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Conniekat8
August 18th, 2006, 01:34 AM
Please share your opinions on what should be a role(s) of the USMS Marketing Committee?

Michael Heather
August 19th, 2006, 02:15 AM
Sell T shirts and calendars to delegates at the convention?

Anthony Thompson
September 6th, 2006, 04:45 PM
The impressive list of action items for the Marketing Committee in the Annual Report show there is a lot planned and underway.

Seem like the Marketing Committee should be:

1. Creating a master marketing plan with multiple elements, strategies, annual & long-term goals to be the leadership for USMS Marketing. Work with USMS EC to influence goals and direction to sustain and grow membership.

2. Partnering with LMSC and USMS committees to communicating with LMSC Chairs/Officers to give them tool (like presentation materials, LMSC Development Clincs, Coaches Clinics, Outreach materials, USMS membership retention materials, brochures, etc), share best practices and contacts to build the masters swimming programs.

3. Fully utilizing the Liasons to affiliate organization to market USMS.

4. Partnering with the Communication & Editoral committee to be sure the tools are available (i.e. website, etc) and a constant stream of content are provided to members.

5. Partnering with masters coaches for much of the above as well.

6. Set some measureable goals for what the marketing should be acheiving - like increase overall membership by 5% in 2007, or by a specific # in each LMSC or areas with a lot of growth potential.

7. Report on success - and repeat or expand from marketing successes. Focus resource where impact is measured before moving into areas with lower potential for impact.

Anthony Thompson,
Missouri Valley LMSC Chair

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 7th, 2006, 04:08 PM
Does the USMS have a strategic plan? Also, how does this work with the mission statement? Is there a mission statement? I've never really ooked but I've never really noticed one. What about a vision statement? Is this the job of the Executive Director? What happened with the interviews?

I think that if the organizaiton really worked to get out into the feild, they organizaiaton would benefit. I think clinics for coaches, club organizers, and membership committees would be great. I think the old statement that swim groups are strong because of hteir having been started locally might have been true at one time. Now though, the organization is not a loosely tied group of local swim clubs that have little to do with each other, organizations grow or maintain strong with leadership and leaders truly helping and giving tools for local groups to use.

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 7th, 2006, 04:13 PM
I just read the minutes from the Sept 7th meeting.

Doug Adamavich
January 20th, 2007, 01:07 AM
I think a good start would be to analyze other successful adult athletic activities (ex. triathlon, mountain biking, etc.) and learn from them. Also, having people who work in the marketing field would be a valuable resource. There is a pressing need for USMS and the LMSCs to get up to speed on marketing because our sport is getting left behind.


Doug Adamavich
Arizona Masters Swimming

Redbird Alum
January 20th, 2007, 09:13 PM
Please share your opinions on what should be a role(s) of the USMS Marketing Committee?

Connie -

Does the committee have marketing information to help them target subsegments of our Masters population? Example, the elites versus the everyday competitors versus the health-minded? Also, as the population ages, are we seeing the same happen to our membership? These types of data analysis help define the types of events, articles, and human-interest pieces that will draw the attention of both current (for retention) and prospective (addition) members.

It might also be interesting to look at your message boards to see if they are being taken advantage of as much as they could be. Perhaps comparing membership totals to message board registerees. Some LMSC's seem to get it on the use of these boards, (free broadcasting of information and feedback) and others, well, let's just say they seem non-existant.

Michael Heather
January 20th, 2007, 11:58 PM
Tom Boyd is now the chairman of USMS Marketing.

Yes, there was a comprehensive maketing survey taken last year which is being utilized in making marketing decisions. All of your suggestions (and many more) were addressed.

Some LMSCs are active and use the USMS website message boards, some have their own efficient communications and some, unfortunately, are neither active nor do they communicate. The Planning committee is examining the role of the LMSC in the new governance structure of USMS.

Seagurl51
February 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM
I'm possibly totally out of my element here, but I wanted to add some thoughts.

