod - 2012-08-20 5:41 PM
Tom Demerly. - 2012-08-20 7:36 PM Quick, without Google, who were the top three in London???? Who?
Surely you are joking? If you don't think Mike knows who stood on the podium in London, both men and women, then I would suggest you are just trolling. Shane

 

or getting ready to tell us about a cool race he once did  in a far off land



2012-08-21 11:16 AM
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2012-08-21 11:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
mikericci - 2012-08-20 11:35 PM
Left Brain - 2012-08-20 9:31 PM

Tom, my son raced the Youth Elite ITU series this year.....maybe you need to get out and see what USAT is doing with High Performance Youth Teams in this country.  Olympic medals are coming.  I've been around triathlon for as long as you have, and there has never been a time when 14,15, and 16 year old kids could show up and win sprint races, JUST FOR FUN.  They can now....but they get REALLY serious at the ITU cup races around the country.  Maybe most triathletes don't know where these races are, but kids with Olympic dreams do, and from what I've seen, we can all be proud of what USAT is doing with triathlon with regards to future Olympics and Olympians.  

There is an absolute wave of smoking fast kids coming.....watch out...these are not the triathletes you are used to seeing.  Thank USAT....and they're not going anywhere.

 

here, here! We've got a long way to go, but we are making progress at these lower age groups. At the World Cup level, we are the laughingstock of the world, as we have no depth and we don't have one man capable of winning a major race. Not sure how that happened, but it's where we are.

 

I'm not going to get into the pot stirring part of this discussion, but I did find this comment interesting. Mike, don't you think it's because triathlon is very much a niche sport in this country? Maybe that's way too simple of a way to look at it, but I don't think the majority of teens are saying "I want to be a triathlete". The best athletes in high school are playing more traditional sports in the U.S. That doesn't mean that someone can't come along and be one of the best in the world, but we certainly don't have the ground swell of participation that makes that as likely.

2012-08-21 1:04 PM
in reply to: #4372091

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?

This is a strong discussion because some of the contributors like mikericci, Fred D, etc. are authorities. Especially mikericci with regard to USA Triathlon.

That said, you can see an argument collapsing when comments veer away from the topic and become derisive or personally critical. It's a weak debating tactic; "I don't know the subject matter and am not a skilled enough commentator so I'll simply attack the opponent."

In politics, law, acedemics, diplomacy and... even in the rough n' tumble world of triathlon forums, people see through personal jibes as a last ditch by someone who can't argue their point effectively or constructively.

I'm glad this discussion has not taken that course.

Now.

I remember the Lew Kidder, Verne Scott days of what was TriFed, then USAT and is now USA Triathlon.

USA Triathlon is a national governing body, so I acknowledge their role is utterly different than a WTC. Apparently, so does both WTC and USA Triathlon. A few years ago when WTC considered forming a seperate governance with their own attendent rules, etc., that effort was moderated by both parties to an outwardly amicable resolution. That is the relationship we see now between the NGB that is USA Triathlon and WTC in the U.S.

The primary role, and the crowning acheivement of USA Triathlon, has been to support the ITU as a U.S. interest in getting triathlon to the Olympics in Sydney (job done, quite spectacularly) and then continuing the Olympic role of the sport. To support that aim as NGB for triathlon, USA Triathlon has begun the construction and support of a number of key inititiatives; coaching certification education, youth programs, collegiate programs, etc.

That said, USA Triathlon has a ways to go- and that is a seperate thread. We did ace the medal count in London by a wide margin but came home empty handed in triathlon. I acknowledge we are "working on" that, but we haven't cracked it reliably yet, and as the country that arguably "invented" triathlon we had a hefty head start over the countries that medaled. We came close, within 10 seconds by Sarah Groff in London, but missed it by a country mile, or at least 2:10, in the men's race with Olympic vet Hunter Kemper in 14th. The fact that we're still sending Hunter Kemper to our Olympic triathlon is commentary on our development system in the U.S. itself. I'm identifying that, not judging it. You can grade it on your own. Hunter was at the first Olympic Trials I worked in Dallas, and that was a looooonnnnng time ago. USA Triathlon; where's our "new guard"?

So.

On to WTC and Lifetime.

These guys like to make money. A different motive and agenda to USA Triathlon. Still important at USA Triathlon, but not the key marching order.

Money drives the boat, and the sport. Will WTC and Lifetime join in a formal business relationship like, as some contributors have suggested, Lifetime buying WTC in some capacity? I don't know. I have been the anonymous writer with Outside (Literally, I've written for them once) dancing between what I knew, what I thought, and what I could publish past my then editor Andrew. That is a tight hole to fit through, and I sense that editorial hole was very tight with this little expose'.

I do think this media, the rough n' tumble of forums, is the perfect watercooler to bat those ideas around.

 

2012-08-21 1:15 PM
in reply to: #4373408

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
Tom Demerly. - 2012-08-21 1:04 PM

This is a strong discussion because some of the contributors like mikericci, Fred D, etc. are authorities. Especially mikericci with regard to USA Triathlon.

That said, you can see an argument collapsing when comments veer away from the topic and become derisive or personally critical. It's a weak debating tactic; "I don't know the subject matter and am not a skilled enough commentator so I'll simply attack the opponent."

In politics, law, acedemics, diplomacy and... even in the rough n' tumble world of triathlon forums, people see through personal jibes as a last ditch by someone who can't argue their point effectively or constructively.

I'm glad this discussion has not taken that course.

Now.

I remember the Lew Kidder, Verne Scott days of what was TriFed, then USAT and is now USA Triathlon.

