Article by Ivan Koryagin
Historical Medieval Battle Sport Fans 1
Fans are essential for all kinds of sports. They make a sport popular, provide financial flows and are the target for commercial sponsors and partners. What about fans in HMB sport?
Unfortunately, we have to admit that there is no much attention given to the fans in HMB sport. Common myth that «sport is a show by itself and able to sell itself» is still used by a lot of HMB clubs and fighters as a base for their approaches to promotion. Let’s discuss why the small number of fans is becoming serious problem and obstacle for HMB sport development.
Number of fans defines if the sport popular or not.
Popularity of the sport is defined by the number of people who are practicing the sport or following it. The key moment here is that the fans are not just eyes-ears-moneybags, but the significant support base in fact.
First, the fans are potential athletes, as part of them is ready to start practicing favorite sport if they are provided with certain opportunities.
Second, dedicated fan can easily become motivated volunteer who is ready to help athletes, organizers and officials. Do not fall to the misconception that volunteers are just low-qualified young people, who are able only for water carrying and tickets check. Popular media persons, politicians, businessmen, professionals also can become volunteers if they are really interested in certain sport and are willing to participate in its development.
Third, dedicated fan is a free advertisement agent of a sort. He will talk about his favorite sport to his friends, will make posts in social media, will invite his colleagues to the competitions, will take his kind to the «knights battle» etc. The most important thing – he will do it independently and by his own will.
The less fans – the less the pool for recruiting new athletes, the less possibilities, the less promotion and advertisement.
Fans are potential source of financial support.
People are ready to pay for entertainment and strong emotions and HMB sport can provide both. Besides the show itself people are ready to pay for the goods, that carry emotional charge and show their dedication to HMB sport or to certain HMB team.
Finally, active pool of fans is a potential source of financial support for certain projects by crowdfunding, good base for organization of charity events, thematical flash mobs and online challenges.
In summary – small number of fans means small financial support available.
The bigger the number of fans – the more interest from the commercial sponsors and partners.
It should be remembered that any commercial sponsor or partner of the sports event or sports organization is interested in access to the loyal audience so he could offer it his goods and services. The athlete himself, organization or event is not an object of interests for commercial sponsors, they are interested in their audience, how many people are following them and how strong this audience is involved and loyal.
If there is no big number of fans, then there are no commercial partners, no interest from mass media and TV media and, as a consequence, there are no funds for further development.
There are other arguments for the fact that HMB sport requires fans as any other kind of sport. But who should «pay attention» to these fans? Who should spend time and efforts to work with them? And what exactly should be done? All these questions are important indeed and we will talk about them next time.