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2012 California Triathlon Club Summit Wildflower Triathlon Friday, May 4, 2012


Attendees: Darrell Myrick Thom Richmond Tony Rudd Zac Carter Samantha Pruitt Martin Messersmith Richard Schingler David Fraser John Branderhorst Michael Stricklan Todd Waldner Liz Hamm Paul Hekimian Charles Johanson Chris Morrisey Ziya Arik Stan Gertler Arran Auld David Hanson Zack Bertges Joe Sullivan Renaud Gonthier Chris Wegner Mary Green Q Berry Carin LeVine Thomas Roos Kyle Welch Conrad Young Liz Elliott Lael Heinig Bill Jones Wendy Peel Doug Maxfield Mary Kane

California Triathlon California Triathlon California Triathlon California Triathlon Central Coast Tri Sport Club Delta Triathlon Club Delta Triathlon Club El Camino Y-Tri Club GGTC GGTC iCAN Junior Triathlon Club LA Tri Club LA Tri Club Long Beach Tri Club Long Beach Tri Club Nopal Velo Orange County Tri Club Orange County Tri Club Rough Rider Triathlon Club Santa Barbara Triathlon Club Santa Barbara Triathlon Club Santa Barbara Triathlon Club Santa Clarita Tri Club Santa Clarita Tri Club Sho Air Silicon Valley Triathlon Club Stanford University Triathlon Team SVTC SVTC Tri-Valley Triathlon Club Tri-Valley Triathlon Club UCSD Triathlon Club USA Triathlon WB Tri Team WB Tri Team

Board/ Advisory Board Founder Board /Advisory Board Member Founder President Treasurer Coach President Director Founder/Lead Coach/Director Managing Director President Owner Owner Board / Advisory Board Board / Advisory Board Director Faculty Advisor Board/ Advisory Board Board/Advisory Board Sponsor Director Director Member President Vice-President Vice-President Board/Advisory Board Founder/President Founder/Vice- President President Board / Officer / Advisory Board President Head Coach/Vice- President


Thom Richmond – Introduction Thom Richmond: Welcomes USA Triathlon’s Sport Development Coordinator, Wendy Peel to be a part of the discussions. Thom Richmond: The purpose of this meeting is to get our club leadership together and learn how we can build on our club community. •

California Triathlon is to help grow multisport by highlighting the value of the club structure and group training as well as creating opportunities around the state for clubs to play, train & race together. We’ve put this meeting on today to share best practices, sponsorship and discuss youth programming. Multisport Stats: o Multisport clubs have 12% of the multisport population in California o There are 2.5 million triathletes across the nation. Of that population, 250,000 athletes are in the state of California. o Roughly 15,000 club members in California are annual members of USA Triathlon o Average Triathlete spends $2,600 Everyone in this room is looking to grow membership; how can we get these people in the club system? o Memberships:  Triathlon Club of San Diego: 3,200 members  LA Tri Club: 1,800 members  Silicon Valley Triathlon Club: 450 members  Golden Gate Triathlon Club: 360 members Volunteering: o Unfortunately, responsibilities fall on small group of people to run clubs o We have 32 people who regularly volunteer for our club.

Julie Moss: Key Note Speaker Thom Richmond: I’m pleased to introduce our next speaker, the Managing Director of LA Tri Club, Liz Hamm. Liz Hamm: •

LATC Background: o LATC was founded in 2000 by Paul Hekimian, Larry Turkheimer and Nick Gardner o LA Tri Club was established to provide a network of information, support services, training & racing activities, friendship and fun for all ages and abilities


