Just today I have had the following occurrences pertaining to Roller Derby:
One of our local papers, the Sonoma Sun, has a nice feature on the Resurrection Roller Girls and a local woman who skates for them; The Orange County Register in Southern California talks about the 200-member OC Rollergirls and their first scheduled game at the Anaheim Convention Center (7000 seats) this Saturday and for the first time on a banked track; I was sent the wonderful promo for the Helsinki Roller Girls (see it on youtube or my facebook profile); I helped a young lady with her term paper on Roller Derby; and tomorrow morning I am speaking with a London Roller Girl who is working on a book about fashion and Roller Derby for Bloomsbury Publishing in the UK.
And the website, www.derbyroster.com today stated that there are now over 800 leagues in the world (803 to be exact), an increase of 25 since their last posting.
I was asked to work on a project about the original Bay Bombers (circa 1955 to 1973) and when it went to the Board of the publishing company in New York, one member immediately knew who I was – I am not sure if she skates or not and they were excited that I was a “part” of the Roller Derby world.
All of these things happened for exterior reasons, nothing I personally sought out. So it makes you wonder, if America is seeing the many TV commercials involving our skaters; the stories, features magazines, and the hundreds of games that are going on in their area, then there must be a lot more of recognition and knowing about the game than we acknowledge.
So often when these stories appear, it is obvious that the writers have not actually attended a match. There seems to be a perception (don’t generalize, Jerry) that the participants are wild people who slug each other, stomp, etc. so I would like to hear how you think we could get more people to actually see what is going on. Obviously, some leagues are already terribly successful. But I was speaking to a friend in the sports marketing and announcing business who lives in Minnesota and had no idea that skating was succesful in that area….and he lives outside of Minneapolis.
Here is one idea: create a national go to Roller Derby day; skate an exhibition game where you don’t usually so you could reach the maximum audience with absolutely free attendance. I know some leagues have had free exhibitions, but what if everyone did it and it was publicized nationally?
Just a thought. I told you not all my promotions work.