Fencing Masters Roadshow in Pictures! (PART 1)

Last night marked the unveiling of the FENCING MASTERS ROADSHOW!

Held at the Baryshnikov Arts Center before a crowd of 200 people the event featured fencing matches between Olympians Nicole Ross and Nzhingha Prescod and Daryl Homer versus Tim Morehouse.   The choir from Democracy Prep sang the national anthem, we premiered the Fencing in the Schools promo video we made with the prestigious Sunshine Sachs company and also had our “How to Watch Fencing” demonstration.

The event was part of the Fencing in the Schools Kick-Off and helped to generate $37,000 dollars to help fund 1500+ kids at 6 schools in Harlem to have fencing!  Thank you to everyone who donated and there is still time if you’d like to contribute: http://www.crowdrise.com/fencingintheschools2013

Here is what we accomplished last night with your help:

  • FUNDRAISING: We raised over $37,000 dollars to get 1500+ kids fencing in Harlem including an Olympic assembly for all the kids where we will pay our Olympian ambassadors $500 for doing the assembly to also support their Olympic Dreams.   These kids will also become fans of our sport and athletes through our program and hopefully follow Daryl Homer, Nzhingha Prescod, Nicole Ross and others to Rio.
  • EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS: We created a promo video for the foundation that goes into the benefits of fencing and with a CALL TO ACTION for schools if they want fencing to come to us!Here is Link: http://youtu.be/0mrqG50qZlg
  • FENCING ON TV: The fencing match last night will air on Universal Sports in 3 weeks.    The network reaches 40 Million homes across the country and they paid for the TV production.   This will continue to give us a great platform to bring additional corporate sponsors onboard.
  • BUILDING RELATIONSHIP WITH KEY CONSTITUENTS: Last night, we had the CEO of Universal Sports and their board attending, representatives from Sabra Hummus along with a few potential additional corporate sponsors.
  • MEDIA: We were featured on WPIX 11 morning show, FOX 5 NYC did a profile, the Daily News has a piece coming out, Maxim.Com attended and is doing a video, the US Olympic Committee put out a press release, is doing an article AND tweeted to their 250,000+ followers about the event and the images will be on WIRE IMAGE where they can be picked up by additional media outlets.  We were also covered by a website called GUESTofaGuest.
  • FENCING TECHNOLOGY: We continue to try to find new and fun ways to show fencing.  We built 2 huge REPEATER LIGHTS that we can use in all our shows.  The large FENCING sign you see and there is a MASTERS on the other side both LIGHT UP and serve as scoring lights for some added WOW factor.

The Way Forward for Fencing: An Open Letter and Call to Action


Hi, it’s TIM MOREHOUSE, Olympic Silver Medalist and Founder of Fencing in the Schools.

I’d like to share my thoughts on the future of fencing and I hope by the end of this letter you’ll join me.

Ever wonder why fencing isn’t more popular?

I grew up with people saying that fencing could never be on TV, get corporate sponsors and be mainstream or popular.   I never challenged this thinking.  I just assumed that people had tried to do these things and found that it was impossible.

I also grew up in a fencing community with people saying the US could never win Olympic medals…how could we ever beat the Russians or Italians?

Then the Beijing Olympics happened.   Our USA team won 6 Olympic medals and it shattered my thinking.   If “They” were wrong about how good an Olympic team we could be then what else could “They” be wrong about?  Who are “They” anyway?

I was very fortunate to have found fencing.  It changed my life.  Gave me self-confidence, discipline and helped improve my critical thinking and has allowed me to travel the country and world for competitions.

I now want to give kids across America the chance to fence.  For too long fencing has suffered from low-self-esteem about what our sport can accomplish.

I think things are popular because people make them that way and…

WE ARE GOING TO MAKE FENCING AS POPULAR AS OUR BIG THREE MAINSTREAM SPORTS! (Yes, I’m shouting this so no one mishears our intention!)

We are going to do this, not just to do it, but because the children in our country NEED fencing for their health, well-being and happiness.

Fencing is also a sport that requires both physical and mental development at the highest levels.

You can fence throughout your whole life.

Fencing is one of the greatest sports in the world.

