Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Bart Solo

What Is SASS Doing To Promote Our Game Among The Over 55 crowd?

Recommended Posts

I was walking from my car to the range at Gunsmoke last Thursday and realized lots and lots of SASS participants travel by motorcoach or drag a trailer along behind their pick ups. Nearly all of those folks are well healed empty nesters who can afford expensive travel rigs. That got me wondering, I know SASS advertises in shooting magazines, but does SASS advertise in the recreational vehicle publications aimed at the empty nesters who are looking for new friends, destinations and a little daring adventure?

 

Over and over again I have encountered folks in SASS who, like me, started around 60. Some a little earlier and some a little later. I think SASS needs to play to its strengths. It is never going to be a spectator sport. It is always going to be a participant sport. As my wife told me last night during the drive back from Minnesota, cowboy shooting is a game people love to play, not watch. Which probably explains the high percentage of women shooters in our sport. Modern grandmas don't like just watching grandpa have a blast.

 

For years I have read that SASS is doomed. As soon as all those folks who grew up watching westerns on TV die off, that will be the end of cowboy action shooting. While I fully support encouraging youngsters to shoot and CAS is a great family sport, it seems to me that we should recognize SASS naturally draws from people closely approaching retirement who have paid off their houses, helped their kids through college, have a little disposable income, still enjoy good health and are looking for a good time. The people SASS naturally attracts are the very silver haired people the naysayers have said doom SASS. They are the people who are our future, just as they have been in the past. The good thing about empty nesters is more of them watch their last chicks fly away every year.

 

We need to make sure we reach out to the over 55 crowd in an organized way before they spend all their disposable income buying Harleys.

 

What do you all think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we need to focus on younger participants.

 

I can put lots of words down...making an argument...but the fact is that SASS as generally not done that.

 

And I can find just as many older folks that are on tight fixed incomes as I can younger folks willing to spend $$$$$ on their "Fun".

 

Phantom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we need to focus on younger participants.

 

I can put lots of words down...making an argument...but the fact is that SASS as generally not done that.

 

And I can find just as many older folks that are on tight fixed incomes as I can younger folks willing to spend $$$$$ on their "Fun".

 

Phantom

What he said!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we need to focus on younger participants.

 

I can put lots of words down...making an argument...but the fact is that SASS as generally not done that.

 

And I can find just as many older folks that are on tight fixed incomes as I can younger folks willing to spend $$$$$ on their "Fun".

 

Phantom

Many recreational choices are made by young people with children. The children will always win and CAS will always come in second. When you are dealing with a senior on a tight fixed income, the senior can choose CAS as a recreation, but scale it back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Well healed empty nesters" ?? Leaves me out. Workin every day & raisin grandkids is more like it. If you want to survive long term must have youth interested. Doin things to spice up the sport like Slick is with Steampunk & some clubs are with shootin all styles at monthly matches is great. All equals more FUN !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday we had our annual youth Sportsfest here at our local range.We Cowboy shooters have a setup where we let the younguns here in our area learn & shoot our firearms..The kids are from 8-18 & all sizes.Some of the smallest ones enjoy it the most..We have a couple of our young shooters help demonstraight how its done,This seems to help.They also have Archery,Musel Loaders,Shotgun ,Ruger Pistol/Rifle,& the GAME & FISH has Animal ID...I believe we had somewhere around 80 kids...Largo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many young people enter this game independent of parents/grandparents? I realize there are some, but very few when compared to 55-65 year old people joining our world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many young people enter this game independent of parents/grandparents? I realize there are some, but very few when compared to 55-65 year old people joining our world.

True. Now we have to decide if we just accept this as the way things are going to be, or look for ways to change it.

SASS is going to have to find some strong middle ground here as we need the younger shooters and we also need the older crowd. Without both, we will surely not survive. We need to find ways to entice the younger people to get involved and stay involved without turning the game into something that the older crowd can't or don't want to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we need to focus on younger participants.

 

I can put lots of words down...making an argument...but the fact is that SASS as generally not done that.

 

And I can find just as many older folks that are on tight fixed incomes as I can younger folks willing to spend $$$$$ on their "Fun".

 

Phantom

 

 

+1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"What Is SASS Doing To Promote Our Game Among The Over 55 crowd?"

 

They offer free prostrate exams. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True. Now we have to decide if we just accept this as the way things are going to be, or look for ways to change it.

SASS is going to have to find some strong middle ground here as we need the younger shooters and we also need the older crowd. Without both, we will surely not survive. We need to find ways to entice the younger people to get involved and stay involved without turning the game into something that the older crowd can't or don't want to play.

