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Flo big match promotion - question

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58 minutes ago, Pinnum said:

How did that work out for everyone?

We know that lineups are going to change.  That is a reality of every sport.  It is irrational to think that it won't happen.

And I am not sure what possible future brands for athletes has to do with anything.

How did it work out? You don't think they should promote individual matchups because sometimes they don't happen? 

The vast majority of marquee matchups do occur, we just remember the ones that dont. 

The future of our wrestlers matters to me and should matter to the wrestlers too, which means by extension the coaches should care.

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Just now, Housebuye said:

How did it work out? You don't think they should promote individual matchups because sometimes they don't happen? 

The vast majority of marquee matchups do occur, we just remember the ones that dont. 

The future of our wrestlers matters to me and should matter to the wrestlers too, which means by extension the coaches should care.

The question is how does Flo promote their product without upsetting customer who feel like they were sold a bill of goods?

It is not Flo's job to build brands for athletes.  But driving interest in wrestling and having people watch wrestling while feeling like they are getting a good value from their subscriber fees will build wrestling's following and allow individuals to become acquainted with athletes.

Building a brand for athletes that go MMA is horrible for Flo.  They are literally developing customers for competing media companies.  With a wrestling focus, those athletes will remain within the events that Flo distributes and more importantly, the college brands that Flo distributes. 

It is better for Flo to have people who are passionate about wrestling not wrestlers.  Next in line is better to have people passionate about wrestling teams (Team USA, Team Russia, Team Iran, Penn State, Iowa, Arizona State, etc) than it is to be passionate about wrestlers.

 

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21 hours ago, Pinnum said:

It would be better for them to hype the duals rather than the matches.  The duals will happen.  And if there is a blowout, then there is a blowout, just like in other sports where an athlete that was expected to contribute to a team was out injured or didn't perform at expected.

If you focus on the individual matches, you're always going to be disappointed.

don't disagree in theory but am curious how you would suggest going about that in practice. we write about and promote team races at every big event but they are never close to the top performing pieces of content. it's an individual sport and people care about the individual matchups far more than team results. 

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2 hours ago, Pinnum said:

The question is how does Flo promote their product without upsetting customer who feel like they were sold a bill of goods?

It is not Flo's job to build brands for athletes.  But driving interest in wrestling and having people watch wrestling while feeling like they are getting a good value from their subscriber fees will build wrestling's following and allow individuals to become acquainted with athletes.

Building a brand for athletes that go MMA is horrible for Flo.  They are literally developing customers for competing media companies.  With a wrestling focus, those athletes will remain within the events that Flo distributes and more importantly, the college brands that Flo distributes. 

It is better for Flo to have people who are passionate about wrestling not wrestlers.  Next in line is better to have people passionate about wrestling teams (Team USA, Team Russia, Team Iran, Penn State, Iowa, Arizona State, etc) than it is to be passionate about wrestlers.

 

Individual wrestlers will ALWAYS come before teams. Individual wrestlers are what matches teams exciting and fun to follow, not the other way around. The team aspect is a by product of the sport not the driving force.

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How can you possibly blame Flo?  They are making people aware of their content and are in-house ready to broadcast.  This is the T&T sideshow that they have brought to Iowa - this week.  Other coaches do the same (Tom Ryan, et al).   Smith and Cael seem to hold up pretty well this far. 

We should still build up these exciting matches and if the coaches pull their guys, we will be disappointed.      

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Individual wrestlers will ALWAYS come before teams. Individual wrestlers are what matches teams exciting and fun to follow, not the other way around. The team aspect is a by product of the sport not the driving force.


But low attendance at freestyle/Greco events in this country directly contradict that. Fans go to nationals to watch the Hawkeyes, the Cowboys ... exception to that is Dake-Taylor, but great OSU-Iowa battles individual interest are by-products of the fan base of those schools.

I’d agree that the team scoring rubic at the NCAAs is a by-product of individual matchups.

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2 hours ago, JasonBryant said:

 


But low attendance at freestyle/Greco events in this country directly contradict that. Fans go to nationals to watch the Hawkeyes, the Cowboys ... exception to that is Dake-Taylor, but great OSU-Iowa battles individual interest are by-products of the fan base of those schools.

I’d agree that the team scoring rubic at the NCAAs is a by-product of individual matchups.

 

Do you think those in attendance at freestlye/Greco events go to watch the HWC, NLWC, or Titan Mercury? Or to see Thomas Gilman, David Taylor, or Kyle Dake?

I would say most are there to see the individuals. The structure of Folkstyle has a stronger team presence so it's definitely something follow, but without strong individuals people lose interest in their teams. Nick Suriano transfering to Rutgers was a shot in the arm for that program and now more people tune into their matches largely because hes there.

