Company seeks to unlock the full potential of its sport by furthering the sense of belonging
TAMPA, Fla. (April 21, 2021) – The words Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) are not just buzz words or trends, but an intrinsic part of the work and community cultures that The IRONMAN Group is looking to further foster. The organization understands that in order to achieve their goals, it is of utmost importance to attract and welcome the world’s most talented people and athletes from all backgrounds while continuing to create life changing event experiences globally.
Acknowledging the need to bring in outside expertise in this area, The IRONMAN Group is proud to announce it has retained the nation’s premier Diversity, Equity and Inclusion firm, Kaleidoscope Group, to lead their DE&I transformation.
Fully endorsed by Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group, the global sports event producer considers their DE&I effort a business imperative for the entire organization. Every part of the company will be accountable for this transformation to ensure its health and sustained growth.
“Diversity in mass participation sports is something that has and continues to carry incredible importance to us and the overall industry, and while individuals of all backgrounds have been welcomed and celebrated during our 40-year history, it is important that we recognize opportunities to further develop,” said Messick.
As the largest mass participation sports event producer in the world, The IRONMAN Group is working to lead diversity advocacy efforts through a multi-tiered outreach campaign to address the lack of Black athlete diversity among race participants. In partnership with the IRONMAN Foundation, The IRONMAN Group launched Race for Change in 2020 with the mission to remove barriers to equity for its athletes, in the sport of triathlon, and in the communities where IRONMAN® athletes and first-time hopefuls live, train and race while doing the same with its internal workforce.
“Over the past several months, we have spent time reflecting, listening, learning, and discussing what role the company – and all of us collectively – must play in helping to drive change, both within The IRONMAN Group and in our race communities,” continued Messick. “With significant input from employees and leaders, we determined that the Kaleidoscope Group was the perfect partner to lead our transformation through Race For Change and internal DE&I efforts.”
According to Messick, the Kaleidoscope Group partnership reflects The IRONMAN Group’s commitment to not only raise awareness of DE&I issues that exist within the sport of triathlon, but to further create a sense of belonging for all communities of color.
It is the organization’s belief that it must empower the next generation of great competitors, coaches, and history-makers by proactively removing barriers to entry. Through its collaboration with Kaleidoscope Group, one of the initial goals for The IRONMAN Group will be to support local run and triathlon clubs and organizations focused on growing the number of Black athlete participation in the sport five-fold within the next five years. Growth of the Latinx community as well as growing female participation through the Women For Tri initiative is also critical focus areas.
The company also intends to elevate existing staff talent, build a work culture based on inclusion and work with local organizations to recruit diverse applicants.
According to Kaleidoscope Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Doug Harris, The IRONMAN Group is committed to making real progress toward a more inclusive culture and community for its race participants.
“Their mission to welcome more diverse athletes to the sport is being led by employees from all levels within the organization. That shows a true willingness which is needed to succeed,” said Harris.
The transformative outreach work required to drive change for The IRONMAN Group will be driven through the Race for Change campaign. To date, progress includes:
- An initial pledge of $1 million to fund the Race for Change initiative.
- Finalizing creation of an Advisory Council for the Race for Change program to help guide the organization’s actions to ensure resources are properly allocated to efforts that deliver the greatest impact.
- Finalizing internal DE&I Committee within the organization to provide a voice to the workforce, developing ways to become a more inclusive organization.
The company plans to continue taking meaningful and substantive actions in the coming months.
About The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC
The Kaleidoscope Group, LLC is a full service diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) consulting firm. We are committed to providing customized strategic solutions to address the specific needs of an organization’s culture. We drive sustainable measurable results in the workforce, workplace, community, supplier base, and marketplace.
Founded in 1993, The Kaleidoscope Group is recognized among the top 10 pioneers in the D&I industry. Our clients trust us as a leader in the areas of D&I, cultural change, education and organizational development. We are a certified minority organization enterprise (MBE), headquartered in Chicago and we have an international presence. For more information visit: https://kgdiversity.com/
About IRONMAN DE&I Efforts
IRONMAN® has and continues to provide a welcoming platform and environment for all, becoming synonymous with monumental achievement by athletes from around the world proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®. Over IRONMAN’s 40-plus year history, the brand and its series of events have worked with and celebrated athletes of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all races, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientations. Since the very first years, IRONMAN has represented breaking barriers and redefining what is possible. This legacy continues as athletes and the greater IRONMAN community have utilized the platform as a vehicle to challenge and redefine society views. The very first trailblazing Special Team of Dick and Rick Hoyt racing alongside other athletes was a pinnacle moment for what was to come. Their determination and fortitude has continued with athletes like John MacLean, Jim MacLaren, David Bailey, Carlos Moleda, Jim Howley, Scott Rigsby, Sarah Reinertsen, Rudy Tolson-Garcia, Ricky James, Turia Pitt, Minda Dentler, Team Agar, the Pease Brothers, Alex Zanardi, Rajesh Durbal, Team Liza, Roderick Sewell, and most recently Chris Nikic, among so many others. These athletes and their achievements through IRONMAN have established non-profits and long-standing partnerships like the Challenged Athletes Foundation that continue to do incredible work. The vastness of the athlete community, partners and the openness that exists with its events is what makes IRONMAN special and is core to the what the brand represents. Continuing the belief and importance of inclusivity, IRONMAN is committed to Women For Tri and Race For Change while working on additional avenues to further increase diversity, equity and inclusion.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.