Floorball is a business. The biggest potential market out there right now for the sport?
The youth sport market.
Youth sports has evolved into a behemoth that is valued at a multi-billion dollar business model. What we’ve seen in the market over the past few years is a slight shift in interest. The brunt of the market is focused on more traditional sports such as basketball, soccer, football, hockey, and baseball respectively.
However, the market is seeing some changes due to a number of factors including rising costs to participate, more emerging sports such as rugby, lacrosse, and more sophisticated advancements in markets like e-gaming. There’s a lot out there trying to grab market share. Floorball is part of the process, but there is much to do.
Those involved in Floorball are trying to figure out how to monetize it. Some are looking to build out a passion from the sport and do it in a number of ways. Other see the potential opportunity for a quick buck, or feel like in the infancy of the market they’ll be the one to rise to the top and control it. I believe that we’re too early in the process for much of that.
I think of it this way. There’s a pie out there. We don’t have any idea how big that pie is, and as a result there is a lot of space for lots of businesses and products to enter the market and grow the sport. As it grows we’ll eventually figure out the size of the market, and that’s when things will get interesting.
A consistent theme that gets targeted is the hockey market. It’s a natural area. Floorball is a perfect fit as a complimentary sport and training tool for hockey players. However, hockey players want to play hockey. Those businesses will do everything they can to protect their market. Right now Floorball isn’t a threat to that model. However, I firmly believe over time it will be. The hockey world knows about Floorball so they have it on their radar. NHL teams are utilizing Floorball equipment as part of their local outreach. However, it hasn’t correlated to growth in the Floorball market. Hockey manufactures are also watching, planning, and waiting on Floorball to see what the market will do and act accordingly. We’ve seen some dip a toe into the market, but most are looking at the European market. We saw collaborations for Nike for instance, but nothing has come out since.
All of it has been focused largely on retail sales.
I think right now the more effective market is creating the market itself and through it demand. I can’t express this enough. I think building out platforms to educate and teach the sport is what will ultimately grow it from a grassroots movement into a sports force. Get people excited about it, give them opportunities to play, and build that.
Look at soccer in the US from 1970-2000. Soccer was largely a niche sport that kids played. It ultimately coined the term “soccer mom”. What happened? They focused on getting the sport in every city and every state at the youth level. It was low cost, lots of fun, and had opportunities for kids to grow with it. They trained, developed, and built it from a grassroots movement into a force. What does it take? It takes people and businesses working along that same path.
We need to teach the sport, show why it’s so much fun. It’s such a fun sport! I’ve yet to meet a kid in any of my programs who didn’t have fun with it. Let’s make sure that we’re focusing on that. In a world where literally everything around us is pinning for our attention Floorball needs to fight through the noise. What speaks to you? How will you help Floorball impact your community? How can we help?