Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Have We Done To Our Game? Part Three of Five

What Happened to Our Economy?

Okay, so it's obvious that the overwhelming majority of you reading this blog know that this stuff needs to be talked about if we want the game of paintball to grow and flourish. I also know this topic is not for everyone. There are paintball players everywhere that only care about playing in their backyards three times a year. The paintball economy and the number of people playing is irrelevant to them. And I understand that. But those guys (and gals) aren't reading this blog. I'm going to guess that if you're paintball savvy enough to find this blog and actually read it, you care about more than just playing a few times a year. To that end, your feedback, comments, and the fact that many of you are discussing this around the paintball cyberworld is a really, really good thing. So whether you agree with me or not, please keep the talk going, because difference-makers in paintball are watching and listening. I know this because they are telling me they are. In the final article of this series (Part Five) I'm going to wrap this topic up (for now) and in that wrap-up you'll be reading a lot of quotes on this subject from names you know. People are paying attention to what you are saying.

To date I've covered how the game coming almost completely out of the woods has hurt the growth of the game. I've also covered how the rate of fire has become a huge problem--not at the tournament level, but at local fields. If you missed the first two parts of this series, please stop reading this now and scroll down and take the class prerequisites.

The Economy's Affect on Paintball

It's obvious that the shrinking of game fields, the coming out of the woods, and the rate of fire issues are problems--but they're not the only problems. The third problem with the state of paintball really has very little to do with paintball. The economy in this country for the past year or so has drained us all--and that includes most paintball players, field and store owners, and even the mega-manufacturer.

I am definitely not an economist, a financial forecaster, or someone that even knows for sure if we're really in a true recession. But I can see the obvious. According to The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate in the U.S. rose from 5.5% in June to 6.7% in November. (I wonder if they counted me in there??) So far in 2008 1.9 million people have lost their jobs. U.S. labor costs have increased and while productivity has fallen throughout the year. Retail sales are now down for the fifth straight month in the U.S. according to CNNMoney.com. For a good portion of 2008, gas prices were in the $3-$4 per gallon range across the country. The subprime mortgage scandal broke this past year and according to Fox News one out of every ten homes in the U.S. is in foreclosure. And that doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of home owners who are behind several months in their mortgage payments. Some of the world's largest banks are folding, the auto industry is in shambles and Wall Street is a disaster. We all know our economy is a mess.

How can a bad economy not affect the state of the game of paintball? Despite what some people may tell you about disposable income, teenagers are not going to drive 40 miles to the paintball field when gas is $4 a gallon. Parents are not going to give their kids money to play paintball when they are behind on their mortgage payments, have lost a job, or had their "extra" money in Wall Street investments.

The economy effects paintball manufacturers as well. If people are not buying like they were two years ago, people are going to get laid off. Companies with big manufacturing plants and warehouses are wishing they didn't have to pay for half-empty spaces. Manufacturing numbers are down and quantity discounts are less. It's a catch 22. They need to charge more money because less people are playing. Yet, the increase in price will drive more players away.

The Dollar Versus the Euro

If you've been following the dollar versus the euro dudring the past year and a half, you probably already know that the dollar has been weak, although lately it has been much better. From April of 2007 to April of 2008 the exchange rate skyrocketed. In 2007 one euro would cost you $1.33 U.S. dollars. A year later you would have to shell out $1.66 per euro. So let's assume you're the owner of a England-based paintball magazine and the price you charged for a full page ad from an American company was $1800 per page in 2007. That exchange would net you roughly 1400 euros. A year later you would have to charge almost $2200 for the same ad to net your 1400 euros. American companies, now in a money crunch, simply can't afford to advertise--or they continue to advertise but are forced to raise prices. For American paintball teams traveling to Europe to compete, the average cost of a hotel stay increased from 2007 to 2008 by more than $26 per night because of the exchange rate. That's an increase of about $300 per team just for their hotel stay. The same increase percentage would follow for gas, food, paint, entry fees, etc.

The Paintball Economy

Going back to the 1990s (and even the 1980s) you would find that most paintball business owners were not really "business people." It was fairly typical for someone to play paintball for the first time in the late 80s and six months later they would open a paintball field. People saw the potential of the game and many jumped in with both feet, experience or not. And in many cases these businesses flourished and thrived. Money was coming in like nobody predicted and business owners spent it like it would never end. That goes for field and store owners, manufacturers, and distributors. Times were really good for more than a decade. In essence most of these businesses grew too large, too fast and were being managed by people with no business managing large businesses. But it's all they knew. They did the best they could. But when times got hard, they were in too deep. When small businesses could no longer sell a "tricked out" Autococker for $1300, they were in trouble because for the first time they were forced to live on "normal" profit margins.

