National governing body USA Triathlon (USAT) has rowed back on a recently announced membership offering, and has cancelled its Platinum membership for the 2024 race season following a pushback from athletes.
As part of a new tiered membership structure unveiled this week, new USAT memberships featured Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers, each with different price points and benefits.
Priced at US$400, the Platinum membership was originally positioned by USAT this week as its most premium membership offering. However, by forcing this membership premium on any athlete wishing to race for Team USA, the governing body faced a significant backlash from athletes.
Sparking anger from athletes on social media and in a USAT town hall meeting this week, the new Platinum membership would have represented a major 700% uplift on the previous annual membership for Team USA athletes.
In response, USAT has decided to back down and sent a message to its members…
As you know, USA Triathlon launched our new membership products this week. While we are excited about these new products, we understand and acknowledge we had a significant miss in the rollout – specifically with our Team USA Platinum Membership. We appreciate your understanding that with big change comes growing pains and are grateful for your patience while we work through them.
We appreciate the candid feedback over the past 48 hours and during the town hall and as a result, we’re making changes…
For 2024, here is our approach for Team USA:
1. There is no requirement to purchase the Platinum package to race and be part of Team USA for 2024. We will keep the program status quo – utilize your annual membership (will automatically transition to Silver) and pay the spot fees associated with the races in 2024. No change, and no additional requirements for 2024.
2. For those that would like to purchase the new Platinum Team USA membership – and receive the added benefits while supporting the Team USA program – we will have that available, as optional. It will be as originally planned and outlined on our site – including a $100 spot fee credit, additional Team USA exclusive gear and more.
3. Our team is currently working on how this program and membership will evolve beyond 2024, prior to any 2025 World Championship qualification opportunities.