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HMB Fans. Part 3

Article by Ivan Koryagin

In previous publications we talked about the arguments for working with fans in HMB sport and also figured out who can start doing it and what he or she should start with. This time let’s talk about the most common arguments against working with fans usually given by HMB athletes and club leaders to explain their lack of interest and desire to work with potential fans.

Argument 1.

I do this only for myself. I do not want to become a clown for anybody. I am already known among those who are interested.

A lot of people do sports for themselves, for their own pleasure or fun, and this is completely normal. Nevertheless, if you support this argument then ask yourself a question – are you ready to pay for your own pleasure from your very own pocket, that is completely just? Or do you expect any kind of material support from your club or your team, compensation for your travel expenses, for your meals and accommodation during the tournaments?

Despite which question you answered in the affirmative, think about that you are not alone in HMB sport. How these questions would be answered by your clubmates or your opponents that may have to come to the big tournaments across the half of the country?

Nobody urges you to become a hundred percent altruist and accept the responsibility for all HMB sport, but keep in mind that everything that makes HMB sport unique and fascinating – tournaments, competitions, work of marshals and secretaries – costs something, so somebody has to pay for it. At the same time the only thing that allows sport to attract money is its popularity, that depends, and we already talked about it, on the number of people who follows it, in other word – fans.

Nobody can order you to what and how you should act, just keep in mind that you, as a fighter, as team captain or club leader, able to influence the popularity of the whole HMB sport by increasing the number of your fans and fans of your club or team. Bigger number of HMB sport fans means more comfort for fighters, large prize pools, sponsorship contracts for you and your team and ultimately the acceptance of the HMB as official sport recognized worldwide.

Argument 2.

I train hard and spend my time and efforts on tournaments. I think that I am, the one who should be paid.  Fans should be a concern of those who is making money on me – of organizers, officials and others.

This argument is somehow logical but the initial idea is wrong. No doubts that the organizers are trying to make money on their events, because nobody should work for free, but let’s make a thought experiment.

Imagine that there is tournament for four participants and you are one of them. You fought hard during the whole tournament and maybe even got the first place. Organizers, let’s suppose, sold 100 tickets and got their profit. And now the experiment – imagine that you were replaced by another fighter. Tournament was held, everybody fought hard and somebody has won. How the quantity of the tickets sold changed?

Thing is that your «value» is defined by number of people who would like to watch your performance and buy the ticket to do it (or watch stream etc.). If there is a significant audience that is following you and your appearance on the event is enough to have all the tickets sold, then the argument above this section is completely valid, although you will probably still need to work with your fans anyway so they continue follow you. Nobody will make you fans if you are not interested in it.

But if you do not have any fans and if the fact that you have been changed for another factor does not change the number of views or of tickets sold, then why all this arrogance and why somebody should pay you anything? Who will be able to «make money» on you if you have «zero value» from a perspective of number of views and tickets sold?

Argument 3.

I do not have time for this. I do not like people and do not use social media. Just leave me alone.

It is also a clear and understandable argument. For a certain people sport is sort of a social retreat, that allows them somehow to isolate themselves as they do not like to be in the front of the big audience. If you are one of these people, then just do not try to stop those who are trying to make your team, club or you personally more popular. Choose a spokesperson for you team, ask one of your friends to answer the questions or participate in the interviews. Do not avoid photo shootings. If you personally do not need anything of it, then do it for your team or club, it will possibly help a lot.

Again, everybody is able to contribute to development of HMB sport. Sometimes the contribution is to do not make any obstacles, to keep your criticism and pessimism under control, to do not discourage your teammates from participating in interviews and photo shootings, to do not forbid constructive discussions in social media. Turn your inaction into contribution to the development of HMB sport.

There are other arguments against working with the fans in HMB sport. What kind of them have you heard? Maybe you have your own?

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