Business is easy when you're making money hand over fist and when profit margins are high. It gets a lot more difficult when margins shrink and you have less customers spending less money. Companies like National Paintball Supply, PMI, Tippmann, the NPPL, JT, and many others were forced to sell off their assets (or they did it before they actually were forced to). This brought the new era of paintball corporations. Jeans and t-shirt CEOs were replaced with "suits" and many of these guys knew nothing about the paintball culture. They were successful businesspeople that were finding it "shocking," as one CEO told me, that so many companies were run "by the seat of their pants," as he put it. I've found it "shocking" myself that many of these corporate guys didn't do their homework and due diligence before spending their millions on companies with such weak foundations. But it is what it is. The "paintball economy" is even worse off than the U.S. economy. And it's going to get worse before it gets better.

A Bad Mix

Call me crazy but I just don't see how a new player shooting a Tippmann or Spyder playing against experienced players shooting Egos on a 200' X 250' field in a bad economy is a recipe for success. You're asking walk-ons to get shot up all day and to pay more than ever for the privilege. Separating skill levels, limiting the rate of fire in walk-on games, playing on larger fields (woods or arena), and even introducing stock games and playing different game scenarios are just a few ways to keep the cost of the game down and to keep the game fun for all players.

Again let me say that I could care less if the PSP allows players to shoot 50 balls per second. If you're at the level of those players you're probably getting what you want. If not, it's in your control to change the rules. But for the average Joe Blow paintball player from Small Town USA, the game is too fast, too painful and too expensive the way it is currently played at the majority of our playing fields and even in backyard games.

Doing It Right

Players
The economy is out of our control to a large degree. There's nothing you can do about that, right? That seems like the easy answer. If you lost your job you can't continue to spend money on frivolous things like paintball. If what you are earning isn't going as far due to the increased cost of living, paintball gets cut out of the budget. I understand that. Economists will tell you that the best way for our country to get out of this mess is for our people to spend money. Spending money creates jobs, more manufacturing, and consumer confidence and it probably would fix our economy. I'm not going to tell you whether you should continue to play paintball and buy paintball equipment in this economy. I don't know your financial situation. But my attitude is I'm not afraid to spend money solely because of the economy. I'm not going to shut down my spending because there's impending doom. I'll shut down my spending because I can't afford to spend. So I guess I'm saying don't be "afraid" of the economy. Spend wisely. Spend thoughtfully. But don't be afraid.

Business Owners
For paintball business owners big and small, you've probably figured out that the money that was once flowing at an almost seemingly endless rate is not flowing so freely anymore. There's probably nothing I can tell you about tightening your belt and cutting your overhead that you haven't already figured out over the past few years. Now it's time to be creative. How? Maybe you should take some of your left-over now-defunct event sponsorship money and sink it into a grassroots paintball promotion aimed at getting new players to try our game. But please don't send them to the Billy Bob's Paintball field where goggles are "optional." Maybe some of that ad budget money that isn't going to PGI or PB2X anymore should go to establishing an 800 number where players can be directed to the best places to play. That's two ideas on the house. Any more are going to cost you. You have my phone number, right?

As always, thanks for reading. Keep the comments and ideas coming. I'll be back Saturday with Part Four entitled, "Paintball, What a Pretty Game."

26 comments:

Ian said...

John,
Again you have said what needs to be said better than most of us can.
Thank you,
Ian

Anonymous said...

The first two were good reads. This one not so much, but I'm guessing you are going to give us a place to put our spare advertising $$ and host that 800 number for players to call. ;)

Interesting marketing strategy...

Stuntman said...

Thanks again John...

I think that our industry (as well as others) need to take the economic downturn as an opportunity rather than a disaster...a chance to slim down & learn to be more efficient.

I've been wondering for years how parts of the PB industry have been supporting themselves, even in GOOD times. Do we really need 20 different gun making companies? NO.
Do we really need 100 different "PB Lifestyle" companies selling shirts & bandanas, but otherwise contributing little to the game? NO.

