Today the TFAA sends the following call to action to our athletes’ sponsors. Without sponsorship, athletes would not be able to continue to pursue their dreams in the sport of track and field. Therefore, we feel it is important to align with the sponsors to protect the athletes’ rights. We have been humbled by the companies that have stepped forward to offer their support so far and hope to see the same across the board from all sponsors, for the good of all athletes and the sport itself. We want to send a special thank you to the fans who have expressed support for the athletes this week. We have been humbled by that as well.
Dear Sponsors of U.S. Track and Field Athletes:
We humbly request your official recognition of the Track and Field Athletes Association (TFAA) as the collective voice of elite and professional track and field athletes, and your support of the athletes’ rights to participate in TFAA calls to action. The TFAA is a 501(c)(4) organization formed to support the rights and interests of elite and professional track and field athletes. Our goals include enhancing the value of our athletes in the marketplace and attracting fans through a stronger sport.
We further request that you not penalize your athletes for participating in collective action that may preclude them from competing in a sanctioned event, and that you agree to identify alternative events, if necessary, to satisfy any sponsor obligations.
If you are willing to amend your athletes’ contracts with a clause protecting them from harm, financial or contractual, when participating in collective action, and are willing to include the same clause in all future contracts you enter into with track and field athletes, please respond with an email verifying your intentions and include your company’s logo for publication on the TFAA website as a company that recognizes the TFAA and supports the rights of the elite and professional track and field athlete.
We thank you for your consideration in this matter, and for your continued support for track and field athletes and our beloved sport.
Thank you to the sponsors below who have responded to our call and have committed to protecting their athletes’ rights!
Shoe & Apparel Sponsors:
“Oiselle is on board, of course! We say yes to this!” - Oiselle
“Brooks recognizes the power of teamwork on and off the track. We’re excited to see the Track and Field Athletes Association step up to help give all athletes a voice, and support their desire to work collectively to better the sport. We stand behind our athletes’ participation in the association and look forward to their leadership in track and field.” - Jesse Williams of Brooks
“On behalf of Saucony, we support and recognize TFAA as the organization that represents and protects the rights of ALL elite and professional athletes. Additionally, we will work closely with the TFAA on assuring all athlete rights are protected.” - Mark Bossardet of Saucony
“At Hoka One One, we are proud to stand with the athletes to give them a stronger voice within the world of professional Track and Field.” - Jim Van Dine, President, Hoka One One
Accessories & Equipment Sponsors:
“CEP is dedicated to supporting profession and amateur athletes world wide. Our commitment to the athlete and the customer is represented in our active participation in athlete sponsorship contracts, event sponsorships and charitable contributions to groups and organizations that support health and wellness via sport.
Please accept this statement as confirmation that CEP approves of the TFAA’s mission to support track and field athletes world wide. An open forum for communication, a united voice for the athlete and a level playing field for competition must be secured if the sport is to grow.
CEP will protect our athletes from financial and contractual harm as it pertains to our direct relationship and will make any necessary amendments to existing and future contracts as they relate.” – Brandt Furgerson of CEP Compression Sportswear
“The ElliptiGO team is proud to support the TFAA because we believe it’s not only promoting the best interests of our sponsored athletes, but of all track and field athletes and fans. We will review our current contracts and amend them to clearly indicate that our sponsored athletes will not be penalized for participating in collective action and will ensure that such a provision is included in future contracts. We are certain that the effort the TFAA is spearheading will improve the sport of track and field and benefit the global community of people who are passionate about running. Thank you for moving things in the right direction.” – Team Elliptigo
Relevant Background Information:
- We will not stand for the collective voice of athletes being ignored (March 26, 2014)
- Petition to Allow TFAA-Appointed Athlete Representatives to Monitor Protest and Appeals Process at USATF Championships (February 25, 2014)
- A Call for Transparency from the USATF (February 24, 2014)