New York City Triathlon Signs Title Sponsorship with Aquaphor

Beiersdorf AG’s Aquaphor skin care lotion will be the new title sponsor of the New York City Triathlon as part of a three-year agreement with the sport’s most expensive Olympic-distance race.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed by the company or John Korff, owner of Korff Enterprises Inc., which has staged the race since 2001.

The new title sponsorship will help offset about $1.8 million in annual costs to stage the race, according to Korff. That price rose about $250,000 this year to pay for staging costs, including service charges by the city’s police and parks departments, Korff said. In previous years, the city covered those fees.

“People don’t come to New York for a very good experience, they come for an amazing experience,” Korff said in a telephone interview. “But amazing isn’t free.”

The event’s individual entry fee of $295 is about $50 higher than the cost of other triathlons twice the length.

After beginning with about 1,000 participants 11 years ago, the event has grown into one of the most in-demand triathlons in the world. More than 3,000 racers from 44 states and 10 countries are entered for this year’s edition on July 8, Korff said.

Continuing Growth

“This is a sport that’s going to continue to grow over the next couple of years,” said Magnus Jonsson, Aquaphor’s director of marketing. “It gives the brand a certain edge that we can’t get with other endurance sports.”

Jonsson said the company will use the New York race as a testing ground for possible sponsorship of other triathlons.

The race’s popularity forced Korff to begin utilizing a lottery system for entrants in 2011 after the previous year’s race sold out in six minutes.

Competitors swim 9/10 of a mile (1,500 meters) in the Hudson River, bike 25 miles (40 kilometers) on the Henry Hudson Parkway and then run 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) across 72nd street before finishing in Central Park.

The title sponsorship with Aquaphor, whose U.S. headquarters is in Wilton, Connecticut, includes an option for a three-year renewal after 2014, Korff said. The company will also sponsor boxer Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, as she trains and competes in the event.

The event’s previous title sponsor, Nautica Enterprises Inc., chose not to renew its sponsorship after the 2011 race.

Bloomberg Businessweek, whose parent company Bloomberg LP owns Bloomberg News, sponsors the New York City Triathlon.

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