Promoting Team Handball in nations where the sport struggles for any media attention can be a challenge. In fact, in these nations any article in a mainstream news outlet about the sport is usually a cause of minor celebration. As a result of not being covered, national and regional federations, as well as clubs, usually do a fair amount of self promotion. I’ve written a few times about how important this is http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.540, and about how sometimes the self reporting has been a little bit misleading http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.787.
Recently, the Alberta Women’s team travelled to Chicago to participate in the Windy City tournament. As part of their self-reporting the team posted 5 video blogs on Youtube http://www.teamhandball.ab.ca/league.php?scriptName=LEAGUEINFO&leagueID=12092&leagueInfoID=47877 (Scroll to the bottom). For the uninitiated, a video blog can perhaps best be described as informal video containing information similar to what you might read in a written blog post. In Alberta’s case the video blogs were part travelogue, part “shout out” to the folks back home, and part recaps of the club’s matches. If I were in charge the content provided would have been more related to the matches, but I highly doubt that I was part of the targeted demographic.
So while I might have changed what was recorded, I am intrigued by the possibilities it presents for clubs and federations. As some theoretical examples of what could have been, consider the USA Women’s trip to Poland, the Canadian Men’s Team trip to the Dominican Republic or Australia’s upcoming participation in the World Championships. 5 minutes of recording, consisting of game footage, post game interviews, and sure, why not a little bit of travelogue would be greatly appreciated by the fans back home. And, if we’re thinking about targeted demographics these types of videos are bound to enhance recruiting as perspective players (ages 12-20) get a better glimpse of just what an opportunity these trips are.
Now some of you might say that players travelling on national team trips to important competitions don’t have time to be recording and editing video. Instead they should be resting or preparing for the next match. To which, I say, “Pullease, give me a break!” Maybe things have changed since I took a couple of overseas trips, but I still fondly remember never having more free time to read and play cards in my entire life. Amongst 12-15 players and support staff the workload to create video and web posts would not be overwhelming. More likely, there’s bound to be 1 or 2 tech savvy folks that probably would have to be pulled away from doing it. I contacted the primary creator of the Alberta postings, Sara Cyrankiewicz, and she indicated that she spent about 30 minutes or so editing each clip. Factor in that she’s done it a few times and we’re probably talking about 2-3 hours of “work” for a team before they get better at it through practice.
So the question for Federations out there shouldn’t be, “Can we do it?” Instead, the question should be, “Why aren’t we?”
THN (Jul 2008): Australian Junior Women In Macedonia: Getting Beat on the Court, but Reporting on it in Style: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.540
THN (Jul 2009): Real news from official Handball websites?: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.787
Alberta Sr Women page with link to Youtube videos: http://www.teamhandball.ab.ca/league.php?scriptName=LEAGUEINFO&leagueID=12092&leagueInfoID=47877