First up there was the poorly thought through attempt to take over Olympic/standard distance races with their 5i50 race series. While these have not disappeared, many of vanished and those that are left, are fairly low key and at least based on CEO Messicks remarks at last years Triathlon America conference(video link, my write-up for tri247.com), they are rethinking that proposition.
Next up was last years excitement about Lance Armstrongs' return to triathlon and especially Ironman races. That didn't work out so well, and Messick has yet to come out and categorically state that Lance, banned or not, is unwelcome in triathlon, especially in light of Messicks remarks about pro's acting as "ambassadors" for the sport. Compare Messicks remarks here ith the remarks of the Triathlon Australia chief executive Anne Gripper, here. Anne makes no bones about her position, where Messick is clearly hedging his bets, couldn't be anything to do with the alleged $500,000+ payment offered.
I'm headed to this years Triathlon Business International conference, Triathlon America goes international, and it will be interesting to see what Messick has to say in person, especially on development of sponsorships, in light of the run on Herbalife, as a pyramid scheme, and an oft considered sponsor for the WTC Amway is partnering with the WTC for 4-races this year and plans to launch its' brand of NUTRILTE® vitamins, minerals and supplements at Ironman Expos. Amway operates a similar multi-level marketing operation to Herbalife and has been subject to similar claims. A failure of one is bound to affect all the others operating in the same way.