Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TYR will sponsor the biggest swimming governing body on the planet!

USA Swimming has roughly 300,000 members. Swimming Australia has 90,000 members. Even if you combined both the membership of USA Swimming with the membership of Swimming Australia, they still fall short of the behemoth known as the German Swimming Federation (DSV).

I verified that the German Swimming Federation does indeed vastly exceed the numbers mentioned above coming in at just under 600,000 members total.

USA Swimming
should take notes as to how they too can grow the organization as large as the Germans have. The Germans must be commended.

The gravity of this sponsorship is great for TYR for FINA will now have to think twice before bullying TYR as they did all throughout 2008 and 2009. TYR now has constituency at the "FINA table" that obviously appreciates the company and they will defend it when needed.

One could argue that a couple or so German swimmers will pick up a suit contract from a rival manufacturer or two but the fact remains that there will still be over half-a-million German swimmers supported directly and indirectly by TYR and these swimmers will have to be seriously considered when FINA attempts to play favorites.

TYR Press Release:

TYR Becomes Official Supplier to German Swimming Federation (DSV)

Huntington Beach, Calif. – May 17, 2010 – TYR Sport, Inc. extends its international footprint with the sponsorship of the German Swimming Federation (DSV). TYR becomes the “Official Deck Apparel Supplier” to the largest federation in the world (580,000 members). The partnership extends through 2013. TYR will outfit the national team on deck, during public and personal appearances and will provide Tracer technical suits to all federation members that choose to compete in TYR.

“Signing the German Swimming Federation (DSV) is an incredible achievement for our brand,” commented Franck Horter, TYR’s General Manager for Europe. “The DSV is currently the largest Federation in the world and has a unique tradition and a history of high performance swimmers. TYR is deeply engaged in making this partnership a big success for the federation and TYR.”

Germany holds the third highest amount of swimming world records (seven). At continental European Championships (LEN), the country consistently places in the top three amongst the 51 participating European national federations. At the most recent European championships, Germany captured five gold medals.

“In addition to being the premiere American performance swim brand, TYR is becoming the most recognizable brand on the international level in swim and triathlon,” said TYR’s Executive Vice President Steve Furniss. “To welcome the German Federation into our growing family only strengthens our ties to the global market.”

The country is also amongst the top nations in international competition. At the 2009 FINA World Championships, Germany’s Britta Steffen and Paul Biedermann took two world titles with world records in each of their respective events.

Olympic history runs rich for the German Swim federation, with 10-time Olympic medalist Franziska von Almsick amongst one of the most recognizable in past games. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Steffen was the fastest female of the games winning the 50m and 100m freestyle en route to setting two Olympic records. In 2012, TYR will offer the outfit of the German swim team in the most successful technical suit collection ever offered by TYR – the Tracer series.


livefreeswimhard said...

600,000!! That stat alone is just embarrassing.

Tony Austin said...

When I read the number in the original press release I didn't believe it. I even sent it back to the PR people at TYR and said I need a reference validating that number before I went live with it.

I was given reference and I found a reference

Scott said...

I'm not sure Livefreeswimhard is using the word embarrassing correctly here. I'd suggest using the term amazing instead. If the numbers are correct (for example they could include members who aren't competitive swimmers) then really the big question is why Germany hasn't achieved much more than what it has.

Perhaps kudos are in order to USA Swimming and Swimming Australia for their enormous medal counts on what turns out to be a much narrower base of athletic talent.

Tony Austin said...

Here is a German Wikipedia article on the federation: It covers all the groups under their umbrella. The point here is not the German results column but rather how big the constituency they represent is.

It's my belief that both USA-S and AS pretty much boss FINA around and they do so because of the money factor involved from Speedo.

With that said, there is no number one brand right now in swimming. the whole sport has been reset or rebooted.

Will Speedo fall from it's perch? Well, it did tech suits were available. But when FINA got gamed, all the brands reset.

I think 2009 proved what Bryan Smeltzer, the VP of marketing at Arena said to me in an interview. The results on deck is what is going to matter. Endorsements won't matter.

It certainly did not help Speedo when Phelps was at Worlds, and what if Bidermann beats Phelps in a TYR?

Tony Austin said...

livefreeswimhard said...

No Scott. I typed embarrassing and i meant embarrassing. On the competitive and non competitive side. They have managed to enroll more members than we have. Its not just about medals and achievement. We have to do a better job of getting more people involved in our sport. Why do you think our base is narrow?

