Connection With Juniors & Families Driving Boomers’ Growth
If you've been to a Deakin Melbourne Boomers game you will know only too well that something quite unique happens after the final buzzer at every game, regardless of the result for the home team.
While the scoreboard highlights what happened on the court during regulation time, it's the smiles on the faces of the crowd post-game that showcases the enjoyment that comes via those in the grandstand connecting with their athletic role models.
For up to 45 minutes after each home game the Boomers players stay on court to meet their fans for photos and autographs, something that kids and adults alike get a buzz from. It's an additional feature of coming to a Boomers game that the players themselves also enjoy.
"It's amazing," explained Britt Smart when asked about the sea of fans who step on court to meet their favourite Boomers players after the final buzzer.
"Of course it's always better for us players after a win, our smiles tend to be a bit bigger in the photos, but for the fans we hope it is something that leaves a positive and indelible mark on them."
"At the Boomers we are genuinely focused on helping to shape young lives, we love meeting the juniors and talking about basketball. The buzz they get from meeting their idols stays with them, it's a positive connection that promotes participation, inclusion and a healthy and active lifestyle," added Britt.
As the fans finally exit the State Basketball Centre, some having soaked up all 45 minutes with the players, it isn't unusual to see juniors beaming as they look through photos or talk about which player signed their team poster, player autograph towel, replica singlet or, in some cases, their arms and legs.
According to Boomers GM Justin Nelson, the immensely popular post-game event has played a key part in crowds growing by Ê50 per cent year on year over the last two seasons.
"Personally I think we are leading the way in Australian elite-level sports when it comes to connecting the fans with the players. How many otherÊprofessional sports teams spend forty-five minutes after the game meeting the supporters, especially all the the young kids?" asks Nelson.
"If more elite-level sports teams out there did what we do the positive influence it would make on the next generation and their families would be enormous. It's a great way for professional sporting organisations to give back. For the Boomers it's our way of Êthanking our supporters, especially our members."
And in sync, like a catch-cry that clearly has young basketball players excited about coming to watch Melbourne's WNBL team in action, both Smart and Nelson emphasise,Ê"If you come to a Deakin Melbourne Boomers game, you will get to meet the players after the game."
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