Would making pro ski coverage more "personality based" help improve the sport gaining traction?

jgills88jgills88 Posts: 141 Baller
edited February 10 in News & Other Stuff
I was thinking about what other niche sports have to make them thrive (aside from money), and the biggest thing that I could see that skiing doesn't really have is a focus on the athletes as people. I know that I personally care far more about tournaments when I know someone competing. Now it's a lot to ask of skiers to meet hundreds of people, but promoting a para-social relationship where prospective fans can feel connected to a skier might help people become more likely to watch events as they happen.

On a more selfish note, if skiers could have interviews pre-taped before tournaments, it might help break up the same couple of ads that play over the course of a long 12 hour live stream by adding more content to cycle through
Akron Waterski -- Always looking for water
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Comments

  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,366 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    edited January 16
    Andy Mapple thoughts were that the sport, needed more personalties and it was one of the reasons the sport was struggling to get traction, most sports have the nice, the bad, the crazy, the unpredictable competitor.
    Who skis in bright orange or luminous green, who is immediately indentifyable by what they are wearing.
    Shoukd the #1 ranked skier wear a particular colour and so fourth, should it be about making the top ten and trying to stay there.
    Should the top ten be rewarded with no entry fee or appearance money.
    Should there be broadcastings of just the top ten competing in a series of comps for Mens and Ladies maybe seperately, bite size for easy viewing, would be great to get a series of documentries following those comps covering the dissapointments, drama, lows and highs.
    Yes i know it won,t happen, but unless there is a change in direction and thinking the sport is done.
    Skiers give yourself a name like"The Bear" slogan "If You Are Going To Be A Bear Be A Grizzly" Lol!
    Forgive me I live in fantasy land.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

    jgills88
  • jgills88jgills88 Posts: 141 Baller
    edited January 21
    @Stevie Boy
    I like your suggestion of some sort of documentary. A couple of years ago Igor Morozov and a company put together a jump centered documentary called "InFlight" and since then he's always been a guy I look out for on tournament rosters. It could be interesting to do a Hard Knocks type thing for next years Waterski Pro Tour, give some background to what goes on at the events, and help people get to know the top competitors in each event.
    Akron Waterski -- Always looking for water
  • DFWskierDFWskier Posts: 20 Baller
    This is already happening. Ever watch 30 for 30? Now if they'd do one on a skier...
  • mfjaegersrmfjaegersr Posts: 276 Crazy Baller
    Between all the various podcasts, Flowpoint interviews and other videos, the series Matt Rini did ‘recently’ with the top men slalomers, and more…there’s plenty of content being generated to pull from. TWBC likely just needs a lot of TMH* to aggregate, edit and integrate.. .

    *Time, Money, Humans
    jgills88
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,366 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    Agreed but I was thinking something along the lines of the Big Dawg but for the top Ten women and men, but not a whole day of it Women one day and men on another day, it does not have to be Ranked etc, it could be independent and the skier,s would be be seeded within that competition.
    Officials could be trusted people within the sport, no need for level this and level that.
    Would be awesome if a sponsor, like Red Bull or other would get behind it, it's just got to be sold to them, if they can put on Cliff Diving, surely there is enough content in water skiing, if you do not have to trawl through 20 skiers or more going up and down the lake all day.
    Starting line length could be 35off or 38 off , I am sure something could be put forward, a totally independent series run by a totally independent organization or group of people.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

    jgills88randy meny
  • HortonHorton Posts: 32,399 Administrator

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  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,366 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    @Horton OK , I know it,s a bit off the wall, like I said in a previous post, perhaps I live in a fantasy world.
    I just feel something different has to happen, what ! who knows, agreed I think TWBC has made a huge impact, with potential to move the sport in a positive direction, their content is so good.
    I,m done now, so if a Panda is on offer, Feel Free.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 999 Crazy Baller
    People have to be interested in the sport before they’re interested on the players. Would profiles of the worlds best in Curling draw you in? Water skiing continues to shrink for reasons all too familiar and the needle continues to move. Sad but true .
  • HortonHorton Posts: 32,399 Administrator
    do you guys follow the skiers who have YouTube and Instagram accounts? of the athletes who participate I don't know how much more you could want from them.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ☆DBSkis ☆Denali ☆Goode ☆GiveGo ☆MasterCraft ☆ Masterline 

    Performance Ski and Surf ☆ Reflex ☆ Radar ☆ Rodics OffCourse ☆ S Lines ☆ Stokes ☆

