Make Fads Easy to Master or Risk Losing Money
I was watching two skateboarders outside my local mall when I thought about rollerblades and how they just sort of disappeared as a pastime. I looked them up online and realized that rollerblades might have represented the worst-case scenario for sports marketing.
They used to be a hot item. Back in the 90s, it seemed that everyone had a pair of them. But after a while, you started seeing less of them around the parks and streets. I was like the millions of people who got into rollerblading because it looked like something fast, fun and easy to do. Sadly, it turned out that rollerblading, at least as far as I was concerned, was none of those things. One day I just put my pair of blades in the closet after a particularly frustrating session in the local park and never pulled them back out again.
Fads for the Masses
It turns out that the number one rule for any physical sport that you start marketing equipment for is that it must be easy for the masses to master for it to take off. This applies even more for a sport requiring equipment that costs over a certain amount.
I’m positive that the reason pogo sticks, bicycles and trampolines remained popular long after they were invented, was because they were relatively easy to master and enjoy.
Rollerblades didn’t become as popular as the rest of these activities because it took a lot of time and often painful effort to get good enough at it to enjoy the experience, and it was a relatively expensive sport to get into. The rollerblade bar was simply set too high for it to become a hit with the masses. It’s a lesson for every sports equipment marketer to keep in mind.