Week of April 26, 2010
For me, writing the weekly report is a fun weekly
experience as it generates good response from a genuinely interested
audience. It also helps me better grasp the needs of the
members of USA Field Hockey as members frequently and eloquently let
me know their feelings whether through questions posed within the
report or just general and random thoughts they may be having. A good
example was last week when I expressed some disappointment that member
generated renditions of a potential membership card weren't exactly
rolling in even with a great prize package (the winner gets a full ASICS
kit and a DITA stick; not bad for a creatively provided idea of what a
membership card should look like). We now have some coming in that
are quite good. The deadline date is May 1st and entries should be
send to USA Field Hockey's David Miller (email@example.com).
The winner will be announced in the May 17th USA Field Hockey Weekly
Let's take a look at another proposal we are needling through.
In the past, there has been pretty heady restriction of how our logo
should be used. In the "back then" days, it was felt that if we
allowed random use of the logo that the use of our logo by sponsors
would be diluted. That is true as one of the components of a
sponsorship arrangement is the use of the logo. However, there is a lot
to be said for widespread use of the logo and one element is that
within the science of marketing, a logo or name of a product must be
seen or heard 10-20 times before a consumer begins to recognize it
(and, many more times for the name/logo to become top-of-mind). To
balance the needs of preserving the value of the logo, but still get
the name and logo look into the sport's top-of-mind and into
the mainstream, there is another approach.
It is commonly found in other NGBs that the use of a descriptor
interprets why the logo is being used. For instance, if the user is a
sponsor the descriptor Official Partner may be used beneath
the logo to describe the logo user. That descriptor provides USA Field
Hockey creditability to the sponsor-partner. Another example may be
coaches. Using coaches, a descriptor beneath the logo might be
Coach-Level I (or II or III; whatever the case may be). A typical
trait of human beings is that we like to tell others what our
interests are (or, in some cases how important we are). That is why we
see shirts or bumper stickers saying Ironman Triathlon Finisher, or
My Daughter is the Smartest in All of the Land at Lincoln Elementary
School, and the list goes on and on. The same goes with coaches or
many other constituencies. People like to display what they are and/or
what they have earned. Below are several examples of our logo with
What do you think? Would you like seeing widespread use with
descriptors? Do you buy the concept? Please let Simon Hoskins, USA
Field Hockey's Director of Marketing know your thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our reality as a sport is that we are considered a minor sport in the
USA. Baseball, Basketball, and Football dominate; then Hockey (ice)
and Soccer come along; then Motorcar Racing; and,
after that, there is a great assemblage of all sorts of sports (some
Olympic, some not, and some being newly invented weekly). All
said, it is very difficult for most minor sports to penetrate the
national, regional, and local sports pages. There has to be a better
way of gaining mainstream recognition.
We are exploring another way to gain some mainstream national
coverage, and are looking at niche' publications. There are several
publishing houses in the United States that publish numerous magazines
(titles or books in publishing parlance). One group based in Orlando
is Bonnier. Here is a sample of their titles:
That is quite a collection of books. The Bonnier
diversity provides a wide spectrum of opportunity for USA Field
Hockey. Several months ago I asked you through this report to help
find "hooks" within the USA Field Hockey community to get our
athletes, coaches, umpires, and others who have interesting and
compelling stories into niche' mainstream publications. We now have
several and they have been presented to Bonnier for consideration.
Let's take a look at a couple of our "hook" pitches to Bonnier:
The first features Keli Smith. We are
pitching a story involving this Olympian to Working Mother
points in their careers, many female athletes question when is the
right time to retire, to hang up their jersey and move on to the next
challenge in their life: starting a family.
Keli Smith, member of the USA Field Hockey Women's National
Team, is one of the top international strikers in the world. Already
highly decorated as the 1999 NCAA National Champions at University of
Maryland, Keli joined the National Team in 2001 and grew to be one of
the team's leaders. Her effort and determination culminated at the 2008
Olympic Games in Beijing, where she scored three goals in competition.
Now a veteran member of the squad, she has seen several of
her peers hang up their sticks as they decide to start families of
In January, Keli gave birth to a baby boy, Xavi Oscar. It
was now Keli's time to decide her future.
Rather than retiring, Keli is determined to make a comeback
to the Women's National Team. While balancing her new role as a
mother, Keli wants to return to work, to the training and drills and
competition at an international level. With Xavi by her side, she wants
to prove she still has the skill to help lead the USA to the 2012
Olympics in London.
The second features Olympians Kayla Bashore and
Lauren Powley and a pitch to Outdoor Life:
and Lauren Powley, members of the USA Field Hockey Women's National
Team, are two 2008 Olympians turned budding entrepreneurs, who combined
the sport they love with their passion for the outdoors to form KaPow
Field Hockey Kamps.
KaPow's Adventure Kamp helps mold the lives of young girls
with on-field and off-field challenges aimed at improving their game
as well as their sense of teamwork through a unique combination of
field hockey, camping and white-water rafting.
Every summer, Kayla and Lauren take time out from their
Olympic training and return to their native Pennsylvania to conduct
field hockey camps in one of the main hotbeds of field hockey in the
United States. Kayla and Lauren offer advice and skills training to
the girls as they look to succeed at middle and high school levels, as
well as improve their stock as college coaches begin to recruit.
Nights are spent camping under the stars, and the weekend is topped
off with a white-water rafting trip down the Lehigh River.
"You won't find another field hockey program anywhere that
combines the best aspects of Olympic-level training and top-flight
coaching with team-bonding opportunities like roasting hot dogs and
s'mores over a campfire, or helping your coaches and teammates steer a
rubber raft down the river!"
We have several more stories involving both men and women
athletes and we have pinpointed different magazine titles based upon
the outside interests of these athletes. Hopefully, we experience
success with this effort as we seek placements in these magazines. We
will also be attempting placement in Rodale Publishing titles
(mostly endurance and outdoor types of titles). Wish us luck, and if
you have people from within the sport with an interesting "hook",
please let Simon Hoskins know.
From last week's celebration of Earth Day: The
Tonight Show with Jay Leno: "Everyone says we need
to do more to protect the Earth. With volcanoes, mudslides,
earthquakes, hurricanes - who's protecting us from the Earth?"
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey