Swimming Canada has become the 2nd of North America’s major swimming national governing bodies to announce a change at the top of their marketing department in the last month. Alan Raphael has been announced as the organization’s new Director of Marketing & Business Development. Swimming Canada’s announcement follows the departure of USA Swimming CMO Matt Farrell in October.
The bulk of Raphael’s career came with TSN – Canada’s largest specialty channel that focuses on sports coverage (it is 80% owned by Bell Media and 20% owned by ESPN). That includes 7 years as the Director of Brand Partnerships. Raphael has spent the last 3 years working as an independent consultant.
He replaces Chris Wilson in the role, who left the organization in September to assume a new role as Senior Director for CBC Sports.
“Alan is a veteran of the sports and broadcasting industry and the sports marketing industry. He will be a great asset as we look to build upon the great base created by Chris Wilson,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “Swimming Canada’s brand continues to grow and we look forward to Alan’s leadership to take us to the next level.”
“I’m very excited to join Swimming Canada bringing my passion for sports marketing and corporate partnerships,” Raphael said. “I look forward to working closely with existing and new partners, creating exciting and engaging programs to further grow the sport for participants and fans across Canada.”
Wilson worked as the Marketing Director at Swimming Canada from 2010-2008 (after a previous stint as an events manager). In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which is the oldest available on Swimming Canada’s website, the organization reported $376,494 in sponsorships. In 2016-2017, the newest data available, sponsorships were almost twice that – $710,929. Events revenue has grown from $669,965 to $1,060,048 in the same period.
From 2010 through 2017, the number of registered age group swimmers in Swimming Canada’s membership grew from 33,577 to 50,160, which is a 49% increase. The number of registered Masters swimmers has fallen, however, from 10,046 in 2010 to 6,629 in 2017.