Sponsors boost Butterfield’s hope to secure Olympic spot

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Tyler Butterfield’s push for a place in next year’s London Olympics has been boosted by a large increase in sponsor support.

The professional triathlete and his wife, Nikki, a top cyclist and triathlete, have signed new deals with Tokio Millennium Reinsurance and Philadelphia Insurance Companies, worth more than they received this year.

“We’re extremely grateful for the support of both Tokio Millennium Reinsurance and Philadelphia Insurance Companies,” said Butterfield. “Having non-endemic sponsors see the value of our sport is quite rewarding, and the added incentive of an aggressive bonus schedule gives us that extra push to perform each time we toe a starting line.”

Nikki has also signed a new three-year contract with Specialized Bicycles, a comprehensive partnership including the bicycle, helmet and shoe categories.

“I’m super excited to be on board with Specialized,” she said. “Without question, they manufacture the best bikes and equipment in the industry, and they’re purely a pleasure to work with. I couldn’t ask for a better bike sponsor.”

Meanwhile, Butterfield Racing, have announced a new management team with Sean (Wattie) Watkins, under the auspices of Wattie Ink., serving as the exclusive managing agent.

According to a press release put out by the Butterfields, Watkins has served in various capacities in triathlon and cycling and is well known and widely respected for his numerous long-standing industry relationships.

He’s currently pursuing a variety of opportunities on behalf of both Butterfields.

The couple will use Boulder, Colorado as their base for the next three months with Tyler heading to La Paz in Argentina in January for the La Paz PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships which represents an important step in accumulating ITU points towards the Bermudian’s world ranking.

It’s this ranking that will ultimately determine whether he is granted an Olympic spot.

Nikki, now working under the tutelage of six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott, will travel to Abu Dhabi in late February for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, a unique long-course race format consisting of a three-kilometre swim, 200-kilometre bike and 20-kilometre run.

With their young daughter Savana, they will then move to Australia where they will be based for March and April. Dependent on the starts granted him, Tyler plans to compete in the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup and either the ITU Triathlon World Championship Series Sydney or Shigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup.

In May the pair will return to Colorado with Tyler’s race schedule determined by the success of his Olympic bid. Nikki will race two Olympic distance (51.50) and two half-ironman distance (70.3) events through the midseason.

The Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany on July 8 will serve as her attempt to qualify for the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on October 13.

Both hope to compete in the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, Iowa on September 2.

Earlier this year, Nikki placed fourth in that event against some of the top short-course competitors in the world.

The Butterfields are launching a new website (www.butterfieldracing.com) in early 2012 to update details of their performances and schedule.

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Published Dec 22, 2011 at 8:27 am (Updated Dec 22, 2011 at 8:25 am)

Sponsors boost Butterfield’s hope to secure Olympic spot

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