USA Triathlon is a national governing body, so I acknowledge their role is utterly different than a WTC. Apparently, so does both WTC and USA Triathlon. A few years ago when WTC considered forming a seperate governance with their own attendent rules, etc., that effort was moderated by both parties to an outwardly amicable resolution. That is the relationship we see now between the NGB that is USA Triathlon and WTC in the U.S.

The primary role, and the crowning acheivement of USA Triathlon, has been to support the ITU as a U.S. interest in getting triathlon to the Olympics in Sydney (job done, quite spectacularly) and then continuing the Olympic role of the sport. To support that aim as NGB for triathlon, USA Triathlon has begun the construction and support of a number of key inititiatives; coaching certification education, youth programs, collegiate programs, etc.

That said, USA Triathlon has a ways to go- and that is a seperate thread. We did ace the medal count in London by a wide margin but came home empty handed in triathlon. I acknowledge we are "working on" that, but we haven't cracked it reliably yet, and as the country that arguably "invented" triathlon we had a hefty head start over the countries that medaled. We came close, within 10 seconds by Sarah Groff in London, but missed it by a country mile, or at least 2:10, in the men's race with Olympic vet Hunter Kemper in 14th. The fact that we're still sending Hunter Kemper to our Olympic triathlon is commentary on our development system in the U.S. itself. I'm identifying that, not judging it. You can grade it on your own. Hunter was at the first Olympic Trials I worked in Dallas, and that was a looooonnnnng time ago. USA Triathlon; where's our "new guard"?

So.

On to WTC and Lifetime.

These guys like to make money. A different motive and agenda to USA Triathlon. Still important at USA Triathlon, but not the key marching order.

Money drives the boat, and the sport. Will WTC and Lifetime join in a formal business relationship like, as some contributors have suggested, Lifetime buying WTC in some capacity? I don't know. I have been the anonymous writer with Outside (Literally, I've written for them once) dancing between what I knew, what I thought, and what I could publish past my then editor Andrew. That is a tight hole to fit through, and I sense that editorial hole was very tight with this little expose'.

I do think this media, the rough n' tumble of forums, is the perfect watercooler to bat those ideas around.

 

Unfortunately, in a Colorado hospital learning to walk again.

Besides Lukas, there are many more coming.  We might be late to the Olympic party, but the right turn has definately been made.  USA Triathlon deserves credit for that.  More work to do?  Absolutely.  Light years ahead of where our country's Olympic Triathlon seed program started....without a doubt.



Edited by Left Brain 2012-08-21 1:20 PM
2012-08-21 2:14 PM
in reply to: #4373096

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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
mikericci - 2012-08-21 12:54 PM

We did win a few titles (3 in a row actually) but they are not designated as NCAA, but Club Sports championships, as there is no NCAA Triathlon as of yet. There has been talk of USAT/NCAA Triathlon (draft legal), but I'm not sure that's not too late for kids to get involved with triathlon if they want a shot at ITU.

It may be best that it starts at earlier ages - like 13-15 years old.


Mike,

I think that what you are doing at the NCAA level is important; while up here not being an official university sport isn't a huge stumbling block, as I understand it, in the US having NCAA Triathlon would be a big step forward. Up here, we see similar programs running for university aged athletes and although triathlon is not a CIS sport, swimming, x-country and indoor track and field are which many of these athletes are involved with at university.

I don't think that it is too late to get them involved in the U23 ranks but agree that it would be better if they were at least introduced to the sport earlier. I am currently working with youth (12-15) and junior athletes (16-19) and we are seeing tremendous growth in the sport in the province. With a population of less than one million, we have 14 juniors currently racing at the elite level and more than 20 youth athletes who are interested in pursuing developmental races (14-15) and then junior elite events. While we still have a way to go, we are starting to see a shift in the attitudes of athletes toward triathlon; where most of our juniors are swimmers/cyclists/runners who do triathlon, in our youth we are starting to see several make decisions based around being a stronger triathlete and are starting to see themselves as triathletes first. I think as more athletes start to see the sport as something they can commit to as their first sport and that we are able to provide high level coaching, that the sport will grow in the province (and across the country) and hopefully we will be able to start seeing athletes on the podium of WCS events again.

Shane


2012-08-21 2:55 PM
in reply to: #4373174


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Subject: RE: Lifetime Fitness Merger with Ironman/WTC? Is it Possible?
TriBoilermaker - 2012-08-21 10:24 AM

I'm not going to get into the pot stirring part of this discussion, but I did find this comment interesting. Mike, don't you think it's because triathlon is very much a niche sport in this country? Maybe that's way too simple of a way to look at it, but I don't think the majority of teens are saying "I want to be a triathlete". The best athletes in high school are playing more traditional sports in the U.S. That doesn't mean that someone can't come along and be one of the best in the world, but we certainly don't have the ground swell of participation that makes that as likely.

Absolutely triathlon is a niche sport and very young by our standards. Lacrosse was around hundreds of years before it became an NCAA sport  (in 1970 or 71 I think). And you are right, most teens don't think it's cool to swim, bike, run. They want to play in the NFL, NBA or MLB. But we have had a Wonderkids and other youth tri programs in place for 25 years. The face that we invented the sport can't get someone on the podium is pretty embarrassing to me.

But I don't think someone can come along and be good at triathlon. They have to be world class in the water and on the run, which means they'll start at a young age.

Look at Rupp in the 10k - he played soccer until he was 14 -that's a late start to be a good runner and it's taken him 10+ years to get to world class level (or maybe a few years less, as I'm not sure on his age).

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