What If…..

there was a professional Roller Derby League now?

You can’t say that the sport is not popular enough to have it happen.

Photo by Nikki Johnson from stock.xchng.com.

As of this date there are over 1050 amateur leagues in the world with more being added all the time.  And there will be heightened interest with the upcoming regionals and Championship in Denver; and the World Cup in Toronto in December should also attract a lot of attention……but sadly not enough to really change the perception of the game as a group of skaters competing in rinks or small venues.

Somehow the world just doesn’t really perceive what is happening. A great example occurred this week in Baltimore when it turned out that the “new” design “Pride” helmets worn by U of Maryland Terrapins were remarkably close to what the Charm City Rollers have been wearing for the past three years; maybe not identical twins, but at least fraternal.  And the Baltimore Sun picked up on it, then NBC, USA today and more.  And one of the radio sports shows had the woman mayor on to ask about the controversy, and when he mentioned the football helmets she said “you mean the Charm City Roller Girls helmets” and he asked what she was talking about and who were they; and she told him.

Now this is a great PR plus for Charm City, and I hope they take advantage of it in promoting the upcoming regional tournament (I have sent some suggestions, but haven’t heard back), but the point is that somehow the word is not getting out about this new, fastest growing major sport.

Of course there are exceptions:  Denver (which just happens to have two of the leading promotion companies in the country promoting the DRG and RMRG games), Los Angeles (how great are the Dolls in doing what they do!), Seattle, and maybe one or two more.

Even in my home region of the San Francisco Bay Area there is not the perception there should be.  I mean as much awareness of at least that of soccer!

There is now a Roller Derby PR group on facebook that might aid in creating a national perception, and maybe some of the organizations that determine what game the leagues are skating might hire a PR firm, but until national publicity comes about, it will continue as it is, which isn’t all bad.  Of course, if there could be more dollars to help pay skaters’ expenses, travel, etc it would make it less of a hardship on everyone.

There may be some quick-buck promoters out there who want to make a circus (again) out of what this game has become, but that would only hurt everyone.  Until Live Nation or AEG or Mark Cuban, Madison Square Garden or someone of that nature wants to get involved on the very best level that would benefit all who are currently playing the game, it will continue to grow as it has.

What do you think?

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