Marketing of Track and Field- Team track?

Topics:
-Training update
-Congrats handed out
-Marketing of track: Team Track?


Training update:
Training has been going very well. I've started to work a little more towards race specific workouts and that transition is going well. What that basically means is I've added in longer reps at 3k-5k paces. For example, the other day I did mile repeats in 4:28ish w/ 3:15 jog rest.

I'm trying something a little bit different this year. In the past I think I went "over the edge" or to the well to often during workouts. It wasn't rare that after track sessions you'd see me laying on the ground for a long time or throwing up after a workout. While I think that you need to do some sessions that test yourself like that, I think they should be used more judiciously and only at select times during training. I think in the past I went to the well a little too many times in practice and it just broke me down instead of building me up. We'll see how it works out.

Props and congrats to:
-HS kids, jeremy running PR's in the 8 (1:59) and 16 (4:31) and Ryan running 4:39 and 9:58. Awesome performances especially at this point in this season. I'm hopeful that Ryan can knock another 9sec off his PR to take down my freshman 3200 record.
-My sister won her 5th grade class mile on the girls side and......she threw up afterwords haha. I guess it runs in the family.

Marketing of Track and Field:
Flocasts.com has a good series of video interviews with Craig Masback, head of USATF, about the state of the sport.

He makes some good points in his interviews. I like the idea of the head to head shot put.
There's got to be other ways to make track more entertaining/marketable. One thing I've always thought about is how do we get that excitement of cheering for a teammate or friend in a High School or College race to translate on the professional side of the sport. Remember back to when you were competing in HS and think about how excited you would get when one of your friends was racing, or if you are a coach think about how exciting it is to watch the kids you coach race. Somehow we need to bring that connection to the professional side of the sport. I'm not sure how you do it, but that is one thing that seperates our sport from many of the other professional sports.

For instance, in the big 4 (NBA, MLB,NFL, NHL) fans connect to a particular city/ team and intensely follow that team. They root for all the players on the team almost as if they were close friends. We don't have that kind of dire hard rooting interest present in track. You may like a particular athlete who competes, but never to the extent of say a fan of the Boston Red Sox likes his team. No one lives and dies with how Dathan Ritzenhein races. Sure if he races well, you are happy for him, but it's not the same kind of excitement or connection that you get with other sports.

I have no idea how to get that connection, but it seems possible. My guess is that some sort of team structure might help to aid the situation. It wouldn't take that much work. You wouldn't have to divide them by cities or anything like that. For starters, I would divide it by companies that sponser athletes. If you are sponsored by a shoe company than you are on their "team" and compete against other sponsors. It would be similar to what cycling does with it's Tour de France teams. To keep from one company simply buying up all of the athletes, you limit the number of athletes on each "team" and allow the shoe company to have several different teams with various names. For example, Nike sponsors a ton of athletes, so they could have the Nike A team, B team, C team, etc. (of course with actual names). Each team could have a designated # of spots that scored "points" with wins,times, etc. at the big meets. For instance, maybe having two guys per event on each team. It wouldn't just be shoe companies either. Anyone could sponser a team if they wanted to. Like in Nascar, the team would have that companies logo on their jerseys.

As far as the details you could make it where each team has two people per track event that can score. They then can earn points based on placings at major meets or times at smaller meets. You could also bring in select Cross Country and Road Races into the mix to count. You tally up the points for each team throughout the "regular season" and then have a 4 team dual meet playoff where team A competes against team B in a track meet, while team C competes against team D. Then the winners compete in a championship for the best team.

That would bring some excitement like the old college dual meets back in the day used to. Also, it would bring a college or HS championship feel to it as teams would be competing for a team victory. In essence it would turn professional track into more of a team sport.


I think this would be good for the athletes too because bringing in more sponsors than just shoe companies would expand the money available to the athletes.


Ya it's not perfect, but it might bring something new to the sport.

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