Challenge Penticton has a little more room to market the city’s new long-distance triathlon, thanks to some major financial support from the Penticton Hospitality Association.
This week, local Challenge organizers announced that the PHA was giving them $35,000 to help support marketing the new race.
“This will go a long ways to helping Challenge Penticton. The race switched brands last August from Ironman Canada to Challenge Penticton. Same incredible race, same iconic course and distance,” said Barb Haynes, general manager of Challenge Penticton.
One major difference between the two races, she noted, is that Challenge spans six days, with a series of events leading up to the big race on Sunday. With the new funding, Haynes said, they will be able to spread that message farther and hopefully persuade visitors to come for a longer stay.
“There are all kinds of additional activities that we are pursuing this year that we have never done before. A lot more print media, a lot more social media where we can purchase product now, really talking about destination campaigns, bringing people into Penticton,” said Haynes.
Tim Hodgkinson, operations director for the PHA, said they are happy to help Challenge take the message out and promote the event. The $35,000 is being drawn from the two per cent hotel room tax collected for tourism marketing and managed by the PHA.
“In doing so they are promoting Penticton and will be able to draw in additional potential visitors,” said Hodgkinson, adding that the Challenge message may remind long-term visitors to come back and visit, or draw in new visitors. “Either way, getting Challenge on the road is going to create positive exposure and bring people back.”
The inaugural triathlon event will be held from Aug. 21 to 26 and heralds an expansion for the Challenge Family organization, based in Roth, Germany, who have chosen Penticton to launch the Challenge Family races in North America.
“This is a significant event for all of us. As the flagship race for Challenge Family in North America, we are committed to making this a positive successful exercise for all concerned,” said Rob Appelman, president of the PHA. “It’s vitally important to get behind such high-profile initiatives as they provide us with an opportunity to promote Penticton to such a vast audience both domestically and internationally.”
Haynes also announced that Challenge Penticton has also completed a deal with Hammer Nutrition to sponsor the race.
“They will be supplying all the athlete liquids and gels on the course and throughout the race week,” said Haynes. “They will be here en masse to work with us and the athletes during the race.”