ISUZU Motors South Africa was not just a sponsor in name for the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, but also a sponsor in deed: delivering critical logistics that contributed to making the championship race a world-class event.
Far from the glamour of the red finishers' carpet, VIP tents or television cameras, the bakkies and trucks from Isuzu delivered critical transport support during the weeks of planning and set-up before the event, which was hosted on 1 and 2 September in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Isuzu Marketing Manager, Tim Hendon, said a total of 30 Isuzu vehicles formed an important cog in the wheel of the intricate logistical pre-planning and execution for the exciting global race weekend. Of the 30 vehicles used for the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship set-up, 12 were Isuzu trucks and 18 were Isuzu bakkies.
"Isuzu was involved in multiple ways with the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship but one of these - I guess it was the most important of them all - was that we moved all the 'stuff' around. This included all the scaffolding, all the branding, all of the safety fencing - it was all brought to you by Isuzu," said Hendon.
It was the first time that an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was hosted on the continent of Africa, and a total of 4 500 athletes from 102 countries across the globe participated in the race. For every Ironman, there were several Ironfans and supporters, as well as hundreds of volunteers, marshals and officials who contributed to an incident-free race experience.
To keep athletes and supporters safe, comfortable and hydrated some 75 000 paper cups, 60 000 sponges, 20 000 bike bottles, 82 500 water sachets and close to 25 000 bottles of water were transported for the race weekend.
Hendon said Isuzu moved around a mind-blowing number of items, to be ready to "deliver an awesome Isuzu experience". Other than water, items transported by the trucks included 4.5 kilometres of fencing, 1 368 tables, 4 870 chairs, 32 tents and a whopping 82 500 square feet of carpeting.
"The partnership with Isuzu is invaluable - it takes so much pressure off us to make use of the bakkies and the trucks. No other host in the world has a sponsorship like this," said IRONMAN South Africa Race Director, Paul Wolff.
"There is a lot of logistics involved before, during and after the IRONMAN weekend. Branding and infrastructure must be moved and stored - everything has a logistical component. No event can survive without partners, and we are very grateful to Isuzu."
"The company is not just a sponsor but a partner who gets its hands dirty, to work towards the common goal of hosting a successful world event - right here in Nelson Mandela Bay," Wolff said.