The most successful founders begin their process with at least two or three friends who are just as committed to the idea of building a quidditch team. These people can share responsibilities and burdens, help recruit club members, and generally spread the word. It can be done alone, but it is much harder. As the 15th century English writer John Heywood once wrote, “Many hands make light work.”
An aspiring quidditch founder should always be talking the game up with every person they meet, whether they love Harry Potter or have never heard of the sport in their life; but to begin, having a dedicated core is absolutely key. This core should remain undiluted in the beginning, and share leadership, authority, and decision making. People are willing to be responsible only as long as they have a sense of ownership, and without decision-making power and a sense of shared destiny, it is hard for any co-founder or fellow leader to be as impassioned as the founder.
The first game of quidditch is always the most challenging to organize, but essential for a team’s recruitment. Attempting to advertise for this game widely is not recommended. Instead, the best bet is to focus on a smaller group of people. The core group should reach out to their friends (and friends’ friends) on a word-of-mouth basis. For example, a Facebook event or email list can be used. Ideally, you should use an existing group such as a student organization, residence hall email list, club, team, camp, or community group. Widespread marketing techniques don’t tend to work effectively until the team already has a reputation within the community or school. Additionally, first-time games are easier with a smaller group of people.
Once any team completes its first game, it’s time to begin spreading the word to the larger community. Here are some methods to reach out:
Word-of-mouth – A simple but underrated technique. This is best with some structure; players should be encouraged at the end of the first game to bring five friends to the next game. Some kind of prize could be awarded as an incentive. Founders should remember never to cease telling friends, family, and colleagues about the game. Various Harry Potter fans and open-minded sports enthusiasts lurk behind every corner and will jump at the chance to try quidditch.
Posters – An old-school but tried-and-true method of getting attention. These work best on college campuses or high schools where printing can be done cheaply or for free. The best artist on the team should design these, and designs should be large, bold, and very clear with strongly contrasting tones. Humor and artistry are recommended. A measure of how successful posters are is how quickly they get torn down (either by enemies or fans) and kept as treasures or thrown away.
Facebook Fan Page and Twitter – To attain fans, tweet/post regularly (at least a few times per day) and find a balance between posting team information (example: upcoming practices) and humor to attract fans and supporters. With Twitter, identify local and school-based tweeters and start dialogs with them in order to get retweeted to your core community.
Start an email list – All players who show up to any game should be encouraged to join an email list (use google doc forms to simplify this process), and this list should be emailed on a weekly basis to keep up communication and encourage players to show up for games.