I think some of what is being missed is how USFS approaches marketing their athletes.
I would propose that there are two mindsets at USFS or areas of focus
1.....a group that is actually concerned about the sport itself and how the athlete competes..do they achieve their goals, do they make the podium, what does the athlete and their team need to do to achieve a spot on the podium.
2. Then there is the other side of USFS...the marketing group, whose focus SHOULD be...how do we promote the sport of figure skating and the athletes/personalities that are currently competing for USFS. How do we market each discipline? Do we go after a broad audience...just because it is figure skating...or do we try to define the demographic ...and market each discipline...singles, pairs, dance, synchro, adult, LTS....or divide and conquer....the athleticism and the artistry. I think USFS does struggle to define what the sport's niche is and what it COULD be. They have so narrowly defined themselves over the past years, relying on one face/star to be the force behind their marketing strategy (Kwan, and for a very brief period, Meissner and Lysacek)...that they got lazy, and fell way behind the times.
So, instead of being pro-active, they are reactive....and just basically fail to plan (and therefore, plan to fail) an initiative. Take for example...the ShibSibs vids....very creative, and it lets us, the consumer, see a side of the athletes that USFS is unable to promote, for whatever reason.
So, collectively, could USFS come up with a business/marketing plan? Yes. Is it likely that they will do it, probably not. Could they hold a round table discussion with the marketing groups/agents/promoters of the athletes and brain storm for new ways to help build their audience? Yes, but is it going to happen, not likely.
So, USFS (and quite frankly, the ISU)...will just rely on the Olympic four year cycle to promote the sport.