Butterfield grateful for Tokio’s support
Tyler Butterfield has paid tribute to his main local sponsors Tokio Millennium Re after his career-defining performance at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships.
Butterfield returned to the Island last week to show his support for the Louis Vuitton World Series Bermuda in the Great Sound at the weekend.
The 32-year-old also took time during his whistle-stop trip home to visit Tokio’s offices on Pitts Bay Road to thank his sponsors for its continued support.
Butterfield has been sponsored by Tokio since he returned to triathlon from professional cycling in 2008.
“Tokio have been sponsoring me for my entire long-course career,” said Butterfield, who finished fifth at this month’s Ironman World Championships in Kona.
“It’s great that Tokio had an interest in a local athlete like me and that’s a big thing.
“Unlike my other sponsors — clothing sponsors and bike sponsors — Tokio doesn’t get a direct return through sales because of its sponsorship of me.
“I’m very grateful for its support. Its not really just sponsoring me, it is sponsoring Bermuda — it’s good for people to realise that.”
Butterfield is one of several top Bermuda athletes benefiting from the Tokio’s financial support.
Also sponsored by Tokio are triathlete Flora Duffy, long jumper Tyrone Smith, and wheelchair sprinter Jessica Lewis.
Duffy won a bronze medal at last summer’s Pan Am Games, while Lewis claimed a gold in the T53 100 metres at Parapan Am. Both events were held in Toronto.
“Tokio is sponsoring quite a number of Bermuda athletes now,” said Butterfield, who has lent Tokio the wooden trophy bowl he won at Kona for a few months.
“Guys like Flora and Jessica have been doing an amazing job.
“Athletes are very selfish with our time became we spend so much time training. But our success really wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors and the people supporting us.”
Tina Booth, an assistant vice-president at Tokio, said Butterfield was a perfect role model for aspiring Bermuda athletes.
“Tyler shows that you can be a from a small island like Bermuda and still go out and pursue your dreams,” she said.
“It’s very important for us to give back to the community as they give so much to us. We are a very sports-minded company and with Tyler it’s a natural combination.”