USA Swimming Sets Fourth Annual #SwimBiz Conference

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

USA Swimming is excited to announce the fourth annual #SwimBiz: Social Media, Sponsorship and Swimming marketing conference, set to take place April 8-10 in Colorado Springs, Colo. #SwimBiz features insights from prominent brands on building memorable stand-out social media and marketing strategies for their teams, while emphasizing advertising, branding, communications, sponsorship and local promotions.

Attended by team representatives from across the country, the 2018 conference will feature special keynote speakers Miranda Abney, Senior Marketing Director at MilkPep and Chris Weissman, former National Team swimmer and Partner at TopRight Partners. Weissman also previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer at HoneyBaked Ham.

In addition, Mark Bernheimer of MediaWorks Resource Group will lead a media training session to help attendees better understand the news media and provide the necessary tools to communicate with reporters.

This year’s conference will also feature a special Flex Membership Workshop. The Flex Membership is a membership option that will help teams offer creative and family-friendly entry-level programs. The pre-team/bridge programs are in place to help introduce young swimmers to competitive swimming. The workshop will focus on how to implement and creatively promote and the membership. It will also discuss how the program makes it easier to transition swimmers to competitive teams, provide an untapped source of new revenue and create a level for young swimmers that might not currently have a place in their competitive program.

“Every year we strive to present attendees with trending, industry-leading and membership-engaging topics to help them grow their business and their base,” USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer Matt Farrell said. “In addition, at this year’s event we also wanted to pay special attention to the Flex membership, available September 2018, and arm participants with the tools to take advantage of the new membership category.”

The conference will also recognize the best local marketing and promotional efforts in the sport through the #SwimBiz Club Marketing Awards. Clubs will nominate their best marketing campaign ideas from 2017 in categories such as: Best Use of Social Media, Best in Fundraising, Best in Multicultural Marketing, Marketing LSC of the Year, Marketing Club of the Year and more. A panel of experts will determine the winners and awards will be handed out at the #SwimBiz Club Marketing Awards Dinner.


Keynote Presentations:

  • Media Training for Any Situation: Inside the Mind of a Reporter

    Mark Bernheimer, MediaWorks Resource Group

  • Winning with Kids: Influencing a Hard-to-Reach Audience

Miranda Abney, MilkPep Senior Marketing Director

  • Five Things I’ve Learned as a C-Level Marketer 

Chris Weissman, Partner at TopRight Partners


Sunday, April 8

1:30 – 1:45 p.m.            Welcome to #SwimBiz: Opening Remarks

Matt Farrell, USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.            What is the Flex Membership & What It Means to your LSC

Tom Avischious, USA Swimming Senior Director of Field Services, Programs and Services

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.            A Case Study on Running a Pre-Team Program

Bob Kizer, Sienna Plantation Aquatics Head Coach

3:00 – 3:30 p.m.            Ways Your Club Can Successfully Implement the Flex Membership

Mariejo Truex, USA Swimming Program & Services Director

3:45 – 4:15 p.m.            Sneak Peek: Messaging, Creative Elements & Tool Kit to Promote Flex to your Community

Wendy Bartlett, USA Swimming Membership Marketing Manager


Monday, April 9

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.            CEO Update with Tim Hinchey

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.            Keynote: Winning with Kids: Influencing a Hard-to-Reach Audience

Miranda Abney, MilkPep Senior Marketing Director

9:55 –  10:55 a.m.         Media Training for Any Situation: Inside the Mind of a Reporter

Mark Bernheimer, MediaWorks Resource Group

11:05 – 11:35 a.m.        Event Marketing

Andrew Schnell, Stadium Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy

11:35 – 12:05 p.m.        Copy That: Copyrights, Logos, Branding and Pitfalls

Lucinda McRoberts, USA Swimming General Counsel and VP of Business Affairs

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.            How to Negotiate a Swimsuit Deal for Your Team

Mark Frank, Triangle Aquatics Event & Marketing Director

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.            Nielsen Report: How to Measure ROI on a Sponsorship

Rebekah Stevens, Nielsen Sports & Entertainment Vice President Global Brand and Sponsorship Consulting

2:25 – 2:55 p.m.            The Digital Age: Why Video Will Transform Your Team

Nailah Ellis Timberlake, Director of USA Swimming Productions 

2:55 – 3:25 p.m.            The Key Elements to Successful Sponsorship Sales

Impression Sports & Entertainment

3:35 – 4:05 p.m.            Networking 101: How to Develop Partnerships Through Social Media

Fares Ksebati, MySwimPro Co-Founder and CEO

4:05 – 4:35 p.m.            Creating a Business Culture: How to Empower Your Board/Staff to Be Your Front-Line Leaders

Paris Jacobs, Machine Aquatics Owner/Director of Operations

4:35 – 5:05 p.m.            Marketing Plan Tools: 10 Secrets to Steal for Your (Big or Small) Club

Bob Platt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club Director of Ops/Assistant Coach-National

6:45 – 8:30 p.m.            #SwimBiz Marketing Awards at the Olympic Training Center


Tuesday, April 10

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.            Keynote: Five Things I’ve Learned as a C-Level Marketer

Chris Weissman, Partner at TopRight Partners

9:40 – 10:10 a.m.          Swipe Right: How to Make a Memorable First Impression with Social Media for your Team

Kara Raney, USA Swimming Manger of Social Media

10:10 – 10:40 a.m.        How to Get a Local Business to Sponsor a Swim Team vs. Other Youth Sports

David Orr, Sunkist Swim Team Head Coach/CEO

10:50 – 11:20 a.m.        Social Media Fails: What to Do When Social Media Goes Wrong

Matt Whewell, USA Speedskating Communications Director

11:20 – 11:50 a.m.        Set, Direct, Protect: How Safe Sport is Critical to Running a Successful Small Business

Maggie Vail, USA Swimming Safe Sport Education Manager

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.        Utilizing the World’s Best Free Marketing Tool (aka Social Media)

Ryan Zundell, Marietta Marlins Head Coach

12:30 p.m.                    End of the 2018 #SwimBiz Conference


For the full schedule, details for the #SwimBiz Club Marketing Awards and registration details visit or share it on social media with the #SwimBiz hashtag.

About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit

— This information came from a press release provided by USA Swimming.

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Author: Daniel D'Addona

Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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