NEW YORK: Endurance race company Ironman has selected Kwittken as its North American AOR.
Coyne PR was the incumbent on the account. Ironman ended its relationship with the firm in December and started working with Kwittken the following month. Budget information was not disclosed.
There was no formal RFP, and Ironman was not looking for a new North American AOR. However, Ironman CMO Christopher Stadler met Kwittken CEO Aaron Kwittken a year ago and was impressed with his understanding of the company. Kwittken is a three-time full-distance Ironman finisher.
"[Kwittken] is an athlete and has a true passion for our brand and understands our sport," said Stadler. We thought the agency was a perfect fit to be able to move us forward with our PR strategy."
Ironman events, together with all other competitions held by parent Wanda Sports Holdings, attract more than 680,000 participants annually.
Kwittken is supporting Ironman’s internal team in strategic corporate and consumer communications, according to a release. The firm is focused on Ironman’s U.S. PR efforts, such as driving positive brand exposure and race enrollment through elevated brand positioning, athlete stories, influencer engagement, and event support in key markets.
MD William Nikosey and senior account executive Lindsey Schmidt are leading a team of five Kwittken staffers on the account.
The company is looking to capitalize on its first Athletes’ Choice Awards. It is also partnering with NBC Universal on a TV series debuting this fall called Ironman: Quest for Kona. The show will follow the journeys of 10 athletes as they try to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in October.
"There is something beneath the reason why people race with us," said Stadler. "We believe we provide life-changing race experiences for athletes at all levels. Our challenge is to talk to athletes and get those stories told across our marketing channels and in the broader press."
This story was updated on February 9 with additional information and quotes from Stadler.