If you’ve been following our blogs, podcasts, vlogs, or social media, you’ve likely seen the numerous programs and events that we’ve attended promoting Floorball. While I believe that events are important on some levels, they don’t necessarily correlate to program success, at least not right away.
When a new product is launched whoever is launching it spends a lot of time and money promoting it. There’s a lot of benefit to it on some levels, though the return may not always pan out. This is why people go on book tours, or movie premier tours around the country or world. They’re all focused on one thing. Sell the product and get it in front of as many people as possible with the goal of making sales. It takes a lot of investment in time and money to make this happen. The key is raising awareness that something is happening and that people want to be part of it in some fashion. The same can be said about promoting Floorball.
The mistake I see people fall into when promoting Floorball is that they go to conferences or events, set up a booth, engage a lot of people and that’s it. They hope that through doing those things that they immediately won over customer. If they’re selling equipment they may have won some fans and may be made some sales, but that’s it. If you travel over to social media and you look at some of the top pages they don’t produce content to win people over, they just repost content from others. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing skilled athletes do skillful things, but do the plethora of trick videos win players over to floorball? Do the immediately go out and join a local league, if there is one? I hope so, but I bet the percentage is overall negligible.
For anyone in the Floorball world or looking to get into it I want you to know this stuff is hard. We’re trying to change culture, win over new fans, and get people to change their habits. If you’re focusing on adult play you know how hard it is to get people to try something new. Adults don’t always like new things, especially if that means they suck at a sport for a while when they’re usually one of the better players. If you’re focusing on youth programs you’ll likely see a bit more success, but you’re fighting to steal them away from sports they’ve likely been playing already. It’s clearly an uphill battle.
It may sound all doom and gloom. I want to encourage you to think past it. Floorball has a place in the sport world. There’s a number of benefits to it. What it requires is consistent effort. Being a presence at events. Posting unique content that speaks to people. We need to connect with people on an emotional level. If that requires some thinking out of the box strategies go for it, but be consistent. It’s one reason why I run my classes on the same day of the week at the same time every session. Over time if parents and kids are into it they will carve out time for it. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen. Keep showing up to events. Keep promoting your programs. Keep showing up.