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Paul Smith
August 12th, 2008, 11:24 AM
They knew 4 years ago that the Olympics would most likely be a huge event for them with Phelps having a real shot at 8 golds...

The press coverage about swimming /Phelps has been unprecedented

Yet with millions watching the swimming events going nuts have we seen one blip from them? Not even a 10 second banner with the web address....

Even Croc's whose stock has gone from 70 to 4 in the last 8 weeks is advertising...

A complete lost opportunity on their part...kids/parents who may know nothing about the sport will be seeking out teams and coaches and many will ultimately find them but can you imagine what could have been?

Then again this is the same organization facing a massive civil suit for being inept in how it handles the JH situation...I've also heard that the notification was faxed to their offices on Friday the 18th and sat there for 3 days till someone noticed on Monday...nice.

aquageek
August 12th, 2008, 11:31 AM
On its face, this is a simple question but really quite complex. It would be millions during swimming finals but who knows during lesser sports or local spots or not on the main NBC coverage channel. A slick 30 second ad during prime time swimming would have cost millions and millions.

I'm also not sure how much USAS would even benefit from commercials. I have a close friend who runs a gymnastics center and they go nuts in Olympic years. At our local swim club the increase in traffic due to the Olympics is also out of control. The spotlight on the sport is probably much more effective than an ad. NBC is already doing the heavy lifting for swimming by showcasing it, having USAS spend a few million on an ad wouldn't do a lot, in my opinion.

However, a banner on the web site or links to USAS on the video section for swimming might be money well spent, but not sure how much that costs.

knelson
August 12th, 2008, 11:32 AM
You're right, Paul. Ball dropped in a major way.

scyfreestyler
August 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM
Why didn't you suggest this before the games?

tjrpatt
August 12th, 2008, 11:38 AM
For what they charge for USA Swimming yearly membership, I think that they could afford one spot.

Paul Smith
August 12th, 2008, 11:47 AM
Why didn't you suggest this before the games?

Trust me when I tell you there are people far more connected to the organization than I am who have.

JS has mentioned 100x before that USS has never approached him or any other former OT/NCAA/National team members for support....I think I've seen one letter come to me.

Seems to me that the organization is entrenched in its ways and somewhat disorganized...maybe the folks who run the show are simply "comfortable" and not really all that interested in putting in the time/effort/money to really attempt to grow the sport.

scyfreestyler
August 12th, 2008, 11:53 AM
Fair enough.

imspoiled
August 12th, 2008, 12:05 PM
For what they charge for USA Swimming yearly membership, I think that they could afford one spot.


$57 (annual membership) = millions in adverising costs? Sorry, I just don't see it.

Although, a link or banner ad on nbcolympic.com swimming pages would likely be money well spent.

hofffam
August 12th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Seems to me that the organization is entrenched in its ways and somewhat disorganized...

You're kidding, right? :rant3:

jim clemmons
August 12th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Paul/Geek,

Wait a minute here. With the ton of money that NBC is reaping off the airing of this event, don't you think they could comp the various sports entities some free air time to show how/where it is you can make contact with a particular sport?

I mean why doesn't NBC support the sports that are supporting NBC? This would be beneficial to all parties IMO. And no, I'm not looking for a "free lunch", just a symbiotic relationship.

aquageek
August 12th, 2008, 12:12 PM
I can see the point about missing an advertising opportunity but a statement like that alone is pointless. First, what would it have done - that's called the value proposition - that's not already being done? You have to quantify that not just make some statement. Second, how much would it have cost? Look at the advertisers in the marquee hours, these are multi billion dollar companies with huge obscene marketing budgets, market budgets probably multiple times greater than USAS's total budget.

Also, you need to understand how this works. It's probable that you can't get a single ad, you have to buy a package and that is very very expensive.

Swimming always gets a bump from the Olympics so not sure how spending huge $$ on an ad would help anymore that what NBC is already doing.

Money better spent - Google paid ad when people google USA Swimming or Swimming or Local Swim Programs.

Clemmons - your point is absurd, NBC needs to "give back." They paid around a billion for the rights to the Olympics, they put the money up front BEFORE any ad contracts were signed. There are many instances of upfront sports contract like this killing companies. Now you are proposing in addition to putting their financial stake on the line they should also give away ad space to organizations they are already featuring in prime time? If you can get that going, you are on heck of a salesman.

