The big thing going on in USA Track & Field right now is the #DemandChange. #DemandChange began it’s journey as a tweet that began brewing by legendary athletes like shot putter Adam Nelson and the 2012 Olympic 400 meter Champion Sanya-Richards Ross. #DemandChange was concerning the “Rule40” which limits athletes to mention their sponsors that aren’t Olympic sponsors, via social media, TV, and basically anything else that puts the athlete in front of fans. This hurts the athlete who trains hours on end to make a living, which is usually close to nothing anyways.
So, athletes spoke up to make their point, but did it change the minds of the IOC? Will it in the future? The only way for it to work is if those sponsors who don’t sponsor the Olympics give a little cash for those two weeks the Olympic Games are conducted. This is just going to cause a greater mess. The small companies will not being able to make the mark and pay the money needed in order for their name to be spoken by an athlete.
Listen, we are being suppressed in many ways, why doesn’t this surprise us? It’s a fight to survive, kill or be killed world. We should just bow down to the IOC and listen to their rules. However, I do believe their is a way for our USA Athletes to make some good money in the months around the Olympic Games. Rough estimates put track and field participants at 25,000 per state (elementary, high school, college, open & masters athletes) with only a few paying into the USATF membership. Why not make all who participate in track and field pay a fee of $25.00 a year for membership? That would come out to be roughly $625,000.00 in New Jersey alone! Your probably saying that people wouldn’t want to pay that. I actually think they would. Track and Field athletes are a special mix of people that understand the self motivation one must have to better their performance. All of us know that if we had just a little more help we would be better than the year before. The youth athletes paying into the system would pave the way for their future training, if they make it that far.
Now lets look at a rough breakdown of how much an athlete could make. First we need to know how many events there are in track and field:
Sprints: 100 m, 200 m and 400 m.
Middle distance: 800 m to 3000 m
Long distance: runs over 5000 m
Hurdling: 110 m high hurdles (100 m for women) and 400 m intermediate hurdles
Relays: 4 x 100 m relay, 4 x 400 m relay, 4 x 200 m relay, 4 x 800 m relay
Road running: half-marathon and marathon
Race walking: 10 km, 20 km and 50 km.
We are now going to pick the top 10 athletes per event. Which would bring our total athletes (men & women) being top 10 to roughly 500 athletes.
Now if each state has 25,000 total participants (anyone who does track and field) multiplied by 50 states that’s 1,250,000 athletes around the United States. Now if they all pay $25.00 a pop to be a member of USATF then that brings our total yearly dues to $31,250,00.00! Now divide that by roughly 500 athletes and you get $62,500.00 per athlete. Of course we have to pay the damn taxes (Government is the MOB!) which would bring the total to around $37,500.00. Now couldn’t that help our USA Athletes? Couldn’t that support those who are in the “black?”
“Black” is the group of athletes that are in the 6-10th places. These are the guys and gals who need that help so that they don’t have to get a full-time job, because what happens is most of those athletes die off. Where as if they were given a fighting chance they could rise to the top and be the cream of the crop. How many athletes did you see after college stop training and move on with life? I bet you don’t have enough hairs on your head to count those amounts of athletes that could have been great.
Track and Field athletes put in a large amount of time… and get no financial benefit from it (article on how much track and field athletes make here: article), maybe that’s the attraction for most of us? It’s a personal thing that drives us… it’s defiantly not money, but wouldn’t it be nice to have some cash come in for something you enjoy to do? Hell, almost every other US professional league gets the Benjamins… why not track and field (and don’t say the fan base is not there!)
Just think about it!