Don’t forget to thank your fans

The “regular derby season”, such as it is, is starting to wind down for many leagues across the nation. This is a really good time to take a moment to provide some genuine thanks to the people who at least partly enable you to have this roller derby hobby- the fans.That is, assuming you play at a venue where fans pay money to watch you play and all that. The fans are in fact extremely valuable, and are vital to the sustained growth of the sport. With that in mind, why not give a little token of appreciation back to them, and let them know in no uncertain terms how much you value their dedication and interest in your hobby? Something that requires a little more effort than a status update on your favorite social network, for crying out loud.

I got the idea of doing a simple video featuring players and coaches thanking the fans towards the end of the last NBA season. A quick search on you tube revealed that this has become a common practice in not only the NBA but NHL hockey as well. Individual teams and their governing leagues get in on the action. I set out to replicate the process for the Cincinnati Rollergirls, during and just after their last home game of the 2011 season.

How simple is the process? I myself have no real skill at shooting or editing video. Luckily you don’t need it. I sent a heads up message to the league explaining what I wanted to do, and giving some tips on what kind of thing the players can say. On game day, I had my charged up flip cam in my back pocket, and as opportunity presented, I whipped it out and shot a few short 10-30 second clips. By the end of the night I had more than enough to work with. A few days later, I opened the clips and stitched them together using Windows Movie Maker, the free program that comes with any of the Windows packages released in the past few years.

The total process from editing to saving and uploading took no more than two hours. We uploaded it to the CRG you tube channel and distributed on all the standard social networks. Easy-peasy, and something that just about anyone can do. Remember, you can play derby without fans, but you can’t reimburse expenses, get new fans, expose the sport to potential recruits, and have a generally awesome product without the fans. Why not thanks them for spending their money on you?

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