Conclusion: Your start with footbag

I did a survey and asked players who started after 01/01/2010 and a bunch of questions regarding their first experience with footbag. Here are my conclusions to their answers..

If we want to attract new players, we need to know why new players start playing now; not why those of us that started 10+ years ago did so. Because of this, I did a small survey and asked you – the new footbaggers how you started playing.

In business there is something called “Customer Acquisition Cost”. It is the cost associated in convincing a customer to buy a product/service. In footbag I think we have a very high “New Player Acquisition Cost”. Not in money, since we don’t have any, but in time. I hope the results presented here, can help current players spend their time better when trying to acquire new players.

Presented here are the results of the survey and my conclusion to the results:

Age First saw footbag Started playing footbag
Less than 10 16,10% 0%
10 to 14 22,60% 9,70%
15 to 18 41,90% 35,50%
19 to 22 9,70% 29%
23 to 27 3,20% 9,70%
28 to 32 6,50% 9,70%
33 to 40 0% 6,50%

As we can see people are most like to start between 15 and 22. Trying to convince kids under 10 years of age, does not make any sense.

Influence First saw footbag % Started playing footbag %
YouTube 18,75 23,53
Footbag.org 6,25 0
Other online 3,125 0
Friends or family 31,25 26,47
Other IRL (Festivals, schoolyard etc.) 31,25 26,47
Met footbagger 9,375 23,53

Very few started playing the first time they saw footbag and if they did it was because it was friends who were playing. A lot of people saw footbag first online, but first started playing when they met somebody who did. Generally speaking seeing footbag multiple times in different places online and in real life makes the chance that people start bigger.

Started playing
Net 10,30%
Freestyle 100%
Now play
Net 23,30%
Freestyle 86,70%

What we can see from these numbers are problably three things. 1. Net players should try to get new players through freestyle or 2. Freestyle is much better at acquiring new players. 3. It is easier to make the jump from kicking to freestyle than to net.

My final question in the survey was “Do you have any suggestions on how we can attract new footbaggers?”. Here are all the answers I got to that question:

  • What was a good motivation for me was a rivalization with my 3 friends. Nobody likes to play alone, especially in the beginning.
  • Post-session social events build friendships among players.
  • Try and get the players that are extremely good to stop quitting the sport. Seems so much talent just sits on the sidelines or stops coming to events. Very frustrating to see at age 43 when I would give anything to have my youth back.
  • More emphasis/promotion on the tricks/sets
  • Social Media
  • Market to soccer players and martial artists. I find both groups pick up footbag quicker and easier than the general population.
  • Really epic hype videos
  • There should be bigger footbags used in a video parts and competition. More than we see now. I think that very small footbag looks weird and not make interested the audience. It’s also hard or even impossible to see what happens, if you play small bag. Size of 5-6cm or something is valid…
  • more high production quality videos, more public kicking. First video I saw of freestyle was Klouda’s “King of Footbag” and I was hooked from there.
  • Look for potential freestylers in the freestyle football pool. Some people can really underestimate the potential of that front.
  • I’d pretty much just say carry a bag around with you wherever you go and whenever you have any downtime, start shredding!
  • more events!
  • TV Spots :)
  • Play outside in public areas, be open to newbs who want to try, don’t get discouraged when people don’t stick, do awesome fun non footbag things with footbaggers to help them stick to the sport.
  • my girlfriend says “weed for everyone” but im not sure if that works :) i think we need more presence on media / internet. most young people are taking their information/news from there, so we can reach out for many of them there. youtube for example. maybe ask some big youtubers to come along and try footbag one time. they tend to have a big audience, so some of them could get interested.
  • Well defined and established achievements. I will never get BAP, and have no desire to reach that level, but I do see so many intermediate players give up because they see that one goal that seems so far away, or would require years to approach. What if there was something, even just one thing, that was within reach? A simple designation that might act as the real initiation into the footbag community. A right of passage, and something to celebrate about and honor other with. It would increase member retention, by including and recognizing the lower level players. And it’s another excuse to party 😉
  • the footbag is a very attractive sport, my proposal is that ach player from their place of residence teach the little ones , that I ‘m doing and I have several students footbag
  • yes. show it to people (trainings on public places (change places to attract a new crowd, use social media (also the newer ones like instagram), do workshops, do shows, mingle with other jugglers/freestylers to do events together. Just play and have fun and let other people see that
  • Sponsors, celebrities, nick polini, playing in public
  • Host public events in more populated locations. Maybe come up with news letters or brains storm cheap advertisement.
  • not really – maybe more freestyle for Kids
  • Flyers stickers shirts and start a YouTube channel and promote to blogs and social networks
  • Not sure, I have been giving away bags to kids that show any interest. Made videos more available on social media, made tutorials for easy moves more available.
  • i am a sportteacher i think that we have to go to school and give them a paper with training- times and some informations…we could invite them for the first training….in all footbag-clubs the have to have some kickvolley- nets, for the new kickers….because when they start on a regular field- that is to hard and they will loose the interest and the self -motivation….

2 Comments on Conclusion: Your start with footbag

  1. I am a 50 year old female kicker. I’m not sure why you distinguish between kickers who started 30 years ago vs. kickers who started 10 years ago. I’ve worked with many teens and young adults and I think the impetus to start remains the same as it did years ago: an inclusive social, physical activity that feels good. That’s it. Now down the road one may get excited or interested in competitive net and freestyle play but I think the initial interest is in the inherent inclusiveness of circle kicking.

    I think elite players have a way of setting themselves apart from “kickers” in a way that defeats the development of footbag as sport. For example, I told a freestyle player that I was interested in setting up a club at the college we attend and asked him if he has looked in to that. His response was that he thought he was the only footbager at that school. I see people kicking all the time at college campuses. Just because they aren’t a world class freestyler doesn’t mean they don’t kick. Inclusiveness to a fault is the motto me and my fellow kickers have. Before there was net and freestyle there was a circle that invites people to be a part of a community that accepts you for who you are and values the unique qualities that you bring to the group.

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