please save: this year’s Roller Derby blood drive dates and locations:


Last year’s drives received enough blood donations to save up to 800 lives.  Three league have been added to this year’s Red Cross-Brown-Paper Tickets-Roller Derby Drives.  I was  glad to be a donor (age is no factor!).  Members of teams will be on hand.

To schedule your appointment or for more information, please log on to redcrossblood.org, enter the Sponsor Code: DERBY or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

Undead Bettys – Saturday, August 9, 10am – 4PM Location Red Cross Bus – Antioch Sports Center – 1211 Sunset Dr.-Antioch

Quad City Roller Girls – Friday , August 19 – 1pm-7pm, Location: Asbury United Methodist Church – 4743 East Avene. – Livermore

Peninsula Roller Girls – Saturday, August 23rd – 10am – 4pm Red Cross Bus – Redwood Roller Rink -1303 Main Street -Redwood City

Santa Cruz Derby Girls – Friday, August 29, 10am -4pm, Location Red Cross Bus – Whole Foods – 1710 41st Avenue – Capitola

Silicon Valley Roller Girls – Saturday, September 6 – 9am – 3pm Location: TBD, Red Cross Bus – San Jose

Faultline Derby Girls – Saurday, September 20 – 10am – 3pm. Location – Red Cross Bus – 580 Tres Pinos Rd – Hollister

Bay Area Derby Girls – Saturday, September 20 – 11 am-4pm Location Zion Lutheran Church – 495 9th Ave – San Francisco

Sonoma County Roller Derby – Saturday, September 20 – 10am-3pm, Location Red Cross Bus – 1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa

Resurrection Derby Girls – Saurday, October 18 -11am-5pm, Location: Red Cross Bus – Cal Skate – 6100 Commerce Blvd.  Rohnert Park.

Rollin’ Roulettes Roller Derby – Merced – date and location TBD

Thanks to Hanna Malak, Thomas Petty, and the Red Cross people and those with Brown Paper Tickets and the great women of the Roller Derby Leagues for making this happen….and at Rollercon Brown Paper Tickets and Red Cross will work with you to create drives with your own league in your own community!

 

are you ready to shoot the Derby messenger?


The good news: with this post I have officially passed 300,000 readers of my blog since I first starting posting it.

The disturbing news? This subject will stir up the pot again.

Last weekend my first modern derby league had their season ending championship. It doesn’t really matter who won, what matters to me is that the 9500-seat UIC Pavilion looked quite empty.

OK, so if you bought the best ticket, $35, you paid a $6.50 (!!!!) service fee to Ticketmaster, but you could save money by buying tickets in advance from any WCR player, so that is a small part of the issue. And there were general admission tickets for $15 plus service charge; $10 if you bought in advance from a player.

A friend of mine who lives in Glenview, my old home town northwest of Chicago was there. “It was boring”, he said. Ouch. “Players just scored points in bunches with little or no opposition.”

How can Roller Derby, the hard-hitting, fast paced game on skates be boring? I will not relate what the game has become since 2010 where the slow game became more or less the official strategy…..skaters may love it, fans (outside of friends and family) don’t. And the question is, if they come one time will they come back?

Hey, if I were a jammer I would love it if I could score 100 points a game; but the game is about a team of 5 players who work together to keep the other team from scoring and get your own jammer out and help her score. Why do players stop, go backwards, and just stand aside? And why are many, if not most jams with just one skater, getting (to me) very cheap points by just skating around endlessly. And has the 30-second penalty rule really changed the game? I don’t think so. I am waiting for WindyMan to present the statistics. And now many players are upset that by allowing clockwise skating, chest and other injuries will occur.

OK, on my facebook page is twelve minutes of women skating from 55 years ago. Probably not what many of you expect, and how many in today’s game are in this kind of condition. if you have time, check it out.

The game is for the skaters…..rule changes in WFTDA take a long time to be adjusted, and if you are a skater benefiting from the rules, and you vote on them….isn’t it obvious what will not happen.

I was discouraged when I saw the USARS championship two years ago in Fresno. The game appeared to be untidy, pack strung out, only OLY a very good team; players unsure of how to use the pivot position. Then a few weeks ago I saw the Chicago Red Hots play the Pennsylvania all stars, two teams of primarily WFTDA skaters from the Windy City Rollers, Rockford, Philly, Steel City and more and the USARS rules really worked……rarely more than a few points on a scoring play, great pack action and the speed of all the players was wonderful…..the game could be considered a blow out, 91-31, but the pack action and play kept the fans enthralled, and few if any left.

I would love to see great players who are capable and want to skate all styles of play forming teams in California, Texas, New York, etc to play all rule sets; the PA All Stars play WFTDA, MADE, OSDA, and now USARS. I know that not all can play this fast game (One of the players from Indiana told me in Cicero that in 20 minutes she skates more and harder than in her home league games), but why not present the best of you to the fans and hopefully they won’t say the game is boring. And the more players learn and play other types of Derby, eventually a game should evolve with the best of all rulesets (in a perfect world).

Yes, many places – LA Derby Dolls, Gotham, BAD, skate a faster more crowd exciting game under the WFTDA rules…..but certainly not all…..if attendance was skyrocketing everywhere then you certainly don’t need to pay attention. The problem is probably more than just the ruleset.

But I think many of you had better look at what is going on and try to address it. At least start talking about what may make your league better.

Pasta, Derby, and Blood


Last night was a good one.

Unseasonably hot in Sonoma County, a blistering 97 degrees, but as always an evening cool down.

So I attended the fundraiser for the Resurrection Rollergirls in Santa Rosa……a great pasta feed for just $7 (I ate too much), so their travel team could head south soon. But I got to be with so many of them in their fun, non-game environment.

