Updated at 12:18 p.m., Thursday, October 11, 2007
Ironman pulls Guatemalan coffee promotion in Kona
Advertiser StaffThe Ford Ironman World Championship is issuing a mea culpa for choosing a Guatemalan roast as the official coffee of this month's competition in Kona.
In advertisements taken out locally, organizers said their promotion of the Guatemalan product in an area that produces coffee that's world famous was a lapse in judgment. The race organizers earlier this month announced the introduction of an organic coffee line sold under the Ironman name that would be served and sold during the Kona competition.
"We truly hope that you are able to forgive us for our mistake," the organization said in the advertisements. Ironman said it was "deeply sorry for its introduction of the M-Dot branded coffee."
The promotion of the product in Kona upset coffee growers, who said it was a mistake for Ironman organizers to promote the coffee at the Hawai'i event. The Ironman Triathlon birthplace was O'ahu, but moved to Kona in 1981 from where the sport blossomed into a worldwide movement. Ironman organizers rely on hundreds of volunteers from Kona each year to stage the race.
"Our lapse in judgment was not malicious," the Ironman organization, a Tarpon Springs, Fla.-based corporation, said in its advertisement.
"In goodwill, Ironman has removed its branded coffee from local retail locations and will cease related promotional activities."