This week we look at what may be the hottest thing in professional team endurance racing, the Major League Triathlon series. Welcome to episode 93 of the Final Surge Podcast. This week Daniel Cassidy the founder of the Major League Triathlon series joins us to talk about how he got the idea for creating a professional triathlon series and where he sees the growth in the future. If you enjoy this episode please head over to iTunes and rate and review the podcast and please don’t forget to subscribe to the show.
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How did you get your start in endurance athletics?
- Started racing triathlons as a senior in high school
- Played hockey and baseball until an injury
- Swam/biked to rehab knee and became good
Tell us what the Major League Triathlon is?
- As competing girlfriend was frustrated with how long it took as a spectator
- Saw need to take friends and family members into consideration
- Wanted to make it more exciting to people and grow the sport of triathlon
How does it work?
- Mixed team relay
- 2 men and 2 women per team
- 300m swim, 4-mile bike, 1-mile run and tag to teammate
- One hour and 20 minutes or less
- One square mile or less footprint
- Have 9 teams
So longest leg is on the bike and 4 miles, is this looped or an out and back?
- Loop all courses 4-6 loops on bike and 3 on the run
You mentioned 9 teams, how does the season work, is there a playoff?
- Point system from each race
- Last race counts for 1.5x typical points
Do you have other people participating or just professionals?
- Started to do some other races throughout the weekend
- Playing with other ideas to get other people involved
Is the shorter distance also done to get new people involved as it doesnt seem as intimidating?
- Want to give racers a chance to race more
- Shorter translate into making it easier to watch
- Want to grow exposure for triathlon
Like any sport, it’s who is involved that makes it work or not. How has the reception been from professionals?
- Just about everyone who has a shot at 2020 is involved
- Every athlete involved has a shot at making the 2020 Olympics team
- Athletes racing love it which is causing more people to reach out
With the short races and team aspect I would think this would be attractive to TV, have you been talking to any of them?
- Yes we have had conversations with television networks
- It is in our future
Have you thought about doing other distances?
- We likely won’t change the distance
- We are working on super sprint individual races
How about the weekend, is this just race day or do you have expos and exhibits?
- Focus on race day
- Do have expo and live music
- Beer gardens and food trucks
- Kid zones
How do you decide where you are doing them?
- We have Atlantic City, Colorado, Tempe and Charlotte
- Plan on staying in those locations but adding on other locations
Do you think triathlons are growing as a sport or do you think it has been stagnant?
- In the US has leveled off some
- Need to attract the younger audience
To last, it needs to be profitable which means you need a product which is athletes people want to see as well as sponsors. What are you doing to make it attractive to sponsors?
- Amplifying reach with online streaming
- 8,000 people at an event are good, but nothing like big sports games so online is important
- Engagement rates and views are growing
When a family or friend of a professional triathlete goes to a race they have hours to spend, how did this play into your planning?
- Community event with food trucks
- Want vendors to be interactive not just products
What races are left this season?
- Sept 22nd, Tempe AZ
- Oct 6th, Charlotte for Championship
Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – Pass
Current trainers you are wearing? – APL
Favorite race? – 70.3 San Juan
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Chipotle
Your favorite workout – Hour and a half long run