SLOmmafan
August 12th, 2008, 12:15 PM
Has anyone seen any ratings come out from NBC on viewership for swimming, gymnastics, etc. at the Olympics? Even though the Olympics has been huge, NBC is doing like 18 hours per day of broadcasting for it - not even counting the Today show and others live from Beijing.

There is no doubt there is a spike of interest in the non major-media sports due to the Olympics, but I would be curious how much that spike in interest translates into new participants. Obviously, with at least 5 members of the US Swim team making 1 million plus per year, people might start to view it as a sport that one can "make a living" at if you are at the top - though that still remains such a remote chance.

aquageek
August 12th, 2008, 12:35 PM
I just read where NBC paid under $900 million for the Olympics but it will cost over $1b to produce the coverage. They are already in a $100m hole.

USAS might have missed the boat with local ad space, probably much cheaper. They could probably buy ad space even now, who knows.

Paul Smith
August 12th, 2008, 12:50 PM
$57 (annual membership) = millions in adverising costs? Sorry, I just don't see it.

Although, a link or banner ad on nbcolympic.com swimming pages would likely be money well spent.


You have no idea....they have far more in their coffers than you could imagine.

Hoffman...no I'm not.

Jim & Geek...I have to believe that they are far from being in the hole based on what they are getting in advertising fee's...and yes I do think someone should have been involved in the negotitations that was at least working to get some of the national organizations in this country that coach these athletes some press.

aquageek
August 12th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Jim & Geek...I have to believe that they are far from being in the hole based on what they are getting in advertising fee's...and yes I do think someone should have been involved in the negotitations that was at least working to get some of the national organizations in this country that coach these athletes some press.

What you believe and the financial facts may or may not be in sync. Unless you've seen the financials you have no idea. It's really easy to sit on your couch and see a Coke and Bud ad and think all is well but many times your perception is not financial reality. As to working up front, that might have been a good idea. But, this isn't about charity, it's about money.

How much they have in their coffers isn't relative if they don't have enough to cover the monstrous ad costs. How much do you think a national package costs, just out of curiosity?

jim clemmons
August 12th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Clemmons - your point is absurd, NBC needs to "give back." They paid around a billion for the rights to the Olympics, they put the money up front BEFORE any ad contracts were signed. There are many instances of upfront sports contract like this killing companies. Now you are proposing in addition to putting their financial stake on the line they should also give away ad space to organizations they are already featuring in prime time? If you can get that going, you are on heck of a salesman.

They could run a bottom line banner like ESPN with information on "how to contact" for a few seconds every few minutes, like going into or coming out of commercial time. Actually, that'd probably be way too often, but you get my drift.

hofffam
August 12th, 2008, 08:50 PM
Paul Smith - I was being sarcastic. Of course they are entrenched in their ways and disorganized. The Jessica Hardy case is a glaring example.

Paul Smith
August 12th, 2008, 10:38 PM
Paul Smith - I was being sarcastic. Of course they are entrenched in their ways and disorganized. The Jessica Hardy case is a glaring example.

Sorry....I'm OD'd on geek's sarcasm and at times find it hard to believe that anyone else can pull it off.

So while were at it...how is USMS going to take advantage of all the great press and excitement of swimming? Saw a news anchor say she was going to start swimming today because she was so motivated.....hello USMS.

Michael Heather
August 12th, 2008, 10:53 PM
I need to help clarify this subject. USA Swimming may be entrenched in its ways but it is not disorganized.

Jessica Hardy problem... caused only by the lab, not any thing USA S could have known or done at the time. The lab has taken total responsibility for the delays.

And just to be a grammar Nazi, there should not be an apostrophe in the word "blows" in the title.

To the point, USA S has done a remarkable job of public relations beforehand and will reap rewards after the Olympics are over. Spending millions on an ad or campaign during the event that has a dubious or marginal possibility of return would just be wasteful. For all of the things USA Swimming is, it is not stupid.

ande
August 12th, 2008, 11:05 PM
i think just seeing phelps swim and win will inspire kids to join swim teams and do summer league

what do you think USS Swimming should be doing?

It's kind of like with music marketing
we don't jump up and down when SONY releases a new CD
we buy artists we like and pretty much don't care who their label is

it's a shame that tara kirk and lara jackson got screwed out of going to the olympics
why can't swimming have alternates like gymnastics?
why not train and take the third place finishers
just in case


They knew 4 years ago that the Olympics would most likely be a huge event for them with Phelps having a real shot at 8 golds...

