PTO makes mea culpa to pro athletes: “We screwed up”

Lucy Charles finishes at the Collins Cup in August, 2021.(Photo: PTO/ The Collins Cup)

It’s only a few weeks ago that the Professional Triathletes Organization announced to offer Age Group racing alongside their new PTO Tour, but after much criticism, the organization now makes their excuse to pro athletes. This morning, the PTO sent out an email to pro triathletes, saying: “An apology, a thank you, and an ask.”

“We screwed up and that reflected poorly on you, our PTO Professionals”, said the PTO, an organization that stands up for pro athletes and works hard to try to take our sport to a higher level, thanks to their world ranking and corresponding bonus system. “For that we are truly sorry”, the PTO continues.

“The PTO Tour is built with you at the center”

“We passionately believe that for the Age Group athlete and your fans, racing and then watching YOU, the greatest athletes on the planet, compete in a thrilling championship event with a large prize purse on the line, is a priceless experience.” But, it’s the pro triathletes that form the center of everything the PTO does, the organization states. “The PTO Tour is built with you at the center. The ultimate experience for triathlon fans. It is like playing on Center Court or Augusta National, and then getting a VIP experience watching Roger Federer or Tiger Woods.”

“We screwed up our Age Group pricing”

“However, in our enthusiasm for building this, we screwed up our Age Group pricing. Instead of exciting the triathlon community, we frustrated them. We recognize now that we haven’t yet earned that ‘premium position’ within the community, and we need to earn it by delivering the bucket list experiences we’ve spoken about.”

Prices go down with 50 percent

“With this in mind (and thanks to the many of you who got in touch to voice your concerns), following a unanimous Athlete Board decision, we will tomorrow announce an overhaul of our pricing – reducing all pricing across the board by 50 percent.”

“We will have the opportunity now to prove our worth, and we hope by apologizing and making this clear to everyone, we can be a force for positive change in this great sport”, the PTO adds.

A business around Age Group athletes doesn’t need to be part of the PTO, the organization now realizes. “The success of the PTO does not require us to make money from registration. The success of the PTO absolutely does require us to unite the triathlon community.”

Additionally, the PTO asks pro triathletes to help in the promotion of the new PTO Tour. “Please help us spread the word about the PTO Tour.”

“I can’t promise this won’t be our last mistake, but I can promise we will always be quick to listen and improve – for you our members, and the sport”, PTO’s CEO Sam Renouf concludes.