They are mostly cat 4 & 5's with a few upper cat racers mixed in there. People usually spend 1-2 seasons on that team and then break off to join other teams when they know enough other local racers. The upper riders may be fully or partially sponsored though, which is the model a lot of the local NYC teams use.
OTOH a lot of the members are type-A people who are successful enough financially that $1500/year is chump change.
I'm part of a 10 rider masters team. It's just us and we are affiliated with a shop but not primarily sponsored by this shop. We wanted to be our own team so we could do our own thing. We changed helmet sponsors this year so we are all getting/buying a new helmet (at a very good price). Yes, it was encouraged to get this helmet but I don't think any of us didn't want to anyway. Really that just keeps us looking like a team. We're all over 40 so we don't have much other than trying to look good. We have a bike sponsor but only a couple of us have gone down that road and that's not been a problem.
cat-5 is serious bu$ine$$ in the CRCA
hey, i wasn't the sucker who paid $1500/yr for some canned coaching program that was labeled as "personalized"
as for your red herring of a comment, i never called myself a breakaway artist. just someone who try to get in breaks as often as possible