Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The (tuesday) Monday Poll

So popular I had to bring it back. Okay, actually I was out yesterday working with some UK teams over for Cup trying to learn the field on fastforward during a short week. I had a good time, they were receptive, did a lot of the right things in terms of their preparation and taking it all in and I'm looking forward to some solid results on their part. But that also meant three days in a row out at the field all day(ish) so by the time I got home, showered and had a meal I wasn't highly motivated to crank out either The Monday Poll or Pre-Cup Grind--though I tried to get Pre-Cup Grind done last night. About halfway thru it I fizzled out. (That's what she said. Yeah, well, age will do that to you, too.)

This week's question is: What is the best way to sell paintball to the public? And by that what I really mean is grow awareness & build interest. How does paintball begin to re-grow the grassroots?

You only get one shot at it this week so make your vote count. Everyone is eligible and you won't end up with a purple fingertip. It's your civic duty as a baller. Vote!

Monday Poll in Review
Didn't really work out. Mostly because I failed to think it through properly and gave y'all some misleading options. As a follow-up to The Monday Poll of a couple of weeks ago what I really wanted from last week's poll was an indication of what sort of paintball you play now if you have temporarily or permanently given up on major league paintball competition. Which, having given it a bit more thought, is an almost impossible poll for VFTD to do--and I botched it anyway by giving a couple of major league tourney options to last week's question: When I play Paintball It's Most Often ...
Well, d'oh!, if I'm trying to find out what sort of paintball y'all play after you quit playing MLP it's just a wee bit stupid to give you MLP answers to choose from in the poll options. The other problem is the usual self-selection problem as this sort of poll can't give us any idea of how many or what percentage of former players called it quits 'cus they's unlikely to be hanging around a blog devoted to tournament paintball.
So I'll try this again sometime and see if I can get it right.


papa chad said...

voted for Social Media.

there is a style, an aura, a culture around snowboarding and skateboarding, among other sports.

Spy makes $120 sunglasses.
Every skateboard company has its own shoe.
there are plenty of snowboarding companies making their own expensive jackets.

so why doesn't paintball have the streetwear these other games/sports do? is paintball lacking in style? yes there are plenty of paintball t-shirts but they lack distinction, the uniqueness factor (...excluding HK wear. don't shoot!). if we had that special, unique social distinction we could sell paintball to the public, mayhaps. HKArmy is on the right path regarding streetwear, for the most part.

steve davidson said...

Baca, I don't think your options are complete. Are you asking which is the best 'media' to use, or are you asking 'what is the best strategy?'

Given our current situation, the best strategy would employ ALL of the media you listed as options.

Reiner Schafer said...

Steve makes a good point. But then I wonder why it is we feel we have to "sell" paintball at all?

From early voting, it's obvious that most think inviting a friend (word of mouth is along the same line, in my opinion) is the best way to grow paintball. That's probably because it was the way they were introduced to the game and I'm quite sure it was and still is the way most new players discover paintball. But that's not to say that other medias don't help in bumping the number up.

But I'm going to state the obvious and I'm sure there will be lots of e-groans, but I'm gonna do it anyway. The difference between today and 15 to 20 years ago, is that back then it used to be "That was a blast. Next time we come we should bring Joe and Dave and Frank and Steve along. They would love this". Now it's more like (assuming they liked it), "That was a blast. Next time we come we should bring Joe and Dave along. They'd love this sort of thing. It's probably a little too intense for Frank and Steve though."

The point I'm making is that today, with the different genres and the way the game and equipment has changed, we need to be more selective about how we introduce our friends to the game. Sure, if you have friends that Bungy jump, sky dive and climb granite at high altitudes and you think a day at the speedball field will be right up their alley, take them there. But if they are more like "average" people, take them to a venue where everyone isn't buying a case of paint to play for the day.

We didn't need to "sell" paintball during it's tremendous growth years and we don't need to "sell" it today. We just need to make sure it's fun for the people we introduce.

Baca Loco said...

You are of course correct. What I was (and remain)curious about is the latest strain of conventional wisdom. Either we hear certain things over and over or some ideas just resonate with the majority for whatever reason.

I have always found the dividing line to be in the same place--people put off by the potential or occasional pain and those who don't mind

Reiner Schafer said...

Yes Baca, that line still exists and is in the same place. There will always be those that will never step onto a paintball field or might never step on again after being hit the first time.

But there is definitely another line now. No longer are we crawling around in the bush full of adrenaline looking for that chance encounter of another foe, sometimes minutes or even portions of an hour apart, then possibly experiencing a bit of discomfort if we get hit once or twice. There are people who don't even want to get involved in that, with the relatively little discomfort there is. But a person would have to have their head buried deep in the sand to not understand that paintball at today's average paintball field (and even more so at the average outlaw field) is much, much more intense (with a much higher volume of discomfort). That's a totally different line that didn't exist 20 years ago. A line that a good number of people aren't willing to cross even th9ough they may have had little problem crossing the original line of relatively minor discomfort.

Therefore, our pool of friends that we can invite to give paintball a try, has shrunk. Having said all that, inviting a friend to play paintball is still the best way to grow paintball.

papa chad said...

it used to be that taking a few friends out to a woodsball field was casual. now even woodsball is electronic with people blasting high ROF at you. so where does that leave casual paintball? is there such?

Reiner Schafer said...

That's my point, Papa. It is very rare these days to find casual paintball, so the types of people that will put up with the way it is today has shrunk considerably. If you can't get them to come out the first time or come back again after the first time, they are not going to become our future Ambassadors, or our future pros, or our future anything.