And the best part: a half dozen or so of their other league competitors, Sonoma County Roller Derby, led by Lady Sparks, stopped by to show support and pay their respects. As so often it seems in Derby leagues split for whatever reason. The irony for me (as a promoter) is that if they scheduled games against each other they should pack the house, but everything in due time. Donated a few books for the raffle and bought some raffle tickets…..what would I do if I won my books?

Sitting outside at Ausiellos spent sometime with Darth Evader, Jaime Miller. Of course I fell in love with her too (why can’t I have 5000 Derby wives). Skates for Resurrection, broke her leg, teaches special ed children and trains the Junior Derby people…..there is the future of the game! And just really exuberant about life and especially Derby. If you have to be a zealot, why not about the Game. Loved the time with her….know she will be skating again soon.

And I have to say a word about Robyn Mechelle Ross who I also sat with. We became friends at Rollercon (so many from last night are coming again, including almost all I talked to…..better get my hug strength up again) and she now lives in Santa Rosa and hopefully will be joining Resurrection..I will see them skate on the 31st against Monterey; unfortunately cannot see Sonoma County this time around as they skate on the 21st.

Actually was there last night on behalf of http://www.brownpapertickets.com (the reason I do that instead of just saying Brown Paper Tickets is that this way you will go right to the site and I will pick up “brown-ie” points (ouch).We and the Red Cross are now locked in with these two leagues again for the 2nd annual blood drive this August and September…..all the leagues exceeded their goals in blood donated last year and with more time and promotion we are hoping to double the amount this year. We may have as many as 13 leagues this year and will talk about expanding the drives at Rollercon.

Until I get around the participants in Roller Derby (and it appears to be the same everywhere), I tend to forget the unifying force the game provides. I don’t think anything except Roller Derby does it the same. And three players came up to me to say proudly they were members of Derby over 40…do you realize there are just about 4000 now skating who have joined the page on facebook!

So skate as long as you enjoy it. It is making your life better…..and if you have family and others get them involved also in some form….just makes it easier.

Who is Fernando Reguerio and what is his crazy marketing scheme?


This last week I was in the Chicago area for Brown Paper Tickets.

And a highlight was certainly my visit with the (USARS) Chicago Red Hots and their general manager Fernando Reguerio. After a great career as a professional soccer star, he had a long relationship with the Windy City Rollers, and his wife is the fabulous Kola Loka, but that is not what this is about. I do not intend to reveal all of his marketing strategy, but he intends to use so many interesting techniques and programs to increase interest and attendance for the team’s games. He also has found a way to eliminate drama, allow the players to make some money and more, but you have to contact him to find out about that.

And he has reached out to both Brown Paper Tickets (www.brownpapertickets.com) and me to utilize the services that we provide to everyone (but so few ask!). And of course as a former Roller Derby promoter (hello, out there!) I will do as much as I can personally to help him succeed.

Do you know who Bill Graham was (no, not the televangelist Billy Graham), but the man who invented the Rock and Roll concert and touring business. As head of BASS Tickets I was fortunate (?) enough to have worked with him, and he never took his eye off of the ultimate object. Here is his quote about the concert, entertainment and sport business:

“It starts with the ticket. I ask myself how I would like to be treated when buying a concert ticket…and EVERYTHING else evolves from there”

I am not going to get involved in the argument of whom the teams are skating for: themselves or the fans. I will only quote the genius of Bob Noxious who has worked with dozens of leagues in many countries: “Once you have decided to charge admission to your events, you are in the entertainment business”.

Now we at BPT will work with you if you ask for help in promotion, marketing, donations, fundraising, maximization of your tickets sales and more and more. And we have been judged the best ticket company to work with (and it doesn’t cost you anything!) by a number of independent organizations, and our customer service is unmatched. We recently received an “Oscar” for our 24-hour live service from the organization of ballet companies in the San Francisco Bay Area (we are not just about Derby).

Now to Bill Graham’s quote: have you carefully thought out the presentation of your event, how the public is engaged, the professionalism of your attraction and will the public love it? do you survey, use the resources for in-depth analysis from your ticket company, and on and on.

So, I have promoted over 3000 Derby games, sport events (including soccer), concerts and more. And recently I was asked to help from two different leagues (be still my heart!). And Bob who of course is with BPT also is available, and Michelle Sunnyday with us also skates Derby.

It is absolutely amazing to me that with revenue being so essential to the survival of most leagues that ticket sales, marketing, promotion often are on the back burner……and many of the many hundreds of leagues that utilize us do not maximize our resources……we are so unusual in that the better you promote us, and use us, the more revenue you receive……and I can give you a little secret on how to immediately sell more tickets for your upcoming game after the present one.

And if you are coming to Rollercon do not miss our seminar on all aspects of presenting and promoting successful Roller Derby…Bob and I in room 114 at 2 PM on July 24.

And if you are not using us, I can honestly say as the former founder of BASS Tickets and the Executive Vice President of Ticketmaster, that you are not maximizing your potential reach to customers, old and new.

Yes, today’s Derby for many is “for the skaters by the skaters”, but how about a little help from your friends?

And by the way, when you walk into Fernando’s hideaway in Cicero, the fans are treated so well and are so happy, but the main thing is the game is so exciting all the way through….In the long run, it is the event that attracts, brings in the fans, and hopefully brings them back.

Has your attendance declined? time to re-evaluate.

and here are some photos by Gil Leora from last Saturday’s game at Cicero…..no players standing around….full engagement by the players and by the fans.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/30162169@N07/sets/72157644397000414

Oh, I am jerry@brownpapertickets.com, and Bob is Bob@brownpapertickets.com……that is all you need to know, except for Michelle@brownpapertickets.com.