We see ourselves as a Global Triathlete Network We offer free memberships to pro triathletes. In return, we ask them to help with speaking arrangements and training activities o The club supports all multisport disciplines but the main sport is triathlon  Different ways to look at sport (off-road, duathlon, aquathlon, winter triathlon, adventure races, etc.)  We try and meet all of our membership needs through these different disciplines California Triathlon & LATC: o Thanks to the California Triathlon Network/Thom Richmond for having the vision in identifying our needs to meet and network and for having the tenacity to make it happen Club Leadership Advice: o As club leadership, it takes hours of our personal time to run the club o We are all here as friends to share program ideas and resources o As club leaders you have to love what you do o You must have passion for the sport and love who you work with o Enjoy their company and energy of other leaders in your club Membership: o Membership fee $70 a year o There’s a ebb and flow to the sport and the people that come to your club o Right now, the sport is exploding. Our season’s on fire and people can’t stop racing o You want your members to have the same energy and passion  Quality and passion to fuel the sport and the club o In the last 12 years, LATC has grown from 12 members to 1,800 members  Grew from 250 – 800  Since then, we’ve grown 150 to 200 every year  Recently we have leveled off at 1,800 members  In the future, we’ll look at the website to see why they are not coming back to the club through our analytics o It’s very difficult to meet personal needs of each member Sponsorship/Promotions: o Lance Effect: People are starting to become really excited about triathlon  Companies are asking to become our sponsor because of Lance’s return  You can earn a lot of power from the sponsor’s excitement o We have an expectation of members with swag. We cannot provide this gear without our sponsors. o All of our programs need to be fueled by passion and sponsors o o


Race directors are begging to get our club to their event  Today, there is an event every weekend. Our membership splits depending on the event.  Race directors/events are sponsorship opportunities for your club o LATC has two wrapped cars with club’s logo  The cars have help block roads at multisport/running events  It helps get the club’s name out to race community and increase membership  Highly recommend wrapping cars/SUV. It’s an excellent investment for $2,000.  It’s a great way to get a sponsor and/or car dealership to work with your club. o Return on investment with your sponsors  Retain your sponsors  You can get a sponsor with a good looking kit  Sponsors want magazine ads and athletes with good resumes  What value can you return for your sponsors?  Control your membership and control bandits in terms of sponsorship  Track sponsor emails to your members • Sponsors should get limited emails to your members • They need to think carefully of what they’re going to say to your membership o Example: 1 email per month • Sponsors are valuable for membership o Facebook:  Facebook does not equal membership  Facebook is for social interactions  Facebook friend to tease them to join the club Programs o Podium program – select races (wear kit)  Must wear kit at selected races  1-3 places get money for racing  Program helps funnel member to races  Talented athletes want to earn back race fees  Great marketing opportunity for the club o Swag program  Identify races for athletes to compete at during the year  At the end of the year, their name goes into a drawing the number of times they competed. The more races they compete in for LATC, the more times they can earn swag. o TriCHICKS o


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 Created sub group to get women comfortable and challenge them to do more  There is a set schedule for workouts  Women are only able to participate  LATC sees this as the most successful program  The program was mentioned in LA Magazine TriPARENTS  This program allows you to leave your children with a club babysitter  Allows families to get together for picnics and different setting than our single adults Junior/Youth  LA F1 • USAT Certified Coach, Ian Murray runs the program • Lake swims & pool for youth athletes • It’s an easy way to get kids in our sport for the first time New Members  New member nights once a month  Great outing for potential members  Learn to maximize club benefits Coast2Coast Swim  Fundraising event to support swim lessons for under privileged kids  Learn to swim program: Helps inner-city kids who don’t have opportunities to learn these skills • These kids do not have swim gear o Typically swim in their shirt/shorts • Never been in water for pleasure Store/Retail  We keep prices low because we want people to wear our gear  Orders are made on our website  We are looking to do more with our retail in the future  No brick and mortar  Depending on the brand, we may pad the order due to sizing issues  Changing in the manufacture is a challenge but membership expects new gear and new brands  LATC tries to change their kit design every 2 years  We consider new manufactures every 2-4 years  We mark down our club gear at Christmas so we can order new product Club Structure/Volunteers:  Identify strengths and weaknesses of decision makers


 