    DFWskier
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,366 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    edited January 17
    @Horton a different format is what I was trying to say, watching 20-30 skiers going up and down the lake does not interest skiers until it gets real short, let alone Joe Public, Yes when it gets to the Head to Head we are all there.
    From Joe Publics view if you were to have Ten skiers getting down to the nitty gritty straight away, you might get interest.
    If you watch other sports that can be just as monotonous, they only televise the top 8 or 10.
    ie: snowboarding, downhill skiing and so forth, even when, I watch Formula One, I am only interested in the top 10 fighting for Pole Position, I am not interested in what goes before it.
    Extremely hard to capture the Public, they have so much to choose from, not sure the average couch potato will ever be interested in any alternative active sport.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 1,030 Crazy Baller
    @Stevie Boy until slalom courses become more accessible on public waterways and restrictions are loosened it is highly unlikely skiing will ever make it back to the point it was in the late 80’s and 90’s when hot summer nights was so big on ESPN. Back then there was no wake boarding or surfing. Skiing was all you had other then tubing and kneeboarding.
    If I was 20 yrs old I doubt I would be in 3 event skiing. I would be wake boarding.
    Let’s see 10 half naked girls after alcohol most likely fully naked. You don’t have to worry about driving or wind other boats you just go down the river or lake and enjoy. Seems like a no brainer.
    Watching the same skiers turn the same amount of buoys with the same winner is mind numbing.
    GarnForrestGumpFastguy888
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,366 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    @dave2ball, Yes you are right, guess I live in the past, hanging on in there, have to say when I was in a restaurant in Orlando, the water ski capitial of the world, the waitress asked me what I was doing there, when I replied, I had travelled to do some water skiing, she did not have a clue what I was talking about.
    Guess that sums it up.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

  • swbcaswbca Posts: 707 Crazy Baller
    I enjoy the frequent skier interviews done on the TWBC - Wade Cox does a great job because he knows skiing and has a history with the skiers. With so many people cutting cable and going to streaming it may be easier for people to find the TWBC tournaments.

    In the past many of the pro tournaments were on broadcast TV so people stumbled onto these events. The production quality is MUCH better now and the events are more fun to watch. I have no idea if the sport could afford a few 10 second or 30 second ads on Cable TV. The visual is amazing and should be easy to attract people unfamiliar with the sport if you cold get it in front of them. Without ads the current coverage is just invisible to public. Need ads and a continued focus on filling the down time with more skier stories and interviews.

    Home of the world's first submersible slalom course
  • NikolGNikolG Posts: 150 Solid Baller
    Occasionally skiing has the opportunity to be in the spotlight but maybe we are too self-absorbed to see it!? Obsessed with our own social media and not celebrating other skiers!? We have Anna Gay on the World Games Stage for Athlete of the Year and skiers tune out and don’t bother to vote. Any publicity for skiing should be spread far and wide! By the way, last days to vote to get Anna in the top 10. https://www.theworldgames.org/awards/Athlete-of-the-Year-2021-94
    T_C
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 129 Baller
    I always enjoy/appreciate the stories behind the athletes. We will see a lot of it pretty soon with the winter Olympics. The always do a good job using that as filler. It would be great if TWBC could integrate more of that into a broadcast. Obviously, much easier said than done.
  • BG1BG1 Posts: 238 Baller
    I’ll watch the Olympics again when they have 3 event waterskiing broadcasting. In other words, never.
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 129 Baller
    Totally agree @Luv2Ski . I'd watch that stuff as well. I'm sure it seems mundane for those very involved with the sport, but for those of us not as involved it's very interesting. Possibly interesting for the general public as well.
  • slowslow Posts: 559 Crazy Baller
    Love watching Olympic Alpine skiing
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 999 Crazy Baller
    edited January 24
    the only ones that might watch it are those who are already lovers of skiing. That's the same old group (of us etc). That's not going to draw new folks in as a biopic on someone you have no idea who they are or what they do has little appeal to most .
    Wish
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 129 Baller
    edited January 24
    Maybe I'm the odd ball then. But I have watched all kinds of things before that I have no knowledge of, simply because there was a human connection to another person's story that was on TV or streaming. I enjoy the process/journey more than the end result. It was nice to see Regina skiing great with her knee brace on. But, I am way more interested in the story about how she got to that place from her injury months prior.

    The one recent example is how my wife and I both started watching F1. I'm not a car person at all, and even less of a car racing person, but I was hooked from the first couple minutes of the Netflix series. Watched every season, and actually do watch some races now. The stories told were fascinating to us.

