Christina Sparkle

Bout promotion: Part 1

Our next home bout will be a tournament featuring Helsinki Roller Derby. Tournaments are difficult things, much more difficult than normal bouts. At a bout our break even costs are much lower but with the extended booking at our expensive bouting venue we need to ensure a lot more punters through the door at a tournament in order to break even.

Here’s the promotion plan we put into place for Fight to the Finnish:

6 weeks before: We set up the website event and Facebook event for the tournament. Some leagues do it even earlier than that to secure their bout’s name. We always write an exciting description for the event and make it really obvious how to buy tickets – I like to have the buy tickets link in the first line of the description if possible.

We put up a teaser graphic on the website and Facebook to give people a feel for the event’s theme. At this stage we do a little bit of Twitter to highlight the event to people.

We also ensure that any general league promotion (magazine features, interviews, etc.) states when the next home bout will be and who it will feature. We are due to be featured in The Monograph this month, a Leicester based music magazine. The article is not Roller Derby related, it just features some of our skaters and their favourite music venue in Leicester but it’s good promotion for the league and it will say at the bottom when our next bout is.

5 weeks before: We challenged our league members to “break the record” for most invited friends to the facebook event (The challenge was 1600, we have currently got over 2000 invited to the event!). This really helps all league members to get involved with bout promotion and reiterates that promotion can’t be left to the last minute. This also helps us to focus on friends of our skaters – locals and not just the roller derby community.

Keep tweeting on things surround the event, links that relate to theme, #followfriday to promote the teams you’ll be playing against.

4 weeks before: We put posters up around the city centre in local shops and bars. Our city does not allow fly posting so we only have a limited number of venues that we can put up posters. We usually place around 20 posters in our “key locations” – vintage shops, alternative clothing shops, skate shops, music shops, and alternative bars. We then have another 40-50 posters handed out at training so skaters can put the posters up in local shops (chip shops and takeaways are great places to put your posters up).

3 weeks before: For this tournament we launched a Facebook advert campaign for the first time. Facebook adverts can be very targeted so are an excellent way to promote your event. Whenever someone clicks on the advert you will be charged between 30p-60p depending on your choices when you create the advert. Facebook will tell you before you give your payment details how much each one will cost.

We selected to target users within 80km/50miles of Leicester, aged 18+, both male and female who have shown interest in roller derby, whip it or roller skating, but that aren’t already invited to the Facebook event – that’s almost 4000 people! We also placed a small limit on the campaign so once we have reached a certain number of clicks the advert will not show any more and we won’t be charged. We need to keep our costs low but if we can push just a few more ticket sales then it is worth it.

At the end of this week we will release the bout poster and a matching cover photo on Facebook. We tag the photo with skaters who will be in the bout as well as anyone else who has a heavy role in promotion. If you run out of tags (this often happens to us) you can also tag people in the cover photo. This usually creates a lot of buzz and helps us to increase our facebook reach – sometimes by double.

Check back next Saturday for Part 2!

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