Scott said...

Bidermann beating Phelps in a time anywhere close to Phelps pre-tech suit best would be a body blow to many: after a side-by-side comparison of the two regarding their historical performance at the elite level and their physical appearance it becomes exceedingly difficult to understand how Bidermann could even stay close to Phelps much less actually beat him. Assuming, of course, that Phelps is in top form at the time.

livefreeswimhard said...

In fact, thats just the problem. Complacency. We win big at the Olympics so whats the problem right. Not enough people swim as a skill and not enough people swim as a form of exercise. The problem is we spend lots of money on getting things done at the top because it looks good. But what about the bottom?

Tony Austin said...

I agree!

USA Swimming states: "...The three core objectives of USA Swimming are to Build the Base, Promote the Sport, and Achieve Competitive Success..."

I think it is clear that number-three is the only primary focus and they try to build the base and promote the sport by number-three alone.

Alex said...

I love your blog, probably one of the best around the world, but camon, why so much push on TYR!

Their suits sucks, and this is a fact. I know you dont like Speedo, but why you try to convince everyone about TYR.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you for reading. I have a TYR bias. They are from California as I am, I set most of my personal bests in them and they last long. I also like blueseventy tech-suits but I do use Speedo low profiles goggles when racing. Tyr and b70 for workouts

Scott said...

Well, well - I'm going to have to eat some crow and apologize to Livefreeswimhard for assuming his or her state of mind at the time of writing. I was quite wrong to think your embarrassment stemmed solely from Germany having more competitive swimmers. I'll have to plead mea culpa and place the blame on this black funk I'm in. It seem to cause me to think the worst of my fellow Americans which is precisely the flaw I'm charging others with (just ask Tony!)

That you believe society should be measured not by only its wealth and glory but by its efforts, sense of community, and participation in personal improvement seems to imply we share much in the way we believe life should be lived.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

"Their suits sucks, and this is a fact. I know you dont like Speedo, but why you try to convince everyone about TYR."

I don't know how you can say "for a fact" when our free market ensures any company making "sucky" products doesn't stick around long, a fact certainly not applicable to TYR Sport Inc. with its a quarter of a century of being in the business. That is of course excepting our "too big to fail" banks, oil conglomerates, and both Houses of Congress.

10:36 AM

Chris DeSantis said...

I've never been too big a fan of TYR products. I do live by the socket rocket goggles- all the coolness of swedes with none of the assembly or discomfort. I really like Matt Zimmer, their marketing guy- I think he does a bang up job and he seems very genuine. Its probably not based on anything. I've never tried their suits.

livefreeswimhard said...

Im just waiting for NIke to buy out one of these guys and change the game.

Anonymous said...

I once swam at a crowded lane swim session in a public pool in Munich where I was one of only 3 or 4 people in the entire pool doing front crawl. Everyone else was doing head-up breast stroke, no circling, lots of stopping at the end to chat. The lifeguards didn't even put up lane ropes, probably feeling it would be a waste of time.
Admittedly, it was 9:00 in the morning when a lot of people would have been at work, but that session didn't give me the impression that large numbers of people in Germany were even half-seriously into swimming, so I'm not sure where this 600,000 number is coming from. Perhaps parents of young competitive swimmers?

Tony Austin said...

I am going to look into it some more then. i will talk to Erik Hochstein and see how the Federation works.

Scott said...

In a follow up the German Swimming Federation has responded to our inquiries for more detailed information:

In 2009 there were a total of 68,179 licensed competitors, which includes 8,742 life memberships. The remaining 59,437 individuals include those who participate in water polo and synchronized swimming. We estimate that approximately 50,000 of those are competitive swimmers. Licensing is only required for competitive swimmers from the age of ten and consequently the provided figures includes the Class of 1999. Children of younger classes do not require licenses to compete and so are not included in the above total.

2009 Deutscher Schwim-Verband e.V. registered membership was 577,704; which when distributed by age represents approximately 245,000 adults, 46,000 youth, and 285,000 children. Some 80% of all members are active in the association.

Christian Hansmann
Marketing/public work/internal communication Advisor

Tony Austin said...

Thank you Scott, :-) though I still can't figure out how they arrived at 600,000 swimmers since so few compete. I suppose you have to join just to go swimming. (That actually sounds very German to me.)