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Wanda acquires rock 'n' roll marathon organizer

By Dai Tian | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-06 14:11

Wanda acquires rock 'n' roll marathon organizer

Cheerleaders line the route of the Suja Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & Half Marathon in San Diego, California, June 1, 2014.[Photo/VCG]

Dalian Wanda Group has continued its buying spree in sports industry with a latest addition —a rock 'n' roll marathon organizer.

The conglomerate's triathlon arm Ironman announced the acquisition of Competitor Group (CGI) and its sports media outlets over the weekend.

Headquartered in San Diego, CGI holds a rock 'n' roll marathon series in 30 cities that attracts over 600,000 athletes each year, alongside with some 20 other running races worldwide, according to the company.

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, will become the first Asian city to hold such event later this year.

The series, which debuted in 1998, has made a splash in the industry by putting live bands and cheer teams along the running, creating a block-party atmosphere for participants.

The deal will make Ironman the largest running event producer in the world, according to a statement released by the two companies. The statement didn't disclose the investment amount.

Last year, at least 328 marathons were held in China attracting over 2.8 million participants, according to industry estimate.

"The ability to help globalize the successful rock 'n' roll marathon series brings about many opportunities to demonstrate our leadership in this industry," said Andrew Messick, Ironman's CEO.

Wanda Group acquired the Florida-based triathlon company for $650 million in 2015 before introducing the event to the country.

Its recent investments in sports sector also include a 20 percent stake in the leading football club Atletico de Madrid and the acquisition of Swiss marketing firm Infront Sports & Media.

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