    Maybe a diehard ski fan is watching, and another random person in the room happens to view the same story and has a connection. That person might go on to watch more, and learn about the athletes/sport.
  • Luv2SkiLuv2Ski Posts: 50 Baller
    @tjs1295 I could not agree with you more!!!! I absolutely watch all kinds of documentaries of people in sports I care nothing about! I have even watched a boxing documentary and I HATE boxing. I think it's the dumbest sport out there (well, actually, there are a few silly ones like curling that I don't understand either), but that's part of why I watch and learn! I simply just like learning about successful people in the world. I want to see what they do and how they got where they are. Watersports, gymnastics, rock climbing and ice skating are my sports of most interest, but I have still watched many shows about basketball, football, baseball, etc... It is the human connection that I find interesting. It's the struggle behind the success that I find intriguing. When I hear the background story on an athlete (any athlete), I am inspired, and impressed, etc... and it actually helps me to appreciate that sport and the person. It helps me see the passion from their side of things. What I would like for people to see and understand about waterskiing is how hard it is. How taxing it is on your body. The force that the boat puts on you, and the amount of muscles you have to use to maintain alignment. The pros make it look easy, but no one sees the struggle and the work it takes to get there. Getting up at 4 or 5 am, taking sets in the snow and ice (for those in cold climates), the exhausting hours at the gym, the pain of injury recovery, the cost of training, the sacrifice the parents make and the kids make, etc....I am so passionate about skiing, I show people videos all the time and they are beyond impressed. People would watch this stuff even if they knew nothing about skiing and I do believe it would bring in some new people eventually. Most people have never even heard of 3 event skiing. My teenage son is spreading the word throughout his high school and teaching everyone he can.
    People are in awe when they see him slalom ski and they are very inspired to try it and watch it. Although we are starting these kids on a wake surfer and a wake board (for sake of ease) they are so inspired they are jumping in 50 degree water on cold days to hang out together and learn water sports! We've got a handful of kids who have never been on the water before and now they are die hard fans learning in the middle of the winter and freezing their butts off to have a good time and get some amazing exercise with friends!
    tjs1295jgills88chrislandy
  • Vernon ReeveVernon Reeve Posts: 110 Baller
    I also agree with @tjs1295. I watched that F1 series, and look forward to the next season. Previously I had no interest in it. But now, I'm way more interested whenever I see anything in the news about one of the drivers, since I feel like I know them better.
    I do love all the streaming we have available for the pros and feel like I'm getting to know them better, which makes the tournaments a lot more fun. And also really enjoy the behind the scenes videos that some of the pros are doing, showing a typical day in their training life. More of this would be a good thing.
    tjs1295Luv2Skijgills88
  • jgills88jgills88 Posts: 141 Baller
    @Vernon Reeve @tjs1295 F1 was exactly what I was thinking about when I initially asked the question. It's a stupid expensive sport with little access for most people to participate in, yet it is exploding. I think that their shifting focus from companies to drivers has been a big factor in its growth in the past few years.
    Akron Waterski -- Always looking for water
    Vernon Reeveswc5150tjs1295
  • CnewbertCnewbert Posts: 445 Crazy Baller
    edited January 25
    So I’m sitting in a Quick Lane lobby waiting on an oil change for our truck. TV is playing. (We canceled our Direct TV entirely as we were so alternately disgusted or bored with available content. As a result, I’m out of the loop as to what is currently available to watch). The program playing here in the lobby is a reality show of parking police giving parking tickets to outraged illegally parked drivers. I kid you not. Somehow such a completely and astonishingly inane show can find its way into America’s living rooms on a major network but the beauty, excitement and thrill of water skiing cannot beg air time. Something is missing here and it’s likely more than the need for more personality based content. I’m tempted to blame the decline of Western civilization, but maybe that’s going a bit overboard. Or not.
    BG1Luv2SkiscuppersLuzz
  • slowslow Posts: 559 Crazy Baller
    I would love to watch 30 for 30’s on O’Brien, Mapple and Smith
    ALPJr
  • jgills88jgills88 Posts: 141 Baller
    Dorien Llewellyn just announced that he's doing a running vlog/series of this upcoming season. Hopefully this type of content can spread and help get people interested in the sport! It'd also be great if TWBC reaches out to him and incorporates it into their stuff!

    Akron Waterski -- Always looking for water
    Vernon Reeve
  • Luv2SkiLuv2Ski Posts: 50 Baller
    This is amazing!!!!! Love it.
  • Vernon ReeveVernon Reeve Posts: 110 Baller
    I notice the Olympics have started doing backgrounds of the competitors to make it more interesting.
    jgills88
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