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Thread: USMS Marketing

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    USMS Marketing

    Please share your opinions on what should be a role(s) of the USMS Marketing Committee?

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    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Sell T shirts and calendars to delegates at the convention?
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine, not those of U.S. Masters Swimming. But maybe they should be.

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    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

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    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.

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    I just read the minutes from the Sept 7th meeting.

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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post
    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.


  8. #8
    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine, not those of U.S. Masters Swimming. But maybe they should be.

  9. #9
    Very Active Member Seagurl51's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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

  10. #10
    Very Active Member Peter Cruise's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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...
    Life keeps throwing curve balls; the trick, I'm learning, is to duck...

  11. #11
    Very Active Member Seagurl51's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Cruise View Post
    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.

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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Heather View Post
    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?

  13. #13
    Very Active Member Muppet's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by Seagurl51 View Post
    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.
    man up, buttercup!

  14. #14
    Very Active Member islandsox's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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

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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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...

  16. #16
    Active Member susanehr's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

  17. #17
    Very Active Member Slowswim's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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?
    I keep telling my coaches, "I am a sprinter" and "they keep saying you swim short races, but that is not the same thing." - Some Girl

  18. #18
    swims4life
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    USMS Marketing

    I'd like to be involved...

    First... It starts with a great photographer...
    Check www.poetryofmotion.com

    I have a few other ideas also....
    Last edited by JMiller; November 29th, 2007 at 10:54 AM.

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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.............

    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.

  20. #20
    Very Active Member NJMastR's Avatar
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    Cool Re: USMS Marketing

    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

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