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Thread: Questions about USA Wrestling

  1. #10

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    I think you're right about breaking up the staff. But some of the things Schlottke and I mentioned, web site stuff, sponsorship, partnerships at high levels, those just aren't being done. That does have nothing to do with the people working in the trenches with the membership, but with the marketing, web and executive director offices.

  2. #11

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    Quote Originally Posted by bluestater View Post
    I think you're right about breaking up the staff. But some of the things Schlottke and I mentioned, web site stuff, sponsorship, partnerships at high levels, those just aren't being done. That does have nothing to do with the people working in the trenches with the membership, but with the marketing, web and executive director offices.
    Yes -- and since I have no direct knowledge about those people and their salaries, duties, etc, I didn't really mention anything. But I agree - and I also think that's the area where USAW is struggling the most.
    Super 32 Challenge - October 26-27, 2013

    "Good things happen when you wrestle for a full seven minutes." -- Jayson Ness, post-finals press conference

  3. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stardust View Post
    I just don't think it's fair to lump everyone into being held accountable for those 18 athletes when there's a much bigger picture.

    And yes, I do understand the concept that you look at it like one company, and the entire company succeeds or fails together. But since we're breaking down this discussion into different criteria, I feel like each "department" should be judged accordingly.
    Definitely should be broken down by each department. I think (and you confirmed it) that Mark Scott and the people working on the 'growth' side of things are definitely doing the best job.

    I lumped the 7 directors together in my salary comparison to the freestyle team because, while each has their own tasks, they are supposed to be working together for one common goal (like you said.) With that in mind, even the most successful person of the seven (the Henry Cejudo of the group, if you will) still has the responsibility to point out departments that are making their task more difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluestater View Post
    I think you're right about breaking up the staff. But some of the things Schlottke and I mentioned, web site stuff, sponsorship, partnerships at high levels, those just aren't being done. That does have nothing to do with the people working in the trenches with the membership, but with the marketing, web and executive director offices.
    Imagine if the websites and marketing were as well run and managed as Fargo and other tournaments they operate. Just on the Internet Marketing side of it- I could expect major increases in membership by providing a few additional services and improving advertising/marketing of the current resources they offer (i.e. Most people likely have no idea that each state can have National team members brought to their state- that clinic would be worth the membership by itself.)
    Last edited by Schlottke; 04-15-2009 at 10:35 AM.

  4. #13

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    Two major issues the sport has both lack staff. The area they are doing a decent job has a much larger staff.

    Where they are succeeding:

    Six People in: Membership & State Services
    Mark Scott Director of State Services
    Tony Black Manager of Grass Roots Development
    Sam Barber Manager of National Coaches Education
    Kevin Hansen Manager of Junior Olympic Programming
    Shonna Vest Membership Services Assistant
    Marge Civil State Services Assistant

    Where they are struggling:

    One Person in I.T.
    Meredith Wilson Director of Information Technology

    One Person in Broadcasting
    Christina Copple Video Technician

    --

    Executive
    Rich Bender Executive Director
    Haley Thompson Executive Assistant
    Karen Robinson Receptionist

    I don't want to come across as trying to get someone fired, but does Rich Bender need both an Assistant and a Receptionist? Couldn't one do both jobs & the other be trained to operate the website's more basic features?
    Last edited by Schlottke; 04-15-2009 at 10:50 AM.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    When they were launching that Folkstyle Tour of America I had a few conversations with Travis Shives and Mark Scott. One of those events was being held in NC a few weeks after the Super 32 so they were picking my brain a little bit.

    At the time, we were also working within our state on promoting NC/USAW over some of the other organizations that put on tournaments here. We had come up with lists of reasons to support USAW -- about how they give back to the athletes, support our national teams, etc.

    I suggested to Mark and Travis that USAW should do a lot more promotion in that area - point out the services they provide to wrestlers of all ages all over the country.

    I agree there should be an entire section on their website about "Why choose USA Wrestling"

    I think they rely too heavily on the state directors/chairmen to do a lot of the promotion. Which is good to a degree because the director/board within each state knows best what their state needs. However, in most states, these people are volunteers and don't always have the time.

    It's a hard sell here to get a kid to buy a $30/$35 membership card and then pay $10/$15 for a tournament entry fee, when every weekend there are other tourneys who purchase independent insurance so no membership cards are needed and kids just pay an entry fee. It would be nice if USAW had posters and flyers and things highlighting the reasons that kids should join USAW that we could hand out, and I just don't understand why they don't.
    Super 32 Challenge - October 26-27, 2013

    "Good things happen when you wrestle for a full seven minutes." -- Jayson Ness, post-finals press conference

  6. #15

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    A point of view from Eastern Washington

