Fireworks and bobble heads

photo-27Let me tell you about a little craziness from this week: I spoke to members of the American Advertising Federation of Kansas City yesterday about roller derby.

I can hear my dad’s voice in my head, most likely saying something about me yapping my jaws and lots of hot air leaking out of my mouth. But it was truly an incredible experience for me.

When I was in North Carolina, my agency started to get involved with the Triangle Ad Club, and I’ve been hungry for more involvement in a group like this. I had been stalking the AAF-KC website looking for ADDY deadlines when I saw an event called, “Sports Marketing: Major Wins, Minor Budgets. How 3 Sports Brands Win Fans” coming up. It was something I had wanted to attend anyway. Then the Kansas City Roller Warriors were asked to participate.

Be still my beating heart. Talking about marketing? And roller derby? To a group of my peers? SWOON!

I joined a small panel that included Reggie Harris, the General Manager from the Kansas City Renegades indoor football league, and Seth Alberg, the Director of Sales with the Kansas City T-Bones baseball team.

It was fantastic to be part of such an interesting group. First and foremost, I learned that we all have many of the same goals and objectives. For starters, we all strive to be active in our communities, attract families, and to be a fun, affordable alternative for Kansas City.

What else did I learn? Well, that obviously, other leagues in KC have a LOT more money than we do. People were surprised to learn that all of our leagues in roller derby are skater-owned and operated. Personally, my jaw dropped when I heard Seth and Reggie talking about setting up fireworks at their events and selling bobble heads and player jerseys at games.

Will roller derby ever be in the same league as the not-quite-as-big-as-the-big-leagues? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, I think we’ll all be okay.

It was fun yesterday to hang out with my lovely derby sister and fellow Knockout, Baby Buster, and discuss some of the opportunities we’re working on for the upcoming seasonβ€”SO MANY that I’m dying to make happen (fingers crossed, things just fall into place and I can talk about them here). It was also fun chatting with folks after the event who wanted to know more about junior derby, make sponsorship recommendations, and discuss how we could create partnerships. And it was pretty amazing to check in on Twitter to see how many people at the event were brainstorming what their derby names would be. I’m glad we have people talking about us.

It was just as fun today to check my email and listen to voicemail, and to see that people really do want to help us achieve our goals knowing fully that we have a tiny budget.

So much is happening, and I can’t wait to see what it means for 2013.

P.S. I totally asked Buster for $10,000 for Fireworks. She told me no. Waiting for Guffman, anyone?

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I love following your blog/tweets! I play roller derby and work in advertising as well, but as a graphic designer. I’m on my league’s board of directors this season and get reeaally stoked on advertising and finding marketing/PR opportunities for us. It’s tough working with small budgets but also that much more rewarding to see the growth and evolution. Anyways, I would have loved to see you talk!

    1. I keep saying it’d be nice to have budgets, including being able to make money marketing a sport we all are so passionate about. Oh, to live in a perfect world…

      I also wish people like us had a forum where we could share our work and get ideas/inspiration. But I suppose that’s no different than working in advertising in general. I’ll share some of our 2013 work shortly, I’m sure. SO excited about it.

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