Last night we saw comedy in Sonoma.
A young comedian Torio Van Grol has started to schedule comedy every month at Murphy’s Pub in town, and he had three great comedians in addition to his appearance as the “presenter”……actually, he was very funny and I hope next time to see more of his act.
There were two shows last night and both sold out (do I have to mention that virtually all the tickets were sold through Brown Paper Tickets?). Since this type of entertainment is really new to Sonoma, it took the young talent a while to get the audience loose enough to let them enjoy themselves – also remember that this is an older demographic community. The 300 subscribers at the film festival who saw “Derby Baby” averaged 55, yet no one left, and no one left the riotous two hours of comedy last night. I am certain that as time goes on Torio will get a consistent following (a little more “hip”) and he will end up doing up to 6 shows a weekend.
Now what possible relevance can this have to the sport of Roller Derby?
Well, before your league appeared in your city no one under 50 had ever seen a live game, and your audience is primarily kids through thirties. So this was new to them.
And you have to work to build a following. We all know that putting up a sign that says “Roller Derby tonight” will not create consistently attending fans, and if you are going to live by paid attendance, concessions, and merch sales, you had better start drawing more than just family and friends.
I have discussed before making your games fun events to attend…..and there are so many ideas on how to do that. First of all, see what the successful leagues are doing and try to draw from them. There is a lot more that we will be talking about in this regard at my seminar at Rollercon, and joining me will be representatives from leagues that do know how to promote themselves, and most importantly, how to play Roller Derby that builds a fan base.
Andy Dolich who helped create much of the Oakland A’s success as General Manager and then went on to help The Warriors and the 49ers is a good friend. In one of our conversations a long time ago he told me his philosophy that baseball was an entertainment event, and he also had to figure how to present the game to compete with rock and roll, theater, music etc. “We are fighting for the entertainment dollar”. A very smart and successful man.
It is really irrelevant whether a sports writer likes you or not…..what is important is that your games are fun “events”, that you reach out to all parts of the media and community, and most important of all, that what the fans see is something that will keep them coming back. And you are in control of all of that.
And of course use Brown Paper Tickets, with the lowest fees to your fans (and none to you), Roller Derby doer “Bob Noxious” and all the resources available through their help with promotion, venue sourcing, donation programs and so much more.
And don’t forget that the person writing this post has promoted over 3000 Roller Derby games, concerts, trade shows, and benefits and is available for advice.
You are all so driven and talented in what you created; now just concentrate your efforts on utilizing your talents (everyone is in marketing!), and it will be pay such dividends…..trust me.