As a younger member of USMS, I feel at times my demographic gets ignored. Granted we're not the biggest, but we have a lot of power. My university just started a swim club and everyone is registered through USMS, and I've managed to get a few of my friends into swimming. Word of mouth is a great free source of advertising. If you get one passionate young person hooked on Masters, chances are they'll spread the word. We're also one of the largest groups with a purely disposable income. USMS is missing out by not catering to the 18-24 age group. Think iPod covers, cell phone backgrounds, see if you can sponsor a school athletic event. If USMS can help sponsor a swim meet they'd appeal to a lot of people who like to swim, but arent' necessarily fast enough to make the team; or people from other sports in their off season looking to stay in shape. College age kids are obsessed with fitness so having a booth at a health fair could be a great way to get the word out.

For other things, when there is swimming on TV, spend the money and try and get a commercial out. During the Olympics or Pan Pacs I've seen commercials for USA Swimming, why not Masters. If a child is excited after seeing their heros swim and then sees a USS commercial, then the parent sees the same opportunity for them it can become a family activity. Buy ad space in health magazines. Men's Health, Women's Health, maybe Splash, etc. Teams can make sure to have flyers up around town at all the gyms advertising the team social aspect and a new exciting workout.

I know that advertising costs a lot of money, but if you can get a few well placed ads that hit hard with your target demographic and then get people talking, I bet you would definatley see an increase.

Just my :2cents:

Peter Cruise
February 10th, 2007, 11:21 PM
Kyra- why not an intimate tv ad featuring all of us regular forums denizens, liberally dosed with vino, discussing some of the issues that we've lately...oh right, never mind...

Seagurl51
February 10th, 2007, 11:44 PM
Kyra- why not an intimate tv ad featuring all of us regular forums denizens, liberally dosed with vino, discussing some of the issues that we've lately...oh right, never mind...

Hahaha! Except we want to attract people not scare them away. That comes later. ;) :dedhorse:

craiglll@yahoo.com
February 12th, 2007, 04:22 PM
Sell T shirts and calendars to delegates at the convention?

I get both a t-shirt and a calemdar from another sports oriented organization I belong to jus tfor renewing my membership. I get about 10 calendars sent to me for free, don't most people get lots of calendars sent to them (hospitals, colleges, clubs - sporting and social, nonprofit organizations). Selling calendars can be a very risky business especially if you don't have a well formed distribution system or great marketiing team to get them out to the people who want to buy them. And then, by February who wants a calendar?

Muppet
February 20th, 2007, 02:02 PM
As a younger member of USMS, I feel at times my demographic gets ignored. Granted we're not the biggest, but we have a lot of power. My university just started a swim club and everyone is registered through USMS, and I've managed to get a few of my friends into swimming.

Kyra,
You have a great point to target the youth and college clubs. While I swim with Terrapin Masters @ UMD, I am also a member of UMD's club swim team as an alumni member. In general, most of the swimmers on the club team (and the other college teams we compete against) are more serious about the partying than the swimming, but there are always a few exceptions.

I think AGE plays a huge factor with collegiate swimmers & Masters. I have recruited several young swimmers to swim with our masters group since I started 8+ years ago as an 18-year-old, but most don't stick around long due to a variety of circumstances. UMD's team was created partially because of the lack of young swimmers swimming with Masters, and I would say that was the primary reason.

Another thing is education. I had never heard of Masters swimming until I got to UMD. Most of the kids on the club team don't know much about us.

As a way of promoting increased membership and encouraging adult fitness, USMS could definetely explore having a stronger presence on college campuses. Like you, Kyra, Middle Tennessee's (MTSU) club is also required to register with USMS, and they had 4 guys come to Coral Springs last year. There are always more serious swimmers out there, like these guys, swimming on college clubs.

islandsox
February 28th, 2007, 05:04 PM
I was never in a marketing role (my husband was), but I want to at least mention this fact: I have never seen any advertisement of any kind about USMS except within USMS; in fact, even when I was in California and Texas and swimming with USMS teams, no one outside of these clubs had ever even heard of USMS.

You need to partner with a variety of industries: health/fitness clubs, Health South Therapeutic possibly, schools, doctors who could recommend fitness swimming to their patients instead of walking, health food stores, any and all things fitness related, and so forth. Also, in the yellow pages I have never found anything under swimming except private and public pools and even in those listings, many of the clubs don't advertise they are USMS when in fact they are.

