What does it mean to be a member of USA Curling? What benefits does an individual or club get from membership? That’s now in the process of changing. USA Curling is rolling out a new membership structure where individuals, not just clubs, can join the national organization. In this show, we talk about what that means and the impact it will have on curlers and clubs with Mid-South Curling Club’s Evan Lu and USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush. Evan will also tell us the history of his club and how a small arena club in the south recruits and retains members.
The future of curling will rely on our ability to grow the game with younger demographics. But how do we get the next generation to play the sport and watch it on TV? John Allgood, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the Executive Masters of Sports Business at Temple University, joins us to discuss this and many more topics related to sports marketing. John made a career out of selling sports like minor league baseball, pro bull riding and soccer and now he teaches the next generation of front office staff how to do the same. Join us as we find out how an emerging sport like curling can stand out in a crowded market.
The changes in curling in the United States and in high-level curling can be told through the story of John Shuster. His Olympic triumph vindicated his team and legitimized USA curling. This is the story of the changes in Shuster’s sport, his team and himself that led to that moment.
We start by recapping the many national curling championships that just completed, including Scotland, Switzerland, Japan and the US. We finish off by discussing the recent hire of Jeff Plush as the new CEO of USA Curling, hear from some people who know him better than we do and talk about what his success will look like if you’re a club curler.
Bobby Torres from the Curling Club at Penn State joins us to discuss his recent Growth of Curling Survey. It’s a fascinating look at how real curlers feel curling clubs can improve. We talk about learn-to-curl opportunities, marketing to the next generation and the unorthodox ways his club is attracting new members. Also, Jonathan and Ryan settle-up on their bad beer bet with the Game of Stones podcast.
We give a lot of love to the USA Curling Arena Nationals and recount all of our previous failures at it. We then preview every team at this year’s event and interview Travis Geiser of the Chester County CVB and Dave Rosler & Dave Kolibaba of Ocean State Curling Club. If you enjoy this podcast, please leave a review and tell your friends to check out the show. Good curling to everyone in West Chester!