John Duke lands at Ironman

John Duke is now a full time employee of Ironman, managing its content across all its channels. He'll be in charge of the content at each of Ironman's race programs—5 as of this writing—plus the Road to Kona, as well as the content at Ironman's web portals.

These portals include Ironman's live coverage of its races, the text portion of which has never seemed an urgent focus of Ironman. Likewise, the format of Ironman's online race coverage has remained largely unchanged since Ben Fertic—Ironman's current president and CEO—performed the function of Information Technology ace under then-Ironman president Lew Friedland.

Will Duke focus on, upgrade, and, more importantly, spend, to upgrade the online coverage of Ironman's flagship races? Ironman's live online coverage is a "sleeping giant," according to Duke and a look at Ironman's page views on race day certainly seems to confirm this view.

Duke rejoins, in a fashion, his longtime chief ad salesman Sean Watkins, former VP of sales and marketing at Triathlete Magazine. While not an Ironman employee, "Wattie" is Ironman's ad salesman on a contract basis. Watkins, along with Kirk Bausch, announced the formation of "Wattie Ink" earlier this month. Wattie Ink is a sports marketing group that acts as the ad sales agent for Ironman's print publications, web portals, and race expos.

Will Ironman expand its print publications further, to include a print magazine that will sit alongside Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon; or, like USAT's Triathlon Life, a magazine devoted simply to getting out Ironman's message to its adherents? Neither Ironman nor Duke would dismiss the idea, nor would either confirm that such a magazine is planned.