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Thread: USMS Marketing

  1. #21
    Very Active Member anita's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.

  2. #22
    Very Active Member NJMastR's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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

  3. #23
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by NJMastR View Post
    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?

  4. #24
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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!
    Doug Adamavich

  5. #25
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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


    Quote Originally Posted by anita View Post
    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.

  6. #26
    Very Active Member anita's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    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.

  7. #27
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    Anita,

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

  8. #28
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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,
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    http://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/IronMike/

  9. #29
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.
    Doug Adamavich

  10. #30
    Very Active Member mermaid's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.
    Come live with me in the sea said she,
    Down on the ocean floor
    And I'll show you many's a wonderous thing
    That you've never seen before

  11. #31
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: USMS Marketing

    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.


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