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Thread: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

  1. #1
    Senior Member kitkat1's Avatar
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    T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    The Track and Field Athletes Association (TFAA) is pleased to announce the expansion of our organization to include member athletes from beyond the United States. We are now an international association representing the collective interests of professional track and field athletes worldwide.

    According to TFAA President Khadevis Robinson, We recognized that the challenges faced by track and field athletes are not limited to Team USA. In order to grow our sport, we must establish a unified voice across the international community of athletes.

    "For me," said TFAA board member Sanya Richards-Ross, "it's about leaving the sport in a better state than we found it. It won't pay off for me, but for the next young girl who's 7 or 8 and wants to be the next Sanya Richards-Ross, I want her reality to be different. I want her to have this dream and have it pay off because we stood up for what's right."

    As part of our announcement, the TFAA would like to welcome the following international members:








    Ayanna Alexander

    Trinidad and Tobago



    Kelly-Ann Baptiste

    Trinidad and Tobago



    Yohan Blake

    Jamaica



    Usain Bolt

    Jamaica



    Kim Collins

    Saint Kitts and Nevis



    Cheboi Collins

    Kenya



    Mutaz Essa Barshim

    Qatar



    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

    Jamaica



    Michael Frater

    Jamaica



    Arne Gabius

    Germany



    Robbie Grabarz

    Great Britain



    John Kipkoech

    Kenya



    Leonard Kirwa Kosencha

    Kenya



    Ivet Lalova

    Italy



    Churandy Martina

    Netherlands



    Imane Merga

    Ethiopia



    David Rudisha

    Kenya



    Felix Sanchez

    Dominican Republic



    Priscilla Schliep

    Canada



    Danny Talbot

    Great Britain



    Sammy Tangui

    Kenya



    Laura Weightman

    Great Britain



    Shericka Williams

    Jamaica




    About the Track and Field Athletes Association (TFAA):

    Founded in 2010, the TFAAs mission is to: Broaden and strengthen the financial support system for track and field, establish and promote alternative track and field events, and represent the interests and rights of professional track worldwide.

    If you would like additional information, please contact the TFAA via email at info@trackandfieldathletesassociation.org.

    Regards,

    The TFAA

    http://trackandfieldathletesassociation.org

  2. #2
    Senior Member kitkat1's Avatar
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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    Bolt joins cause for track athletes

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    22 September 2012, 06:30


    Jamaican Olympic champion Usain Bolt is among those joining a group of US track and field athletes fighting a rule that bars Olympians from using their names or likenesses for advertising during the Games.

    The Track and Field Athletes Association, which includes high-profile American runners such as Sanya Richards-Ross and Bernard Lagat, announced Friday it had added international athletes.

    The athletes are opposed to Rule 40, an International Olympic Committee rule that prohibits Olympic athletes from advertising in the days leading up to and during the Games.

    In welcoming Bolt, Yohan Blake, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 800-metre world record holder David Rudisha and 19 others from around the world, TFAA president Khadevis Robinson said, "in order to grow our sport, we must establish a unified voice across the international community of athletes."

    Asked about the issue at the US Olympic Committee assembly Friday, CEO Scott Blackmun said he was sympathetic to what the athletes are trying to do.

    "We'd like to find ways for the athletes to benefit from their success at the Olympic Games," Blackmun said. "We also understand there's a critical need to protect the exclusivity" of the Olympic brand.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kitkat1's Avatar
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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    By Melissa Isaacson | espnW

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    Track and field athletes from the United States and abroad are unionizing, they said Friday, in part to fight a rule against promoting private sponsors, achieve collective bargaining and seek prize money in the Olympics.

    Some of the biggest names in the sport, including Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Bernard Lagat and Jamaican stars Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, are part of a movement that gained momentum during the London Games. At the heart of the matter is Rule 40, an International Olympic Committee bylaw that prohibits Olympic participants from advertising for non-Olympic sponsors just before and during the Games.




    We're really just trying to move the sport forward in a professional way. That's all we're trying to do and our hopes are that the USOC and IOC don't see it as something negative because we don't. But it's time, it really is.
    ” -- Khadevis Robinson, U.S. middle-distance runner and president of the Track and Field Athletes Association

    The rule triggered a heated response from athletes, who took to social media to voice their opposition.

    "The whole (#WeDemandChange) Twitter rants has been an internal discussion we've had for years," Richards-Ross told ESPN.com on Friday. "A lot of athletes in our sport are severely underpaid, hold two or three jobs just to train and stay in the sport, and what pushed me over the edge to get on board and mobilize was just seeing how much money was generated from the Olympic Games.

    "I do relatively well with great sponsors, but for the majority of my peers, that's not the reality and it's disheartening."

    Khadevis Robinson, a U.S. middle-distance runner and president of the Track and Field Athletes Association, said that while his group -- which expanded to international athletes on Friday -- took its lead from player unions in other sports, athletes are not planning to assert their leverage with work stoppages.

    "We don't foresee even discussing things like strikes. We don't want that. That's not our purpose," said Robinson, who predicted a nearly full commitment from TFAA members. "We want to find more ways for the sport's professionals to make more money, not the opposite of that."

    Robinson said the realization that "our names are our brand" and that "we were not able to represent our brands in the way it should be done" prompted the move to create a mission statement and form a legalized union.

