May 29, 2018, 05:56 ET
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- USA Swimming, the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, announced today that it is launching its most progressive new membership category since 2012. The Flex Swim membership will make entering the sport easier and encourage swimmers to stay involved in life's other activities.
The Flex Swim membership offers a rate of $20 to create an entry-level experience in the sport and sample some of the great benefits of membership in USA Swimming such as the ability to compete in meets (two meets per year), access to USA Swimming's digital personalized member account Deck Pass, insurance coverage, education materials and more. When kids fall in love with the sport and want to swim more, they can then apply that to a Premium membership*, which offers unlimited swim meets, Splash magazine and more.
"The Flex Swim membership allows us to introduce the sport to a new generation of athletes, using a product that is more conscious of the current environment and competitive in the youth sports market," USA Swimming President & CEO Tim Hinchey III said. "Our goal is to adapt to busy family lifestyles and introduce the sport of swimming with a lower barrier to entry and flexibility to still enjoy the many other available activities. Historical data tells us that if we can get a kid to try team swimming, they will stick with it and enjoy it."
The Flex Swim membership is designed for kids who want to experience swimming on a team but have not yet taken that next step. According to a State of the Swimming Industry Report1, nearly 80 percent of parents don't consider swimming as a competitive sport for their kids after completing swim lessons, largely due to a number of common misconceptions they have about the sport. Similarly, it was noted that 43 percent of kids who stop swimming say it is because it is too much of a time commitment.
It was also noted in that same study that 48 percent of the kids who leave USA Swimming say they do so to play other sports. Given the many recent studies and industry discussions about the pressure and impact of early sport specialization, USA Swimming is embracing the notion and health benefits of multi-sport play and participation, both physical and mental.
In a poll of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team, 83 percent of the athletes stated that they were multi-sport athletes growing up, presenting resounding statistical evidence from the upper echelons of the sport of the benefits of being a well-rounded athlete.
"We know multi-sport play builds not just better athletes but healthier children, which is why 'Encourage Sport Sampling' is one of the strategies in our Project Play framework that stakeholders across sectors helped build," said Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program. "USA Swimming should be commended for the leadership it is showing in meeting the needs of kids and families."
The national campaign was designed in-house by the USA Swimming creative team, with inspiration from early versions of the SwimToday campaign developed in conjunction with Minneapolis-based Colle-McVoy. The campaign features several age-group member swimmers as well as four National Team athletes: Haley Anderson, Jacob Pebley, Lia Neal & Kevin Cordes. Photography and videography is by renowned sports photographer Poby.
Link to print and digital creative images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fx9dmskvdzeh3bj/AACmBJt33xgQx7gTkqoozLnfa?dl=0
The 30-second TV spot will debut online and then be featured on the NBC & NBCSN broadcast of the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships July 25-29.
Link to the 30-second spot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MAtl_cdiU
The campaign is supported by USA Swimming partners including: American Swimming Coaches Association, Arena, Counsilman-Hunsaker, National Swimming Pool Foundation, Speedo, Swimming World, TeamUnify, TYR and the USA Swimming Foundation.
To find a local team near you, visit: https://usaswimming.org/join
Keep up with all the latest USA Swimming news by following @usaswimming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
* Also known as Year-Round or Annual Membership
About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.
1 State of the Swimming Industry research report commissioned by USA Swimming. Conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys, the official research agency of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association; 2014
SOURCE USA Swimming
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