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Thread: What Does USMS Need to do to grow to 100,000+ Members?

  1. #161
    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
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    Re: What Does USMS Need to do to grow to 100,000+ Members?

    OK, coaches have not yet stepped up to recruit. That's not unexpected. The title of this discussion is how does USMS get to 100,000 members?

    How about why? There are many current members who will see the growth very personally and in a negative light, feeling that they have to share a training lane with 2 more people. USMS sould be actively going out and getting new clubs started and on a sustainable growth path. Still, why? USMS tries very hard to attract outside money for operations. This is done primarily from the national office and is the main reason we even decided to hire an executive director. USMS has been told more than once by very large potential sponsors that 100K was the magic number of members.

    Shall we continue to follow the current path of having one or two people in the NO make calls begging for money? Or make a concerted effort to rapidly attain the goal of 100K members in order to ease the burden of costs that mainly fall upon the membership in constantly rising dues?

    Shall we continue to slavishly pander to the tiny OW segment that we have been chasing for 6+ years in hopes there was a growth opportunity not yet exploited? Doing that only cost USMS $1+ million in elevated insurance premiums over the last 3 years. Great plan, huh? And we continue to plaster OW pictures and stories in the magazine. Apparently someone thinks the insurance companies are stupid. Perhaps if we went back to putting OW in perspective; as a part of the organization that is to be supported by USMS commensurate with its actual membership, rather than making it a poster child that costs USMS bundles of money in premium payments for as long as we persist with this program.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine, not those of U.S. Masters Swimming. But maybe they should be.

  2. #162
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    Holland, Michigan, United States
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    Re: What Does USMS Need to do to grow to 100,000+ Members?

    Michael: Think we do it by encouraging more facilities, newer or non-USMS, to have Masters programs, particularly in winter. Baby boomers are aging, want to be healthy, and not always have good weather to run or bike. Why not swim more, particularly in winter? Do we send out information packets, target those facilities? We, in our area, are one of the Top 25 Swimming cities, yet we have few formal Masters programs on this side of our State, MI, whether they be a club, like our own Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics Masters, or a workout group, like Stray Cats, of the Regional Club, Michigan Masters, based on the other side of the state. Think targeting those facilities would help move us toward 100,000 members, without crowding lanes already in use, or begging for $$/sponsors. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, MH; I'll listen/read others' comments, now. JP

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