Article by Ivan Koryagin
Historical Medieval Battle Sport Fans 2
Last time we have talked about importance of the fans for a sport. We have gone through several basic arguments for necessity of working with fans, for increasing their numbers and for considering their interests. Now we have to talk about who should work with fans and what should be done exactly.
Many of us think that in order to work with fans we need to hire qualified professional, who is quite expensive, and give him significant budget so he could work with the fans properly. Such opinion may be justified and valid for the big clubs or teams, that already have significant material base, numerous branches in different cities, big existing fan community and number of commercial partners, who are promoting goods and services among team or club fans. But let’s be honest, the majority of HMB clubs and teams do not have anything mentioned above and therefore do not need the expensive qualified professional to work with fans right now – he will not have a field to work on and it will be not possible to pay him.
From the very beginning let’s emphasize one important thing – the most important things required to build the fan community of your club or team is your desire and readiness to work on it and not the amount of money available. Money can be an effective tool, that can be used to attract new people, create special products and services for fans or organization of the events. However, if there is no desire to hear your fans, to interact with them and to give them bright and unforgettable emotions, behind the money spent, then it will not help you. People will just look at you, maybe will give some positive feedback, but after that they will just disappear and you will not see them ever again.
So, what should you start with, when you decide to work with fans? Start with checking within your club or team, and also among those who usually supports you when you train or go to the tournaments. Look at these people and just ask if anybody has time and wants to start working with fans or become a leader of the fan club. At the very first stage no special experience or knowledge are required, all that is needed is readiness and desire. You can also openly ask for help in your social media team group, if there is one. Ask your friends and family. Do not hesitate to admit that you need help of volunteers, there is no shame in it, even the pure professional communities of relatively wealthy people invite volunteers to perform certain functions or responsibilities.
Here are several options for potential sources of volunteers:
- your family and friends
- team veterans or elder members of the club (people who do not fight actively or do not train hard anymore because of the age and injuries, but who continue to participate in the team or club life)
- wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends of your team or club members
What is important is that the person has chosen actively supported you and your club and was active in social media, as it is the main communication channel for your future fan community.
Let’s suppose that you have found a volunteer that is ready to start working with your future fans. What should he or her start with? Actually, there are a number of existing opportunities that are ready to be used to start building your fan community.
First, do not hesitate to loudly announce that you want to create fan community. Contact the National HMB organization in your country and ask if they can assist you with something. Talk to the other clubs and teams’ representatives and check what they do for their fans. Apply for free online SMM and Community management courses and go through them. Even these simple actions will give you a number of ideas and allow you to create a basic action plan.
Second, use the available promotion channels of HMBIA. HMBIA regularly publishes news and information articles, provides streams from the tournaments, organizes online seminars and meetings on its media resources. Do not wait for somebody to contact you and ask for something, be proactive – offer information and content about your club and team on your own. HMBIA and Buhurt League managers are explicitly interested in the following:
- Interesting stories about your club/team and its members
- Good quality photos from your events, trainings and festivals
- Information about any HMB related events of your club/team (master-classes, staged fights, open trainings, exhibitions, festivals)
- Streams from the tournaments and competitions
If you do not know how to write a proper text, make proper photos or organize a stream please contact your club curator in Buhurt League or to representative of your National HMB Organization.
Third, use any opportunity to talk about your team or club. Contact local authorities, offer stage fights shows in local schools and universities, write to a local newspaper, participate in local cultural and creative competitions. Any kind of mention about you and your team is the contribution for the future success.
Last, but not least, talk to your team and club about how you can interact with potential fans. Even the simplest things such as creative greetings of the spectators on the tournament, small story about you team told by tournament announcer, photo shooting with spectators after the end of the competition, team presentation cards and open trainings can significantly increase the recognition of your team or club. Try to not wear helmets all the time, let the people see your faces, they would like to see the faces of their heroes.
Creation of the fan club for your team usually is not an easy and quick task. Do not expect immediate results, be persistent and patient and you will achieve your goal. Good luck!