Last year, USA Cycling cyclocross license holders elected Adam Myerson as their representative on the USAC Sport Committee.
USAC held its annual Sport Committee Meetings last week in Colorado Springs. The meeting started with a “State of the USAC Union’ presentation by now-former president Derek Bouchard-Hall.
Myerson did the 2018 equivalent of taking notes: he live-tweeted the presentation.
We found Myerson’s tweets informative, so we “unrolled” his twitter thread into the text below. We’ve left Myerson’s Twitter thread as-is, so the Typo Five-Oh might want to avert their eyes.
Stay tuned for a Q and A with Myerson on Friday about the meetings and his role as cyclocross representative thus far.
USA Cycling Sport Committee Meeting “State of the Union”
— Adam Myerson (@AdamMyerson) October 16, 2018
Core objectives: membership, money, medals, marketing.
Key actions: invest in IT, develop leadership team, improve membership value, encourage membership growth. Increase revenue from existing memberships, move into enthusiast space, expand USACDF $ contribution, increase sponsorship, improve national championship event economics.
Developing elites: focus development where already successful (BMX, women), improve rider confidence in elite athletic admin.
Trends: 2012 rider peak, down 12% from that. But, this year membership is up 3% from last year. Race days per member are down 20% from 2012.
So membership is down, but also, how many times/year riders race is down. Double whammy.
Total number of race days and total number of events are down 30% from 2012. Down 5% on new licenses, but up 11% on renewals. (NEBRA is doing ok, no growth on new members, but up 7% on renewals.)
From 2017-18, same period, competitive racer days are down 7% but fondos are up 31%.
“Racing Participation Improvement Program” – integrate LA websites with USAC, bennies for clubs and LAs, officials’ training and recruitment, event director guidance, basic racing skills clinics, enthusiast skills clinics, content creation targeted to enthusiasts to try racing. Create a curriculum that encourages enthusiasts to become racers.
And the big one: NICA partnership. Develop a partnership that keeps them racing and brings them into USAC after NICA. In discussions now.
IT: Relaunching online registration and event permitting. They want all USAC events to be using the USAC system ultimately. Hi, @BikeReg.
2019 is the goal for all IT to be fully replaced, and the legacy site to go away completely.
National championships: make them big again like Philly was. Dual objective of making pro and am events big events, but also bringing costs down.
Advocacy and partnership with advocacy groups are also a focus.
Antidoping: Amateur oriented RaceClean program is working and catching people, especially master men doing testosterone.
What started as a joke has turned into a real discussion: is busting masters men leading to a decrease in membership? SoCal masters scene presented as an example. There’s some giggling and now we’re moving on.
Increasing resources: revenue growth while membership declines requires new activity and investment.
Budget: lost a million in 2017, 1.2M in 2018. But brought back 1M in investment revenue in 2017, only $600K in 2016. Planned deficit because we need to invest right now for growth. Spent more this year on IT as the biggest factor, but also a little more on elite athletics.
Insurance costs went up this year due to some claim losses. Mostly coincidental, but a number of them in a short period and there is a fear premiums will go up, which means the insurance surcharge could go up. USAC very concerned about it.
Summary: current operations budget is unsustainable. Insurance challenges in 2019. Long term plan is good once we get past the IT investment and can make small increases each year.
New membership approach: make enthusiast licenses cheaper, give more, sell more.
Sponsorship: no major partner right now. But hopeful as we approach 2020 more can be signed.
USAC Development Foundation: @timjohnsoncx on board. 75% of $2M matching grant raised, big sprint track gift from foundation member, successful TDF trip, planned road worlds and classics “holy week” trip. (Those VIP trips are part of major donor benefits/incentives.)
Project Tokyo: aiming for 7 medals in 2020. BMX, women’s track, women’s TT. New medals in women’s madison and m/w BMX freestyle.
New elite athletics staff. Jeff Pierce (road and track), Clay Worthington (men’s track).
Big success for elite athletics this summer. Track, MTB, men, women. Talent ID is working well right now.
Q&A time: Pete Webber asks about, in addition to ID’ing talent and boosting them, why isn’t there a grassroots pipeline. A: We don’t have the money to build that pipeline. James Carney suggesting that the pipeline is crucial because you can turn juniors into lifelong bike racers, and thus, lifelong customers of USAC.
New question is whether USAC is thinking about recruitment/grassroots plans that are focused on a diverse membership base. DBH A: USAC is not currently doing anything meaningful or intentional with that in mind right now.
Full Twitter thread here.