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ptz305

Is Flo Growing Wrestling?

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This is something that was brought up numerous times in that other post. Throughout the argument, people keep tossing out the notion that Flo is growing the sport (and most seem to accept it). Flo specializes in covering both high school and Division 1 college wrestling in the United States. It is logical to assume that the groups they cover would be the ones benefiting. Let's look at a few numbers related to this topic. 

We will use 2006 as a starting date for Flo (https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5283642-martin-floreani-on-5-years-of-flowrestling

The number of high school participants (both genders) in 2006-2007 was 262,294 (http://www.nfhs.org/ParticipationStatics/PDF/Participation Survey History Book.pdf). The number of participants for 2017-2018 was 262,126. (http://www.nfhs.org/ParticipationStatistics/PDF/2017-18 High School Athletics Participation Survey.pdf). Though this is a slight loss, for discussion sake, we will say there is no difference in total participation. If you look at boys specifically though (Flo's primary focus), participation is actually down nearly 12,000 participants. For what it is worth, overall participation in high school athletics is up so the old "people are specializing now" is not factual either (https://www.nfhs.org/articles/high-school-sports-participation-increases-for-29th-consecutive-year/). 

The number of NCAA Division 1 wrestling programs is 75 (will be 78 in 2019-2020). However, since 2006 Eastern Michigan, Boise State, Grand Canyon, Boston U, Cal State Fullerton, UNCG, Liberty, UC Davis, Duquesne, Delaware State, Wagner, Portland State, Oregon, James Madison, Eastern Illinois and Slippery Rock have all dropped their programs (16 total).  Since 2006, Fresno State, Long Island Post, Presbyterian, and Arkansas Little Rock were added (4 total). During this time Cal-Baptist and SIUE transitioned to Division 1 and Augustana also announced they would be transitioning (3 total). Including the programs that have yet to take the mat (and assuming there are no additional drops before they transition), we are still down 8 D1 schools since 2006. This is a loss of 10%. 

When I think of "growing wrestling" in the US these are the two figures that come to mind - how many kids are wrestling and how is wrestling doing at major colleges. Each would indicate that Flo has had no effect on the growth of wrestling in the United States. Can anyone cite evidence that would suggest otherwise? 

Edited by ptz305

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It's just one example but Fargo participation has gone up since Flo started covering it (link). 2018 participation was the highest yet. 

Flo pays money to senior level athletes, college programs, high school tournaments and USAW. 

If you want to use high school participation and total D1 programs as a metric (I wouldn't, but since they've been brought up), you need to think about what the numbers would be without Flo, not just whether they go up or down in absolute numbers. otherwise, you can pick any factor you want and say they are responsible for those trends. 

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12 minutes ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

It's just one example but Fargo participation has gone up since Flo started covering it (link). 2018 participation was the highest yet. 

Flo pays money to senior level athletes, college programs, high school tournaments and USAW. 

If you want to use high school participation and total D1 programs as a metric (I wouldn't, but since they've been brought up), you need to think about what the numbers would be without Flo, not just whether they go up or down in absolute numbers. otherwise, you can pick any factor you want and say they are responsible for those trends. 

thats a bias approach since you work for flo

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22 minutes ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

It's just one example but Fargo participation has gone up since Flo started covering it (link). 2018 participation was the highest yet. 

Flo pays money to senior level athletes, college programs, high school tournaments and USAW. 

If you want to use high school participation and total D1 programs as a metric (I wouldn't, but since they've been brought up), you need to think about what the numbers would be without Flo, not just whether they go up or down in absolute numbers. otherwise, you can pick any factor you want and say they are responsible for those trends. 

I agree that seeing what the trends were from the mid-90's to 2006 would help put it in perspective.   But I think most still wouldn't call that "growing" wrestling, just fending off the decline.

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I don't think you can solely measure participation and the number of programs as "growing the sport" for Flo. 

There are so many factors that go into both of those figures that I don't think you can seriously blame Flo for a DI program getting dropped or added.

I do however think that Flo has created a great deal of exposure for the sport as a whole and it is not easily measured. The fact that they have 13 current posts on this forum is evidence that people know what they're doing and how they're doing it as it relates to wrestling. I, for one, would have no other option for watching many foreign wrestling if not for Flo and I'm sure that will increase with their deal with UWW. 

P.S. I despise the frat culture brought on by Flo and do not agree with many of the things they decide to do but still. Just my 2 cents.  

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5 minutes ago, LHU125 said:

I do however think that Flo has created a great deal of exposure for the sport as a whole and it is not easily measured.

This statement may well be right but even if so Flo still commits missteps, mistakes, half-assed efforts, amateurish planning. Flo's cloze posts on Instagram ("The best at 133 this year is _____") are so bad, both in concept and in presentation, as to reflect poorly on the product as a whole. I hate to malign children lol but Flo cloze "campaign" looks as if it comes from a child.

Edited by jon

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1 minute ago, jon said:

This statement may well be right but even if so Flo still commits missteps, mistakes, half-assed efforts, amateurish planning. Flo's cloze posts on Instagram ("The best at 133 this year is _____") are so bad, both in concept and in presentation, as to reflect poorly on the product as a whole. Cloze "campaign" looks as if it comes from a child.

I agree, their social media aspect is arguably their worst handled and most important component of their organization right now. Hence the huge amount of PR they've had to conduct. I do not work at Flo obviously but if I did I would be putting in a plan of action to correct their ongoing issues. Or at the very least make adjustments to the current strategy. 

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Flo makes it way easier for me to watch a crapload of matches every year. It isn't their job to "grow" wrestling. Their job is to stream wrestling.  ESPN isn't free either. Unless a wrestling meet is streamed with no account required or on broadcast TV it isn't "free".  And there aren't many places where you find that. 

