Commercial sponsorship is not just another revenue stream for sport. It can help a governing body to achieve strategic goals – and even change the lives of people taking part.
Triathlon Scotland’s new partnership with You Can Sport promises to deliver a wide range of positive outcomes for both sides. On the consumer side, it will enable many more people in Scotland to take part in triathlon at the level they choose.
The three-year deal includes title sponsorship of Triathlon Scotland’s flagship circuit for competitive athletes, which will become the You Can Sport Ranking Series until 2021.
Securing the naming rights for the popular series will deliver high-profile exposure for the Stirling-based family company, which is committed to creating healthier, happier lifestyles through sport.
The partnership also delivers opportunities for people looking to take part in triathlon for the first time, through the establishment of the You Can Sport Corporate Cup.
This is aimed at improving workplace health and fitness and its creation has been described as a highly positive “shift in focus” for the governing body.
First time for everything
Sandy Hodge, sportscotland partnership manager for triathlon, said: “Triathlon Scotland are entering year one of a new strategic plan and changing lives through sport is a key component of it.
“Through a number of initiatives and programmes they are targeting first-time participants, encouraging people who are inactive to get active and change their lifestyles aligned to the outcomes of the Active Scotland framework.
“The You Can Sport sponsorship will support competitive athletes, but it will also provide more competitive opportunities for first-time participants through initiatives like the You Can Sport Corporate Cup.
“Triathlon Scotland’s focus on first-time participants is an emerging area of priority and signals a shift in focus.
"Traditionally people have taken up the sport having already competed in swimming, cycling or running.
“People often associate commercial sponsorship with high-end performance sport but that’s not the purpose of this agreement, which I’m sure is going to create an excellent return on investment for the commercial partner while meeting the objectives of the governing body.”
An interesting aspect of this commercial partnership is the way it will be used to encourage business leaders to introduce their staff to triathlon.
The expansion of the Rankings Series to incorporate the new Corporate Cup will enable Triathlon Scotland to engage with business leaders who want to create a healthier and happier workforce through sport.
Craig Coull, co-founder and director of You Can Sport, said: “One of the first projects You Can Sport was involved in was working with Scottish Sea Farms to create a family activity day for all the staff to enjoy.
“A triathlon event was the focus for this day, and over three years the event and group training has helped employees to enjoy swim-bike-run as an individual challenge, or as part of a team.
“We know from feedback that being involved in regular physical activity has had a profound impact, with colleagues reporting there is now healthier foods, more activity and happier relationships amongst colleagues at work.
“Our plan now is to work with Triathlon Scotland to identify a number of events for the Corporate Cup and groups of people currently taking part in the sport who are involved in business to create corporate ambassadors who will help us on our mission to generate individual and team participants, and eventually winners at the end of each year.”
Triathlon Scotland chief executive Jane Moncrieff added: “Over the past four years Triathlon Scotland has been working hard to introduce new people to our fantastic sport.
"We noticed the positive impact that You Can Sport were having on one workplace, and so we want to see how far we can take that by working in partnership to develop the new You Can Sport Corporate Cup.
“We urge all Triathlon Scotland members who work in business organisations, large or small, to help us to share the fantastic health benefits of swim-bike-run activity, and how training and taking part in events really brings people together.
“We will ensure there is a variety of fantastic Corporate Cup events to choose from, and You Can Sport will be there to offer more formal support and advice to organisations keen to offer triathlon training sessions with staff.”
Join and enjoy
The Ranking Series delivers direct benefits for Triathlon Scotland members across the country. Points collected can lead to prizes and club members can participate together, accumulating points accumulated throughout the year.
There are two prize categories, large club (150+ members) and small club (1-149 members) in both adult and youth rankings.
Craig Coull added: “It is great to work with Triathlon Scotland, a dynamic and forward-looking organisation with a passion for developing the sport.
“You Can Sport linking up with the Ranking Series fits perfectly into our ethos of creating healthier, happier lifestyles through sport.
“It is an exciting opportunity to help further evolve triathlon and to reward the efforts of those taking part in the series.”
Gemma Simpson, events and marketing manager at Triathlon Scotland, added: “The Ranking Series is designed to reward members who enjoy taking part in our permitted events.
“We are delighted that many of our affiliated clubs make the Ranking Series their club focus for the year and we always have fantastic support from parents who encourage their children to take part in the aquathlon and triathlon Ranking Series events.”
Find out more
- Visit the 2019 You Can Sport Ranking Series page
- Discover more about You Can Sport
- Visit the Triathlon Scotland home page