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That seems reasonable to assume and you are likely right.  I'm not sure viewership from home is a shot in the arm though.  I agree with your point about stars attracting attention  but I'm just not sure the example illustrated it well.  One of the things Rutgers has done really well is attract a local fan base enthusiastic about the sport with few if any stars outside of Ashnault.   

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I was thinking about football.  When a football team no longer plays meaningful games after locking up the playoff spot, they rest their starters.  Do fans care less about those games because the games don't matter or because the stars aren't playing?  I suppose preseason exemplifies the same thing, whichever it is.  Though to be fair, that is an example of a professional sport.  Random thoughts.  

I totally get wrestlers missing matches.  Especially following the holidays.  It stinks but I get it.  Peak performance at the right time is the name of the game for better or worse.  I do think if duals had some bigger meaning for the teams we would likely see less wrestlers taking matches off **when the outcome isn't certain** but I doubt the problem would go away entirely.  In the case of Iowa vs Northwestern, it wouldn't have made any difference at all for the teams as an example.  Changing seeding criteria might help but all the ways I envision seem to have their own problems.    

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ironmonkey said:

That seems reasonable to assume and you are likely right.  I'm not sure viewership from home is a shot in the arm though.  I agree with your point about stars attracting attention  but I'm just not sure the example illustrated it well.  One of the things Rutgers has done really well is attract a local fan base enthusiastic about the sport with few if any stars outside of Ashnault.   

The "shot in the arm" comment was regarding grabbing the attention of people not related to are affiliated with NJ or Rutgers Wrestling. Fix v Suriano was one of the most hyped matches of the season with or without Flo's endorsement. If that match up was not going to happen the viewership for that dual (on Flo) imo would have been significantly lower. Advertising Fix v Suriano is going to grab more viewers than just saying Rutgers v OSU. For some teams it works like Iowa vs ISU or Iowa vs PSU, but for less established programs it's the individual stars that are going to grab the attention of the media and the public. Put it this way, if Spencer Lee decided to transfer to Presbyterian University I'd be hard pressed to believe that people would not actively try to watch their matches as much as possible.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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On 1/28/2019 at 1:30 PM, Housebuye said:

Disagree. People get more excited about individual matchups. 

Nobody thought Northwestern would beat Iowa. People wanted 125 and 157 to happen. 

It also helps our wrestlers build their brand and make more money post college if they wrestle, coach or go into mma. 

Agree.  I drove hour and 15 up to Evanston to see the dual, but more specifically to see the two best matchups at 125 and 157.  It was disappointing and sad to see Iowa sit their starters at those two weights.  If both guys are legitimately injured or sick, that's fine.  However, I wish the coaches were more transparent.  If Mike Krzyzewski sat Zion Williamson vs. North Carolina, fans would be rightfully upset at Coach K, unless he came out and publicly stated Zion was dealing with an injury.  Coach Saban discusses players' injuries (or says it's a "personal issue") at nearly every press conference.   For some reason, wrestling coaches (some are worse than others) tend to sit good wrestlers when they face tough(er) opponents.  It's bad for the sport.  I don't blame Flo as I don't think they had any idea Brands would sit Lee and Young.  However, listening to Brands' comments after the dual, it seemed as if the Lee move was discussed and planned days/weeks ago.  Personally, I would not have driven to Evanston if I knew Lee was not going to wrestle.  The outcome of the dual was never in doubt.  

 

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Do you think those in attendance at freestlye/Greco events go to watch the HWC, NLWC, or Titan Mercury? Or to see Thomas Gilman, David Taylor, or Kyle Dake?
I would say most are there to see the individuals. The structure of Folkstyle has a stronger team presence so it's definitely something follow, but without strong individuals people lose interest in their teams. Nick Suriano transfering to Rutgers was a shot in the arm for that program and now more people tune into their matches largely because hes there.

The much smaller crowds at major FS events are junkies who yes, do follow the individuals ... so you’ve basically validated what I just said. The 18,000+ at NCAAs in large, go to support their teams. No one went to school at Titan Mercury, so there’s no brand relationship with the fan base. If you went to Iowa, you go and root for Iowa. Your decision to root for others is secondary. You’re an Iowa fan, rooting for Gilman internationally. You’re not at TMWC fan. So yes, internationally, you’re more an individual or overall fan. Team support moves the tickets at NCAAs. The team score itself doesn’t. The 6-7K from Final X events (and WTT the year prior) pales in comparison to the team fanhood of the D1 championships.

There are individuals who move the needle and might bump up season tickets cyclically, but even at Carver, wrestling sells out for Iowa, not for wrestling by itself. (Olympic Trials are the asterisk, not the rule)

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22 minutes ago, JasonBryant said:


The much smaller crowds at major FS events are junkies who yes, do follow the individuals ... so you’ve basically validated what I just said. The 18,000+ at NCAAs in large, go to support their teams. No one went to school at Titan Mercury, so there’s no brand relationship with the fan base. If you went to Iowa, you go and root for Iowa. Your decision to root for others is secondary. You’re an Iowa fan, rooting for Gilman internationally. You’re not at TMWC fan. So yes, internationally, you’re more an individual or overall fan. Team support moves the tickets at NCAAs. The team score itself doesn’t. The 6-7K from Final X events (and WTT the year prior) pales in comparison to the team fanhood of the D1 championships.