At least the swim shops that have catalogs are now having swimmers model their products; it's a start. And your swim magazine is for members only; this is very restrictive and only, again, caters to the existing USMS members. Why can't I pick up a copy of the swim magazine in the grocery store; lots of other fitness magazines are right there on the shelf. And I can't even download most of the magazine online and everyone is online.

I just feel USMS has been entirely too quiet about its existence.

Donna

JKRubenstein
May 10th, 2007, 11:07 AM
I am curious to know how to get more involved with USMS's marketing efforts. I have been swimming my whole life and have been in marketing roles for a decade now and would be willing to get more involved if I knew how to...

susanehr
May 21st, 2007, 07:25 AM
Michael,
Excellent idea about selling shirts and calendars at Convention, but that only reaches a few handfuls of our thousands of swimmers. I think we need to make a larger impact into the Masters Swimming market by offering more USMS aparrel to our members. I know we have offical merchandise through some of our sponsors, but we should have more advertising of it. Wouldn't it be cool to have some shirts with our logo designed by our swimmers? I also think we shoud require our logo on all meet shirts.

Slowswim
May 21st, 2007, 11:16 AM
I didn't know there was one. Does USMS Marketing need to hire a marketing firm to get out their message...that they even exist?

JMiller
November 29th, 2007, 01:13 AM
I'd like to be involved...

First... It starts with a great photographer...
Check www.poetryofmotion.com (http://www.poetryofmotion.com)

I have a few other ideas also....

PArob83
December 8th, 2007, 07:47 AM
Well for one making USMS swim suits available on Agonswim.com, once setup anyone can join the "team" and order them one at a time, if you can get an initial order of over 10, the price and reorder price are quite reasonable.

anyway on a different note, I have the nessary software etc and would be willing to help make a USMS video/piece that could be used for promotion... if you get the story right in it, there is a potential for a viral video, and if anyone would foot the bill you could eve place it on tv, and there are some cheap placements that are easy to get, like state aired Swim meets, (think PCN in pa.) just an idea, I wont be able to get my own footage for about a year due to my location and its complete lack of pool.............:doh:

But even spliced correctly, you could get a neat piece for atleast use online using some home video, good photos, all you need is smiling faces, action pictures, show the motion, the social, the fun. and the fact it is for EVERYONE. then the obligitory info at the end. As someone said my demographic is kind of forgotten... but with the new social web online, it could be a very powerful tool.
Id be happy to make it over here but people would have to send me stuff with releases.

NJMastR
December 11th, 2007, 10:50 PM
All,

Thought I would share something cool that was put together from the recent Colonies Zone SCM Championship at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. It's a video montage from the meet that was posted on You Tube ... http://youtube.com/watch?v=mfePH9ECLYs.

The world of You Tube is pretty attractive tool, but I am not entirely convinced that it reaches our desired audience - potential members. Nonetheless, it is an option that deserves some consideration.

- Chris

anita
June 27th, 2008, 01:01 PM
As a relative outsider to USMS (a paid member, but not involved in meets or masters club), I wish USMS would be more prominent in my Y program. There is a white board on deck with the "masters" workout of the week, but when I talk with fellow lap swimmers who swim for longer than 10 minutes, they have never heard of USMS and don't see the point in it. Perhaps they aren't into the challenges and just swim for relaxation, but the Y "masters" programs are a perfect place to "advertise" the pros of being a more cohesive group, or at least be notifed that there is more to swimming than endless laps in a bandaid filled, overheated pool.

NJMastR
July 16th, 2008, 11:21 PM
Anita,

Thanks for sharing your perspective on things at your Y program. You touch upon a long-standing challenge we face when presented with the prospect of an uninformed or perhaps nonchalant public ... just speculation from my perspective.

