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DES MOINES, Iowa - PepsiCo. and General Motor's Hummer division will be the presenting sponsors for the first Hy-Vee ITU World Cup Triathlon, to be held this summer in Des Moines.
Signing on as the venue sponsors of the triathlon's three sports are Kellogg's (swimming), Unilever (biking), and Hormel (running). General Mills, Dole, Coca-Cola and Kraft round out the top tier of sponsors. In all, 33 companies have collaborated with Hy-Vee at various levels of participation to produce the over $1.5 million event.
"We think the participation of so many corporations shows there's incredible excitement for this family-friendly athletic event, and enthusiasm for what it can do to promote healthy lifestyles," said Hy-Vee c.e.o. Ric Jurgens.
Momentum for the Hy-Vee ITU World Cup Triathlon began building immediately after the announcement last spring that Des Moines would host the first Hy-Vee ITU World Cup Triathlon in June. At a total purse of $700,000, the Des Moines event will be the richest ever on the elite triathlon circuit.
Coordinating an event of such magnitude entails more than securing financial backing. There are numerous behind-the-scenes variables -- course logistics; safety, security and emergency contingencies; communication and technology plans, to name just a few. "This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the city of Des Moines," said Beth Damm, director of marketing projects for Hy-Vee.
Des Moines is only the fourth American city -- and the smallest - to host a triathlon. The other U.S. cities are Honolulu, New York City, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 223 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. For 2006 the company recorded total sales of $5.3 billion, ranking it among the top 20 supermarket chains and the top 40 private companies in the U.S.