USA Swimming’s revenue from corporate sponsorship was 25% less than expected last year after the national governing body lost two key sponsors.
USA Swimming anticipated bringing in more than $4.8 million in corporate sponsorship revenue based on its 2022 budget, but a $1.2-million shortfall brought that figure down to $3.6 million. A USA Swimming spokesperson said the organization doesn’t comment on sponsors who are no longer on the roster, “but we are certainly excited by numerous prospects interested in Olympic-year partnerships.”
Among the companies that disappeared from USA Swimming’s online list of partners between January 2022 and February 2023 were Marriott, Golden Road Brewing, Bic, Myrtha Pools, Xfinity, and Frito Lay. The spokesperson did not specify which sponsors were the keys that led to the shortfall.
There was also a budget shortfall in corporate sponsorship revenue in the last post-Olympic year in 2017, though it wasn’t quite as steep. USA Swimming secured $4.1 million in corporate sponsorship revenue in 2017, down 18% from the budgeted $5.1 million that year — but that was still higher than the 2022 post-Olympic year revenue by half-a-million dollars.
Tim Hinchey took over as USA Swimming CEO in July 2017 after the death of previous CEO Chuck Wielgus. The philanthropic arm of the organization, the USA Swimming Foundation, reported more than $3 million in investment losses last year for a net revenue of only $212,540.
USA Swimming released the numbers as part of the minutes from its April Board of Directors meeting. Those minutes also revealed that the Board formed a working group to develop a long-term strategic plan regarding membership and how to reverse the current trend.
USA Swimming athlete membership is down 9.2% from its 2017 peak while total membership is down 7.4%, according to a comparison presented by the Board’s working group. The group’s hypotheses for membership decline included “declining relationships with athletes, coaches, and clubs, a decrease in competitive opportunities at the Local Swimming Committee level, and changes in the overall sports landscape.”
The Board’s working group noted that it “sees opportunity for growth, as some clubs demonstrated growth during the same period as the membership declines.” It suggested that USA Swimming help foster growth by educating coaches and clubs on “best demonstrated practices” for running successful small businesses.
SwimSwam reached out to USA Swimming Board members, but they said that they are not allowed to speak to the media.