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View Full Version : Why isn't there a professional swim league?



daveindc
October 13th, 2008, 12:04 PM
I would love to see this. The sport needs teams and head-to-head competition if it wants to grow in popularity. What do you think? There's gotta be some rich person out there who can make it happen!

chaos
October 13th, 2008, 12:16 PM
fina has an open water pro series.

for pool events, there would be little appeal watching world record holders perform below that level (and if they were competing regularly, say like once a week, they certainly would). i think it would turn swimming into a traveling circus (like figure skating)

Steve Ruiter
October 13th, 2008, 12:39 PM
What about NCAA Div I Swimming? Isn't that pro (with some restrictions)?

mjgold
October 13th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I was under the impression that to compete in NCAA you specifically could NOT be pro. You can only appear in ads and stuff if you don't endorse a particular brand, there is no brand name in the ad, and you don't get paid.

Doug Adamavich
October 13th, 2008, 01:09 PM
What about NCAA Div I Swimming? Isn't that pro (with some restrictions)?

For those 9.9 swimmers on each team who are on scholarship, yes :joker:

LindsayNB
October 13th, 2008, 01:13 PM
There is the FINA World Cup:
http://www.swimnews.com/news/view/6465
Bal is making a good living racing in it.

daveindc
October 13th, 2008, 01:22 PM
fina has an open water pro series.

for pool events, there would be little appeal watching world record holders perform below that level (and if they were competing regularly, say like once a week, they certainly would). i think it would turn swimming into a traveling circus (like figure skating)

Well, that may be true, but how about meets with LOTS of relays and events that include 25s! How about 25 and 50 for every stroke, 100m relays, and some IMs? Olympic swimmers would probably not bother and that's fine, but it could be a league for sprint stars.

SLOmmafan
October 13th, 2008, 01:34 PM
You would definately need the big time Olympic stars on board to make any go of a "pro swim" league. In all truth, even a competative swimmer like myself would have little interest in tuning in more than once or twice per year to watch swimming on TV.

It works at the Olympics because a. it's only every four years b. the athletes represent their countries (national pride) and c. NBC does a good job of hyping Phelps and the other big names.

Leonard Jansen
October 13th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Track & Field tried this (indoors) in the 1970's and it was a disaster. Doubly so, because this was back in the day when indoor track still had a reasonable support base and revenue and yet they still couldn't make money. I just don't think that swimming has the revenue base to pull this off.

-LBJ

Aqua Jock
October 13th, 2008, 03:30 PM
Most of the time, swimming is boring for non swimmers to watch. Promoters haven't figured out how to make big bucks from swimming like they have from football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, pro wrestling, tennis, car racing, and X Games.

Sports are entertainment, swimming just isn't that entertaining, excpet for people who are into it.

We appreciate swimming because we are swimmers but how much a year will people spend watching pro swimmers.

Ball sports have many more variables and constant activity

NASCAR has the risk of crashes.

Pro wrestling

X Game sports are exciting to watch.

Beach Volley ball has scantilly clad women.

Unfortunately swimming is fun to watch once every 4 years at the Olympics.

Pro Swimmers make money from swim suit endorsements, product endorsements, doing swim clinics, and giving motivational talks.

Most rich people out there want to keep their riches.



I would love to see this. The sport needs teams and head-to-head competition if it wants to grow in popularity. What do you think? There's gotta be some rich person out there who can make it happen!

geochuck
October 13th, 2008, 03:50 PM
There used to be the World Professional Swimming Federation which was for Marathon Swimming. A little about it here. Once you open it hit on preview this book http://books.google.com/books?id=CtF0DgKT_GcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=World+Professional+marathon+Swimming+Federation +joe+grossman#PPA11,M1

Typhoons Coach
October 13th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Personally, I hope that swimming doesn't evolve to that. I think it would ruin the significance of the Olympic Games. As it is right now there are sponsored swimmers (TYR, Speedo, Arena, etc) which I think is good to help "pro" swimmers stay in the world of swimming without going completely broke. With that thought, I have no doubt that we all want to see more Lochte, Phelps, etc, etc, but swimming a competitive race every week would be extremely taxing on the body for all swimmers and would be like banging your head against the wall to make improvements/jumps in times :frustrated:

chaos
October 13th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Well, that may be true, but how about meets with LOTS of relays and events that include 25s! How about 25 and 50 for every stroke, 100m relays, and some IMs? Olympic swimmers would probably not bother and that's fine, but it could be a league for sprint stars.

i wouldn't have any interest in watching that sort of thing.

