Beijing Roller Derby - How To Set Up A Roller Derby League Overseas Part 3

Welcome back to part 3 of setting up a roller derby league overseas!

In this installment we will look at your league/teams appearance and sponsorships.

Next time we will be looking into league structure, coaching, social events and junior teams!

We are very excited to have finally gotten ourselves a league logo over here in Beijing, not to mention our team logos in the works.
With our new shiny logo a lot of doors have been opened. We are now able to advertise ourselves better and put an image to the new sport in town that’s been catching people’s attention. Not to mention we are able to start making shirts and looking into sponsorships!

Let’s start with your image!

Logo, colours and names oh my!

When setting up your league abroad, it’s important to think about your demographic, and whether or not roller derby is known about. If you are in a country where women must adhere to certain clothing requirements, it might not be the best idea for your logo to be a roller girl showing lots of skin.

As mentioned in previous articles, roller derby has a lot of potential to help progress women’s rights, and their presence in the sporting world, so please be respectful of your new countries rules and cultural expectations, and establish a new sport for women respectfully.

(Something to consider: Some women do not identify with the image of hot pants and fishnets, or the image portrayed in the common derby pin up girl logos, so make sure to give your team a chance to voice their opinions, and throw in their two cents.)

Another factor you may want to take into account for your league's logo is that roller derby is now being played by both women and men, in our league we have a women’s team and we are working on our co-ed and male team so we need a league logo that will represent everybody, you may have a similar goal.

If you are planning on having an all female league, you could consider female outlines with roller skates, if you need to consider certain cultural requirements. So that people get an idea of what roller derby might be.

You might also want to think about what makes your city unique, landmarks, food dishes, etc and incorporate that into your design. If you are the only derby team in the country, then there is going to be a lot for you to work with that isn’t already being used by a rival league or team!

Logo Contest:
Here at BRD we decided to throw a logo contest to find our league’s logo, and we picked our logo from the submissions which we are very excited about.

We advertised out competition on our different websites and spread it by word of mouth too.
We found it tough to find a graphic designer and didn’t really have the funds to hire one, so we reached out to the derby community in China and the rest of the world. We promised a bundle of merch and goodies once we picked the logo, being such a small league we really appreciated the help and the submissions we received.

Graphic designers should of course never be expected to work for free, so we really appreciated the response and willingness to help and get us on our feet!

A very good article to check out, written by ‘A Diary of a Roller Girl’ has some very useful tips about having a logo competition, including ways to be considerate when asking designers to potentially work for free, the types of requirements needed for your logo, the time frame needed etc.

Hire a graphic designer:

If you decided to hire a graphic designer, here are some points to consider.

First, make sure you have some ideas about what you want.
Make sure to get them all down. You can collect pictures from the internet of certain images and themes, all which will help the designer in getting a feel for what you want. This is especially important if you are hiring a graphic designer who has no idea about what the sport is. Email, or print out, some resources to give them. You don’t want to end up with a person on inline skates holding a basketball as your logo.

You may want to get in touch with local sport’s teams and ask them how they created their logo, and if it was designed for them, ask if they can put you in touch with the designer.

My last tip is to get a contract written up! Confirm the hourly rate or one off payment, all countries are different, and some sure do like to barter more than others. Write the agreed upon price down on paper before you commit.

When starting a new league you will be looking to keep costs down so stay savvy and ask lots of questions, you are paying for a service and there is nothing wrong with asking questions such as the rate, the expected completion and if they are able to work to deadlines etc. 

However, remember to be respectful to your graphic designer, all too often people make the mistake of viewing graphic designers, photographers, musicians and other various artists as not doing ‘real work’ and will ask them to work for free. (Or in the case of musicians, for dinner and a drink.)
Be considerate when discussing the cost with your designer, and the time frame. If you want something created cheaply and fast, you may not get the result you were looking for and may end up having to look at rebranding in the future.

About The Author

DOB: 6/2/2013
Leagues: Bio:

Originally skated for the Concrete Cows MKRD in Milton Keynes, UK. Joint founder of Beijing Roller Derby League, and coach for the Rickshaw Rollers! 

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