There are individuals who move the needle and might bump up season tickets cyclically, but even at Carver, wrestling sells out for Iowa, not for wrestling by itself. (Olympic Trials are the asterisk, not the rule)

Yes, but the original premise is that I was replying to suggests to hype up Team vs Team, not Individual vs Individual. In the case of Rutgers v OSU the main point of interest in that dual was Fix v Suriano. Thats what everyone wanted to see, but the dual itself. The excitement for that individual match outweighed the excitement of the entire dual. People wanted to see Fix/Suriano. They didn't care about Rutgers/OSU nearly as much. Without outstanding individuals there are no teams. If you put a superstar on a weak team, there is now a reason to follow that team.

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48 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

Yes, but the original premise is that I was replying to suggests to hype up Team vs Team, not Individual vs Individual. In the case of Rutgers v OSU the main point of interest in that dual was Fix v Suriano. Thats what everyone wanted to see, but the dual itself. The excitement for that individual match outweighed the excitement of the entire dual. People wanted to see Fix/Suriano. They didn't care about Rutgers/OSU nearly as much. Without outstanding individuals there are no teams. If you put a superstar on a weak team, there is now a reason to follow that team.

Unless you have a team like Central Michigan had about 10 years ago, when they finished the year ranked #2, beat Oklahoma State, had a handful of All-Americans, but were just solid top to bottom. That was a dual team that drew people in, there wasn't a transcendent star for CMU fans like Suriano is for Rutgers fans. 

Another problem is we can't even hype the duals right because we've got tournament rankings (from numerous outlets) being referenced rather than any dual ranking. Many of these outlets offer both dual and tournament rankings, but guess what the coaches tell their SIDs? Use the highest ranking. That means Arizona State, which is 4-8 and unranked in the Coaches Poll, can be cited as #12 because of their post-season tournament strength and not where the properly sit in dual rankings. "We beat #12!" No, you didn't. You beat a team that come March, can finish around 12th based on star power. So hyping the team vs. team is a problem because no one wants to be on the same page with what they're using for rankings. Some teams don't like certain outlets, so they don't mention them. Some teams don't like some coaches, so they don't use rankings that might be associated with them, it's just all "me first and the gimme gimmes" at times. ODU beat "#11" Northwestern by 20 points, Northwestern moved up in some rankings (that use tournament points). In what word is that rational for a head to head team competition? 

Promoting team vs. team can draw more fans IF done with some semblance of actual uniformity. Too many people fighting over the scraps to start with. We don't market duals properly because, at the D1 level, we have 77 coaches who want 77 different things and the top 10 can't even get along with one another because they're so dadgum worried about someone else getting a small advantage over them by doing something that's counterproductive to their way of thinking - they are ALL guilty of it. 

We should be hyping team vs. team in duals, because the Rutgers student identifies with the Scarlet Knights. They might not even know who Nick Suriano is. We cast a wider net with promoting the team/school aspect. That has greater staying power than the two years Nicky Suriano has left in Jersey. 

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27 minutes ago, JasonBryant said:

Unless you have a team like Central Michigan had about 10 years ago, when they finished the year ranked #2, beat Oklahoma State, had a handful of All-Americans, but were just solid top to bottom. That was a dual team that drew people in, there wasn't a transcendent star for CMU fans like Suriano is for Rutgers fans. 

Another problem is we can't even hype the duals right because we've got tournament rankings (from numerous outlets) being referenced rather than any dual ranking. Many of these outlets offer both dual and tournament rankings, but guess what the coaches tell their SIDs? Use the highest ranking. That means Arizona State, which is 4-8 and unranked in the Coaches Poll, can be cited as #12 because of their post-season tournament strength and not where the properly sit in dual rankings. "We beat #12!" No, you didn't. You beat a team that come March, can finish around 12th based on star power. So hyping the team vs. team is a problem because no one wants to be on the same page with what they're using for rankings. Some teams don't like certain outlets, so they don't mention them. Some teams don't like some coaches, so they don't use rankings that might be associated with them, it's just all "me first and the gimme gimmes" at times. ODU beat "#11" Northwestern by 20 points, Northwestern moved up in some rankings (that use tournament points). In what word is that rational for a head to head team competition? 

Promoting team vs. team can draw more fans IF done with some semblance of actual uniformity. Too many people fighting over the scraps to start with. We don't market duals properly because, at the D1 level, we have 77 coaches who want 77 different things and the top 10 can't even get along with one another because they're so dadgum worried about someone else getting a small advantage over them by doing something that's counterproductive to their way of thinking - they are ALL guilty of it. 