Sure, times are tough right now...but when the good times come again (and they will) the survivors will be stronger, better adapted, and better equiped to meet the real game needs of their clients.
Dont get me wrong - its gonna be a long, ugly ride & we may lose even more cherished names in the business. But when its over the game will be better for it.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"

Reiner said...

I'm not going to tell any busineses that current economic conditions are not going to affest them. I would like to remind some that the movie theatre business boomed during the Great Depression. We hear about soup kitchens and riding the rails in search of work, but the movie industry boomed. Go figure. people needed a release I guess.

All I can advise any paintball business owner is to make sure you are giving people good value. I don't mean that you need to be the cheapest paintball field on earth. It's all about value. Will the customer have more fun at your field than he would if he went bowling, or skiing, or any of 100 different choice he/she has.

Some people think I have an expensive paintball field because my paintball prices are two to three times higher than the average US field. Yet we've had steady growth while others have seen declines. Why. we provide good value. Our customers spend about $60 on average and leave at the end of the day with smiles and laughter. Then they come back a few months later with their friends.

To all the paintball field owners out there; don't focus on being the cheapest paintball field because you think your potential customers are only interested in price. They want value. They want fun. Make sure they are provided with fun. That means, like John has implied (tried to hammer home) that new player need a safe place to play where they are not going to get beat on by high ROF.

I have more, but I'll let others chime in.

John Amodea said...

Good stuff all!

Aaron Kaz said...

Well said John. I have to agree with everything you've said so far in these three parts. Definitely a read that everyone serious about paintball should be reading.

I don't have much influence on the industry as a single player... but i think I can help... and i'll do what I can to support this great game in any form possible.

I don't have much to say beyond that right now... for now i'll sit on my imaginary porch, with my imaginary rocking chair and tobacco pipe nodding my head saying "mmhhmmm... that boy's right.... more people should listen to him."

Anonymous said...

Hello John,

It has been WAY too long since we have spoken, however, I think it is good that you are shedding light on many of the issues that people discuss among themselves yet are never posted publicly for others to contribute and perhaps even understand.

I think another aspect that may need to be touched by someone who has the "flair" for writing like yourself, is the unethical and/or underhanded "means of survival" that many in the industry are resorting to in order to stay in the game. By this I focus more on the fields and stores than the manufacturers, although they are just as guilty.

Although this has always existed in our industry as well as others, it has grown much more prevalent these days with the economical downturn of the sport. The harm that this is starting to cause in my opinion will greatly impede the recovery and potential growth of our sport as well.

I already see the alienation of players caused by riffs between their support of one field over the other, one store over another, or even one event over another.

The public "bashing" or as I am more apt to call it, "The negative campaigning" that is taking place is growing at an alarming rate. I am reminded of the months leading up to the elections and all the negative campaigning that flooded our already heavy hearts and doubtful minds towards our elected officials causing many people to feel like it didn't matter who won the election it would be "business as usual" for the "fat cats" in office.

I am afraid that much of this is starting to or will affect our industry as well. The players will get so turned off by the ugliness of it all that they may just eBay their equipment and get out of the sport altogether or they will be driven to outlaw ball to avoid the political cesspool.

The unfriendly rivalry that is beginning to manifest itself is growing disproportionally. This is IMHO is just as much a detriment to the growth of our sport as the many other things that you have touched on to date. We are no longer working collectively for the growth of our sport but instead many are working just for their own survival at any expense or harm to the sport.

I remember the days when municipalities or states tried to outlaw or place restrictions on paintball within their realm of jurisdiction, how the paintball community came together as whole to fight it. Jessica was always a big advocate and voice "of the people" when it came to issues such as these. I had recent conversation where this topic came up and the field owner told me he greatly supports the government’s interdiction in outlaw ball. No because of the harm to the property or individuals playing or even to the accept that injuries in these environments may have a negative ripple affect on the industry as a whole. His reasoning for it was because it would provide players with less playing options which would drive them to his field to HAVE to play.

Perhaps, some of the items I touched on should be addressed by someone like yourself.

Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for the LOVE of the sport and not just the paycheck.

A Friend

John Amodea said...

Hey Anon, thanks for the great feedback... now send me an email so I know who you are :-O

Anonymous said...

EMail addy?

John Amodea said...

j.amodea at earthlink dot net

Reiner said...

A Friend. I think what you are describing is another sympton of retail stores and fields being run by players turned owners, rather than business people.

