Thursday, February 14, 2013

Support your not-so-local derby!

 I know we were all excited to hear that LRG are going to be covered in a television documentary. It means that the sport we know and love is closer to the big time!

But why? Why are they filming practices, bouts, etc. and editing it into a documentary that I have no doubt will show the sport as difficult, dynamic, and absolutely loved by its participants? Because the TV producers have noted the growth of the game.

TV producers follow the money. If you'll forgive the Americanism, they follow the buck. Wherever the buck stops, they film. A few more independant producers work on behalf of causes, but most mainstream groups work for the benefit of their bank accounts.

Thus, TV sees money in derby.  This is great! It means we, as a sport, are one step closer to being covered as a sport. One step closer to our scores showing up next to the Open Championship on the specialty page of the sports section. One step closer to a "bout of the week" on ESPN or Sky.

Imagine what that would do for recruitment!

Thing is, how do we best show the TV people that there's money in derby? They're not as concerned about the skaters, they're concerned about the fans. The money in sports coverage comes from advertising, and that ad money is linked to the number of fans watching the event.

Want more derby in the news, in papers, and on TV? Increase the fan base. Show that there's potential cash money being unrealised by not covering the best game on 8 wheels.

Thus, your job is twofold.

#1, go to every bout you can.  Live in South Wales? See everything TBB, SCS, and Bristol do.  Live in Manchester? You lucky skunk, you've got two leagues in Mancs, plus Liverpool and Wirral nearby. London? Besides LRG, LRR, and CRD, you should go as far as RWRG and BBHR whenever you can!

#2, advertise. Not just for your own league, but for all other leagues (who're nearby, and whose bouts don't conflict with your favourite league's). Talk up derby to your mates, to your mates' mates, and to the person you're sat next to at Starbucks. When you get that derby conversation comes around, know where and when the nearest upcoming bout is. If you can get one new fan, you've helped the game.

As well, we need a census. We need to know just how many skaters and leagues there are, but we also need to know how many people came to watch derby in the last year. Thus, when TV comes knocking, we can show them just how amazingly large and supportive our fan base is.

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