We identify these leaders within our community It’s important for these club leaders to communicate with one another • Have a dinner together once a month and discuss the movements in your club programs • Willingness to change is important – This is where new leadership emerges  Accountability with volunteers: • Implement accountability with carrots • Reward volunteers with set milestone o Race entries to fancy races o RV spot at big events (Wildflower)  Do not reward volunteers without delivery of a program • People love titles – do not give them one until they deliver. The title is seen as meaningful. • Have the volunteer show up and deliver a successful program o Programs are run on the honor system o Find the right people for the job – be selective! o If you provide these volunteers with business cards, they will have pride in their programs o The ability of your volunteers/members speaking about the club’s programs will help grow membership Challenges/Concerns o Program quality control  Consistency  Coverage • You as a decision makers need to be out there to educate your members • If you can’t do a program well, why do it. Nobody wants to go to a program that is not well run • Leaders are not knowledgeable about club programs • You might have amazing ideas but have a foundation in place before you launch them • Make sure you have right person running program o Deliver on promise of what they say o Roll programs out slowly o Figure out how to make the program work correctly o Protecting the investment of sponsors o Facebook group association does not equal membership


Safety and liability  LATC is open to risk when non-members come to workouts. They think you’re taking care of them at these practices.  We require a club waiver and swim waiver to be signed o We try and control who shows up by having athletes sign waivers.  USAT suggests that you have a check-in process during your open water swims. Athletes are not able to participate unless they sign a waiver. Second, they must check in and check out with volunteers before they enter the water.  Important to have club insurance for club leadership, coaches and members  Important to have a lawyer identified  If something happens to a non-member, how can we get in contact with someone if an emergency happened?  The local police/lifeguards are aware of our programs in the community. They know who to contact and what were able to provide for them.  Our members know one another – they know the regular athletes that attend Website: o We organize our rosters through our website  Athletes are able to RSVP for these races through this site • We’re able to communicate directly with the athletes competing at certain events • Athletes can reach out to others about house shares/car pools/etc.  LATC sells their website to other clubs across the world • We’ve spent $80,000 to develop the technology • We’re able to re-skin the site for others clubs o We ask for a piece of the membership fee of future members  Website tools: • As administrators, we monitor the backend of the website and control membership content. • Meeting needs • Roster & emergency contact information Club Community o Audience: In San Francisco we have three large clubs in the same city o Liz: I see Golden Gate Triathlon Club, San Francisco Triathlon Club and Silicon Valley Tri Club as the Tri-fecta.  You have three passionate individuals who own a successful brand in the city  I suggest a way to marry the interest • Opportunities to bring members together like California Triathlon o


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Build programs club vs. club within the city Provide free and/or discounted membership for these members o Members can access benefits/partner of both groups o Opportunities to work together, share ideas and build on events in the community

Final Thoughts: o Your time is valuable! o Your organization is valuable! o When it’s not fun stop – take a break and change gears  Refresh/refocus and do it again  Do it when it’s fun and change gears when it’s not! o Be Paulsitive!

Thom Richmond: The second portion of the meeting will be spent on best practices. We really would like to focus on youth and USAT. Wendy Peel/Thom Richmond: Introduction of Todd Waldner, club administrator and coach for the iCAN Junior Triathlon Club Todd Waldner: •

Youth: o I’ve been in the triathlon community for 23 years. I thought a youth program was a great way to give back to the sport. o Six years ago, I launched a youth program in Fresno, California  The business model was develop for a youth only triathlon club  We’ve recruited people to volunteer and help run the club  Can’t say enough of USA Triathlon. I see them as our parent. They guide us and give us great direction to success  Youth is a great opportunity to grow the sport  We have to meet right where they are with their t-shirts and baggy shorts. When we teach them more about the program they learn about jammers and triathlon gear. o Youth far exceeds the adult side of membership. There is a great opportunity to grow. o In our sixth year, we have 137 kids in the club. We currently have a 50% retention rate. Many things Liz (LATC) mentioned in her presentation fall right in sync with our program. There are a few different concepts as we focus on youth and not adults. o I’m not interested in starting an adult club. It’s interesting to see our youth inspiring their parents to do a triathlon and getting involved in multisport. We direct our parents