The press coverage about swimming /Phelps has been unprecedented

Yet with millions watching the swimming events going nuts have we seen one blip from them? Not even a 10 second banner with the web address....

Even Croc's whose stock has gone from 70 to 4 in the last 8 weeks is advertising...

A complete lost opportunity on their part...kids/parents who may know nothing about the sport will be seeking out teams and coaches and many will ultimately find them but can you imagine what could have been?

Then again this is the same organization facing a massive civil suit for being inept in how it handles the JH situation...I've also heard that the notification was faxed to their offices on Friday the 18th and sat there for 3 days till someone noticed on Monday...nice.

hofffam
August 12th, 2008, 11:09 PM
I need to help clarify this subject. USA Swimming may be entrenched in its ways but it is not disorganized.

Jessica Hardy problem... caused only by the lab, not any thing USA S could have known or done at the time. The lab has taken total responsibility for the delays.

And just to be a grammar Nazi, there should not be an apostrophe in the word "blows" in the title.

To the point, USA S has done a remarkable job of public relations beforehand and will reap rewards after the Olympics are over. Spending millions on an ad or campaign during the event that has a dubious or marginal possibility of return would just be wasteful. For all of the things USA Swimming is, it is not stupid.

Most of us read about the lab's role in this. Hardy's sample was not marked for expedited processing. But they also documented that the results were faxed 3 days before USA-S saw it. And why didn't USA-S proactively ask "where is Hardy's results?" when they were clearly late?

And why didn't the procedures anticipate a problem like this? Were they so convinced that 5 weeks in advance of the Olympics is enough time? What about a swimmer's results for the 1500? I don't believe those results, even expedited, would have given USA enough time to react correctly.

Why is Schubert allowed to openly and publicly favor one brand of swimsuit over another since it is known he is a paid spokesman for Speedo?

jaegermeister
August 12th, 2008, 11:38 PM
I don't know that much of the specifics of how USA Swimming is running its organization, but I don't think they need to advertise, at all. They are getting all they need every night. I've spoken to a couple of parents with younger kids who are just fixated on the swimming coverage. They won't have any problem at all finding the local club.

knelson
August 13th, 2008, 12:07 AM
I was watching CBC tonight and noticed Swimming Canada is running an ad. Yeah, I'm sure the ad rates are considerably cheaper in Canada, but still a data point.

Allen Stark
August 13th, 2008, 12:48 AM
I'd like to throw a little blame at the USOC.Swimming is the big medal winner for the US but they don't give it any particular emphasis.According to the ASCA Magazine the college coaches tried to get the USOC to give some money to help keep Olympic sport teams as scholarship teams and the USOC(which has a huge budget surplus evidently) said no.

Paul Smith
August 13th, 2008, 12:06 PM
I need to help clarify this subject. USA Swimming may be entrenched in its ways but it is not disorganized.

Jessica Hardy problem... caused only by the lab, not any thing USA S could have known or done at the time. The lab has taken total responsibility for the delays.

And just to be a grammar Nazi, there should not be an apostrophe in the word "blows" in the title.

To the point, USA S has done a remarkable job of public relations beforehand and will reap rewards after the Olympics are over. Spending millions on an ad or campaign during the event that has a dubious or marginal possibility of return would just be wasteful. For all of the things USA Swimming is, it is not stupid.

Michael,
My criticism of USA-S (and USMS) is that in my opinion neither organization has the "killer" attitude that could propel the sports to much higher participation rates, generate higher sponsorship $$ and be more accessible to the general public than the every 4 year Olympic gig....hence my opinion that they are "coasting".

USA-S & USMS are businesses whether they want to accept it or not and they should be modeling their operations like other successful businesses...they are in the competition of sport...it would be nice to see some competitiveness. With a once in a lifetime swimmer in the spotlight the attitude is that its "enough" PR/advertising just having the events on TV...in my experience in the business world there is never enough and opportunities like this rarely if ever present themselves so take every advantage of them.

As for being disorganized, I rest my case in regard to the fax in the office JH situation (there are some many problems with how everything was handled its not worth the time to dwell on them but a jury sure will), scheduling trials so late, all the poor "details" the team is missing in races (Hoff's touch for example).

The other thing I'd like to see is an organized "feeder" system that is better at identifying young prospects and developing them thru a system of USA-S training camps. I'd also like to see more effort put into tying together all of swimmings organizations (USS, USMS, NCAA) into a more unified strategy of keeping people in touch with and involved with the sport from birth.

