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Marketing USPSA-- from 2020 PCC Nationals Feedback


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I prefer a sport that is oriented towards participants, not towards famous people. Dumbing it down to make it better for tv, and the morons that watch tv, will make it worse for the people that actually participate. I give this whole thread two thumbs down and a free ticket on the crazy train.

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3 hours ago, Whoops! said:


They broke in enough to apparently not give a crap about the people that caused them to become famous.

 

 

Let me talk about something else that was brought up also that I forgot to address.

 

If anyone right now makes more major matches, it is hurting the sport.

 

USPSA as an organization doesn’t understand that yet because of the way they are operated and because they mostly aren’t yet in the business of obtaining sponsors for matches.

 

Even though they are technically the not for profit - not the sub contracting match directors - and as a result, USPSA SHOULD BE THE ONLY ORGANIZATION GETTING SPONSORS AND DIRECTING MAJOR MATCHES.

 

Local matches - awesome.  Definitely good.  definitely need more of them.

 

Somebody mentioned Phil Strader in an earlier post.  I think you really need to have a long talk with Phil, last I heard he was still working for Sig Sauer.  Phil started a series of big matches called the Pro-Am.  The first couple of years the matches were big, great prize tables and well organized.  Then they tapered off.  

 

You really also need to talk to Mike Foley.  Mike has a lot of industry and marketing experience. 

 

You are making a lot of assumptions about USPSA without really having any knowledge of just how the Org actually operates.

 

Have a conversation with both Phil and Mike and for a change, listen to what they have to say rather than start off by telling them what they are doing wrong in your very limited experience.

 

Nolan

 

 

Edited by Nolan
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I've yet to see a single concrete suggestion made in this thread. Lots of jargon, lots of lingo, lots of comparisons to other activities. 

 

I know the OP is feeling unappreciated....pearls before swine and all that......

 

Putting USPSA flyers in new gunboxes can't possibly be IT. 

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53 minutes ago, -JCN- said:

If Keanu and John Wick movies couldn’t drum up any mainstream support for USPSA, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. 
 

 

Unfortunately all the John Wick fans seem to have been attracted to 3 gun. You really don't want those guys in USPSA..

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13 hours ago, Nolan said:

 

Somebody mentioned Phil Strader in an earlier post.  I think you really need to have a long talk with Phil, last I heard he was still working for Sig Sauer.  Phil started a series of big matches called the Pro-Am.  The first couple of years the matches were big, great prize tables and well organized.  Then they tapered off.  

 

You really also need to talk to Mike Foley.  Mike has a lot of industry and marketing experience. 

 

You are making a lot of assumptions about USPSA without really having any knowledge of just how the Org actually operates.

 

Have a conversation with both Phil and Mike and for a change, listen to what they have to say rather than start off by telling them what they are doing wrong in your very limited experience.

 

Nolan

 

 


 

Never met Mike.  Met Phil.  Pro Am was a valiant effort and although it tried harder than everything else so far - it did not provide what the industry needed to see.

 

9 hours ago, -JCN- said:

If Keanu and John Wick movies couldn’t drum up any mainstream support for USPSA, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. 
 

 

 

Keanu had more views in a video of him practicing shooting with Taran than many of the trailers for the actual movie had.


 

13 hours ago, konkapot said:

I've yet to see a single concrete suggestion made in this thread. Lots of jargon, lots of lingo, lots of comparisons to other activities. 

 

I know the OP is feeling unappreciated....pearls before swine and all that......

 

Putting USPSA flyers in new gunboxes can't possibly be IT. 

 

This thread was started from another; and although there have been multiple concrete suggestions - I know it’s hard to have the willpower to read and put together everything.  
 

Let me consolidate suggestions and list them chronologically in order of what needs to be done:

 

1. Nothing with the way the actual game is played.  Rules remain the same.

 

2. Advertisements - gun owners should know there is an outlet for them to shoot competitions on a regular basis.  Part of this is print media.

 

2a. No reason for anyone to buy a shadow 2 (Or similar purpose made gun) and not know where they can use it.

 

2b. No reason for gun owners to walk into gun and sporting goods stores their whole lives and not know USPSA is a thing

 

2c. No reason for a magazine already made by the organization to not be available to the general public.

 

3. Marketing

 

3a. Marketing surveys - find out how much the average USPSA competitor spends on guns, gear, and ammo, in comparison to the average gun store user.  Find out who benefits the most from that spending.

 

3b.  Find out how often someone who attends a USPSA event is converted to a competitor.

 

3c.  Calculate cost to get someone to attend a USPSA event.

 

4. Administrative Changes

 

4a. Sponsorships for all major matches should be handled by the parenting body (USPSA).  Funds should be distributed from that parenting body.

