Street teaming is the
epitome of traditional derby DIY culture. It’s a group of skaters (NSOs and
Refs too!) hitting the streets to advertise their league while having fun. When
done strategically, a street team crew can accomplish a lot more then just hanging
fliers and raising awareness of the sport. This method of marketing provides a
unique opportunity for a fun way to connect with a larger audience. It’s a
highly cost-effective method of utilizing the time and (wo)manpower of skaters.
This article delves into the core principles necessary to properly organize and
implement an effective street team.
Setting an objective
Having an objective is the
foundation of a successful street team. Every organized outing should have an
objective, which serves to coordinate the efforts of street team with the larger
marketing goals for the league. Since each league has a different mission
statement with a different overall focus within their business structure,
marketing goals and street team objectives can be quite varied. Here are just a
few examples of what a street team may accomplish:
- Hanging fliers
- Selling tickets to an
- Promoting a league event
- Fundraising for the league
- Meet and greet with fans
- Sign autographs
- Recruiting new skaters,
refs, and NSOs
- Partnering with sponsors
or charities for an event
- A community project
Some of these examples
would work well overlapping, like a meet and greet while signing autographs.
However, if there are too many objectives (a meet and greet while signing autographs
with the hopes of raising money for the travel team and selling tickets to an
upcoming bout) then message becomes muddled and lost. Having a single clear
objective will ensure that the message of the league is being heard and is
easily spread by word of mouth.
Once you have decided on
the objective of the event, it is important to plan accordingly. The objective
determines everything else about an event (location, timing, size, etc.) so
once it has been identified, it must reach a receptive audience.
Identifying the target audience
Whether it is the
entertainment value, the family friendly environment, or the level of athletic
competition, roller derby can attract a crowd. A league may encompass multiple
aspects of the sport; however, it is important for the league to know the
long-term goals of the league and what aspect of the sport most aligns with
From there, it is
important to market that feature of the sport to attract the target audience. A
target audience is a specific group of people that will be most receptive to a
given message. A league that hopes to give back to their community may focus on
the family friendly environment while a league that offers the most in
entertainment value may bolster their beer garden.
While it is possible to
market any aspect of the sport to a target audience, it is wise to deliver what
is promised. This is the difference between someone coming to a single bout and
someone becoming a season ticket holder. A league that is focused on a family friendly
environment will not appeal to the person looking for a good time in a raucous
beer garden and vice versa. If the marketing is aimed in one direction but the
bout actually focuses on another direction then the fans feel like they were
not delivered the assured value for their ticket price and are unlikely to
The street team is
responsible for knowing whom their target audience is for any given event and
attracting those folk. This has the additional benefit of reducing the risk of
burn out. It is exhausting for a street team to market each event to every
possible type of fan. Choose strategic locations to street team where the
audience will be receptive. From there, it is necessary to arrive ready to
mingle and have a good time.
Mingling with an objective
is difficult; it is a sales technique that not everyone possesses. It requires
skaters to both guide the conversation toward an objective and keep the
conversation flowing naturally. Yet, it is important to do because it ensures
that the street team is delivering a consistent message.
Just like on the track,
people have varying degrees of mingling comfort levels and skill sets. It is
important to know the your league mates and help them be successful in their
street teaming efforts. Some skaters only need a quick overview of the talking
points for that evening while others may feel more comfortable with an entire
conversation- a script.
A script provides someone
new to mingling an objective. It informs those who are experienced what the
goals are for the evening, and it sets everyone up to be successful to reach
those goals. It’s important to have fun on a street team since it personally
connects with the fan base, but there is also a job to be done.
Setting specific goals
help measure success. Sandrine Rangeon wrote an article on goal setting for
training; a league can use the same goal setting techniques for street teaming.
In essence, selling 15 tickets to the next bout is a lot clearer than just
selling tickets. Every event should have some goal that helps to identify
whether the street team met the overall objective of the event.
More importantly, those
goals provide a measure of success for the next round of street teaming.
Setting goals ultimately allows the league to review the success of an event
and plan to make it more successful in the future. It’s a time to figure out
what works for your street team and what does not.
Street Teaming is a unique, fun way for every skater to
get involved with the success of the league.. Knowing the objective of a street
team, targeting the prime audience, and effectively mingling will make it
easier to do more with less. Use these tips and improve street teaming efforts by
not only yielding better results, it allowing skaters more time to do what they
Photo Credits: Just a few examples of the Rat City Roller Girls street team