What’s In Store For Swimming As Andrew & Krazelburg Talk About Taking Sport Into Another League

krayzelburgandrewISL Lenny Krayzelburg, manager of the LA Current, and Tina Andrew, manager of the NY Breakers, talk to Craig Lord about the International Swimming League and why the sport needs it. Photo Courtesy: Swimming World
Lenny Krayzelburg, manager of the LA Current, and Tina Andrew, manager of the NY Breakers, talk to Craig Lord about the International Swimming League and why the sport needs it. Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

What’s In Store For Swimming? Think Disney meets the NFL, AFL, Premiership 

Tina Andrew is hard at work building market value for the NY Breakers to capitalise from the first season of the International Swimming League. Her rival manager, double Olympic backstroke champion, Lenny Krayzelburg, is working out how to get his LA Current to the grand finale of the pioneering Pro-Team League in Las Vegas on the cusp of Christmas.

Here [see Video below] they tell Craig Lord why swimming needs the International Swimming League, filling “the void” between Olympics with a swim show like no other ever seen in the pool, how they created their logos and branding and how they intend to unlock their market value for team and star swimmers.

If other sports can evolve, speak to the day and attract bigger audiences well beyond their core fans, why not swimming, asks Andrew, mother of USA sprinter Michael Andrew. Their NY Breakers appear to be leading the way on planning for the merchandising and marketing side of the new business of swimming.

Andrew has a goal of opening dedicated stores in New York and elsewhere, with swimmers taking a share of any sales on the products bearing their name or image.

Think Disney and switch Sleepy, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Tigger, Piglet, Pooh and Pluto for your favourite swimmers. There may even be Pantheon collections one day, with the likes of Shane Gould, John Naber, Mary T Meagher, Janet Evans, Matt Biondi and many more finally able to tap into any commercial value left in achievements that pre-dated a time when FINA said athletes could benefit financially from their sport and still race on.

Sports merchandising is a well-established sector. In swimming, it has rarely been linked to specific swimmers and teams and marketed to fans and deeper audience as it is in pro-sports such as basketball and football, where the t-shirt comes with a number and a name.

Andrew intends to change that, the NY Breakers will all be given a number alongside their name in preparation for the store beyond the swim.

Go to any college program in the United States and you’ll find a wall of fame and a merchandise store stacked high with branded products. Expect to see something similar from the League teams in the years ahead.

Krayzelburg has his own plans and agrees that the ISL is not there to destroy Olympic dreams. Rather it is there to “fill the void”. Current exposure of swimmers, he says is “once every four years”. That’s about to change.

Andrew urges coaches to “belief in it and get behind it … that will give the whole thing wings.”

Watch the video:

The 2019 League – Dates and Venues:

  • 5-6 October – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA
  • 12-13 October – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Napoli, Italy
  • 19-20 October – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA
  • 26-27 October – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary
  • 16-17 November – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA
  • 23-24 November – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain
  • 20-21 December – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

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