It may not be politically correct, but I am selfishly hoping that the recession we are facing will weed out some of the less professional paintball business owners so we have less of these things happening in the future.

The fact that our industry is so poorly organized does not help. We literally have thousands of individuals running paintball as they feel it should be run in their mminds. There is very little unity and not nearly enough checks and standards in place. That's why I have always thought an organization similar to PADI in the SCUBA industry would be beneficial in paintball to get everyone, if not on the same page, at least meeting certain minimum standards and professional business practices. But alas, very few agree, so we will continue to act as individuals, all doing our own little thing.

Anonymous said...

Something similiar to what you described was initially put in place MANY years ago. The ASTM Committee that was what was implimented paintball being recognized as a sport and asssting us in receiving insurance for our sport. Notable people such as Bud Orr, Tom Kaye, and Bob McGuire where part of it.

ASTM committee still exists today, although there is a fee to be a member. However, this is another clear cut case of the right hand not talking to the left hand, because, even though this committee helps set the standard requirements that fit the safety of the sport and the positive growth of the sport in a healthy or positive manner, there is no enforcement of it by anyone.

Heck, even the insurance companies do not honor the standards set by the committee.

I am not familiar with the PADI organization, however, I will now do MY research on that to help me understand better.

I do agree with you though that everyone wants to run things the way they see fit as opposed to any unified structure. The consumer is not only driven by the cost of playing at a field and the rest of the things that come with running a field that caters in a positive way to their clientel

Many consumers are also driven by what they can get away with AT that field. John touched base on it in one of his topics. Rate of fire and so on. Many players will be driven to go to fields that allow them to "beat up on noobies" or allow them to fire full auto versus controlled rate of fire. Not saying EVERYONE does this but it is a leading factor.

Even fields that have low safety standards are drawing larger followings because of how cool their field is and how the players can get away with doing things that Johnny Safety is not allowing at his field. It is one step up from outlaw ball.

I hope that things change but I am sorry to say that I feel the fields who are trying to do it right are getting hurt worse than the fields who just care about the almighty dollar and themselves.

I have been trying for over 6 years now to try to get insurance companies to start doing spot inspections on fields that they insure. I have even offered to do it for free for them, based on their "objectional" criteria, so they could not tell me it was a money thing. But it is a money thing because they stand the chance of having to drop a field if the field does not comply with the changes.

So it NEEDS TO START AT THE TOP. I feel the insurance companies should be the first to set professional standards that the fields must comply with. Displaying of Certificates of Insurance in an obvious place should be MANDATORY. Inspection of fields prior to the issuing of a Certificate should be MANDATORY. Follow up spot inspections should be MANDATORY.

Again, we MUST start at he who carries the most weight and can help bring change about.

Thanks for sparking the opportunity to have an intelligent conversation that is needed John and Reiner.

A Friend

Carl said...

I've been following your commentary on the state of the game, and I think you've brought up some very good points and ideas. The place I regularly play pays attention to keeping things as fun and interesting for new players. They only have one Airball field and one Wooden bunker "Speedball field," and these are mostly for their sponsored team to practice on. My buddies and I are frequently swing players, moved from one side to the other in walk-on games to even sides out. The experienced players are encouraged to help new players

Reiner said...

I don't have much faith in insurance companies. They are opotunistic and self serving. They atre concerned about their bottom line and not particularly concerned about anything else. Wanting them to take the lead role in minimum standards and such just isn't going to happen.

No, if we want to become more legitimized, we have to do it ourselves (which is probably much better than the government stepping in and doing it on our behalf). That's what the SCUBA industry was facing. They knew during its fledgling state, that if they did not police themselves, it would be just a matter of time before the government would. They wanted to avoid that and they wanted some structure within the industry. They managed to acomplish that and the government has never stepped in.

Anonymous said...

I want to chime in again too, these are again all good, even great points.
There is just so many points to address, I will probably nod off before I hit them all.

I have played all over mostly smaller markets in the NE.
As a Tourny player playing and practicing you just cant afford the 2 or 3 times more expense of that better field.

We are the ones that needed a break, and most fields did the same thing discounted to the "home" team. The local field that was one of the first to close awhile ago because of the changes in the economy and other local reasons, had more kids getting a price break then it did regular paying customers. Mistake sure, but like you stated it didn't matter when the money was there.