 

The way it’s done now is akin to each Wal-Mart store negotiating with distributors for products.  The overarching corporation has so much more leverage in this regard.
 

5.  That additional sponsorship and participation money from the prior activities should be focused on growth.

 

5a.  In a capitalist economy, if you want people to take notice, you offer more money - i.e. bigger prizes

 

5b. Everything builds on everything else.  Now that you have more participation, more marketing, and more prizes - you can revisit the companies who were hesitant about supporting your organization before.

 

6. I don’t feel like putting this down yet.  Too many sub points.  
 

 

Let me put down another question - why do you think Fortnite is allowed to teach tiny kids to shoot people on national TV and there isn’t a ginormous backlash?

 

My answer would be money.

 

I think the gaming industry is a terrible, horrible industry and this sport has the potential to teach a lot better practice and influence society in a much more positive light than those corporate jackasses in the gaming industry do.

 

Edited by Whoops!
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Your written communication skills are outstanding; you really do a great job of coming across in a constructive, non-condescending and  helpful manner. 

 

I know it takes a lot of willpower to actually make concrete suggestions but the above list doesn't really have many; #2 and #3 are concrete-ish. 

 

So far I'm getting a strong vibe that you aren't bringing any substantive to the table.

 

I think you might be looking at this through your own Personal Filter of Awesomeness. Not everybody who buys a Shadow 2 actually WANTS to do anything with it. Your PFoA precludes you from seeing that, I suspect. I've brought new shooters to matches and, it turns out, they don't really want to do anything with their Shadow 2 other than, well, just have it. 

 

I eagerly await your candidacy for USPSA President. If you could actually flesh out the above list into action items I'd sincerely be interested. 

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3 hours ago, konkapot said:

Your written communication skills are outstanding; you really do a great job of coming across in a constructive, non-condescending and  helpful manner. 

 

I know it takes a lot of willpower to actually make concrete suggestions but the above list doesn't really have many; #2 and #3 are concrete-ish. 

 

So far I'm getting a strong vibe that you aren't bringing any substantive to the table.

 

I think you might be looking at this through your own Personal Filter of Awesomeness. Not everybody who buys a Shadow 2 actually WANTS to do anything with it. Your PFoA precludes you from seeing that, I suspect. I've brought new shooters to matches and, it turns out, they don't really want to do anything with their Shadow 2 other than, well, just have it. 

 

I eagerly await your candidacy for USPSA President. If you could actually flesh out the above list into action items I'd sincerely be interested. 

 

Personal Filter of Awesomeness...that's just.....awesome!

 

You can buy Awesomeness by the box now.

 

https://www.evike.com/s/?q=box+of+awesomeness

BOA-2015-5PC.jpg

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Show of hands,, Who actually wants MORE people at their matches ?
I quit the game years ago due to too many people, too large of squads, too much standing around, having to register weeks in advance as soon as the match opened or you couldnt shoot.
Far as I can see the sport is doing just fine and is probably operating at the capacity the facilities and willing crew can handle.

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10 hours ago, konkapot said:

Your written communication skills are outstanding; you really do a great job of coming across in a constructive, non-condescending and  helpful manner. 

 

I know it takes a lot of willpower to actually make concrete suggestions but the above list doesn't really have many; #2 and #3 are concrete-ish. 

 

So far I'm getting a strong vibe that you aren't bringing any substantive to the table.

 

I think you might be looking at this through your own Personal Filter of Awesomeness. Not everybody who buys a Shadow 2 actually WANTS to do anything with it. Your PFoA precludes you from seeing that, I suspect. I've brought new shooters to matches and, it turns out, they don't really want to do anything with their Shadow 2 other than, well, just have it. 

 

I eagerly await your candidacy for USPSA President. If you could actually flesh out the above list into action items I'd sincerely be interested. 


 

I’ve yet to see you make a single concrete point, but eagerly await the day you contribute anything. 
 

Honestly, it sounds like a lot of you have a strong personal bias for USPSA to not succeed.  
 

Either that, or you want me to baby step you through a professional process.
 

You either work for the industry that is taking advantage of it, or you are completely happy being the center of local matches.

 

Good for you, it’s not going to have any longterm implications for the existence of the sport.  I’m sure of it.

Edited by Whoops!
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3 hours ago, Joe4d said:

Show of hands,, Who actually wants MORE people at their matches ?
I quit the game years ago due to too many people, too large of squads, too much standing around, having to register weeks in advance as soon as the match opened or you couldnt shoot.
Far as I can see the sport is doing just fine and is probably operating at the capacity the facilities and willing crew can handle.

This. Matches around me are at capacity, and I fear walk up registration will soon be a thing of the past. There was an attempt at a competition oriented magazine called Gungames back in the mid 90s. It was glossy and I even got a letter to the editor published in an issue, but it fizzled out. I don’t think USPSA magazine would sell off the rack. Just not the readership out there that isn’t already getting it with a membership. We used to get good press in American Handgunner, which was the last magazine I subscribed to.

