Which was mostly rapped up with this tweet
Since none of them follow me on twitter, and I have my twitter id protected, there was little point trying to respond on ROI there.
Focusing purely on the value the pro's bring at race time, misses the whole point. Sure, long established races would likely be fine, but try starting new races without pro's. It's not clear if some of the races in large urban, populted areas would survive without them. Many communities are on the edge in respect to the disruption Ironman distance races bring to town, especially the WTC races which come with heavy demands for road closures and financial payments, often between $100,000 and $200,000 from the city to the WTC. I've been in race planing meetings with civic leaders, police ad safety.
If you don't think Pro's have a value, try running a race without them, no pro field, no KPRs, no prize money, just age groups, not even an open wave. The race directors don’t have anything to say to the cities without pro’s that’s why the new races are often championship races… the discussion might go like this
Race Directror(not WTC): we are going to need the 112-mile bike course mostly shutdown for 8-hours, and the main footpaths through town will be inaccessible.
Local Mayor and Police chief: what for?
Race Director(not WTC): We are going to have an Ironman race for about 150-200 fast age groupers and a bunch of lifestyle athletes in lycra, the whole race lasts 16-hours and you have to pay us $200k for this…
Local Mayor and Police chief: Are you serious, all that disruption for local residents, all the detours; all the local business impact?
Race Director(not WTC): Yeah, but the WTC will make a sizable donation to local charities, in the region of $100k, all you need to do is get 800 or so people to volunteer, and they will be positive and get the rest of the community involved
Local Mayor and Police chief: Surely, that isn't even minimum wage? There is no way I am can sell this to the community…
Race Director(not WTC): Well how about we add a pro field, I’ll bring in a couple of big names and a bunch of people desperate for to qualify for Ironman Hawaii?
Local Mayor and Police chief: Whats Ironman Hawaii?
Race Director(not WTC): OK, look, how about we make this new race the North America Ironman Championship, think of the prestige for the Town!
Local Mayor and Police chief: Now that sounds like something we could do, how do we start…