On the other hand as a walk on going to different fields, field owners very rarely had enough players to have a even split of open class vs the hey I just showed up and want to play for the first time. They all tried to find a fix for this, but then they run into the not enough Refs issues. Which again almost 100% of the Refs IME are the Home teamers working for paint or paying off the new team gun they got to have, because we just switched to new 09 Sluggo and you know that it is so much sicker then the 08 mentality.

Yes I was talking about Reiner's post in the reference of the 2 or 3 times, not picking on him if he has that much growth, maybe that is the key.
Most fields even stores where started by teammates that got sick of one not having a place to play, or two not wanting to pay the other guys prices.
Remember the old NPS ads, start a field for 1800.00?

I am tired so I might be jumping around on this to much but Stuntman is also right. How many high end 1500 markers did we need?
But I have always said this and I think I mentioned it in my first post.
Once the electro guns got to 12 BPS in semi, I never seen the point to go to ramping, yes my gun as all the modes, but only cause I needed to keep up. Believe me I will move on you if I am using a pump. That to me was the fun, the movement in the game, not the sheer amount of paint in the air.
The governing bodies of paintball have always had an internal agenda. I think this is the only sport that is like that, leagues affiliated with certain company's and them not wanting the competing company to have a piece of the pie. I have always said it needs to be completely separate and that would give teeth to enforcement in the rules and cheating and just make it a better fairer system.

Reiner said...

"As a Tourny player playing and practicing you just cant afford the 2 or 3 times more expense of that better field."

"Yes I was talking about Reiner's post in the reference of the 2 or 3 times, not picking on him if he has that much growth, maybe that is the key."

A field that caters to tournament players can certainly not get away with that. That's why we opted near the beginning of our field's history to concentrate on recreatioanl players and not cater to the tourney crowd. That was not a prejudice towards one or the other, just a business decision. The two types of paintball are too different to work well together at the same facility, in my opinion.

The recreational player plays for fun alone and really doesn't keep score. That player wants to play paintball. It's high tech. ball tag. The player we cater to either doesn't know any difference (new player) or is a seasoned player that enjoys playing paintball with less balls in the air. Our customer shoots apporx. 600 balls/day and spends roughly the same as any othe field in North America for a day of play, so in essence we are not more expensive. When one realizes that a recreational paintball field is there to sell fun rather than to sell paintballs, one could even say we provide more fun per dollar spent. Hence my previous post about providing good value. A recreatioanl paintball field doesn't have to sell paintballs cheaper than other fields to provide good value. On the contrary, my experience has shown me the exact opposite. Cheap paintballs - low value (fun/dollar spent). Higher priced paintballs - higher value (fun/dollar spent). Most recreational paintball fields in North America (the USA in particular) are providing low value p[aintball today. The reason that is because there are too many paintballs in the air for most people's liking (you don't hear from most of them, because they stay home). That is the biggest problem our industry faces, in my opinion.

Daneel Arkady said...

I've been following your series thus far, and I have to say it's well written and brings up a lot of valid points. I've been playing paintball for a mere 10 years (nowhere near as long as some of you!) but I too have seen the game transformed into something other than what it was when I started out.

It's not just the technology boom that hit paintball, it was the change in the culture and attitudes. I remember a game not too long ago where our team leader remarked; "Man, I must be getting old . . . I don't remember paintball being this cliquey."

In retrospect, I have to agree. There are some games that I go to, and it feels like I'm back in high school all over again. You've got the Ego (no pun) crowd, the Ion crowd, the Tippmann crowd, the Spyder crowd, the Smart Parts crowd, the new kids who's parents dropped them off with a six pack of Mountain Dew and a translucent Brass Eagle crowd . . . ad nauseum.

Maybe I'm only remarking on a local phenomena - but I've traveled a few states to various games and have seen this happen elsewhere. I sometimes find myself wishing back to the 'good old days' when paintball was about fun, teamwork, meeting new people, and yes, socializing.

Seems like these days everyone has a 'reputation' and a name to uphold.

There is more to paintball than hypersonic ROF, expensive guns, logo emblazoned (what is this, NASCAR?) apparel, and attitude.

I can't tell you how many people I have met that have remarked on how 'painful' their first paintball experience was. And for nearly all of them, it was their first and LAST game they ever played. We have to learn to accept the new guys, break them in nicely, and only then will the game truly grow.

We were all new once.

Jon Harris said...

