Creating Roller Derby Fans (Part 1)

(Originally from our Facebook page.)

Do your fans say “We won”?
Part 1.

I had written quite a long post earlier this morning and pushed posting it till the last second. Well, the last second was actually too long. Lost it all due to a dead battery on my phone. Afterwards though I decided it was probably for the best. What I had written was probably important enough to expound on and break up in to many posts.

I want to talk about fans. Fans in the truest sense of the word. When you lose, they feel they have lost, when you win, they celebrate with you because they won. I believe for the most part derby has what it takes to deliver to those fans. It’s got the right mix of “Sports ingredients” Where its lacking though is in fan creation and retention. Over the next few whenevers I’m going to talk about some things I’ve noted over the last couple years and make some actionable suggestions. Do what you will with them.

Today I’m going to talk about Facebook. You all have a site. Some of you have sites for your league and for your individual teams. Some of you have even created your own athlete specific pages. Nicely done.

Lets talk about using them.

Your leagues should be posting something at least 2-3 times a week. It can be twitter or Instagram or whatever. Just make sure you’re connecting it back to your FB pages so the update goes there as well. Fans want to know more. There is a lot of time between games. Give them something to talk about at the water cooler.

News outlets (NERDerby included) depend on this information to have something to talk about.

The most important… Post after every game. Win or lose, let your fans know. If you lost by 200 points, you should be addressing that. A new fan only sees a slaughter. You need to educate them on how much you learned by playing that amazing team and how much of a big deal it was that they traveled all the way up to take you all on. If you win by a few points even, tell them why you won. What worked, what changes did you make? Did you hear the crowd? Were you inspired? Say it.

If you take NOTHING away take this… Post your scores. ESPECIALLY when you’re on the road. Nothing sucks worse than not knowing. Tweet that shit!

None of you are updating your pages nearly enough. I’m as guilty as the next.
As a point of reference, find a sports franchise and follow them on social media. Not even a sport you care about. Just look at how much they are doing and what they are doing.

Post something. Player profiles, team history, practice updates, fan shout outs. Whatever you want. Just make it team related and do it with some frequency. Again… especially when you’re on the road.

Event pages
You all do a pretty good job with event pages. However… There is some room for improvement.
Publish them sooner if possible. People need to see that stuff well in advance. I also suggest paying Facebook the 5-10 bucks to promote the event. Hundreds more people will see it. Make sure your header image is only 20% text!
Included a video that explains the sport of derby in 1 minute or less. Find something with text or subtitles if possible. The best option would be for your team to make their own. New fans need all the help they can get to understand what they are seeing.

Link and tag the shit out of those event pages. Keep updating them with new things. Talk about both teams. Who’s who? Do you have rosters? Share it on the event page.

Ok, lets wrap this up. Some of you are thinking “Hey dude, we all work for a living and don’t have time for this. Our team doesn’t have the time”

You better find it. If you are on a team and think “I would rather just focus on playing” then you’re doing it wrong. You don’t have that leisure yet. If you want to play on a team you need to help it exist and help it prosper.
If you want your team to have the funds to grow, to pay for rent, to build a better program, get new uniforms or travel further then you need fans. You need your venue filled closer to capacity. In two years I’ve never seen a venue so close to capacity that I thought there didn’t need to be any more people there.

Questions? Thoughts? Think I’m stupid? Put it in the comments. Share it all.

If you are on a team and think “I would rather just focus on playing” then you’re doing it wrong. You don’t have that leisure yet. If you want to play on a team you need to help it exist and help it prosper.