Monday, February 7, 2011

The Monday Poll

Over the weekend I asked VFTD's Twitter followers for some Monday Poll ideas. Thanks, kids. There were a couple of decent ones and in only 140 characters that's not too bad. For any of you who have also sent other @VFTD comments in the past--I had no idea. Sorry. One reason I asked for help--besides having no ideas--was because I finally noticed how I could see any @VFTD comments. True story. D'oh!
Anyway, I still wasn't feeling it until I saw the ProPaintball news on Infamous swinging the Empire Axe in 2011. Empire has been busy lately pushing product, looking to hook up with divisional teams and they've also contacted their retail base with Empire sponsorship offers thru their dealer network. First they pull the trigger with XSV and now they grab up the Infamous crew. Which isn't hugely surprising given the pre-existing relationship. But that's not what I'm interested in. What I'm interested in is trying to gauge how much influence heavy promotion and big time sponsorship has in moving the buying public. For a mixed sample of opinions check out this PBN thread. I know how this is likely to go but let's try it anyway.
Below is the question and optional answers. This time around pick every "answer" you think applies. For example, you may click on "Has no affect on me" and if you think the same is true for everyone else you would also click "Makes no difference."

Marker use by high profile pro teams (or players)--
Has no affect on me.
May have some influence on which markers interest me.
Definitely affected my choice on at least one occasion.
Makes no difference.
May improve brand recognition.
Definitely improves brand recognition.
May influence which markers appeal to other players.
Definitely influences the purchases of some percentage of other players.

Monday Poll in Review
Last week's poll was an attempt to get a feel for how y'all think your local field(s) are doing. I was curious because it seems from anecdotal responses that some places seem to be doing better than others and that there isn't a consistent pattern at work regardless of the state of the industry or the broader economy. What the numbers suggested was that sluggish or down carried 60% of the vote while up or improving received 40%. Maybe not a surprise but perhaps a little misleading too. 35% of the sluggish or down vote attributed the weak local circumstance to winter which affects a significant chunk of the fields in question. One might say the poll really suggested a seasonal decline at a third of fields while another quarter were also down for whatever reason which leaves 40% trending positive. While still inconclusive the situation may be brighter than most would have thought.


Anonymous said...

I'm more interested how much bad sponsor deals affect the companies. Its pretty widely rumored even during the season how disappointed Infamous was with Bob Long gun set they were given. Another case would have been XSV and alias.

People buy and trust guns that they see to work on the field, when team is not 100% satisfied with their gun, it hurts the parent company alot. Its not how well the team performs, but are they unhappy or happy with their gear that sells it to the masses.

sdawg said...

Anon, you mean XSV and Alien? I have never heard that Infamous had problems with BL guns, I just figured that PE decided to ensure the success of the Ego by sponsoring as many teams as possible in 05-06. It worked, because now the Ego is inarguably the defacto standard tournament gun.

I remember reading one Pro team received Closers from Bobby, and the guns were "blowing up in [their] hands." The same team went on to buy Luxes with their own money. On the other hand, Red Legion won world cup with Marq guns.

Anonymous said...

I've also seen rumors online that XSV and Infamous got free paint for the year from RPS if they went with the AXE. Like all things, a cost saver or go where the money is.

Missy Q said...

Correct. Take an all-in package or take no package at all. Choose a free ride or choose to find your own way.

sdawg said...

Was it really that difficult a choice, then? How much difference can there really be between a $460 gun and a $1460 gun? Besides supercool custom milling and maybe a fancier circuit board?

You pull the trigger and a paintball flies out of the barrel at under or around 300 FPS.

Don Saavedra said...

It influences me slightly. I find it hard to believe a non-factory pro team would agree to use a marker that gives them no chance for success just because of the money being offered them. Therefore, a marker being used by a non-factory pro team puts that marker on my radar. That's the only influence it has.

Yes, I know the inherent naiveté in the above, but sometimes you just have to draw a line in the sand of cynicism and move forward with your life.

Baca Loco said...

This is nibbling around the edges of one of the places VFTD doesn't go so I will keep this short and generic.
Anon is correct. It is very important that unattributed back channel rumors don't get started. Actual performance is secondary--at least in the context of the poll.

There can be a lot of difference but at the same time there needn't be as well. One critical element that is often overlooked by the gun buying public are the manufacturing tolerances used by different gun makers. Cheaper guns tend to tolerate greater variances yet are still expected to work, just not with the same precision and consistency of a more expensive gun.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time poster.

A quote from the thread at PBN that was mentioned above, "Damn, them to? Now I really wanna try out this AXE". I belive this is Empire's motivation.

$460 or $1460, the idea is to move product. Hopefully the Axe will stand up to a tournament season, from what I've seen pro's aren't too keen on maintenance or gun care. Personally I hope it does hold up, the Axe looks like a good marker, "high-end" or not.

As for the poll, Marker use by high profile pro teams (or players)-- Does not affect me and May influence which markers appeal to other players.

Dan said...

whenever Im in the market to buy a gun, I do look at pro teams using them. not because of the name attached but because I can see how they perform. Does the team have 2 spares, or 6 spares? is the paint blowing up (with respect to conditions)? are they getting Gun penalties? I try to listen to the pros when they bring in a gun to the booth, or what the say to the tech in the tent. I ask those using them (not the pros but mid-upper divisional players) if they would change anything. There are a couple guys ? I know that I trust their opinion on a gun. I can say that there has been a couple times when observing a gun on the pro field has convinced me to buy- or not buy- a gun.

houdini said...

I think the situation with the Axe is unique. The fact that Pro teams will now be using it will legitimize the Axe as a credible marker in the eyes of the general paintball community and lower division teams.

If the Pro teams actually get decent results using the Axe then I'm sure this will boost sales for the Axe - especially in those looking to buy their first eMarkers or teams looking to purchase discounted team sets from distributors.

I just don't see those already using high end markers reverting back to something like the Axe. I'd also like to bet that the Pro teams will be using after-market boards and barrels on the Axe...

Anonymous said...

Recently watching a review video of the Axe told me one thing of a cautionary stripe. The barrel it comes with is .692 and the paint it's parent company has been making of late is at least .01 of an inch smaller. Not a huge thing with respect of the guns reliability, but it does show a lack of attention to detail.

abc said...

Anony, Several tests have been made and duplicated that show "over boring" yields better accuracy, especially noted at long range.

So while we all thought the paint companies were just skimping on material to save 50-cents per case they were actually making our guns more accurate!