In 2009 the International Triathlon Union (ITU) proposed “Resolution 2” – a rule granting all uniform rights to the national sport Federations.
Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker, a member of the ITU Athletes’ Committee, organized opposition to the resolution, but the athletes lacked any structured communication or professional staff to mount a challenge.
Shoemaker created an online petition that collected over one hundred signatures, and with it a small database of athletes. Using the database, Shoemaker rallied scores of athletes to the ITU Congress in the Gold Coast of Australia and demanded control of their uniforms. The ITU postponed a vote on the issue, and promised to include athletes in drafting a compromise resolution.
Why do the ownership rights to uniforms matter? Because whoever controls the uniform controls sponsorship logos on the uniforms. Losing ownership of their uniforms would make athletes dependant on Federations for support. Athletes were fighting to control their own destiny as professional athletes.
Recognizing the weakness of the online petition process to organize athletes, Shoemaker teamed up with fellow Olympian, Victor Plata, and the USA Triathlon Athletes' Advisory Council to create a permanent organization dedicated to the promotion and representation of professional triathletes. With AAC Support, USA Triathlon passed a resolution to support the creating of the Professional Triathlete Association (PROTA).
PROTA incorporated as a 501(c)(6) non-profit and elected the first Board of Directors from candidates nominated and voted on directly by the approximately 360 USA Triathlon elite athletes: Mike Greer (President), Jarrod Shoemaker (Vice President), Rebeccah Wassner (Treasurer), Chris Tremonte (Secretary), Joanna Zeiger, Tom Hamilton, Jordan Rapp, and Katie Pettibone.