It still blows me away at how many high school kids leave the sport never knowing they can continue on in USMS...they simply fall thru the cracks in many cases and rediscover often in mid life....USA-S & NCAA needs to recognize that once these swimmers leave their organizations they become the parents that bring kids back into the sport...coordinate better and maybe we see more pools being built rather than closed, more colleges offering swimming programs than dropping them and masters clubs doubling and tripling their members.

pwolf66
August 13th, 2008, 12:21 PM
It still blows me away at how many high school kids leave the sport never knowing they can continue on in USMS...they simply fall thru the cracks in many cases and rediscover often in mid life....USA-S & NCAA needs to recognize that once these swimmers leave their organizations they become the parents that bring kids back into the sport...coordinate better and maybe we see more pools being built rather than closed, more colleges offering swimming programs than dropping them and masters clubs doubling and tripling their members.

And in my opinion, THIS is the biggest mistake that is being made by all the swimming foundations. Does each of them figure the other is doing something and/or is responsible for advertising thier existance outside of thier participants?

There needs to be much better VISIBLE communication between all the swimming foundations, not just in the US but in the world. Sure, they might be talking but it must be back channel as there is no indication from a public perspective that there is.

What is wrong with a combined 'Swimming is for life' campaign that every swimming foundation participates in?

As Paul said, today's swimmers are tomorrow's swim parents.

scyfreestyler
August 13th, 2008, 12:28 PM
I see some good ideas being posted here and there, but Paul, do you really blame Hoff's poor race finish on USA Swimming? Seriously?

Paul Smith
August 13th, 2008, 12:44 PM
I see some good ideas being posted here and there, but Paul, do you really blame Hoff's poor race finish on USA Swimming? Seriously?


Yes & No

The coaching staff should have spent those weeks between trials and the Games drilling in on the little things like this...just as we all should have been doing the last few weeks leading into Portland...how many swimmers have you seen drive to the finish and throw their head back to see times...actions like that can and do cost races...but do agree there is only so much a coach can do and when the swimmer steps to the blocks it falls on them 100%.

TheGoodSmith
August 13th, 2008, 04:17 PM
I don't know that much of the specifics of how USA Swimming is running its organization, but I don't think they need to advertise, at all. They are getting all they need every night. I've spoken to a couple of parents with younger kids who are just fixated on the swimming coverage. They won't have any problem at all finding the local club.

JAEGERMEISTER,

One of the problems is if the parents go out and find a local country club with summer league instead of being AWAKENED to USA year 'round swimming through this kind of advertising...... or worse..... they wait until next years summer league comes around and the kids lose interest by then.

USA swimming needs to go for it on the national advertising scene. Grab a hold of Phelp's leg and ride this wave as long as possible.

John Smith

resqme
August 13th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Grab a hold of Phelp's leg and ride this wave as long as possible.

I totally agree with this one from John, USA Swimming is right in the middle of the perfect storm and they HAVE to ride the wave NOW and not just rest on their laurels, or they are going to miss out on the biggest golden opportunity USA Swimming has and may ever have again.

selkie
August 13th, 2008, 05:33 PM
If anyone's curious about the financials of USA Swimming, you can get part of the picture from their Form 990 that they have to file every year to keep their non-profit legal and tax status. (I use the free part of Guidestar.org for it, though it's a little irritating to have to register for that)

Their CEO compensation package is about $500K a year. I'm not sure how that works out to CEO pay in similar other roles. And they pay Shubert somewhat less than market rate, so I can understand why he'd take sponsor money from Speedo on top of that salary. (Not like he's in poverty or anything, but he'd make 50% more for the same role for the UK's elite swimming program)

Paul Smith
August 13th, 2008, 05:35 PM
JAEGERMEISTER,

One of the problems is if the parents go out and find a local country club with summer league instead of being AWAKENED to USA year 'round swimming through this kind of advertising...... or worse..... they wait until next years summer league comes around and the kids lose interest by then.

USA swimming needs to go for it on the national advertising scene. Grab a hold of Phelp's leg and ride this wave as long as possible.

John Smith

Although I started this thread with USA-S in mind the same situation holds true for USMS. The other night I listened to a prime time news anchorwoman say how motivated she was and that she wanted to start swimming...lot of oppurtunity all the way around...but apparently no foresight to take advantage of it before things got going.

aquageek
August 13th, 2008, 05:44 PM
So, instead of your Monday morning quarterbacking, why don't you propose a solution that an organization can actually afford. I've lived through the enormous cost of advertising on the Olympics for a gigantic multi billion dollan MNC with a massive marketing budget. What you are saying sounds cute but you really need to support your statements financially. What kind of coffer do you think it takes? Don't start your statement with any company with a net cap of less than $500m and that's probably way way low.

