Being a competitive swimmer since he was a child, Tim Hinchey has a natural affinity for the sport. But his background has been in professional sports,
most recently with MLS’ Colorado Rap-
ids, where he was president since 2011
and MLS executive of the year in 2016.
Before that he served as the team’s chief
marketing officer and in the same role
for Derby County, FC, a professional
soccer team in England. His previous
stops included executive roles with the
NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats and New Orle-ans/Oklahoma City Hornets. He began
his career with the NHL’s Los Angeles
Kings. In June, Hinchey got to return to
the sport he loved, being named president and CEO of USA Swimming, succeeding Chuck Wielgus, the longtime
leader who passed away in April. In this
interview, Hinchey discusses the opportunities ahead, his take on swimming
events and why he took the job.
What was your interest in the posi-
tion at USA Swimming?
It was a call out of the blue. I had
You’ve been visiting with clubs
just agreed to a new contract with the
Colorado Rapids. But this was the one
job, being a swimmer my entire life, it
was really the only thing I could think
about. If I could represent our country
and this organization in this sport that
has defined who I am as a professional
and as a person, it just seemed more like
a vocation versus a job.
and other constituents since tak-
ing the job. What are you hearing?
Everyone takes incredible pride in
their contributions to our sport. It’s
one of the top-performing NGBs in the
country, so there’s certainly a lot of in-
terest in terms of how we grow the sport.
Like many sports, grabbing the atten-
tion and time and investment from par-
ents and kids isn’t easy. Something on
some folks’ minds is, how are we going
to maintain and continue to grow our
membership base? In my mind, are there
other opportunities to create member-
ships that aren’t necessarily directly re-
lated to our clubs?
In the professional sports world, as
we like to say, there’s a plan for every
fan. Are there opportunities to find other individuals who have touched swimming, love swimming and are passionate
about the sport and find ways for them
to contribute? From a business-develop-ment perspective, there’s an opportunity there. Sponsorship is another area I’m
intimately familiar with from my career
in multiple different leagues. We have
phenomenal sponsors at USA Swimming. How do we grow those opportunities? What categories can we grow? I
think that’s an exciting thing.
USA Swimming has 400,000
members, making it one of the
largest NGBs by membership. Is
there room to grow that number?
Absolutely. First and foremost, we
need to make sure we’re providing the
benefits to our current members. Much
like our experience in professional sports
with season-ticket holders, retention is
By Jason Gewirtz
The president and CEO of USA Swimming is part of a new wave of
NGB leaders whose background includes professional sports