USATF CEO Candidate Tracy Sundlun Proposes Organizational Changes

Tracy Sundlun with running legend Bret Michaels (Dallas Observer)

Tracy Sundlun’s candidacy for USA Track and Field CEO has started with a bang, even if he isn’t the one doing the campaigning.

This week, Sundlun received glowing endorsements from Jim Spier of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation and preeminent road racing announcer Toni Reavis.

Both cite Sundlun’s 40 years of experience in the sport as race director, announcer, coach and businessman as critical to understanding all aspects of USATF duties.

Sundlun, currently the Senior Vice President of Competitor Group, Inc., was executive director of the Metropolitan Athletics Congress (the New York City branch of USATF) and co-founded the National Scholastic Indoor Track and Field Championship and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series.

Sundlun recently released an extensive list of proposals for organizational and operations changes that he would implement if hired as USATF CEO. His vision for the governing body includes changes to promotions, athletic development and partnership growth.

Below are some of Sundlun’s proposals that I found to be intriguing and/or particularly necessary. Find the entire list here.

  • “Hire approximately 24 USATF Association Executive Directors for targeted associations based upon the associations’ potential.”
  • “Our PR / Media Office / Press Officer must take a very entrepreneurial, aggressive and proactive approach where they are constantly pitching all manner of stories.”
  • “Create a weekly TV or webcast showcasing events from the week. All events to be covered.”
  • “Provide media training, speech therapy, etc. for our leading athletes.”
  • “When you have a liability, take advantage of it. Focus PR efforts on selling the American public and media on the wonderful stories of such U.S. athletes as Lopez Lamong (sic) and Meb Keflezighi.”
  • “Try to convince the shoe companies to create unique uniforms for each of their sponsored runners who are not on one of their teams.”
  • “Change USATF Championships’ ‘Entry Standards’ to ‘Entry Guidelines’ guaranteeing anyone who has made the guidelines, entry into the competition, and allowing those that haven’t, to make a case as to why they should be allowed to compete.”
  • “Create the National Track & Field League for the spring season in the U.S. Team competition” at meets like Drake, Mt. Sac and Penn.
  • “Revive the annual US vs Russia (formerly USSR) Dual Meet with a big team payday in addition to individual prize money.”
  • “Place a real effort behind putting together our absolute best Senior National XC Team – especially men’s – and go after the Kenyans and Ethiopians at the IAAF World XC Champs.”
  • “Research the resumes of every Fortune 500 CEO, President, COO, Board Member and other “leaders” to find track & field and running connections and reach out to them. Also do “reverse searches” by reaching out to every HS and college track and XC coach and ask them which of their alumni have gone onto notable success in business or are particularly well-off.”

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