By Kim Artlip, Columnist
My grandmother had a saying, “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.”
That is never so true as in sports entertainment aka indy wrestling. You can’t be doing the same tired “Montreal Screw Job” move with (insert chair, brass knuckles, baseball bat, weapon) here. That’s why companies fail. They are being driven by writers who have zero originality and just recycle the same lame storylines and insert new wrestlers into it.
Do you really think the fans aren’t realizing they have seen this before, over and over, ad nauseum? Bookers and story writers need to stop with the elaborate storylines and hours and endless calls creating something they saw on television in 1999. It’s not 1999, and fans will spit you out if you can’t move with the times.
That’s one thing that I haven’t had to deal with much with IGNITE since our shows are more spread out and we have an top notch booker who keeps things fresh in the ring. Nothing worse than going to a show and everyone does the same finishes and moves. It’s like deja vu all night.
So what can you do as company to make things fresh for the fans? Are you ready to rock the boat and reap the rewards yet?
Personally, stop letting fans buy their way into running shows. Yes, this actually happens. I get it, that people want to be part of the show but you can’t have people who won’t listen driving the train especially if they think their ideas are the only ones that matter. I have seen this first hand it was not a pretty site. Bookers screaming at promoters, that they have no say in the shows that they’re paying to put on. Ugly, so ugly.
As companies and wrestlers, it’s time to start thinking of how you are going to break out of the pack and set yourself apart not only for promoters but to fans. There are dozens of wrestlers out there peddling photos, stickers, tees and bracelets. Get with great graphic artists like the Doodlin’ Dork (Jose Monte Hernandez on FB) and get new designs. Look at what others are selling and take advantage of deals.
Sign up for email alert for deals at Sticker Mule who run cool deals on their products such as 50 round stickers for $19 or 10 coasters for $1. So many deals and they change daily or weekly depending on the special. It’s a fantastic way to get your feet wet with new merchandise without breaking the bank. Check out printing deals online with UPS or Staples and print up promo pics to sell and autograph.
I sat down and took a giant whiteboard and wrote out in dry erase markers months ago what I wanted to try in 2019 and then broke it down to see what was realistic, the prices, the hours involved and the projected return on investment (ROI). If you aren’t thinking of your ROI, it’s time to stop and look at your pricing models and are you making money on merchandise and marketing or are you simply handing out your product with no ROI at all.
So unless you have blocked me in the past few years on social media, you will notice that I have a propensity for changing things up and breaking the mold. Three years ago when trading cards were first launched, all we heard was how no one would buy them, they wouldn’t sell and my personal favorite was that we were nobodies and no one cared about our wrestlers. Guess what? Three years later and that is one of the biggest selling/earning items for our company over time. We are expanding it even more in coming weeks to add in new faces who have joined the family.
So there was this idea I had for over a year that kept being pushed to the back burner time and time again. After researching it, there really are very very few independent wrestling magazines out there nowadays. So after an internal debate and countless hours of preparation the first issue of IGNITEMAG is out there. Well I can’t resist the challenge of doing something different that will set my company apart. Will it be successful? Time will tell but honestly with all the algorithm changes and challenges being put forth by Facebook, the days of building on social media have been far more challenging. So it’s time to kick it in gear and think outside the box.
When was the last time you did something different? Are you marching obediently to the same drummer, doing the same tired gimmicks, poses and promos? When was the last time you broke loose and let go? Trust me when I say it’s so flipping liberating. Come on over the dark side and do something different and you might be pleasantly surprised. Nothing better than rocking the boat and thumbing your nose to same tired stuff.
Until next time, ignite your fire, and follow your dreams.
Kim Artlip, Owner + Promoter
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