The Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) announced it has increased its prize purse for the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona by $150,000, to $1,150,000.
The total prize purse is half a million dollars richer than that of the $650,000 prize purse awarded at the Ironman World Championship. Because the Ironman World Championship pro purse only goes 10 deep while the PTO Championship prize purse goes 60 deep, the men's and women's winners share at Kona outpay those at Challenge Daytona , 120,000 to $100,000.
The structure of prize purses at Kona and the PTO 2020 Championship reflects the different business plans and philosophies of the organizations. According to the PTO, Ironman World Championship competitors are rewarded as independent contractors, while the PTO considers its contestants - the PTO members - as partners.
Charles Adamo, Executive Chairman of the PTO, commented, “With the entire race season pretty much cancelled and with athletes having practically no earning opportunities and receiving little support from elsewhere, the PTO has decided that anyone who has qualified and races at the PTO 2020 Championship should receive some compensation. We had previously committed to paying twenty deep, which was already twice the number of athletes earning prize money than at a typical championship race [the Ironman World Championship]. With the professionals continuing to receive little support this year, we could not in good conscience ask athletes to travel to the race and then, like too often happens, walk away with nothing but a big travel bill. That is not the way the PTO treats valued partners. With many sports, including our own, cancelling events and looking to decrease prize purses or cut payments to athletes, we see this as the time to invest in our PTO Professionals. It is a very simple formula -- the PTO is the professionals’ organization and it thrives when they thrive.”
The $1,150,000 prize purse at Challenge Daytona was the PTO’s second significant response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With virtually no races and the consequent dearth of performance bonuses from sponsors, the PTO paid out $2.5 million worth of checks in late March to the 200 top ranked pros for the largely canceled 2020 season.
The breakdown of the PTO 2020 Championship pro purse begins with the $100,000 for the winners down to $4,000 for 20th place and each athlete from 21st through 60th place will receive $2,500.
The generous prize purse for the PTO 2020 Championship guarantees that virtually matches the quality of the Ironman World Championship field, but might also go deeper. With the top 40 PTO World Ranked athletes and the PTO wildcard selections, the field for the PTO 2020 Championship will be strong.