We should be hyping team vs. team in duals, because the Rutgers student identifies with the Scarlet Knights. They might not even know who Nick Suriano is. We cast a wider net with promoting the team/school aspect. That has greater staying power than the two years Nicky Suriano has left in Jersey. 

I agree with everything you said especially regarding the long term growth of our sports viewership, however do you think Flo hyping up a dual meet currently will resonate with non-wrestling people on college campuses? Do you think they have the capability to reach this non-wrestling audience? The reason Rutgers duals are highly attended is because the staff at Rutgers have done a great job of promoting their program to their local community. Flo hyping up a particular dual is going to resonate with the current wrestling fan base, not the general public.

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9 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

I do you think Flo hyping up a dual meet currently will resonate with non-wrestling people on college campuses? Do you think they have the capability to reach this non-wrestling audience? The reason Rutgers duals are highly attended is because the staff at Rutgers have done a great job of promoting their program to their local community. Flo hyping up a particular dual is going to resonate with the current wrestling fan base, not the general public.

One thing a lot of us aren't too familiar with is what Flo is doing outside of wrestling with their other verticals. I mean, picking up the PIAA for the state tournaments gives wrestling subscribers more content, but look outside of wrestling to see where their reach is going. They just recently picked up streaming rights for D.C. United in the MLS and CONCACAF, which is another relatively major soccer series. Their FloHockey platform and several other of their "non-rev" sport vertical have similar deals with Big Ten Network. So from a man-on-the-street to discover wrestling through stumbling across Flo - unlikely. Man-on-the-street who's a fan of another sport who has a Flo account to stumble across wrestling is much more likely, although I'd still think the percentages of that are relatively low. Flo hyping up duals on their platform is called good business sense. 

What Flo is doing is making their walled garden a lot bigger. I don't know how much crossover audiences exist, because in the niche sports market, you're marketing more to die-hards than you are a college student or relative of a wrestler. Hyping up big duals and big individual matches is nothing new in the wrestling community. I did it 14 years ago when I first took over InterMat and I did it with TheMat.com, AWN and TOM before. I've done it with Mat Talk, too. Sometimes, Flo's absolutely deserving of constructive criticism, sometimes people dislike them so much, they're trying to find fault with doing something most rational businesses do - promote things on their platform. 

 

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13 hours ago, BigTenFanboy said:

Do you think those in attendance at freestlye/Greco events go to watch the HWC, NLWC, or Titan Mercury? Or to see Thomas Gilman, David Taylor, or Kyle Dake?

I would say most are there to see the individuals. The structure of Folkstyle has a stronger team presence so it's definitely something follow, but without strong individuals people lose interest in their teams. Nick Suriano transfering to Rutgers was a shot in the arm for that program and now more people tune into their matches largely because hes there.

 

There's usually fewer guys at those FS/Greco events than at a HS wrestling match. Look at the stands, it's a wasteland.

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 12:05 PM, Jaroslav Hasek said:

don't disagree in theory but am curious how you would suggest going about that in practice. we write about and promote team races at every big event but they are never close to the top performing pieces of content. it's an individual sport and people care about the individual matchups far more than team results. 

I don't doubt that for a moment.  But part of the issue is that duals don't matter in the season structure (yeah, we know fans turn out to duals because they are ideally packaged collection of matches pitting two teams against each other but that doesn't mean duals matter).

The Flo competitive advantage, in my opinion, is the ability to tell stories and go deeper than simply showing matches.  Any media company can buy rights and show matches.  Flo is informed and digs deep.  Selling the team rivalries and the histories makes the duals more significant than just having one of the matches be between two potential All-Americans.

You're going to face the structural limitations that come from duals not having any significance within the season other than bragging rights.  But selling fans on rivalries of team will make fans more engaged.  And the matches that have top ranked guys will still happen at the same rate.

If the problem is fans feeling like they are sold something and then delivered something else that is lesser than what they was advertised, the solution is to sell what you can guarantee and that is a team vs team contest.  The key is developing a storyline so that people pick a side and become vested even if they aren't fans of those teams.  Wrestling fans everywhere have taken a side in Iowa vs Penn State and in Bedlam's Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State.  There is no reason that can't happen for many other duals.  

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1 hour ago, Pinnum said:

Bedlam's Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State.  There is no reason that can't happen for many other duals.  

 

there's a pretty good reason there is no hype for Bedlam, and why there's hasn't been for some time. 

I'm pro dual meets, and think dual meets should either decide the NCAA champion or be part of the equation, but the individual matchups are what moves the needle. I don't see that ever changing. Maybe there's more Flo could do to hype up the rivalries but I think it's marginal at best. 

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