It seems that a lot of people are interested in getting out there promoting footbag. I am stoked about that and in Denmark we have been doing tons of shows every year for years.
We have done everything from huge national campaigns with Orange to shows at football stadiums in front of thousands of spectators to workshops at the biggest scandinavian music festival Roskilde Festival to small intimate shows at schools and for private companies.
This summer we did a workshop for Denmarks biggest football club FCK for hundreds of kids (see top photo).
I would like to share some of our experiences as a club doing shows, but this is an open discussion. If anybody has anything to share feel free to do so. Also as said this is done from the point of view of a footbag club, I know that there are players out there that have big success doing shows as solo players (Honza, Vasek etc.), if they want to share something about that it would be more than welcome.
Important: This is not about recruiting new players! We have done 200+ demos and as said had commercials on national TV and such – None of this has helped recruit new players. My experience is that if people want to play footbag they will find it.
How do we get hired to do a show?
- Become an official club
A lot of our jobs we get through the state or municipality and they can only pay money to a club or organisation. It also looks more professional and makes the paperwork easier. In most countries having an official registered club makes it easier and cheaper for you to get indoor training facilities. This is good in the winter and for networking.
- Have a professional looking website with a good domain name.
In Denmark we have www.footbagdenmark.dk – and www.footbag.dk – it has the most basic information and our very active facebook page integrated.
Let people know you play footbag. Tell them you are a member of a real club and that you do shows/demos/workshops. A lot of print shops do free test runs of business cards – make shit look legit and professional. Maybe they won’t hire you but they might reference you to somebody else who will. Do you know somebody who works in a youth organisation – ask them if they could need you for a show. Do a show at your school, your workplace, where you practice your other hobbies etc.
- Apply for jobs
Think of it as a job application. Companies are not interested in giving you their money, but they could be interested in your services. This mean you can benefit from putting yourself in the place of the company or organisation you want to work with. Are they looking for teambuilding, exercise, child care with activities, entertainments/hows or PR(commercials etc.)?
What to do when we get hired?
First time people see footbag it’s mind boggling, even from an intermediate player. So don’t worry too much about how well you play if it’s a workshop. Make sure you know what is expected from you and be on time, wear clean clothes and smile and be open. If it’s a big show come prepared with what you wanna do – is it a routine? show basic to advanced tricks? something else? If you are not a pro level player here it might be an idea to get somebody from out of town to come help you – that leads me to the next question..
After every job we have done we sent an email to organizers telling them how much fun we had, what a cool event it was, if they have any feedback for us and that we would like to work with them in the future.
How much should we get paid?
Note: In Denmark all the money we get from demos go to the club. That money is then put back into the footbag community – practice locations, travel funding, new videocamera, you name it..
- As much as possible
Ask them how much they want to pay you – if it’s fair ask for some more. If it’s not fair ask for even more.
- Let them know the money goes to the club.
If you are in need of a pro-level player let them know that it goes to his travelling as well. Footbaggers like to visit other footbaggers and get out there and play – so don’t worry about asking.
- You are a performer – expect to be treated as one.
The area in use should be suitable for footbag, water should be provided, transportation should be provided or paid for, if it’s for many hours a meal should be provided etc.
Written by Asmus Helms
Now get out there and kick some ass (and bags)!
Thanks to FootbagDenmark and especially NZA! Also big thanks to everybody who read and gave feedback.