>I have a love/hate relationship with my fannage of Chris McCormack, but he earned some points with a good interview with Slowtwitch yesterday. For once, he was using his undaunting arrogance (arguably well-founded and quite deserved arrogance) to make some good points:
ST: Are pros critical to the growth of the sport? Some race directors act as if they are irrelevant to the business of triathlon.
Chris: That kind of race promoters have to remember that lot of companies support their races. And their products are endorsed by the pros that race them. If a pro wins Chicago or an age grouper wins their division, people pay attention.
ST: Give us some examples?
Chris: Some race directors are acting as if the pros did not matter? That is BS. Kuota did not exist in the public’s mind until Normann Stadler put that bike on the map with his win in 2004 and sales with that company exploded. When I started riding Kestrels, sales increased. Successful companies support the pros and everyone benefits. I wonder why some race directors do not see that this is a triangular relationship. Age groupers, pros and races form a synergy like a food chain. You take one out and the whole thing can fall apart. If race directors are pushing that pros are not necessary, it hurts everyone. It is a mistake to make the assumption that people do not care who wins. Someone will win the race and raise his hands and people will notice and people will care. People are driven to push themselves harder to win. Age groupers too. Winners drive the whole sport. It is a complete circuit with its own synergy and you cannot just neglect it. I do think that some of the people in certain race series or federations may be tempted to try out models that are missing one of the elements. But the sport needs heroes to inspire people to continue to come in.
The entire interview is here.