    "When the general public sees Olympic sponsors, they don't know that doesn't necessarily mean there's a trickle-down to athletes," he said. "And we're not even so much upset that we can't wear certain things or tweet about them as why weren't we informed when the decisions were made? From a business and professional standpoint, why weren't we even in this conversation?"

    This apparent lack of transparency, they say, will be among the first matters they address with the IOC and national governing bodies.

    "To me, the most compelling reason for all athletes' associations is a lack of representation and the lack of a voice at the decision-making level," said Adam Nelson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist and world champion shot-putter. "There are a lot of groups saying they're making the best choices on behalf of athletes, but they don't really value what athletes have to say when it comes time to making their decisions. And it seems more and more like decisions are being driven by the best financial interest of a specific group than the benefit of the whole."

    For Richards-Ross, the most obvious example of a productive players' union is the NFLPA, which includes among its members her husband, Aaron Ross, a cornerback for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    "I've seen my husband, who has been in the NFL for six years, and I've seen what a strong players' union does, not only for the benefit of the players but the benefit of the sport," she said. "And this is global. There are unions in every industry because they need to have that voice, not just for financial reasons but for consideration of other things.

    "This should have happened 20 years ago. It's well overdue. It only makes sense to unite.

    "For me, it's about leaving the sport in a better state than we found it. It won't pay off for me, but for the next young girl who's 7 or 8 and wants to be the next Sanya Richards-Ross, I want her reality to be different. I want her to have this dream and have it pay off because me and others stood up for what's right."

    Added Robinson: "We're really just trying to move the sport forward in a professional way. At the end of the day, that's all we're trying to do, and our hopes are that the USOC and IOC don't see it as something negative, because we don't. But it's time, it really is."

    USOC chief exective officer Scott Blackmun said he understands the athletes' position.

    "I understand the desire and need on the part of the athletes to try and create some real estate they can sell during the 16 days they're really at the peak of their careers, so I am sympathetic to the need and desire to do that," he said. "I don't know anything about the specific proposal, so I can't comment on it, but we would like to find ways for the athletes to benefit from their success at the Olympic Games.

    "We also understand the critical need to protect the integrity of the Games and to protect the exclusivity of the sponsors who provide substantial funds for our Olympic athletes. So it's not an easy question at all but I'm looking forward to learning more about it."

  4. #4
    Senior Member kitkat1's Avatar
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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    Either way, successful or not, this is a significant move in the history of athletics. Tennis players administer the ATP & WTA (while the ITF - tennis's equivalent of the IAAF - still runs the Davis Cup, Federation Cup). The best men at my wedding Peter Townend and Ian Cairns - both world surfing champions in the 1970s - staged a coup and created the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) which they established to rest control of their sport away from promoters and put into the hands of the competitors, instantly doubling prizemoney and creating a multi-tiered competition circuit. So track and field athletes can do it too if they have the conviction, intellect and energy to sustain what will be a long conflict I suspect. The IAAF has its place and probably the T&FAA won't be talking any time soon about taking over administration of the sport globally but that may come if something doesn't give soon on the commercial personal endorsements front. It would only take adidas or Nike to back the T&FAA and it's really "game on".

  5. #5

    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    Quote Originally Posted by kitkat1 View Post
    It would only take adidas or Nike to back the T&FAA and it's really "game on".
    I think Nike is behind a lot of this. The athletes that staged the Rule 40 "protest" on Twitter during the games were all (to my knowledge) Nike sponsored. Nike also found a way to create recognition by getting all their athletes to wear those bright yellow shoes during competition. They pay a lot of money to sponsor athletes and they want to get their money's worth.

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    Senior Member kitkat1's Avatar
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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    Usain Bolt doesn't wear Nike. Cannot see Puma being too thrilled about their top man supporting any "marketing" manoeuvre created by Nike or any other rival apparel & shoe manufacturer. But you may well be right about Nike's attempts to manipulate the situation to meet their own ends

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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    Kitkat,

    This is fascinating stuff. It's about time athletes stopped accepting being poor as being part and parcel of competing in track and field. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.

    What do you expect will come of this? Will this strictly be something that the better known athletes profit from, or do you anticipate some trickle-down to the up and coming person, e.g. minimum appearance / travel fees?
    Last edited by T-Slow; 10-29-2012 at 10:20 AM.

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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    The question I have is how many athletes currently receive appearance fees? We have heard about Bolt and Blake, but no mention of others. I've tweeted Ato about his take and he was silent, usually indicating (in my opinion) an answer that is better to be quiet about.

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    Member sady's Avatar
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    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    One day cricket in track and field.

    At the Allstars meet in Sydney that Usain was at one of the star sprinters pulled out because of shoe company sponsorship. Only a fool would believe one shoe brand is faster than another.

    I have some Power Balance bands for sale.

  10. #10

    Re: T&F Athletes Assn goes global

    From my knowledge appearance fees are usually given to Medalists and Finalists of Championships. The amount would then depend on podium finish,status etc. I find it slightly ironic that some of the guys that have signed up for what ever it is they have signed for are in receipt of over 50k per race! Track and field will never have the glamour and status of NBA or Football (Soccer as you guys call it). I'm not saying that they should settle for less either but if someone offered me 30k to race when I used to do it for nothing, i'm grabbing it!!

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