Only so many kids can play baseball, basketball and football and unlike these sports, there is no bench in fencing.  Every child can play and compete.   So, our Mission at FENCING IN THE SCHOOLS is get a million kids fencing by the 2023 school year.    We need your help!!

Some of our actions and strategies for change:

#1 Create School Programs:
We believe in order for our sport to grow we have to provide access to fencing for every child in America.   To do this, we need to provide fun and low-cost opportunities to as many schools as possible where kids can try and fall in love with our sport.  We will accomplish this by training PE Teachers (And create an army of them!) to teach fencing and by providing low cost and easy to use fencing equipment.

We are also going to  create excellent educational materials including a basic curriculum aligned to the national fitness standards for teachers to use and comprehensive videos on how to fence for beginners and teachers to utilize.

#2 Utilizing and Supporting our Olympic Team:
We believe in the power of our Olympians to be role models for children.   We will start every school program with an assembly with member(s) of our US Olympic team when they will get the kids excited about fencing, share their stories of achievement and perseverance and put on a fun fencing demonstration.  We will financially support our Olympians to present the assembly, which will also serve to support these athletes in pursuing their Olympic dreams AND turn the children at each school into fans of our sport and athletes.  Image a fan base of 1 million children following our team at the Olympics!

#3 Promoting the Sport into the National Consciousness:
We believe that in order for fencing to grow to scale we need to get our sport into the national consciousness.  This includes, but is not limited to, awareness campaigns, putting fencing on national and local TV, getting impactful media profiles of our sport, athletes and tournaments, holding fencing events in high traffic areas to get “in the face” of people who might not be seeking us out. (You won’t be able to escape our sport!)  Achieving this level of promotion has numerous benefits including creating a demand for our school programs for children, increasing our fan base which in-turn creates a greater platform for corporate sponsorships and fundraising.

#4 Supporting the Current Fencing Community: (Synergies)
We believe that for our sport to grow in America the business of fencing has to grow with it.   Our goal is to turn as many of the students who start out in Fencing in the Schools into lifelong fencers and fans of our sport.  We will work to get FITS kids out to clubs to compete and train, thereby contributing to the health of the business of the sport including club owners, vendors and sponsors.

#5 Improving the Technology of Fencing: 

We believe that technology is a HUGE growth area for improving the sport.    Fencing is still using the same basic system from the 1980s and wireless fencing is still not a reality for most fencing competitions in this age of cell phones and blue tooth.  We are currently working to improve the technology with the priorities being to lower cost, make the fencing equipment more user-friendly and improve the visual presentation of the  sport.

We already are meeting with some great companies including IDEO (the inventors of the first mouse!) to discuss ways to make a better wireless system, make IPADs into fencing machines, jackets that can glow when hit and other “outside of the box” ideas.  The time has come to make fencing look better, more affordable and add the “WOW” factor to every fencing match.

#6 WE NEED YOU!
If we are going to get a million kids fencing across America then it is essential we galvanize our fencing community to TAKE ACTION!   Our fencing community is one of the greatest groups of people in the world.  People have longed to help the chance to help the sport, but haven’t had an outlet.  We want to be that outlet!   The only way this will work is with your support.

* Please note, this is in no way an exhaustive list but these are some of our priorities.

Ways YOU can Help RIGHT NOW:

#1 Please consider donating to one of our Fencing in the Schools campaigns: www.crowdrise.com/fencingintheschools2013

#2 Sponsor an Olympic Fencing Assembly for a school to introduce them to the sport in an exciting and fun way!

#3 2 Go to your school and DEMAND FENCING and SEND THEM TO US!  info@fencingintheschools.com

#4 Post about Fencing in the Schools on your social media or tell your friends

#5 Attend our March 13 Fencing in the Schools Launch Event!  All ticket proceeds go to help fund our first 6 pilot programs!

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT! Go Fencing!

Tim Morehouse

FENCING is coming to National TV in Prime Time!

Hi Friends,

I’m very happy to announce that the TV Broadcast of Fencing Masters 2012 has been picked up by Universal Sports and will make its premiere airing on Thursday, July 19 at 7:30p with the 5 additional broadcasts to follow leading up to Olympics Games in London!

One of the goals with Fencing Masters was to get fencing on national TV and we have achieved that goal! This will be the FIRST nationally aired US Fencing tournament (non Olympic) of our Olympic team in our history!!

