A competitor celebrates after crossing the finish line at teh 2007 Sooke Subaru International Triathlon.

TSN coverage of triathlon comes with hefty price tag

Sooke Subaru Triathlon on August 7 to be filmed

The Subaru International Triathlon on Aug. 7 might make Sooke famous, but it’s not going to be free.

The event is set to be televised on TSN, and Sooke’s cost of bringing a TV production crew to town is $35,000, said Laura Byrne, Parks and Environmental Services Coordinator.

“We’re supporting economic development,” said Byrne. “I just really think it’s a wonderful opportunity to sell Sooke to Canada.”

The district has earmarked $25,000 that goes directly to production of the triathlon itself, with another $10,000 towards production and editorial of commercials played throughout the one-hour TV coverage that is supposed to reach an audience of 1.2 million people.

The contribution by Sooke is only a portion of the total price — the rest is covered by LifeSport Coaching and Events, the company that is organizing the event.

Byrne said the publicity for the town will be unmatched.

“Every shot will be of the District of Sooke. Shots of the spit, shots of all the roadways, editorial comment of all the things to do in Sooke,” she said.

“What I’d like to stress is that every business owner will benefit from the exposure that this initiative will bring.”

Television coverage is just one more piece of the puzzle towards the district’s goal of drawing more exposure to the region and allowing a full-blown ironman competition to be hosted here, which gives “a second level of branding,” said Byrne.

The date for the triathlon to be aired on the speciality sports channel has not yet been confirmed, but is usually three to four weeks after filming, she added.

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