This week on the SwimSwam Breakdown, we discuss the ISL playoffs so far, what demographics of athletes are getting NIL deals and how much they’re worth, and how swimming bumped Jim Rome’s talk show. For full list of topics, see below:
- The team battle between Cali and Energy Standard was the main storyline for the opening match of the 2021 ISL Playoffs, but Iron’s Thom de Boer left his mark on the meet by roaring to a decisive victory in the men’s freestyle skins—his fourth such win this season and third in a row.
- By making it to the final round of the men’s butterfly skins race on Sunday, Tom Shields locked in the win and four playoff points for the LA Current in Match 2 of the 2021 International Swimming League playoffs. The LA also squad got a huge boost this weekend from Ryan Murphy, who took home match MVP honors in his post-Olympics debut.
- Short-staffed International Swimming League playoff teams have seemingly realized that swimming a random athlete in an off event — and potentially letting them coast through it — can save the team a few points over leaving an empty lane.
We sat down with 2x Olympian, 14x world champ Olivia Smoliga, who is currently in Eindhoven for the ISL season 3 playoffs. Just before arriving in Eindhoven, however, Smoliga made the move from Athens, Georgia to Tempe, Arizona, where she is training with Bob Bowman at Arizona State.
- Opendorse, a digital platform for connecting athletes and brands, provided data about its first three months in the collegiate NIL business (this data, of course, applies only to deals booked through Opendorse and may not exactly reflect the industry at large).
- USA Swimming High Performance Manager Russell Mark is leaving the organization after 19 years, a source confirmed to SwimSwam on Friday.