Please come close.
Just a bit closer because we have a huge secret that the World Triathlon Corporation (the folks who run the Ironman race series) don't want you to know.
We'll whisper it to.
OK, here it is...the world triathlon corporation doesn't own the Ironman brand.
Are you shocked or did you suspect this all along?
So who owns it you might be wondering?
There are really two answers to that question, and we'll give you the legal one last because that's the easier answer.
Perhaps the harder to hear answer (at least for the WTC folks) is the first one.
That's right...you own the Ironman brand.
And by you...we mean anybody who's has ever crossed the finish line of an Ironman race and heard the magic words, "you are an Ironman."
And by you...we also mean any amateur or professional triathlete who has the MDot logo proudly tattooed on their sweaty post race body.
And by you..we mean anyone who (over the last two decades) has watched the NBC coverage of the Kona Ironman World Championships and thought to themselves, "someday I'll cross that finish line and celebrate becoming an Ironman."
And by you...we mean anyone who has ever raced 140.6 miles for a cause bigger then themselves, and perhaps has even rolled across the finish line in memory of John Blais.
Sure, people like James P. Gills, Graham Fraser, and Ben Fertic (the current CEO of the WTC) helped to create, expanded, and build the Ironman race series with hard work and countless safe races. But you can bet your areo helmet that they (above anyone else) know the real secret...they don't own the brand...you do.
That's why Fertic was so quick to apologize for the recent Ironman Access debacle.
And of course as the true owner of the Ironman brand you have the real power to make or break it.
The moment that you decide that Ironman has become more about lining the pockets of the Providence Equity Partners (the current owners of the WTC) instead of the ultimate challenge of body and soul...well that's the moment that the Ben, the WTC, and Providence Equity Partners might as well put a sign on their North Rocky Point Drive Tampa, Florida offices that reads "gone fishin" because that's the moment their out of the Ironman business.
BTW: In case your wondering who legal owns the Ironman brand...to find out just google Ironman.
You'll soon see that all Ironman roads, especially those from Tampa and those from Hollywood, lead to Marvel Comics.
That's right, as best as we can determine Marvel Comics may still (at least to some extent) control the Ironman trademark and licences it to both Hollywood and the WTC.