UTMB International created by Autour du Mont-Blanc and OC Sports. GaoliGong by UTMB to launch April 2018.
Trail running is a global sport already, and ever more so. The joint creation of UTMB International has just been announced by Autour du Mont-Blanc and OC Sport, two sports marketing companies specialising in outdoor events. The new enterprise is to be focused upon speeding up and controlling the development of the UTMB brand beyond Europe, and work with events organisers from all over the world. See below the official information available at the moment, including the launch of GaoliGong by UTMB in april 2018 as the first of its class.
UTMB INTERNATIONAL CREATED.
- Autour du Mont-Blanc: Founded in 2004, Autour du Mont-Blanc is based in Chamonix (France). The company is managed by Catherine and Michel Poletti, founders and organisers of UTMB® Mont-Blanc. Beyond the creation of UTMB® in 2003 and its organisation, Catherine and Michel largely contributed to the launch of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA).
- OC Sport: OC Sport is a global sports marketing and events company specialising in professional sailing and outdoor events including running, trail running, amateur cycling and triathlon. Operating globally from bases in Switzerland, France, UK, United States and China, OC Sport is an award-winning event management company and rights holder. It manages competitive teams and athletes and provides consultancy to global brands, host venues and other event organisers. In 2017, OC Sport’s international team is organising 28 events in 16 countries and 5 continents.
The UTMB International project:
In 15 years, UTMB has become a “must-do” international event known as the ‘World’s Summit of Trail Running’. Its unique expertise inspires many organisers especially in countries or continents new to the sport.Supported by almost 2,000 qualifying races around the world and beloved by hundreds of thousands of athletes, who dream of being one day on the start line in Chamonix, UTMB has become a global, premium and leading brand. Driven by strong and unaltered values since its inception, UTMB is in a constant quest for innovation to continue to develop trail running – a sport that has grown considerably in recent years (increase in participation, global expansion, new social categories, new technologies).
According to Catherine Poletti, Managing Director of Autour du Mont-Blanc (owner and organiser of UTMB Mont-Blanc): “UTMB® has managed to orchestrate these numerous developments thanks to its unfailing loyalty to its core values: a love for mountains, the respect of nature as well as an openness to the world and the will to reach out to others.”
UTMB International’s declares its ambition to contribute in the next 10 years to the birth of major and popular trail running events organised with very high quality standards, in all continents (outside Europe). Improving the runners’ safety will remain a top priority as well as the quality of the “journey” offered to runners and their supporters. These events – whether they already exist or will emerge in the coming years – won’t be part of a new circuit but will aim to integrate into the highest level of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
The new company also insistis that it will work with professional and independent events organisers to be certain that the local territories’ knowledge and authenticity will remain unspoilt. According to this vision, UTMB International will advise and grant up to five ‘by UTMB’ labels to events meeting requirements on every continent outside Europe (North America, South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Oceania).
The requisites listed are as follows: Each event will have to be organised in a mountainous environment and be based around an iconic and easily accessible location with high quality facilities. To meet the requirements, events must also offer different race formats (including a 100-mile distance) to attract thousands of participants every year from around the world. After a few successful editions, the best event on each continent will receive the highest reward and become a UTMB event.
Rémi Duchemin, Executive Director of UTMB International as well as Founder and Executive Director of OC Sport, announced the signature of a first long-term agreement with Chinese group Exploring Xingzhi. He said: “This win-win partnership will be a reference for the future: Exploring Xingzhi brings its knowledge and networks to help grow and structure trail running in Asia, while UTMB® International will support their marketing, commercial and operational actions. We will have an ambitious but controlled growth with the signature of a similar deal every year until 2021.”
A well-known and recognised sports marketing player in China, especially in the organisation of trail running events like the Ultra Gobi, marathons and half-marathons, Exploring Xingzhi Group is currently creating several events as part of the partnership with UTMB International.
GaoLiGong by UTMB (APR9-2018//160k-125k-55k): Following the success of a Test Event organised in Tengchong (China) last November, UTMB International and Exploring Xingzhi Group are delighted to officially announce the creation of the GaoLiGong by UTMB.
The inaugural edition will be held between March 9th-11th 2018 in this tropical mountain range of Yunnan Province. Three distances will be on the programme: MGU (160km, 8,400M+), RCE (125km, 6,650M+) and THT (55km, 2,350M+). More information will be available at http://www.GaoligongByUTMB.com before registrations open on Friday 28th April 2017
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