This is really HUGE step forward for US fencing and if you can please watch and encourage your friends to tune in! Am hoping to get fencing on national TV on a regular basis and so the success of this broadcast is vital. It will also be a key ingredient in our ability to garner corporate sponsors in the future. If you want to help fencing, here is your chance: TUNE IN and TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Off to the London Games today!
Tim

Below is draft of the media advisory going out today to the media from Universal Sports.

EN GARDE! FENCING MASTERS: KICK OFF TO LONDON
TO AIR ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS THIS THURSDAY, JULY 19 at 7:30pm

USA vs. The World is the Largest Non-Olympic US Spectator Fencing Tournament

Los Angeles, July XX, 2012 – Universal Sports Network will have multi-platform coverage of Fencing Masters: Kick Off To London this Thursday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m. ET on both television and online at UniversalSports.com. The broadcast marks the first time a U.S. fencing tournament will be available to a national audience.

Founded by American fencer and 2008 Olympic Silver medalist Tim Morehouse, the exhibition was held June 26 to a sold-out crowd in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom and is the largest non-Olympic spectator fencing tournament event in the United States.

Fencing Masters: Kick-Off to London features members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team as they take on International all-stars. The US Team includes two-time Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis and World bronze medalist Lee Kiefer on the women’s side, and Morehouse, World gold medalist Soran Thompson and 19 year-old phenom Race Imboden for the men.

“Fencing is an amazing sport to watch, and I’m excited that more people in the United States will be able to experience its beauty, grace and athleticism on Universal Sports before our team competes in London,” said Fencing Masters founder Tim Morehouse who organized the tournament while simultaneously qualifying for London Games.

Universal Sports provides viewers unparalleled access to world-class sporting events, including the most year-round, Olympic-related programming of any network. In the Olympic year 2012, the network debuted Countdown to London, a weekly studio news show which highlights news, features, athlete interviews and expert analysts leading up to the London games. In addition, Universal Sports Network is the home of 30 different sports and 25 World Championships, and will once again deliver exclusive U.S. television coverage of such prestigious annual competitions as the Boston Marathon, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España and Kona Ironman.

# # #

About Universal Sports
Universal Sports Network recently transitioned to a multi-platform, high definition cable, satellite and IPTV service. Currently, DIRECTV, DISH and numerous cable providers offer Universal Sports Network. Viewers whose cable, satellite or IPTV providers are not currently offering the network should call 1-800-55-GET-US or visit www.IWantUniversalSports.com and demand access to the network’s coverage of the world’s biggest championships.

Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Offering more than 1,200 hours of original programming each year, Universal Sports has exclusive rights to world and national championship events in a wide array of sports, including swimming, track and field, gymnastics, cycling, skiing, figure skating and rugby. Whether on television, online, or on the go with mobile and tablet applications, Universal Sports offers a four-screen experience to fans of global sports every day of the year. For more information, please visit UniversalSports.com.

For Information:
Catherine Philbin
Universal Sports Network
cphilbin@universalsports.com | 818-579-4070

Lynn Plage
LP Communications / Fencing Masters
lplage@lpcpublicity.com | 303-716-9500

Fencing Masters Future Stars Championship at Sheridan Fencing Academy: Live Stream and Results! (Happening Now!)

Watch it LIVE! 

Live Results:
http://www.prisedefer.com/fencingmastersnyc/

The winner of each event advances to the main event of FFencing Masters tonight at Hammerstein Ballroom to square off before a SOLD OUT crowd of close to 2000 spectators!

www.fencingmastersnyc.com

Thanks to Sheridan Fencing Academy (www.sheridanfencing.com) for hosting the Future Stars Championships!

Will be on the TODAY SHOW @todayshow on Tuesday!

Tuesday morning I’ll be on the today Show Show.   We’ll be talking Olympic preparations, Fencing Masters and my book American Fencer. (www.americanfencer.com)

Hope it will help get even more folks to come out and watch us compete at the Fencing Masters on June 26 at Hammerstein Ballroom! Got your tickets yet?  www.fencingmastersnyc.com/tickets

But, I’ll be teaching someone even more special to fence tomorrow evening…

hint: bigger than when I taught President Obama to fence! (I think!)