The April 2019 USA Swimming Board of Directors (BOD) meeting minutes reveal the organizations final audited 2018 accounting, as well as budgets for 2019. In reflection of last year, the financial statements reveal that the 2018 operating revenue of $36.1 million, which was $1.7 million short of budget. Expenses totaled $37.5 million and were 823,273 better than budgeted, and in total, the organization operated at a $1.45 million deficit in 2018 – almost a million dollars worse than estimated.
Among the major drivers of the undershoot on the expenses side was a $1 million overhead in “rent and lease expenses” for the year; some off-setting savings in categories like Television and Video production (almost $800k) helped though, but big revenue shortfalls in membership ($616,855 less than budgeted) and partnership marketing revenue ($1.3 million less than budgeted) resulted in the big net loss.
Savings on the National Team side came primarily from the National Junior Team having fewer events than originally budgeted. Also, by not staging a multi-day National Team vs. NCAA competition as they did in 2016 with USA vs. B1G and in 2017 with USA vs. Pac-12, National Team savings increased by another $82,150, which would have presumably been used to pay for National Team travel and lodging expenses. Events & Member Services also reveals a savings of $178,900 due to the omission of the National Team vs. NCAA meet, for a total of roughly a quarter-of-a-million in expenses off the books.
Year-over-year, 2017, 2018, and 2019 all show increases in revenue from USA Swimming’s partnership with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), as well as from investment income and membership. Membership, however, did not reach the 2018 projected goal of $23.4 million, falling short at $22.8 million. That number was still an increase of $300,000 from the $22.4 million take in 2017.
Funding from the USOC, on the other hand, was $200,200 more than anticipated.
Partnership marketing suffered in 2018 as USA Swimming was between deals with Marriott, though the two organizations signed a new multi-year partnership in 2019. Chobani, however, did not renew, taking a $150,000 sponsorship with it.
Expenses under Events & Member Services have steadily gone down from 2017 to 2019. This could be attributed in part to USA Swimming’s new model for hosting the Pro Swim Series. In the past, USA Swimming paid cities a hosting fee for staging one of the multi-day professional competitions. In 2019, under the new structure, cities interested in hosting a leg of the Pro Swim Series had to submit a Request-For-Proposal (RFP) to USA Swimming and pay for the rights to host the meet.
Total payroll and benefits sums have also been up-and-down for USA Swimming. 2017 payroll totaled $11.68; 2018 showed a decline of over $300,000 to $11.36 million as several prominent names left the USA Swimming headquarters staff; in the first quarter of 2019, USA Swimming has budgeted $12.18 million for payroll and benefits, however, indicating that they expect to spend the prior-year’s savings. USA Swimming says that restructuring led to significant severance costs in 2018, or they would have likely been well under budget (which they missed by about ($100k)
Other highlights of the 2018 financial statements include:
- $176,490 first-quarter revenue from USA Swimming’s new Flex Membership
- $1,123,181 major gifts/grants exceeded $850,000 budget by $273,181 or 32%
- $830,000 sponsor support including $625,000 from Phillips 66 (5-year renewal beginning 2019). Missed budget by $70,000 of which $50,000 was budgeted from Marriott
- $361,920 in Swim-a-Thon receipts missed annual budget of $400,000, but were up $6,514 or 1.8% from 2017
- $783,600 in National Team grants (most in history) including $623,600 from endowments, $100,000 from Phillips 66, and $60,000 from other donors
- $701,591 in USA Swimming Foundation grants to Make a Splash local partners – $206,854 more than 2017 and most in history.