USATF hires marketing guru, but don’t expect much love for masters

Max Siegel's website markets Max Siegel.

According to longtime track journalist Alan Abrahamson, in this story, Mark Siegel of Indy will shape up and shake up USATF’s marketing operations. One revelation: Jill Geer is moving from Boston to Indianapolis, ending her telecommute gig as PR chief. Here is the official USATF announcement. Here’s what Alan says: “Wait. What’s this? USA Track & Field, arguably the most dysfunctional of all major American Olympic sports federations, maybe getting something not just right but possibly taking an ambitious step to profoundly reshape the future direction of the sport in the United States and even worldwide? For real. In announcing Monday that it had retained Indianapolis-based Max Siegel Inc. as part of a wide-ranging plan to restructure its marketing and communications efforts, USATF boldly steps into the 21st century.” So what does this mean for masters? Who know? Maybe Max has a Midas touch, and some dimes trickle down to masters. I’ve written Max, so stay tuned.
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October 17, 2011

4 Responses

  1. Milton Girouard - October 18, 2011

    Mr. Siegel was part of Dale Earnhart Jr’s Global marketing, or operations, something to that effect around 2007. After working with Dale he got hired on as NASCAR’s diversity director and then worked in getting a reality show put on BET (Black Entertainment Television) called “Changing Lanes” about minority NASCAR drivers and thier lives on the racing circuit. Here is an article about himself and what work he was doing in NASCAR. http://www.mikemulhern.net/index.php?q=breakingnow/max-siegel-nascars-new-diversity-program-boss-pulling-some-surprises. So just by reading only a little bit about the man, I have no doubt he will make some change in the image of the USATF but will that image change be cutting ties with Master’s athletes? I can gaurantee he does not work cheap and who knew the USATF had all this money just burning a hole in thier pocket to spend? In my personal opinion, If Masters stay, it’s only to use the little money we generate to help pay for a portion of his salary while we’ll be left to fend for ourselves more than ever, recieving less attention in all areas of Master’s T&F. Thinning the herd while still making a few bucks at our expense. Didn’t someone at the USATF already make the suggestion that all that mattered to the USATF was Youth and Elite T&F athletes? If it’s cheaper to get rid of Masters even with our membership dues and other Masters profit avenues, we’ll sink quicker than the Titanic, having only the Senior Games organization to turn to… but again, only my opinion, not factual…yet.

  2. Rob D'Avellar - October 18, 2011

    One hundred-year-old Fauja Singh’s marathon and other records in recent days garnered a huge amount of media attention. And there are a many more terrific Masters stories out there just waiting to be told.

    The population is aging and a lot of corporations are directing their advertising dollars toward the Baby Boomer market.

    If Mr Siegel is smart (and presumably he is), he will recognize that there is untapped gold in Masters athletes as spokespeople for healthy aging.

  3. Mary Harada - October 18, 2011

    Is the masters glass half full or half empty with the hiring of Mr. Siegel? Time will tell if we get the boot – with a parting shot not to let the door hit you in the backside on the way out – or not.
    As for even thinking that the National Senior Games would do a thing for masters T & F – go back and re-read Janet Carrier’s comments of a few days ago. She is still looking to be compensated for the time she put in as an official at the National Senior Games Track Meet in Houston last June. Sounds like the NSG has a few problems in the management area.
    I prefer Mr. D’Avellar’s view for now and hope he is right.

  4. peter taylor - October 18, 2011

    I am not at all sanguine about the future after reading the announcement. We have a lot of big stars in masters T&F in the US, but they don’t fit well into the jet-set orientation I see here.

    For masters I see something paralleling the move of the Millrose Games from historic Madison Square Garden to the 168th St. Armory. Down but not completely out. Maybe I am wrong.

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