Let me suggest a couple of things to you about this situation ... First, you seem genuinely interested in sharing your experience and enthusiasm about USMS with others. This is our greatest marketing assest - USMS members. You may begin by relating your own positive experience to the lap swimmers. Bring in a USMS Swimmer magazine, or share the news about the Go The Distance fitness program ... Next, you can tell us to which Y facility you belong, and we (USMS Marketing) can see if we can help with some kind of on site promotion or reach out to the facility administration to educate them about the benefits of an organized adult aquatic fitness group (ie, USMS).

It all starts with finding someone to take the lead ... you have taken an important first step.

Good luck,
Chris McGiffin
USMS Marketing

RBSwimCT
July 23rd, 2008, 01:40 PM
Anita,

Thanks for sharing your perspective on things at your Y program. You touch upon a long-standing challenge we face when presented with the prospect of an uninformed or perhaps nonchalant public ... just speculation from my perspective.

Let me suggest a couple of things to you about this situation ... First, you seem genuinely interested in sharing your experience and enthusiasm about USMS with others. This is our greatest marketing assest - USMS members. You may begin by relating your own positive experience to the lap swimmers. Bring in a USMS Swimmer magazine, or share the news about the Go The Distance fitness program ... Next, you can tell us to which Y facility you belong, and we (USMS Marketing) can see if we can help with some kind of on site promotion or reach out to the facility administration to educate them about the benefits of an organized adult aquatic fitness group (ie, USMS).

It all starts with finding someone to take the lead ... you have taken an important first step.

Good luck,
Chris McGiffin
USMS Marketing

Chris,

Are there any goodie bags that USMS does like the ones at some meets?Logo'd Coasters, Pens, Water bottles, Wicking towels etc with some information sheets? Things that can be handed out at masters groups to other swimmers to raise the profile?

Doug Adamavich
July 25th, 2008, 12:48 AM
I think one of the challenges that all entities (clubs, teams, and LMSCs) face is branding. Frankly, the branding of USMS and most other associated entities is dated and needs to be updated. We would do well to become more professional in how we create an apply our brand because it is what represents us in the eyes of the public.

This is not easy but it is fundamental to effective marketing. Think about how Nike, Starbucks, Intel, Target, and others do it. We need to think on the same level, otherwise we will be perceived as a bunch of amateurs who don't know what they are doing. Look at our membership profile that Dr. Boyd created, it is high-end and should expect the same in the organizations they belong to.

A consistent brand is a key element to marketing. So is information awareness about the market we are attempting to expand. That's another post though.

See you all at USAS Convention in Hotlanta!

ande
September 2nd, 2008, 12:06 PM
Hi Anita,

you wrote: I wish USMS would be more prominent in my Y program.
If you want USMS to be more prominent at your Y
make it so

Don't promote USMS
create a local team
form a group of adult swimmers,
train together on certain days at certain times,
once you've got a good group going and people are getting in shape
enter a meet



As a relative outsider to USMS (a paid member, but not involved in meets or masters club), I wish USMS would be more prominent in my Y program. There is a white board on deck with the "masters" workout of the week, but when I talk with fellow lap swimmers who swim for longer than 10 minutes, they have never heard of USMS and don't see the point in it. Perhaps they aren't into the challenges and just swim for relaxation, but the Y "masters" programs are a perfect place to "advertise" the pros of being a more cohesive group, or at least be notifed that there is more to swimming than endless laps in a bandaid filled, overheated pool.

anita
September 10th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Hi Anita,

you wrote: I wish USMS would be more prominent in my Y program.
If you want USMS to be more prominent at your Y
make it so

Don't promote USMS
create a local team
form a group of adult swimmers,
train together on certain days at certain times,
once you've got a good group going and people are getting in shape
enter a meet

My particular Y does have a set time for a Masters workout 3 days a week at 5:30 a.m., and leaves the workout posted on a white board throughout the week for others to use. I swim between 7:15 and 8:45 a.m., depending. All of the regulars who swim during my time cannot make 5:30 a.m. (nor can I) and aren't interested in entering a meet, although I've been nothing but encouraging. It is frustrating. There are Masters teams in my area (San Diego), so that's not the question. All of them would require I get up at 4:45 a.m. and fight traffic on the way home.
For ME, working out alone and eventually entering a meet is enough at this point. I would just like my Y to at least attempt to become a more cohesive group, and it's apparent that they don't want to.

