- The Tempo
- Athletes Revolt Over USA Triathlon Membership Changes
Athletes Revolt Over USA Triathlon Membership Changes
Platinum problems, a smoother swim stroke, and supplement shite
Good morning everyone,
We all have plans of wanting a perfect journey, sporting or otherwise, but often the airline somehow doesn’t get your bags on a connecting flight even with a significant layover, and it snows a ton so the bag delivery company doesn’t want to deliver when it’s snowy, and you’ve been wearing the same shirt for a couple of days and it kind of smells…
What I’m trying to say is that it’s always good to be adaptable and ready to shift with changing circumstances. I flew back to Canada on Tuesday, and the training I’d like to be doing now just isn’t happening. And that’s that. Just more fuel for the fire when my bike gets delivered…eventually 🤣
In today’s edition:
🤬 Athletes revolt over USA Triathlon membership changes.
🏊 Want to swim smoother? Time your catch and your kick like this.
😲 And are most “performance enhancing” supplements total BS?
Thanks for being here.
-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor
Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free.
ONE BIG THING
Athletes Revolt Over USA Triathlon Membership Overhaul
What is it: Recent changes to USA Triathlon’s annual membership have athletes in an uproar, specifically regarding the sharp increase in cost to compete at the World Championships.
New year, new prices: In a shift to a new pricing model, USA Triathlon (USAT) has swapped its traditional single-level pricing ($50 in 2023) to a multi-tiered system:
🥉 Bronze - Single-day membership, variable pricing based on event. ie. Sprint distance is $13, long course is $23.
🥈 Silver - $60 one-time payment, access to all USAT-sanctioned events, and member discounts.
🥇 Gold - $99 one-time payment, silver-level benefits plus branded swag.
🏆 Platinum - $400 one-time payment, gold benefits plus “Opportunity to compete internationally with Team USA.”
Platinum problem: The new pricing structure appears to have USAT members in an uproar. A Facebook post from the organization designed to bring awareness to the membership changes has over 200 comments, mostly upset about the changes.
According to one member, “Not happy about this new, more complex, and more expensive tiered membership system. IMHO it puts up more barriers and further divides the triathlon family.”
Budget woes: According to an article in Slowtwitch, the changes in member pricing may be due to USAT budget issues that, in the 2022 budget year, saw the organization suffer a $2.9 million operating loss even with $18 million in revenue.
The highest source of revenue for the organization? Annual memberships, which brought in $7.48 million in 2022.
Tempo’s take: The aftermath of the pandemic was brutal for sports organizations like USA Triathlon, and it’s not unreasonable to expect some kind of resulting financial strain. But the messaging and communication around the announcement has been a significant unforced error as evidenced by the response of members.
Having “the opportunity to compete internationally with Team USA” was never an inexpensive endeavor. In the past, there was a “spot fee” of $100 associated with competing at Worlds, not to mention the cost of the team gear. Does this $400 include the spot fee? Team gear? It’s not clear.
Representing your country at the World Championships is an incredible experience. But is this asking too much?
The reality is USA Triathlon, and all other triathlon entities, are competing within a shifting consumer recreation landscape. Pickleball, Trail Running, and Gravel Cycling are among the choices of athletes looking for a new, or less expensive challenge than multisport.
Up until recently, these triathlon entities used the athletes as ATMs to squeeze out extra cash when needed. There were always grumblings, but the playbook generally worked.
But in a lower growth, high-interest rate environment, with plenty of other recreation options, the squeeze model has clearly run its course.
Moving forward, triathlon organizations like USAT will have to fight tooth and nail for every participant in the battle for endurance participation market share.
What do you think of the price increase?
Could they have rolled it out better?
Last minute edit: As of our writing it appears as though USA Triathlon has walked by the requirement of World Championship-bound athletes to register at the platinum level.
Your Brand Deserves an Incredible Audience
In this fractured media environment reaching a targeted audience of incredible multisport athletes is harder than ever.
So if you want your marketing budget to go further, and reach a high-value audience of almost 10,000 triathletes then contact our team today.
🍿 Malibu madness: Another plot twist in the Malibu Triathlon saga? Turns out the PTO backed Michael Epstein’s tri takeover to the tune of $300,000 dollars. This story keeps getting more wild and surely a PTO series race announcement in Malibu is in the cards! [Triathlon Magazine Canada]
🏊♀️ Swimming solution: A well-timed freestyle catch and kick can result in incredible swimming improvements. Take a couple of minutes to learn how to nail this crucial skill. [Effortless Swimming]
💊 Supplement shite: “This one supplement will totally be a game changer and make me faster.” Lol, probably not. According to an expert, only a few supplements scientifically improve performance. The rest is pretty much BS. [Outside]
😃 First-tri info: Starting in the sport and looking for good advice before your first tri? This Reddit thread is a treasure trove of key beginner info. Having experience in some open water swimming is definitely important! [Reddit]
🏭 Treadmill gains: For some, the winter weather has set in and they have no choice but to run on a treadmill. But is running indoors actually better for you than outside? Not really, but there are pros and cons to both! [Triathlon Magazine Canada]
Nothing wrong with spending all your money on triathlon…right? 🤷😆
Magic partnership: Magic Sports, a major triathlon events organizer in Tennessee and Kentucky, has partnered with Publix to help support community-focused events. The fast-growing grocery retailer has begun to expand beyond its traditional home in Florida with four Kentucky-based locations being opened in 2023 alone. [Endurance Sportswire]
Triathlon history: Emma Meyers is looking to make history as the first para triathlete to compete at the NCAA Triathlon Championships. [KCJT]
Port Cartier Triathlon: The 30th edition of the Port-Cartier Triathlon will take place on June 15th. Athletes will also have the opportunity to compete in Duathlon or Running events. [Le Nord Côtier]
Angers angst: Drama in the Angevin Triathlon scene as split of a long-time triathlon club looks to be headed to legal proceedings. [France Ouest]
TEMPO EXCLUSIVE ARCHIVE
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