COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 26, 2020) — In an email sent to the membership on Thursday, March 26, USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini announced a number of organizational changes at USA Cycling. Due to a funding crisis created by race cancellations related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, the USA Cycling is anticipating a revenue loss of 30% from projections done in late 2019. As such, the organization has been forced to release 15% of their staff, and to furlough an additional 25% of employees for 2-6 months.
Among the long-time employees to be let go was Technical Director Randy Shafer, who has served as a mentor to many USA Cycling officials over the years, and whose loss will be a huge blow for the organization to absorb.
According to a number of sources, all employees from the top down have been impacted by the changes. In addition to the terminations and furloughs, all employees—including executives—who are remaining at USA Cycling on a full-time basis through the crisis have accepted significant reductions in compensation, in addition to taking on additional duties. Unconfirmed estimates for the pay-cuts range from 10-15% for frontline employees and about 40% for more senior members of the organization.
Mr. DeMartini's letter is as follows:
I am writing to share some significant changes deployed today within USA Cycling to help us handle the financial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member I believe you should understand what changes we have instituted and how we plan to move forward.
Recently, I shared USA Cycling’s revenue sources and uses on our website. That data is based on the 2020 budget approved by our board in late 2019, which clearly did not anticipate today’s unfortunate realities.
With the postponement or cancellation of all events through May 3 with possible further extension, we expect to see 775 events impacted. The delay of the Tokyo Games to 2021 also decreased our planned sponsor support. Collectively, this results in a projected 2020 revenue shortfall in excess of 30%.
As a result, we had to make significant and difficult organization changes. Effective today, we reduced the size of our staff by 15% and furloughed another 25% for 2-6 months. The remaining members of our organization are stepping up to help navigate these challenging times and continue to support our mission to serve American cycling.
Despite the challenges we are all facing, we remain fully committed to the following goals:
- Support the sport of cycling across all disciplines for riders and racers.
- Send a team of athletes to Tokyo in 2021 who are even stronger and more prepared to earn medals than if we had sent them this July.
- Support grassroots riding and racing so it is available in every corner of this country on any surface you prefer.
- Continue to provide community leadership for this sport we all love so much.
I am grateful for your membership in our community and support of USA Cycling and assure you we are unwavering in our commitment to serve this sport at all levels. We will emerge stronger from these difficult times.
President and CEO
Cycling West wishes all current and former employees of USA Cycling well during this difficult time, and looks forward to a return to normalcy.
Update (April 2, 2020): On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) announced a further suspension of all UCI-sanctioned bicycle racing until at least June 1, 2020, which will likely have a trickle-down effect on non-UCI racing in the United States as well. The UCI-sanctioned Winston-Salem Classic, originally scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-25, 2020) has been postponed until October 3-4, 2020.
An extension of the current suspension of USA Cycling-sanctioned events beyond the initial May 3 end date until June 1 (or later) could prove to be even more disastrous for the organization.