A Roller Derby Queen Among Us

Sara Oakley didn’t review her highly anticipated feel-good Target spot from the comfort of her couch with her creative partner Melissa.  No, she viewed it from Las Vegas at Roller-con, the largest gathering of Roller Derby enthusiasts in the country.

Who was she most excited to see there? Suzy Hotrod. Why? Well, in addition to being sexy, tough and athletic,  “she will tear your face off!”

Roller Derby.

Sara’s love affair started as a dare.  Charlie Painter, a high school crush, said she couldn’t do it.  So she plotted to prove him wrong while watching the Madison Mad Rollin’ Dolls.

Her opportunity came last year when she moved to Los Angeles.  The Angel City Derby Club was recruiting.

Is it easy to get on the roster? No. Are the tryouts difficult? Yes.

How do I know this? Well, because in the middle of countless campaigns, client meetings and late nights, she left to go practice, came back, worked all night—sometimes with an ice pack on her knees, bruised, battered, and smiling—all with the goal of earning a spot on the team, which she did.

What makes a young art director, who is climbing the ad career ladder want to do this?

“Exercise through fear” is her theory.  It’s a challenge that is the direct polar opposite of what she does during the day. Most days you can find Sara sitting quietly facing her computer with her pink headphones on, methodically concepting. Hard to imagine her racing around the track, elbows up, fending off opponents.

It’s a complicated process to get play. She designs collateral for the team, because you have to be on a committee. She practices three times a week in the hope of participating in the monthly games.  There are tests on drills, penalties and technique.

Right now, the team is 40 people strong and broken into three “nube”categories: Fresh Meat 1, Fresh Meat 2, Sub-Pool (rising stars) , which is her current status.

The only thing missing from this fairytale hobby is a name. She just can’t decide.  Sara Oakley, mild-manned art director by day, bad-ass Roller Derby queen by night. She deserves an equally bad-ass name. Help her find one!  My vote is  Bailey’s Brawler. Deutschers, just #baddassname on the Deutsch community Facebook page to cast your vote.