SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue
The numbers for
are staggering and the envy of other sports, but
for USA BMX COO John David, the foundation
for success is as simple as, well, riding a bike.
The annual study by the Sports and Fitness
Industry Association reports that over the past
three-year cycle, participation in BMX increased
45 percent, from 1.86 to 2.69 million.
"As a sport, we've been doing outstanding,"
David said. "The Olympic integration in 2008
helped us onto a new plateau and we've been
riding that wave since."
USA BMX has 70,000 members and 370 local
clubs, and it's that club foundation that has
fostered such tremendous growth.
of the way
on a club
While it is
the components for Olympics, at the end of
the day it is USA Cycling's goal to go get gold
medals. We help facilitate that but that isn't our
mission. Our mission is supporting local, solid
While Olympic gold glitters, like Connor
Fields winning the gold medal in the Summer
Games in Rio de Janeiro, David doesn't let that
distract USA BMX from its core mission.
"Our mission is to get kids on bicycles,
period," David said. "We sanctioned 14,000 local
BMX races in 2016. That is an astronomical
number. We don't lose focus. We stay focused
on the most important aspect of our sport."
To that end, David sees clear skies ahead,
thanks to its after-school enrichment program
based on a Science Technology Engineering
and Math (STEM) curriculum.
"BMX is a niche sport, we know that, but it
doesn't have to be forever," David said. "We
are trying hard to capitalize through school
systems. Where are kids? Where are our demo-
graphics? Where are our customers?
"We created the STEM curriculum program
in 2013. We have 20,000 students active and
we are literally just scratching the surface. You
are talking engineering and math, the core
principles. As they build the bikes from the
ground up, they learn the basics of a bike. Then
we have them interested."
David also credits a strong relationship with
destination marketing organizations (DMOs).
"What we are seeing, which is so exciting,
we are develop-
ing these sound
our DMO friends
and seeing interest
being driven from
tourism," he said.
"We have one
DMO talking to the
other about BMX.
We see a lot of
new venues being
grant money from
It's all from
"I challenge our DMO partners to be
involved and be advocates of the sport," David
said. "I challenge them. I'll be meeting with a
CVB and challenge them to actually go in and
support local clubs. That gets up to the national
level — that philosophy to tie everything back
The wave of momentum includes USA BMX
hosting the 2017 World Championships in Rock
Hill, SC, as well as recently landing the 2020
World Championships in Houston.
"We're thrilled about getting the World
Championships in 2020," David said. "That is
monumental. Since that is an Olympic year,
all the stars in BMX will be over here. That is
2017 Readers' Choice
Award Winners cont.
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continued on page 24