    I grew up wrestling in USAW clubs in the Salem/Portland Oregon area. I bought the cards got certified to bracket and officiate. It seemed like every town had it's own club, they were all very well ran and they were also very well attended. Now I live in eastern Washington, in Whitman County (population 40,740) and that includes Pullman (population 24,675) home of Washington State university. There isn't ONE USA club in Eastern Washington within a 1 hour drive. Everyone in Idaho is part of the Washington Little Guy wrestling league which is VERY POORLY RUN. There are a lot of USAW clubs in Idaho and Eastern Oregon, there are even SOME in Eastern WA. I know lots of families that have wrestlers and have been involved with the sport for a long time that really haven't even heard of USAW. There is never any information about it at local (high school) tournaments. I know that they may not have a ton of money but if they were to send out a free poster/schedule with the tournament dates I'd post it in our room for everyone to see. They need to do some more advertising in areas that they are underrepresented. I'm not sure if they have just written off this region or if their advertising is really that bad but in the four years that I've been in this region I have not seen one club leave the Washington Little Guys Wrestling league for USAW. There is even talk now of several clubs splintering away from the WLGWL and forming their own league. They aren't even considering joining USAW, mainly because they don't know about it.

  7. #16
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    In response to Bluestater's question about MMA.

    USA Wrestling did align themselves with the International Fight League before that organization went under. They were sharing resources in terms of PR and if anyone noticed, a big ol' USA Wrestling logo on the canvas at IFL events. I covered three of them and the last two had USAW logos and signage.

    Having worked with USA Wrestling in the past, I can personally attest there are many good people busting their butts to promote the sport, but very little of it gets noticed. Just because matches aren't always online doesn't mean they aren't trying.

    In regards to moderating the message boards ... that isn't anyone's "job," because as everyone might know, it's something they kind of have to do. It takes time away from their "real" portion of the job.

    USA Wrestling's media staff also has a magazine they publish for members, and that takes time and effort as well. I agree the IT side might be understaffed.

    The "receptionist" is for the entire building, not just for Rich Bender.

    As far as the 990 (i think it's a 990) tax form, that was available on the website. I can't find the link on the new redesign, but it was readily available on one of the drop-downs on the old site.

    All that stuff, at least until the redesign, was publicly available. I guess I'll have to dig to find that info.

    On the state level, I know some states are more active than others in encouraging freestyle and Greco-Roman participation. I know back in Virginia, many of the clubs wanting to host a tournament went folkstyle and were "wildcat" without any AAU or USAW sanction.

  8. #17

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    Quote Originally Posted by Snackem View Post
    A point of view from Eastern Washington

    I grew up wrestling in USAW clubs in the Salem/Portland Oregon area. I bought the cards got certified to bracket and officiate. It seemed like every town had it's own club, they were all very well ran and they were also very well attended. Now I live in eastern Washington, in Whitman County (population 40,740) and that includes Pullman (population 24,675) home of Washington State university. There isn't ONE USA club in Eastern Washington within a 1 hour drive. Everyone in Idaho is part of the Washington Little Guy wrestling league which is VERY POORLY RUN. There are a lot of USAW clubs in Idaho and Eastern Oregon, there are even SOME in Eastern WA. I know lots of families that have wrestlers and have been involved with the sport for a long time that really haven't even heard of USAW. There is never any information about it at local (high school) tournaments. I know that they may not have a ton of money but if they were to send out a free poster/schedule with the tournament dates I'd post it in our room for everyone to see. They need to do some more advertising in areas that they are underrepresented. I'm not sure if they have just written off this region or if their advertising is really that bad but in the four years that I've been in this region I have not seen one club leave the Washington Little Guys Wrestling league for USAW. There is even talk now of several clubs splintering away from the WLGWL and forming their own league. They aren't even considering joining USAW, mainly because they don't know about it.
    This type of situation happens everywhere. When I was growing up in northern WI we went to a tournament that required a USAW card (didn't know beforehand and brought a dozen kids with to the event) None of the kids besides me had the card & none even knew what it was.

    Now.. imagine a website that covers that community having the ability to sell the cards online. They'd earn profit for improving the sport, increasing brand awareness about USAW, and control marketshare for USAW. eBay uses this method, even though they control >80% of the US market. eHarmony & Zappos have built their companies around it.. and these are just a few I have personal experience with.

    Their fear doing this would be that states would split off and form their own, so why not give them a cut of every person from their state, no matter where they register for the card. Restricting the sales to the states really hurts the ability to grow the sport because, like was previously mentioned, they don't have full time employees trying to grow it, they don't have the reach to smaller communities, and they have competitors that they otherwise can't compete with for one reason or another.

    If NuWay or other localized groups began a similar program I would expect them to compete with USAW very rapidly across the nation if USAW did not do this. As of right now, I'm just surprised nobody is doing it.

  9. #18

    Default Re: Questions about USA Wrestling

    I will smash your face into a car windshield and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her again!

    Tell me about it, this morning, I woke up and I shit a squirrel, but what I can't get is the damn thing is still alive. So now, I've got a shit covered squirrel running around my office and I don't know what to name it.

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