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19 minutes ago, OPENB said:

This. Matches around me are at capacity, and I fear walk up registration will soon be a thing of the past. There was an attempt at a competition oriented magazine called Gungames back in the mid 90s. It was glossy and I even got a letter to the editor published in an issue, but it fizzled out. I don’t think USPSA magazine would sell off the rack. Just not the readership out there that isn’t already getting it with a membership. We used to get good press in American Handgunner, which was the last magazine I subscribed to.


If enough people are involved, more matches will be made.

 

Weekends have Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Show of hands for anyone who has 8 matches a month that are all full.

 

If any gun magazine can make it, Front Sight can make it if they include more interesting content.

 

Tests of race guns - yes please.

 

The entire firearms market is moving upscale and it’s hard to find legit tests of the more expensive product.

 

Show me anyone who bought a Shadow 2 that just wants to have it and I will show you two people, I’ve personally met, who bought Shadow 2’s to get into competitive shooting, and haven’t had a good opportunity to learn it in a low pressure environment.

 

One is a bank teller that I randomly met while making a deposit.

 

No s#!t.

 

We are the reason CZ is now widely sold in gun stores across the US.

 

Are we benefitting from that, or did we provide them a ton of free advertisement because we’re stubborn and try to approach them for sponsorship on an individual match level?

Edited by Whoops!
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So here is a concrete suggestion as I watch the only sport on TV, golf. Why not run a match like golf, 4 rounds with only the weekend rounds that everyone cares about and what's televised.

 

Let's say you run 10 bays, on the first day you shoot half and on the second the other half then there is a 'cut' to reduce the number of shooters for the weekend matches that would be streamed. The same 10 bays are used but slightly tweak the stages similar to golf moving around the hole placement.

 

This would allow a lot of people the chance at a strong run and at the very least the competitors would shoot 2 days.

 

I would also suggest as mentioned above that all sponsorships should be handled by nation and support flowing from the top down. This way it's not like 1 club is getting sponsored by a big company for 5k but another club has a similar sponsorship that only got 1k because they had a low ask. National could ask for like 50k and then sent out banners and what not to smaller clubs as part of the deal and kick some of that money down to the clubs.  Not saying local companies can't sponsor local matches but it gives national some leverage on going after larger companies knowing they aren't hit up by 50 other clubs.

 

I could see a marketing play to get big manufacturers to donate equipment to smaller clubs as sort of a new competitor loaner system. I know of a few people that are interested in competing that don't want to shell out the money for gear without knowing. Maybe get Glock or S&W to donate a gun, mags, and some gear and loan it out. The appeal would be a new competitor uses their equipment first and may be more likely to buy what is familiar to them.

 

But no to a public magazine, gun mags are mostly garbage now since they are nothing more than advertisements and articles that pretend to be anything but an advertisement.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Whoops! said:

4a. Sponsorships for all major matches should be handled by the parenting body (USPSA).  Funds should be distributed from that parenting body.

 

The way it’s done now is akin to each Wal-Mart store negotiating with distributors for products.  The overarching corporation has so much more leverage in this regard.
 

 

so more centralized planning (a la soviet union) and less free market economy? what could possibly go wrong with centralized planning...... ?

 

I think you vastly overestimate the willingness of the average human to get involved in something that isn't easy. Most people are pussies.

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3 hours ago, OPENB said:

This. Matches around me are at capacity, and I fear walk up registration will soon be a thing of the past. 

Amen brother. It was only two years ago that matches were much more manageable as far as attendance. Now our local matches practically fill up as soon as registration opens on PS.

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5 hours ago, Whoops! said:


If enough people are involved, more matches will be made.

 

Weekends have Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Show of hands for anyone who has 8 matches a month that are all full.

 

If any gun magazine can make it, Front Sight can make it if they include more interesting content.

 

Tests of race guns - yes please.

 

The entire firearms market is moving upscale and it’s hard to find legit tests of the more expensive product.

 

 

Most of the USPSA matches within a 3 hour drive of the Bay Area (California, not that other Bay Area) have gone to a 1 and a half day format.  Match is built Saturday morning/early afternoon and shot by 3 or 4 squads Saturday afternoon, with another 60 to 90 shooters on Sunday.  That's twice a month for most clubs.  The other 2 weekends a month are the IDPA, Cowboy or Steel Challenge matches, so the ranges are fully utilized every weekend and on the odd month with an extra weekend or 3 day weekend, that's generally either a rimfire match or 3 gun.  Oh yeah sign up online at least a month before the match.

 

Just in case you're not keeping up with the trends, print magazines are struggling and have been for quite awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And before you say it, no it's not from lack of quality content.

