TRS Triathlon Under New Ownership

NOTE: This was an April Fool’s prank. 

It is with mixed emotions that I write to you today with an announcement. For many months you, the readers, have been extremely supportive of this movement, my twitter obnoxiousness, this new website and its forums. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished: we’ve raised some important issues, challenged authority and we’ve had a lot of fun.

I have really enjoyed interviewing the best athletes in our sport and getting to know all of the members of my TRS Racing team. New friendships have been formed and it’s been terrific. I discovered Dark Mark and made him a twitter-star. Furthermore, I’ve been able to showcase some fantastic writing by people like Jim Gourley and the guys writing the amazing race recaps: Ryan Heisler and Randy Cantu.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about, but I’m going to anyway. I’ve faced a bit of a personal crisis recently. My day job is extremely demanding and with a recent re-alignment to my position, the travel requirements have increased. Frankly, the time spent managing this website is significant and it’s taken a toll on my marriage. I need to re-focus my priorities on my wife and my 11 month old son who is now walking around the house getting into all sorts of trouble.

There’s another thing that’s been bothering me more and more, and that’s all of the fighting. Initially, I felt like I needed to pick fights and have an enemy. The controversy drew attention and traffic. Sure it made some people dislike me, but with no relationships and no platform, I had to generate interest somehow and these online battles seemed to work. Recently, this continuous arguing has become more and more draining. I feel like one of the designated fighters on a hockey team. I have a reputation and people expect me to drop the gloves every week. No wonder those guys all end up depressed.

TRSlowtwitchFor these reasons, I have decided to sell the website. Dan Empfield, the publisher of Slowtwitch, had approached me months ago about working with him in order to inject some new life into his operation. Slowtwitch is an institution and Dan is a legend in our sport, but let’s face it… the website has lacked innovation and inspiration. Dan is no fool. He recognizes that the game is changing and that he needs to innovate.

Logistics

Here’s how this deal was structured: Slowtwitch paid me a good sum of money for TRStriathlon.com, the merchandise, the online store, and most of the associated social media accounts and copyrighted material. I will continue to own the podcast and my twitter account, @therealstarky. The new fantasy triathlon project will be co-owned 50/50 by Aaron Webstey, the project web developer, and Slowtwitch.

The 2 websites will continue to operate independently, but there will be a lot of cross-promotion. Aaron Webstey, my King of All Technology, and Jordan Rapp, the CTO for Slowtwitch, will work over the next year or two on porting all of their content over to our site. Let’s face it, Slowtwitch is very dated in its appearance and user interface. Our new forum has everything that Dan wants as does our front page. Plus, the wordpress platform we used is very adaptable to new technology, plug-ins and innovation.

Herbert Krabel will take over only the operations of TRS Triathlon. Jim Gourley and the other TRS writers will continue to publish edgier investigative pieces and multimedia race recaps. Sometimes, these stories will be posted on Slowtwitch, but mostly they will live on TRS. I have spoken to each of my writers this week and assured them that nothing changes for them and their families, not that they were making much money. Frankly, they will be better off with Slowtwitch in the short term.

What will my role be? I will serve TRS Triathlon and Slowtwitch in an advisory capacity, I will continue to tweet and promote both sites, and I will continue to do the weekly podcast. Whenever I have time, I will write an op-ed or something satirical. Those are my strengths.

First Right of Refusal

unnamedI negotiated one thing in this deal that is way more important than money. I have the first right of refusal to purchase Slowtwitch when Dan retires. We agreed that when he calls it quits, I will buy him out. This enables me to focus on my job and my family for the next 5-10 years as I save up the money required for the purchase. He’s been through my financials and we have agreed on a figure.

What does this mean to you?

This shouldn’t really change things at all. For the most part, Slowtwitch and TRS Triathlon will move forward independently and the content should remain consistent with what you’ve become accustomed to. I’ll be much less involved from an operational perspective for a while, but in 5-10 years you’ll have me dedicated to producing fantastic content for 40+ hours a week. Stay patient and everybody wins.

About the Author

Ben Hobbs
Ben Hobbs is Publisher of TRS Triathlon and host of TRS Radio.