Well, circa February 2010 there are a slew of unemployed swimmers, slashed sponsorship budgets and there is lots of "blood" and "red ink" on the highway.
$75,000 can buy you an 'A-List' swimmer - Same fee as a garbage man but he gets better health care benefits and a 401k! Gets days off too and a paid vacation.
What a mess this is "...To "save" swimming, they may have nearly destroyed it..." A similar circumstance happened to ice skating which is where I stole that wonderful, hyperbolic, quote from:
Frank DeFrord From NPR:The above article is a must-read, or better, a must-listen! It is a stark warning for swimming and so far that is not an exageration. Remember Ricky Berens, and Alissa Fillippi all over the Huffington Post? The Speedo LZR in the Window of Saks Fifth Avenue? All that controversy and hype is now gone and so are profits and the attention. Controversy makes money. Maybe suits were not ethical nor moral, but they put swimming on the radar and swimmers in swimsuits.
"... Remember the town in Vietnam that, they said, had to be destroyed in order to be saved? Something like that applies very well to figure skating, a sport with a judging system so corrupt that changes had to be made.
Unfortunately, instead of trusting that they could change the judges, they changed the whole system and thereby destroyed the sport's popularity.
For years, the Olympic figure skating championships were about the only other competition to approach Super Bowl ratings. Figure skating was the tent pole that held up the whole Winter Olympics.
The prime purpose of the new and unimproved scoring system was to better quantify the various elements in a program — required jumps and spins — so that the famously nefarious judges would have less latitude to cheat.
[...]The other day I asked Johnny Weir, the most lyrical of American skaters, how much time he could really afford to show off his original artistry in a long program. "Ten seconds," he replied straightaway. Ten seconds out of 4 1/2 minutes to express himself, in a sport where expression was as much the glory as axels and Salchows were the power.
Wait, I have more: It's official, swimming has now gone back underground!
Speedo once had a stable of 40-swimmers; that stable has been greatly reduced. Many "A-list" swimmers are unsigned today and are very worried about it. Sponsorship rates have crashed as well. To put the economics in perspective, one "A-List" sprinter who swam in the Sydney 2000 Olympics was making a whopping $250,000 a year. (I spoke to a witness who saw the contract.) That price tag is not even a third of what it once was and that is if you are "A-List" female sprinter with a great looks and a charismatic personality.
Only Phelps is making the big bucks.
I spoke with an executive of a suit company who is flabbergasted that FINA's "u-turn" is obviously crushing everyone and they don't seem to care. He credited the USMS for forward thinking and made it clear that the USMS is on their radar for advertising support.
Now it gets surreal: The American Swimming Coaches Association may be trying to figure how they can repackage tech-suits as a "swimming aids" instead of swimsuits? HELLO! Who is the genius that thought that up? Perhaps ASCA needs tech-suit money too?
Here is a link to the ASCA survey that they are sending out to coaches which I suspect is trying to make an argument for keeping suits around in a very silly way. this was sent to me by a swimmer: [Link]
More fallout: I was told Jaked was bought out and will be making competition suits and other swimwear for the Italian market including running shoes as well. Jaked did so well at Word Championships they were now a de facto brand in demand in Italia.
As for TYR, they are going into the "octagon cage" with both USA Swimming and Speedo over this fiasco and every legal expert I have talked to; (three total), said both Speedo and USAS are in trouble and they should settle. Other NGBs are looking at this lawsuit and they are not stoked for this could be scandalous.
Tech-suits may have been a "crime" for they paid bills and grew the sport!