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Guys, there is zero chance you are going to make any headway in this discussion with logic or examples. 
 

The best thing is to not pile on and just let it die. The more the forum attacks, the more he will defend and entrench. It’s not helpful for anyone in the long term even though it may feel “fun” in the short term to pile on.
 

The whole premise is based on what he thinks everyone should want value-wise instead of respecting that people are allowed to want different things (and those people are often the ones volunteering their time to make the sport run).
 

So maybe we can just let the thread die with a “thank you for your input.”

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50 minutes ago, -JCN- said:

Guys, there is zero chance you are going to make any headway in this discussion with logic or examples. 
 

The best thing is to not pile on and just let it die. The more the forum attacks, the more he will defend and entrench. It’s not helpful for anyone in the long term even though it may feel “fun” in the short term to pile on.
 

The whole premise is based on what he thinks everyone should want value-wise instead of respecting that people are allowed to want different things (and those people are often the ones volunteering their time to make the sport run).
 

So maybe we can just let the thread die with a “thank you for your input.”


 

Don’t try to sabotage something without your real name.  I’d like to know where your interest lies.

 

11 hours ago, motosapiens said:

so more centralized planning (a la soviet union) and less free market economy? what could possibly go wrong with centralized planning...... ?

 

I think you vastly overestimate the willingness of the average human to get involved in something that isn't easy. Most people are pussies.

 

 

Corporations are centralized planning.  The firearms companies don’t allow each factory to work for themselves or source equipment for themselves.

 

The PGA Tour isn’t run by a different entity at every event held.

 

This is one of the only major sporting bodies in the US that basically says “OK event planners, you do you after you fill out the appropriate paperwork.”

 

But, it is obvious that as a result of this, some event planners have grown to love that power.

 

What they fail to realize is that sometimes, by giving up a little power . . . 
 

You can gain a whole lot more.

 

And sometimes . . .

 

That’s better for everyone involved at the competitor and organizational level.

 

Now of course a lot of people would hate this effort - aka anyone currently getting free or cheap advertising.  Anyone celebrating being the center of attention at local matches.  Anyone who wants status quo and doesn’t have to work.

 

But, we need to reward the people who work hard to make this sport what it really is.

Edited by Whoops!
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11 hours ago, motosapiens said:

I think you vastly overestimate the willingness of the average human to get involved in something that isn't easy. Most people are pussies.

 

Agreed, but would amend a wording change: "get involved" to "stick with". Instant gratification and frail egos are not a good combination.

 

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14 hours ago, Whoops! said:


If enough people are involved, more matches will be made.
wrong,,, matches are full a soon as the open. People getting turned away now.

 

Weekends have Saturdays and Sundays.
Your point ? Gun clubs also have other customers and paid members. Good luck keeping your working membership if range is closed for matches every weekend day.

 

Show of hands for anyone who has 8 matches a month that are all full.

See above.

If any gun magazine can make it, Front Sight can make it if they include more interesting content.
LAUGH OUT LOUD,,, crawl out from under your rock. Print media is dying.

 

Tests of race guns - yes please.
Even more Laugh out loud... Legitimate gun tests in an add supported magazine by a,  in your opinion an org that needs to be sponsor supported.

 

The entire firearms market is moving upscale and it’s hard to find legit tests of the more expensive product.
You are just contradicting yourself. Legit test out of one side of your mouth. Sponsorships out of the other.

 

Show me anyone who bought a Shadow 2 that just wants to have it and I will show you two people, I’ve personally met, who bought Shadow 2’s to get into competitive shooting, and haven’t had a good opportunity to learn it in a low pressure environment.
 

 

One is a bank teller that I randomly met while making a deposit.

 

No s#!t.

 

We are the reason CZ is now widely sold in gun stores across the US.

 

Are we benefitting from that, or did we provide them a ton of free advertisement because we’re stubborn and try to approach them for sponsorship on an individual match level?

 

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18 minutes ago, Joe4d said:

 


 

I’m sorry the people you shoot with are too lazy to make more matches.  I can show you how to easily negotiate that with ranges if you need help.

 

That being said, they would also be more likely to help with that if there were more financial incentive.

 

On top of that, I just looked up matches in the area of several people in this thread who said they’re always full.

 

I found multiple matches with openings.

 

They weren’t all USPSA, but part of a smart growth strategy would be converting non-USPSA matches.

 

Print media is advertising for everyone who walks by it in the store.

 

As long as stores have magazine shelves, It is not dead.

 

There is a large part of the market which has not been captured yet, and I can give you business contact for the Vice President of advertising at SEMA if you need help figuring it out.

 

 


So much short-sightedness.  That isn’t currently causing any plagues in our country, right?

Edited by Whoops!
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