Triathlon New Zealand launched the new summer national Tri Series at a function in Auckland today, unveiling a new 5 year naming rights partner that is not only new to the sport of triathlon, but new to the global marketplace and one that is set to revolutionise the way New Zealanders view and use the internet.
Dot Kiwi Limited, the registry for the .kiwi top-level domain, was announced as a significant new partner to the sport; with the new look .kiwi Tri Series set to lead the sport through the summer with events in Mount Maunganui, Whangamata, Takapuna, Christchurch and Wellington before participants end their season with the national standard distance championships at the Auckland ITU World Series event in April.
Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh spoke of a great day for the sport.
“I am delighted that the sport of Triathlon has attracted such an innovative and pioneering product such as .kiwi. Triathlon began in NZ in 1984 and was driven by pioneering people who sought to push the boundaries from traditional sport. They were focused on trying something new and thus living on the edge.
“Our sport is still unique and still evolving. Our ‘playground’ is the New Zealand landscape and the ‘players’ are the Kiwi families from 5 years of age through to the grandparents who are 80+. It is the family focus, the NZ landscape and sport for life focus that has attracted the interest of a like-minded pioneer in .kiwi and it is this partnership that will assist us in delivering on our goals and objectives over the next five years and beyond. This is a business relationship, not a sponsorship; one that I know will assist the future sustainability of the sport.”
Waugh said the announcement was particularly pleasing in light of some tough times, with the sport having to make some hard calls to safeguard its future.
“Tri NZ has undergone dramatic change over the past 18 months, change that has been internally driven. We have restructured our High Performance Programme looking to Tokyo and 2024 and prepared the 2020 Strategic Plan for the third evolution of the sports 30 year history. This work has been carried out as Tri NZ looks to become more customer centric and commercially driven in order to control our own destiny and become a long term sustainable NSO that is not overly reliant on government or trust funding.
“Triathlon in NZ is a zero dollar membership model as triathletes prefer the ‘pay to play’ concept. This requires us to be innovative, business minded and marketing driven. We unashamedly have to be revenue focused in order to subsidise the .kiwi Tri Series and the other community and HP programmes that are delivered.”
Sport New Zealand CEO Peter Miskimmin has seen firsthand the work that Tri NZ has undertaken in recent times and is delighted with the announcement.
"It has been a challenging time for Tri NZ and I want to acknowledge the considerable soul searching and hard work they have done to restructure the way their sport is administered, in both the grass roots and high performance areas. They have shown strong leadership in this process and acted in a responsible and forward thinking manner, while making some tough decisions about their business.
“So today's news is a well deserved outcome for them and is a result of that strategic planning and long term focus. I congratulate Tri NZ on securing this new partnership, which will assist them build a sustainable commercial base going forward. And I thank .kiwi for the support they’re providing to the sport sector."
.kiwi is the first and only New Zealand-based generic top-level domain name approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and will be one of the first in the world to become available.
“Being Kiwi sets us aside on the world stage, as individuals, in business, and in sport”, says Tim Johnson, Dot Kiwi CEO.
“We’re proud to partner with Tri NZ to deliver the .kiwi Tri Series. Triathlon has many synergies with the cultural identifier that .kiwi offers, from the stunning New Zealand landscapes where the events take place, to the family involvement, and Kiwis making their mark both at home and on the global stage.”
The launch of .kiwi provides an online shorthand for businesses and individuals to use in their websites and email addresses. The .kiwi domain quickly lets stakeholders and customers know that the website is both geographically and culturally linked with New Zealand.
The .kiwi Tri Series commences this weekend with the iconic Craigs Investment Partners Tinman event part of the series for the first time. The traditional season opener at Mount Maunganui has been on the scene for 25 years and this December 8 will be the 22nd edition of the race that covers much of the same course as the Port of Tauranga Half, raced in early January.
2013/14 .kiwi Tri Series
Visit www.triseries.co.nz for all event information and online entries
Mt Maunganui Sunday 8th December 2013
Whangamata Friday 3 January 2014
Takapuna Friday 24th & Saturday 25th Jan 2014
Kinloch Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd Feb 2014
Christchurch Sunday 9th February 2014
Wellington Saturday 8 March 2014
Please note: Standard distance national champs in Auckland as part of the ITU World Triathlon Series on April 5/6