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1 hour ago, Jimmy Cinnabon said:

Flo is growing access to wrestling for people who are already fans.  

Whether they are bringing in new fans is arguable.  I tend to say no....as they end up restricting access to matches that might otherwise be free to watch.

How would they be free otherwise?

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UUUUMMMM In a word no. 

 

The thing everybody seems to forget is this magical thing called the internet. All of this "growth" in these tournaments, Virginia Beach, Super 32, Fargo, RMN series, Roller productions, etc all exploded after the internet became a common fixture in our lives. It is not any one entity it is the totality of the digital age made possible by the internet. 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, lurshy92 said:

How would they be free otherwise?

Just a guess here but I think he is referring to a free feed from the school's site perhaps, but again, the internet isn't free either.

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1 hour ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

It's just one example but Fargo participation has gone up since Flo started covering it (link). 2018 participation was the highest yet. 

Flo pays money to senior level athletes, college programs, high school tournaments and USAW. 

If you want to use high school participation and total D1 programs as a metric (I wouldn't, but since they've been brought up), you need to think about what the numbers would be without Flo, not just whether they go up or down in absolute numbers. otherwise, you can pick any factor you want and say they are responsible for those trends. 

How does an increase in Fargo participation indicate growth in wrestling when overall participation is down slightly? It seems pretty obtuse to point to this one tournament when overall numbers are relatively unchanged. Where is the link between Fargo numbers and growth of the sport? Isn't it also true that NHSCA Nationals participation is down as a result of Flo creating a direct competitor for this tournament? We could go back and forth cherry picking tournaments to use as data all day and neither one would make a stronger argument than the fact that overall participation shows no change. 

How have Flo's financial contributions created growth in the sport? What data do you have to support this? Again, where is the link between paying someone money and achieving growth?

Neither one of your premises supports the conclusion that Flo is growing wrestling. There is no link between these details and the notion that Flo has grown the sport. Your third point is a pretty bad attempt to shift the burden of proof back to me. Truth is, no one knows or could ever know. That in itself is not a defense or argument for how Flo has grown the sport. 

It seems like many of you are attributing the availability of content on the web to the rise of Flo when this could be more appropriately attributed to the rise of the internet, Wi-Fi, social media, and camera phones. Truth is, everything is more available on the web then it was 10 years ago which has made it a lot easier to be a fan of the sport. Even so, there is no link that would suggest this increased content has led to growth in the sport or bringing new people in. 

 

Edited by ptz305

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I don't think any video or streaming outlet will grow any sport. People choose to watch what's on TV based on what they like. Wrestling can only grow by supporting high school programs. It is a ground up process. I also think that with the advent of women's wrestling a college can avoid the Title IX issue by starting both men's and women's programs together. The room can be shared. It is the college boosters and people who give endowments that must be lobbied.

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People saying that "these other things arent free" dont seem to get it. To actually grow the sport you need non fans to watch. Non-fans arent going to pay for flo, but could potentially watch on something they are already paying for anyways. That was what the restricting access comment meant. That it would be better on tv, for growing the sport. 

Flo makes it easier for fans to watch. Non-fans arent going to pay a flo subscription just cause.

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1 hour ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

If you want to use high school participation and total D1 programs as a metric (I wouldn't, but since they've been brought up), you need to think about what the numbers would be without Flo, not just whether they go up or down in absolute numbers. otherwise, you can pick any factor you want and say they are responsible for those trends. 

That act would be fanciful supposition with no basis in fact therefore totally irrelevant. You have no evidence, direct or circumstantial, that any D1 program's existence has been affected by Flo in any way, shape, or form.  

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Where was all this free wrestling that existed prior to Flo? When I was a kid the only wrestling I could watch was the hour long National Championship highlights on CBS. 

After high school I ignored wrestling for 15 years before Flo came along. I watched more wrestling content this past weekend than I did the first 35 years of my life. 

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1 minute ago, LHN94 said:

Where was all this free wrestling that existed prior to Flo? When I was a kid the only wrestling I could watch was the hour long National Championship highlights on CBS. 

After high school I ignored wrestling for 15 years before Flo came along. I watched more wrestling content this past weekend than I did the first 35 years of my life. 

Dude there is this website called YouTube where you can get about a billion hours of free video on anything you can imagine. You should check it out sometime. 

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2 hours ago, Jimmy Cinnabon said:

Flo is growing access to wrestling for people who are already fans.  

 

^  Although I don't like needing three or four different memberships/sign-ups to watch so many different events.  

 

Edited by stp

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1 minute ago, Zebra said:

Dude there is this website called YouTube where you can get about a billion hours of free video on anything you can imagine. You should check it out sometime. 

There's a book called "Reading Comprehension Success in 20 Minutes a Day." You should check it out sometime. 

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10 minutes ago, LHN94 said:

Where was all this free wrestling that existed prior to Flo? When I was a kid the only wrestling I could watch was the hour long National Championship highlights on CBS. 

After high school I ignored wrestling for 15 years before Flo came along. I watched more wrestling content this past weekend than I did the first 35 years of my life. 

So flo helped someone previously a fan/wrestler, watch more wrestling. You already were "in" thats not growing the sport. As for not watching for 15 years, thats more on you.

Edited by Molsen

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3 minutes ago, LHN94 said:

There's a book called "Reading Comprehension Success in 20 Minutes a Day." You should check it out sometime. 

Oh no I have been dutifully chastised by an internet tough guy. I'm so hurt. 

The point still stands YouTube has tons of "Free" wrestling. 

 

 

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