Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fan Zone

I'm over my little tanty. For now.

I've slept on it, and in tossing and turning in said sleep I've cracked onto a great idea that I hope, in some bizarro way, would get picked up at some point in the future by GA folk. Even if I wasn't directly involved:

(cue fireworks, glitter cannons, can-can dancers, flamingo waiters, trumpets, laser beams going pyew-pyew-pyew on the ceiling...)

In among their clickable GymSports/Technical Information/About Us/Worlds 2005 (why is that still there in the Events section!?) tabs, they need to have a FanZone (or perhaps less lamely-named) feature which is either
a) Overseen by fans in conjunction with a GA media or marketing representative or
b) Mainly consisting of fan contributions

and it would include the following features (possibly less lamely-named too, but it's all on the drawing board at the moment) if at all possible:

1. Competition Resports and Results - Don't bury results away in a crappy table where half the hyperlinks don't work. Have them in a scrolling table, or cross-reference to Highlight where our athletes have medalled. Have people submit competition reports, but please don't stick those in Technical Member or SMC bulletins like you always seem to.
2. Elite Buzz - There's a training camp on in Canberra? Great. Take photos. Get one of the girls to consider doing journal entries or blog entries. Do short interviews with participants like we see at the USA's Karolyi camp. Let us know what they're up to and what they're liking about the experience.
3. Happy Birthday to... - an elite. Or a retiree! Help fans save the date.
4. Athlete Profile - as explanatory as point 3. Profile someone at training camp, or get people to send in interviews/articles/photos with athletes they've interviewed themselves. Even the highly respected International Gymnast magazine has a function that allows you to submit articles.
5. Media Portal - The latest YouTube (or similar) videos from competitions or other events featuring Australian gymnasts.
6. Catching up With... - Ok, so the title is shamelessly nicked from IG's ongoing interview series. Regardless, let us know what's going on with retirees, or elites who've gone onto other sporting pursuits. You guys dropped Olivia Vivian's OSU progress like a hot stone. You didn't even talk about Chloe Sims' signing with Utah. And what's going on with Allana Slater's shooting sessions, hmmm?
7. Contests - They're not just for National Gymnastics Week. Colouring comps for kiddies, poetry comps, poster or banner comps, video montage comps... give people a chance to interact with the sport and be creative in order to illustrate what they love about it. I'm sick of subdued audiences at Nationals (save for NSW's constantly squealy juniors) where you don't see posters or exhibition routines or affordable merchandise that isn't from a sponsor or, basically, any incentives for anyone to be there and be excited. And believe me - cheerleading squads DON'T WORK. Send someone to the American Cup or USA Nationals (sorry, "Visa Championships") to take some notes.

Come on, guys. I do a lot of this already. You're a whole team of people, why can't you? Get out your address books and a big ol' whiteboard and get cracking. Gymnastics was the second most-watched sport at the Olympics this year and Australia finished in the highest spot it ever has so do the results some justice! The new year is nearly upon us and as a loyal fan, I know I am not the only one expecting a new approach from our national governing body.

"Do go on, little flabby one..."

(NB: I realise the validity of my argument is somewhat undermined by the apparent appearance of Mr Sheffield from 'The Nanny' second from left in this stock photograph...)


Anonymous said...

Lauren's Beam from Massilia

Anonymous said...

I don't understadn why they would'bt want to capitalise on th popularity of gymnastics in the country at the moment.

After 2005 worlds when Monette won her medal gymnastics had a surge of interest yet nobody could get involved in the sport as a fan cos Aus had barely any tings available.

With some work gymnastics might not just be one of those once every 4 year sports.

nade00 said...

They're just lazy over at GA. Their 'E-News' is only into its third edition and it's already not being updated. It's basically the end of November - guess what ? No E-News for this month.

Sillybilly said...

We've got soo many kindygym kids signing up we have no room for them at the mo...gymnastics is STILL GROWING obviously then so GA should keep fans/current younger gymnasts excited about the sport while they can! Before they defect to sports such as Diving/Acro/Cheer/Tramp etc!!

Come on GA!!

Anonymous said...

And they botch and whine that they can't/won't cough up the money to send girls to meets, and we're all sitting here going 'well fuck me, how about getting yourselves out there and raising awareness of this sport in this country which will in turn bring you in a few bucks which could send some girls overseas?' Like seriously, it's not that hard.

But Mez, despite the fact that it's obvious that GA takes all their shit from you, I think this will do little. You need to email them direct and say 'read my blog bitches!' Or copy and paste everything you and everyone has written on the blog and in its comments into an email and send it on their way. Maybe I will even do it myself. I didn't realise how bad this was til you highlighted it with these two posts.

Nade is right. They're total slackasses, bringing everything they don't get (ie money and publicity) onto themselves.


Mez said...

I don't wish to imply that they're lazy or worthless - heck, none of us (except maybe Froggy :P) can say that had anything to do with getting or running a World Championships here in Oz.

I just guess their time and efforts are... misdirected, for lack of a better term. I think they need to keep technical members stuff to an intranet and make the site overall more enthusiast/fan-friendly. God, USAG at leasts posts national team training photos AS WELL as
photos of conferences and meetings.

PS: I don't think I've ever felt inclined to start any correspondence with "Bitches!" but I suppose there is a first time for everything.


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Anonymous said...

QUOTE:I'm sick of subdued audiences at Nationals (save for NSW's constantly squealy juniors)

Delta from Brisbane are quite loud at competitions - same as Splitz - maybe they could have a team support award or something to encourage clubs to do posters and cheers - liven the atmosphere up!