Forging new relationships in Floorball

A new venture always comes with risk. While you may be bought into the process, it’s not as likely others will jump on board right away.  One of the first challenges any new venture faces is getting buy-in.  You can have the best product, business, idea, program, but none of it matters if others don’t share that same notion.  What to do?  Show them in any way possible.  You may have a great product, program, etc., but if the market doesn’t agree you’re going nowhere.

For me this process has been Floorball.  I’ve been through it before many times over, but there’s been something about Floorball that has become a calling for me. It hasn’t been an easy process, and continues to be a slog if you will.  I’ve been in sales before, and I’ve worked in a lot of different jobs related to sports, youth sports, college recreation, and others.  I know a thing or two about starting programs from nothing and growing them to be successful.  I’ve had failures along the way too, but that doesn’t stop me.  One of the things that I’ve found the most valuable is creating a need, or showing that there is a need.  This is a difficult task, and requires an ability to think outside of the box.  It also requires the ability to approach each situation a little differently. In the end the goal is about developing relationships.

Floorball has so much potential, and for anyone who sees this would agree.  The challenge is getting others to agree, especially businesses. On an international stage the International Floorball Federation has done a good job forging relationships with businesses, it’s still on a smaller scale. The IFF operates on a larger scale than local clubs, and the relationships created will be different based on the need and return on investment.  Floorball is a product like anything else, and if we can’t show that value or ROI it will continue to struggle.  I’ve had this conversation with many people and the topic usually comes around to, why isn’t Nike, Adidas, Under Armor involved in Floorball.  In my mind it’s a simple answer.  The market isn’t there yet, and right now there is far more money out there to focus on what’s hot.  There’s also very little ROI in the sport as it sits right now. However, it doesn’t mean that there is a load of potential, but it takes working to find and build the right relationships.

If you’re reading this you may not be interested in the larger scale.  You may be more focused on your area.  I encourage you to network, build a following of some sort to see what you’re doing.  Connect with your local rotary club, economic development organization, tourism board, etc. Developing relationships gives you the opportunity to show your passion and Floorball’s value.  It’s a lot of work and boots on the ground, and you’ll struggle to get buy-in, but if you keep at it and continue to get the word out there people will come around.  I read an article once that basically said:

“if no one knows about your program, organization, team, etc., they will never have an opinion of it. Good or bad, if they have an opinion about it they know about it.” – Troy Kirby

Make sure that anyone and everyone around you knows about what you’re doing.  What we forget is that there is a community around the country and around the world who have been in your shoes before.  While their solutions may not work for you they might give insight into how to help.  There’s no shame in asking for help from those around you. You might find in doing so you are opening more doors and opportunities than you thought possible.