Rob Copeland
September 10th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Anita,

I suggest you get in touch with Jeanne Ensign or Mel Goldstein; they are leading the USMS club development efforts.

mjtyson
September 18th, 2008, 04:34 PM
A few notes, ideas, suggestions:

1) Offer members an opportunity to "sponsor" a USMS Swimmer subscription for their local library. Make it cheap; perhaps one team can sponsor every library in their local area?! The LMSC can attach a sticker to it with its contact info...

2) Offer more choices of Tshirts, polos and hats. One of my favorite shirts to wear is the one I got for doing the 30-min postal a few years back. It was a professionally done Tshirt. I wear it many places and people ask me about it. I tell them about USMS.

3) Make sure Tshirts are professionally done. I got one a few years ago for doing the virtual geographic swim. Horrible tshirt. Looked like my kid printed up an iron-on transfer and did it himself. The design lasted a few washes. I now have a plain white long-sleeve T. Boring.

4) Kiefer's USMS logo'd items is limited to swim cap and shorts. Kast-a-way apparently offers more products (35), to include hats, fleece and polos. But none of them show me what the product looks like ("Item Image Not Available At This Time"). Who's going to buy a product if they can't see what it looks like? I'm not.

5) A nice, professional looking polo shirt with the USMS logo is ideal for a coach or swimmer to wear at places where they are representing USMS. If USMS got together with an embroidery place and paid for the set-up, I'm sure many members would buy polos to wear. Same with hats.

6) Bumper stickers, license plate frames, window stickers. More ways to advertise.

7) How about pamphlets about USMS given out to "graduating" youth swimmers? That could hit the 18-24 age group as mentioned here...

I'll probably come up with more after I press "Submit Reply".

Cheers,

Doug Adamavich
September 22nd, 2008, 04:16 PM
I shamelessly stole this idea from the 2008 LCM Nationals in Portland, OR:

Bag Tags

This company (Bag Tags) can print all manner of tags and they do a good job of it. We just received 1000 of them in with our branding on the front along with fields on the rear for name, address, phone, etc. We also have our web address on the back.

They look REALLY cool and are practical too. When next year's registration starts, people will get a bag tag along with their USMS card. We are also considering a separate mailing but the tag with the card seems the better option at the present time.

mermaid
October 5th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Hmm - how about FREE advertising?

Contact your local newspapers (sports or human interest sections) when there is a Masters Meet in your area. Discuss the benefits of being healthy and fit, camaraderie and sportsmanship in competition. Feature the family generations that are competing (more than likely there is a couple of spouses or parent/child combos). Highlight the need for swim lessons (promote learn to swim programs) for safety purposes. Discuss how the "old people" learned to swim and what their swimming careers have been. Perhaps even have the swimming "stars" highlighted in the article volunteer a day during the learn to swim day.

Drum up enthusiasm through your personal desire to increase the spotlight on swimming. You want more/better pools? More competition? More funding?

Some newspapers will even accept your submissions - others may want to send a "journalist" and photographer to cover the event.

On another note:
How the USMS taking a more outspoken approach to the fitness industry? The ACSM barely mentions aquatics as a viable option for fitness. Hmmm?
We are masters and we should have a little bit more input - IMHO.

There is the National Swimming Pool Foundation, World Heath Aquatic Conference in Colorado Springs on October 15 - 17 http://nspf.org/WAHC_2008.html Unfortunately, USMS will not be participating.

How about joining forces with local swimming pool builders - try selling backyard fitness and family fun in the same pool.

Redbird Alum
October 6th, 2008, 02:38 PM
Is it possible to somehow "link up" with USA Swimming?

Wouldn't it be nice if all USMS-registered swimmers were automatically made "member-athletes" in USA Swimming? (or at least given a reduced USA Swimming rate?)
Wouldn't it be nice is USA Swimming "promoted" USMS swimming to their membership starting at 20+ years of age?
I do like USA Swimming's "lifetime" membership idea ($1,000 for life). Perhaps a lower rate would apply based on our advanced years, but it would be great to not have to "renew" every year.