You don’t always get what you want – perception of Roller Derby

I have been in awe of the LA Derby Dolls since I first heard about them.  The way they have followed a plan:  get a building on a long-term basis, created your own “arena” within it, and have a great product and other things affiliated from merchandise to promotion to being successful….others could learn so much from them

I can’t believe that in the years I have been somewhat affiliated with modern Derby that I haven’t actually seen this premier banked track league, also co-joined with the San Diego Dolls.  I hope to rectify that within the next month.

And because of where they are and the talent outside of Derby they have in their organization they are being utilized more and more for movies, TV and ads.  The Bones and Bachelor shows, the Dr Pepper ads during football, to name a few.  And the videos they create for their in-house presentations are amazing.  I know the series is gone, but watch their “Entourage” video on you tube sometime.

Image by mzacha from

Image by mzacha from

So it was interesting so see a whole episode of “Bones” basically built around the Dolls and the Dollhouse.  But I had uneasiness about the story, which the Dolls have no control over.

We know a whole different thing about Derby and those within the world.  I was reminded again this past week when “sisters” (and brothers) from around the world added their support to the CaiRollers in Egypt who are doing such a daring thing trying to establish the game there in spite of the danger from that society.  Among the supporters?  the league from Tel Aviv in Israel.

And each day I receive invitations to auctions, benefits, fundraisers etc from the leagues doing their most to help their teammates, friends, the community and more. and we know this is part of your culture and what you do.

And I personally know how much money and support you gave to Lori Milkers after her life-threatening beating and the thousands that are on the sites Blockers not bullies, Derby against domestic violence and more.

And then there are the incidents, one this past week, where a player from northern Michigan was stranded in Canada when her car broke down, and the local league took care of her, worked with her to get her car repaired and she got back home safely……And when Pandora was stranded in Colorado, what the various leagues did for her was amazing.   And of course when the London Roller girls were stranded in New York because of the lava eruption that stopped air travel, they were housed, fed and entertained for the week it took them to get back to the UK.  And I know there are dozens more of these stories out there of help and sharing and love between all the leagues everywhere.

So I like so many of you get upset when the references to Derby are not as we want them, but oddly, it usually helps more than it hurts showing how mainstream the game is becoming and even more people will be attracted to it.  And sometimes we go overboard, as when the amazing article on modern Derby appeared this week in the Wall Street Journal, the headline “Roller Derby elbows its way into the mainstream” I received a complaint of why did they use elbow?

I know that a number of you are involved in publications, from excellent magazines to on line to podcasts to the great online paper of Derby all over the world that attractive Nuisance (on twitter) is publishing. I steal from it, and so should you.  I am asking all of you who can publicize who they Derby people are, what they are doing, and what a great asset they are to our society and each other, well beyond the empowerment, please do so.  This is not a company with PR going out daily…….someone has to tell the world what you really are.

Oh, and I will be working with the American Red Cross in Northern California on a program to get the Derby leagues involved in promoting blood drives in this time of so many recent tragedies.  Hope you will work with us if you can.

2 comments on “You don’t always get what you want – perception of Roller Derby

    • Dennis is the former publisher of BAM which was the unifying music publication in California and also producer of the Bammies where awarded local bands and performers….where I first saw Green day, Train, and other leading artists. Check him out if you want to learn anything about PR.

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