to other adult clubs in our community. I would say 80 percent of parents are not triathletes. o We’re not going to put our effort into an age group club  As club administrators, you have to figure out your business plan and make a choice to work with youth. It could be a great return on investment for your club in the future.  I love to work with youth, they don’t come with challenges of adults and just want to have fun Training o Coaches know they need different training models and philosophies than adults o What do we get out of the sport?  Gain insight and personal growth o Concerns:  Swim programs don’t want triathletes to be involved with other clubs • We have to be careful because the Clovis Swim Team could shut us down. We currently have 50 kids taking up 5 lanes during their pool time. • Future Goals: Collaborative effort with the swim team and have them run the swimming workouts. The swim coach must understand the dynamics of our triathlon program for this to work.  Kids can’t afford the sport of triathlon • The concern of parents not being able to afford three sports at once • To deal with this concern, we have developed the following programs o Scholarship program for those that might not afford our program o Write grants to fund our club for the season o Training Programs:  Swimming Program: • Technique and open water training skills  Cycling Program: • Any bike will work for our athletes o Everyone has a bike – our goal is to take a fat tire bike and move the child into a road bike o We check each bike and make sure that it’s road worthy • Our cycling program includes road riding basics • We’ve created a USA Cycling Club for those athletes that want to race on their bike o Youth ages 9-10 are doing crit style racing (F1 – ITU format)


Marketing: o Targeted 2nd – 5th graders in our local community  I needed to develop the infastructure for our youth program and give it time to grow.  Looking back after six years, it was the perfect thing to do. I’ve developed a youth pipeline and working to develop a high performance team o We use a DVD to inform our sponsors about our program - http://www.icantriclub.com/ Youth Clubs o Coaches’ nationwide focus on just developing a high performance team ages 13-19. I find this to be a difficult concept as they have issues pushing these athletes through their programs. o As coaches we have to come together as we’re all in same game

Liz Hamm: •

LATC’s Youth Program: o Has been very active and less active based on adults in clubs and their availability to drive needs of our program o Liability becomes more sensitive o We give free membership to our youth o Parents must sign waivers and receive the clubs emails o Ian Murray is producing a race series for our community  Youth Triathlon Events  Family Fun Runs o We think it’s important for the kids in our community to see what multisport is all about  We have a program where members give old gear and old bikes to our youth • Parents can outfit the kid with the equipment  We have sponsors buying equipment for our inner-city kids

Thom Richmond: Best Practices •

California Triathlon: o We’re a 501C3 organization  Grant money  Donations • If our members donate bikes, they get a tax deduction o Provide certified coaches for our members Future of the sport o How can we attract more people to our club and the sport?


 

Triathlon currently holds a membership base of 60% men and 40% women • We can look at bringing in more women to our clubs Diversity • African Americans • Wendy Peel: From a diversity standpoint, have our clubs considered duathlon or other disciplines to recruit more members?

Disciplines o Wendy Peel: How support those disciplines? o Club Leadership: the biggest challenge is events in our area  In the Bay area there are so many events including duathlon  Club leadership needs to be willing to speak with Race Directors and encourage other disciplines at their events • We don’t think it should be an issue to approach the race directors  Programming • We need more F1 races around California o Push marketing for F1 Series o Coaches need to encourage race directors to put more on in their community  There are more complications to put on development sprint races  Race directors are looking at the bottom line  If there is a Cause/Charity, race directors might be more willing to contribute. It’s easier to raise money for youth than adults.  Look at raising money for youth races since there is a bottom line loss. It’s much easier to ask people for money to help build the youth component of your community and provide an opportunity for these kids to race. o It takes a passionate person to take on youth event. These events seldom make money for race production companies. o You have to find a race director committed to the cause and willing to put on the event o LATC has the LA F1 – on their event roster  There will be two F1 races this year. We will add a third event for 2013. o ICAN Junior Triathlon Club is putting on a youth race on July 22. We plan to incorporate F1 style racing in the future.


There is an event in Reno (southern vs. northern California)  Not as competitive because hard to travel  Collegiate clubs are experiencing the same situation in the West Coast Collegiate Triathlon Conference  Difficult to travel with how the regions are aligned USAT’s Splash & Dash o USAT is helping offering more races through the Splash & Dash Series o If you put on a race, USAT will provide finisher medals, t-shirts and banners. o

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2012 Cal Tri Clud Summit Wildflower  

California Triathlon Network was pleased to host the 2012 Club Summit at Wildflower Triathlon. We would like to thank the 35 attendees from...

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