I've been reading with great interest. I agree with your blog so much it has now become a topic of discussion on our forum. For a long time I've been a proponent of ROF limits. I don't use electro markers myself.
Being a field owner, I was pushed hard for the fast speedball type of field when we started construction. I resisted and we don't even have a tourney field We are strictly mil/sim scenario. Luckily, we have been growing but it has taken hard work and a reinvestment of everything we make to build a filed that is exciting. We live on the big games as we are really a destination spot not a weekend rec place, not that I wouldn't welcome it. Our location just makes that hard.

The point is , as you said, if you can add value and try to make it fun for all, to keep little johnny from getting pummeled by the high end and immature player you have a chance. Seems that not many new players see it this way but us old guys do.

BTW Been about 3 years since we met in Houston. Hope to see you at one of our events.
Jon Harris

John Amodea said...

You all continue to amaze me with your well thought-out posts, comments and emails. It's obvious to me there are enough players that love the game to make a difference. Thanks!

Beherit said...

The Dollar Versus the Euro

This is not exactly right. Please not write when you never been in Europe. Let's explain it trought the prism of third currency with very simple math. Our currency is called leva (lv.) and it is:

$1 - 1.41 lv.
1 euro - 1.96 lv.
1 British pound - 2.113 lv.

Salary here is about 1000 lv. or ~ $709. It's not matter but just for facts.


Let's start. For Example i will take first Planet Eclipse EGO8:

In USA - $950 - 1339.5 lv.
In EU - 747.50 euro - 1465.1 lv.

See the difference ?

Lets see DYE DM8:

917.95 British - 1939.63 lv.
$999.95 - 1409.9295 lv.

Here the difference is even worst. So I like very much when americans comlpaining of prices. Just for fact here benzin is $9 per galon but we still go to the fields to play.

Just to everybody now. Because there is so much legend of Europe in USA the prices in Europe are the same but in euros that's mean about 20% higher.

John Amodea said...

Beherit,

I think you misread what I wrote... I'm not talking about the difference between prices in the UK and Europe. I'm comparing the dollar to the euro and the dollar has been VERY weak for a long time now. There's no debate there...

Beherit said...

Yes John you're right but prices are not one of mine reasons paintball lose supporters. Paintball is extremely fun and atractive when you play it. But it's totaly unintelligible when you see it from the tribunes. If you're new that a problem. It's less atractive even comparing to baseball. At least at baseball you are able to see the ball :). In paintball you see 5 man run agains other 5 man then 1 by 1 they go out with no visible reason. Even if tournament is shooted with 5-6-7 cameras. That's why there is no TV that want to make live. They usualy make reportings.

Other problem in my country is that everybody think that is easy money you buy 10 markers masks etcfor about $3000 and you are ready to make money. You know it's not exactly that way.I'm first airball palyer ever im my country. 6 years ago. We have paintball from 8 years here. Paintball is managed from uncompetent fucks. 1-2 exceptions. I have played at Millennium, Centurio etc so i can at least give them some advices but they think that know everything. Most of tha field has "No team allowed" policy. I'm mad of the sport very. There are people that ruin all the game doing nothing. No comersials also. No comersials. No sponsors out of sport. There is no industry in the world that depends on interneta as much as paintball. This is at least stupid. I go to London 3 times. London. I walk near tournament twice and never realise that there is paintball European CUP, no posters no nothng. Only i thing this is strange ?

John Amodea said...

Beherit,

I hear your points. Remember this is a 5 part series and the financial part of it is only one component.

Anonymous said...

Interestring Blog me and my Team have been having a comversation about it on our team forums.

John I hope you will have time to read it.

Skeletor

http://www.socalghosts.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1050&start=0

Anonymous said...

Educational info but what can be done about it?

My suggestion is field owners offer half coupons for return patrons.

A buy one entry get one free so people will bring friends to play with on their return visit.

Or so you don't cut into your exsisting over head offer a free rental for a return customer so they can bring a friend.

There are countless creative ways for feild owners to pump up the sport.

I have had dreams of having my own feild for years. I think about the business side of paintball way too much.

Reiner said...

Those are good ideas for getting more people to try paintball. The most important thing that we as an industry need to concentrate on is making the game fun once they get there. If we are getting them there but they get turned off once there, they won't come. And that's what we need. We need those new customers to have so much fun, not only will they come back, but they will bring their friends, relatives, and co-workers with them.