by Jodi Weiler, Customer Service
In commemoration of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Championships (WFTDA) taking place this weekend, November 11-13 near Denver, CO, it seems appropriate to explore how your local roller derby league can benefit your business.
I know. I know. Roller derby went out in the 70’s, right? Wrong. Roller Derby experienced a revival in early 2000 in Austin, TX and is the fastest growing sport for women worldwide. It has evolved from a theatrical show in the 40’s to a legitimate full contact sport with an impressive display of hard-hitting athletics today. By September 2011, it was reported that roller derby is played by more than 1,000 leagues on each inhabited continent.
In short, roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) in which both teams designate a scoring player (the “jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer —in effect playing both offense and defense simultaneously.
What does this mean for your business? The sport has been compared in competitiveness to rugby or football with one exception/addition…what the players wear. The opportunity not only for uniform supply but also add on sales is endless and here’s why:
- It’s a family friendly sport providing fun for all ages and proceeds from each bout are usually donated to support a local charity.
- As the league grows, they add individual teams, usually A, B, Travel teams and more, each with their own name and individual full-color logo.
- The players love to have hoodies, T-shirts and window decals displaying their team and derby name because you never know where you will find that next recruit who has always dreamed of playing roller derby.
- They wear booty shorts with sayings on them such as “Enjoy the View” in BLING. Just saying…
- They continually have fundraisers and attend community events to recruit and build a fan base, requiring banners, buttons, and bumper stickers for sale and giveaway.
- Merchandise is sold at each event they sponsor and at their bouts.
- For scrimmages and bouts, each team is required to have a uniform with each player’s derby name and at least a 4 inch number on the back.
- During the off-season (usually May-August), leagues sponsor voluntary scrimmages where they supply themed T-Shirts to the players to make up mixed teams.
- Players love to decorate their helmets with stickers reflecting their own individual personas.
- Roller Derby is so fun that even men’s and junior leagues are beginning to sprout up everywhere!
So get online and find your local derby league. Not only will you have a chance to become a supplier, odds are you will become one of their biggest fans.