Sabretooth Tiger
October 13th, 2008, 09:01 PM
I know . . . "ThunderPool" . . . "Two dive in, one climbs out"

TheGoodSmith
October 15th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Sadly, the only people who really care about swimming are swimmers.


John Smith

pwolf66
October 15th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Sadly, the only people who really care about swimming are swimmers.


John Smith

But is that a function of the sport itself or how the sport has been marketed? I think it's a combination.

daveindc
October 15th, 2008, 11:59 AM
I just think that if people actually get excited about GOLF, there's got to be a market for swimming too!

ddunbar
October 15th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Perhaps not a pro league, but how about televising some NCAA dual or three way meets. One of the most exciting events I can remember was watching a three way meet at SMU (back when they were the SWC and National powerhouse) swim against Indiana and Tennessee. SMU even had a small band in the pool area.

Perhaps they could include a number of stats (pool record, school record, # wins against opponents in the event) and start some interesting grudge matches. Revenue sharing would help some of the smaller schools.

Surely there is some programming airtime available on the Eternal Sports Network.

TheGoodSmith
October 15th, 2008, 12:25 PM
I just think that if people actually get excited about GOLF, there's got to be a market for swimming too!

You point is well taken, but the fact remains, it is easier to play golf than a relatively unnatural endeavor like swimming. In addition, training for golf is FAR easier from an aerobic perspective and much more social during the act itself than swimming. Hence fewer followers willing to endure or experience the sport first hand.

Unless Phelps can keep the momentum going on TV from a marketing perspective, the sport will fade in another 8 months like it always does after the Games.


John Smith

lapswimmr
October 15th, 2008, 10:43 PM
Some sports are fun to watch for various reason.. people may have played them in high school..Football, baseball basketball . Some sports are fun to watch because they are exciting NASCAR .and other motor sports. Some sports are fun because they have a "punch them up" factor fights and wrestling. And many sports lend themselves to gambling. Football baseball are two biggies and theres more money spent on the gambing then most people will ever think about.. Sports gambleing is huge.. That all said .. swimming..oh well its really lame to watch compared to the other sports mentioned unless you are a speed swimmer (unless its the Olympics then national pride comes in and we all root for our country) and as far as gambleing on it ..forget it. So thats why there no pro swimming.

Now all though I say lame to watch if you are the participent as in a masters event that is fun and if you are watching your meet that can be exciting as well as the comp. but in general the public sees swimming as lame. Yes they can relate to long distance swims and
give credit to those who complete these swims but can the average person name English Channel swimmers? No they cant ...As far as watching swimming ? Is the average person interested ?.... naw lame unless theres a bet to be made.

Rykno
October 16th, 2008, 01:39 AM
Perhaps not a pro league, but how about televising some NCAA dual or three way meets.

a spin off from this idea, why not a weekly highlights show from NCAA meets. it could be a fast passed show with highlights, interviews, stats, records. No reason to show the entire 800 or 1500, the start, lead changes and the dramatic finish.

in an hour show you might be able to highlight 12-20 races from several meets, maybe each week the show could focus on 1-2 of the top 25 teams, building up to the Championships.

maybe even take a few pre-season favorites and follow their season.

of course a show like this will be mostly dominated with 50-100 races, but there should be time to show a few 200-400-800+ races too.

if that works then maybe smaller sports networks can pick up on it. maybe even show Zones

I know that NESN shows my old schools football games, WHY? is what I say every time I see my school will be on tv. I think their record in the last 15 yrs is like 53-97 (guessing), only a few +.500 seasons in the 15 yrs I have followed them. They must have lots of dead air time, so why not fill it with swimming.

Typhoons Coach
October 16th, 2008, 03:28 PM
a spin off from this idea, why not a weekly highlights show from NCAA meets. it could be a fast passed show with highlights, interviews, stats, records. No reason to show the entire 800 or 1500, the start, lead changes and the dramatic finish.

in an hour show you might be able to highlight 12-20 races from several meets, maybe each week the show could focus on 1-2 of the top 25 teams, building up to the Championships.

maybe even take a few pre-season favorites and follow their season.

of course a show like this will be mostly dominated with 50-100 races, but there should be time to show a few 200-400-800+ races too.

if that works then maybe smaller sports networks can pick up on it. maybe even show Zones

I know that NESN shows my old schools football games, WHY? is what I say every time I see my school will be on tv. I think their record in the last 15 yrs is like 53-97 (guessing), only a few +.500 seasons in the 15 yrs I have followed them. They must have lots of dead air time, so why not fill it with swimming.

I like that idea; get the highlights down and get done with it!