McKee Foods Corp. announced today that it has renewed its title sponsorship for the next five years of two of Ironman's most popular North American races — the Little Debbie Ironman in Chattanooga and the so-called half Ironman, or the Sunbelt Baker Ironman 70.3 in Chattanooga.
McKee Foods, the Collegedale-based bakery that makes Little Debbie snack cakes and owns Sunbelt Bakery, said the company will financially support the competitions, which are put on by Ironman, a Wanda Sports Holdings company.
"Through our partnership with these brands, we have helped change countless lives through the sport of triathlon," Stuart Selig, executive vice president of global partnerships at Ironman, said in a statement today. "We are excited to continue our work together with McKee Foods as we continue to provide top notch events in the great state of Tennessee."
In just a few years, Chattanooga's two triathlon races have become key events among Ironman triathletes and local residents who volunteer with the races. Chattanooga is one of a few cities in the world which has hosted the Ironman triathlon, an Ironman 70.3 race and an Ironman 70.3 World Championship in the same year.
Mike McKee, president & CEO of McKee Foods, said the company has been pleased with the events and what they have brought to Chattanooga.
"But probably the most exciting thing for me personally is to see how many of our employees participate both as athletes and volunteers," McKee said in a statement. "Our employees and close family have represented more than 40 Ironman participants, and more than 140 Ironman and Ironman 70.3 participants. Our employee family has provided hundreds of volunteers for the events."
McKee said those training for the triathlon events have made positive lifestyle changes, encouraging the company to continue its support for the events.