Do you really think NBC wants anything to do with an org than can only shell out $100K or less when they have outlayed over $1b USD? How much do you think an ad costs prime time during swimming? And, don't think you can buy just one ad, it's a package.

Product placement might be a better and more affordable idea. Not sure how you sneak that in. Lochte's dad was wearing a USS logo golf shirt in the stands on this morning's coverage. Wonder if he got paid for that?

hofffam
August 13th, 2008, 05:52 PM
So, instead of your Monday morning quarterbacking, why don't you propose a solution that an organization can actually afford. I've lived through the enormous cost of advertising on the Olympics for a gigantic multi billion dollan MNC with a massive marketing budget. What you are saying sounds cute but you really need to support your statements financially. What kind of coffer do you think it takes? Don't start your statement with any company with a net cap of less than $500m and that's probably way way low.

Do you really think NBC wants anything to do with an org than can only shell out $100K or less when they have outlayed over $1b USD? How much do you think an ad costs prime time during swimming? And, don't think you can buy just one ad, it's a package.

Product placement might be a better and more affordable idea. Not sure how you sneak that in.

USAS could probably get this for free if they offered up something in trade. The USAS (and USOC) have something - access to athletes, training facilities, etc that might be valuable to NBC (or any other media company).

This is dangerous territory though when exclusivity might be granted (surely that's what NBC would want). This is the kind of activity that caused the problem between USAS and Floswimming.

aquageek
August 13th, 2008, 06:16 PM
Free? Get something for trade? This isn't a flea market but I guess creative ideas should be pitched.

tjburk
August 13th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Yes & No

The coaching staff should have spent those weeks between trials and the Games drilling in on the little things like this...just as we all should have been doing the last few weeks leading into Portland...how many swimmers have you seen drive to the finish and throw their head back to see times...actions like that can and do cost races...but do agree there is only so much a coach can do and when the swimmer steps to the blocks it falls on them 100%.

Paul, well said.....and a good example of this working is Phelps. I have heard that he works all of the details of each race. When is the last time you saw him pull up short at the finish? Doesn't happen often does it?

Too many coaches these days think that they can pound out yards and that will do it.......WRONG.....coach the total race not just part of it. Drive through the wall to finish the race....

hofffam
August 13th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Paul, well said.....and a good example of this working is Phelps. I have heard that he works all of the details of each race. When is the last time you saw him pull up short at the finish? Doesn't happen often does it?

Too many coaches these days think that they can pound out yards and that will do it.......WRONG.....coach the total race not just part of it. Drive through the wall to finish the race....

Phelps turns and finishes well even when his goggles are full of water. Phenomenal attention to detail.

How many swimmers have we seen enter the water with their hands apart? I have seen many including Americans.

tjburk
August 13th, 2008, 07:09 PM
Phelps turns and finishes well even when his goggles are full of water. Phenomenal attention to detail.

How many swimmers have we seen enter the water with their hands apart? I have seen many including Americans.

That kind of stuff will get you doing push-ups during practice!!!! Or other fun and evil exercises.....

LindsayNB
August 13th, 2008, 11:58 PM
Phelps turns and finishes well even when his goggles are full of water. Phenomenal attention to detail.

I don't have any replay so I'm not sure about this but just before take your marks in the 200 fly I thought they showed Phelps pull his goggles away from his eye and reseat them. Does anyone have a recording they can check? Purely curiousity.

Chris Stevenson
August 18th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Here is an interesting article:

http://www.slate.com/id/2197254/ (I just love Slate)

What I find interesting about the article is that it illustrates some of the challenges in presenting swimming to the general public.

scyfreestyler
August 18th, 2008, 12:35 PM
Our swim team did some advertising by sponsoring the olympic coverage on our local NBC affiliate. Not a big spot, but it got our name and logo out there in the community.

Paul Smith
September 15th, 2008, 12:23 PM
No doubt that there has been an incredible jump in participation post Olympics/Phelps...but still wonder if it could have been even more for both USS & USMS....so where do we go from here? How do we get more pools built vs. closed, how do we get more college teams to add swimming vs. drop it?

Olympics golden for swim programs
USA Swimming expects huge boost in participation
http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=214260