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Roller Derby is the fastest growing sport in the United States and is rapidly gaining international popularity as well. According to derbyroster.com, UnitedStates 75% of the 600+ Women’s Flat Track leagues in existence are located within the United States.
Roller derby is gaining steam in Europe, Australia, and South America as new leagues are established and existing leagues expand. This tremendous growth has led the Federation of International Roller Sports http://usarollersports.org/news/2010/12/22/firs-recognizes-roller-derby/40199 to officially recognize Roller Derby as a discipline, bringing roller derby one step closer to becoming an Olympic sport.
The WFTDA Women’s Flat Track Derby Association has provided the derby community with a governing body, which regulates the rules of the game as well as organizing regional and national competition. Our league was recently admitted to the WFTDA Apprentice Program and we look forward to joining the 100+ leagues who are currently able to participate in competition at the regional and national levels.
Why Sponsor SIRG?
Southern Illinois Roller Girls embrace the grass roots DIY spirit of modern roller derby. We are 100% for the skaters, by the skaters. We play this sport for the love of skating hard and skating fast. As such we do not allow our league or skaters to profit from any of our events. We aim to give as much back to our local community as possible. With this in mind as our main priority, specific charities are always featured for benefit at each and every one of our bouts.
As with any sport, roller derby is quite an expensive habit. Our skaters contribute to the league by paying monthly dues and donating even more of our time outside of practice to ensure that our league continues to run as smoothly as possible. According to WFTDA the average skater spends roughly $700-$900 a year on roller derby expenses. Topping off all the personal expenses the skater is subject to, the league has multiple expenses of its own to keep up running smoothly. All the money raised by SIRG is utilized to pay for league equipment, uniforms, practice space rental, bout space rental, travel costs, insurance, event production costs, etc. These costs add up very quickly. In order for us to cover all this and still have enough left to give to charity, we need to form partnerships with local businesses
The growing popularity and involvement in this sport presents a unique opportunity for businesses to collaborate with local roller derby leagues as the sport expands into the mainstream. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, two-thirds of fans are familiar with businesses that support local roller derby teams. This majority also indicated making even more of an effort to support these sponsoring businesses. A survey conducted by our league during the 2009 season corroborated this finding with 77% of our fans responding that they would be more likely to patronize a local business if they were a sponsor of the Southern Illinois Roller Girls.
While our fan base is steadily rising, we are able to identify some key trends. The majority of our fans are evenly distributed amongst three age groups, from 18-40. It appears that women (67%) have a slightly higher tendency to be fans than men (32%). We have been labeled as inspirational and empowering by some fans, and others have been moved so far as to join our league as volunteers, non-skating officials, skaters and referees.
We averaged 650-700 fans per bout last season and these numbers have been reaching upward to 1,000 spectators for some games. Our events are a great place to go out with friends or family for a night full of fun and entertainment. We pride ourselves in being family friendly and make our events an affordable place for families to bring their children. One fifth of our fans tend to bring kids to our bouts and we love meeting with them before and after our games. Our fan demographic is broad and inclusive of many people in our community. One of our main goals is to be sure everyone ranging from small children to our elders feel welcome at our events.
How can I sponsor my local league?
As we prepare for our second season, now is a great time to align yourself with the Southern Illinois Roller Girls. We offer various partnership opportunities to help put your business at the forefront of our growth. We offer three main types of sponsorship.
Individual Sponsorship: The best way for any individual fan to support our skaters is to come to our games. Buy a ticket, and bring your friends. Make signs and cheer on the skaters. By just showing up and buying a hotdog or beer, you are doing your part in helping our league. If you are a diehard fan, you should consider getting a Season Pass to receive over 30% savings on tickets for the season.
A La Carte Sponsorship: If you are already planning on attending all of our games and want to help more, there are many other ways to look into for sponsoring our team. We offer options to post banners; make announcements, and/or tabling for individual bouts (please contact us for pricing). You can also choose to sponsor us on the web with the benefit of yearly links on our website and shout outs about your upcoming events or deals on our social networking sites.
One of the best ways to help us out per bout (hey that rhymes) is to buy an ad in our event program click here to see our ad sizes and order form. We offer various sizing and price options with package deals for multiple bouts as well. Place an ad for your business. Post your upcoming gigs. Print a pretty picture you drew, or send a message to your favorite roller girl. Every little bit helps us out.
Season long Sponsorship:
If you have the resources to support the Southern Illinois Roller Girls for an entire season, please check out our current sponsorship packet. Whether you are able to support us by donating money, goods or services, we would love to work something out. If you have any questions or would like to tweak any of the packages to better suit your business, please contact us and we’ll be happy to make this partnership work.