I think it's indicative of where the interest and availability lie. I enjoy seeing shooters my age and younger entering our sport, but I realize older shooters are going to be the ones filling the posses. I think we need to market to folks that have time and $ to play this game while at the same time make sure the game is welcoming to younger shooters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Younger people are not empty nesters. They generally cannot travel around every week to shoots that require overnight stays.

 

The real question is what are you doing to help promote the sport?

 

If your club does not hold new shooter clinics, you are really missing the golden opportunity to get new people involved and every once in a while, you will get new helpers as well.

 

With the vast majority of SASS shooters being 55 plus, they already know the routine. People don't wake up in the morning and suddenly decide to buy a camper and then decide to take up cowboy shooting next.

 

We need to promote the sport first, then the rest will follow.

 

Roo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bet most of those folks found SASS and then got there RV.

 

Think money spent to advertise in RV rags would cost WAY more than any return.

Be a waste of money to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Younger people are not empty nesters. They generally cannot travel around every week to shoots that require overnight stays.

 

The real question is what are you doing to help promote the sport?

 

If your club does not hold new shooter clinics, you are really missing the golden opportunity to get new people involved and every once in a while, you will get new helpers as well.

 

With the vast majority of SASS shooters being 55 plus, they already know the routine. People don't wake up in the morning and suddenly decide to buy a camper and then decide to take up cowboy shooting next.

 

We need to promote the sport first, then the rest will follow.

 

Roo

 

And whom would you focus/direct your promotional effort towards?

 

That's the question.

 

And I have been involved in competitive individual sports my entire life...and I haven't been to 55 yet...wonder how the heck that happened????

 

Phantom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And whom would you focus/direct your promotional effort towards?

 

That's the question.

 

And I have been involved in competitive individual sports my entire life...and I haven't been to 55 yet...wonder how the heck that happened????

 

Phantom

I believe we should promote to anyone that will listen. Prospects are thin enough as it is, but selecting a particular age group limits the opportunities.

 

Our last clinic, that targeted all age groups, was 75% 55 plus and the remainder were in their 20's and 30's.

 

Going after a camper group is really slimming down the possibilites in my opinion.

 

But, as long as you are attempting to get any age group invloved, you are at least trying to grow the sport.

 

Roo

 

Roo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bet most of those folks found SASS and then got there RV.

 

Think money spent to advertise in RV rags would cost WAY more than any return.

Be a waste of money to do so.

No doubt you are right, but marketing runs both ways. I think it makes as much sense to advertise in the RV rags as it does in the USPSA rag Frontsight.

 

I am talking about reaching out in an organized way to a demographic that seems to be drawn to SASS anyway. Tell them we are here and we have fun.

 

We have to understand why people want to shoot CAS. I don't think it has that much to do with watching Roy Rodgers as a kid. I think it has to do with wanting to try something different, fun, and a little scary in a safe way. They want to shoot with people with whom they can relate. Don't forget, learning a little about guns and shooting is something a lot of people are drawn to as they get older. They want the learning to be fun. Nothing better in the world than CAS to teach safe handgun handling to somebody who has never owned a handgun before he reached 60 and started worrying about being mugged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Younger people are not empty nesters. They generally cannot travel around every week to shoots that require overnight stays.

 

 

 

You are correct. However, have you ever seen a 3-Gun match? Less than 10% of the participants are over 50. I am not an empty nester, I've done 3-Gun here in Virginia as well as traveling to PA. I see people attending a big 3-Gun match (Peacemaker) and there are dozens of people with families attending. They actually have waiting lists for this and their monthly matches. That's what SASS is going up against. And it's not about the money, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You are correct. However, have you ever seen a 3-Gun match? Less than 10% of the participants are over 50. I am not an empty nester, I've done 3-Gun here in Virginia as well as traveling to PA. I see people attending a big 3-Gun match (Peacemaker) and there are dozens of people with families attending. They actually have waiting lists for this and their monthly matches. That's what SASS is going up against. And it's not about the money, either.

Not many empty nesters want to run 30 yards and throw themselves on the ground to take a long shot with an AR.

 

I don't think 3 gun is SASS' competition. We aren't up against 3 gun. I think SASS's real competition is Harley Davidson. Going after the empty nester is their business model.

 

And it is always about the money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe we should promote to anyone that will listen. Prospects are thin enough as it is, but selecting a particular age group limits the opportunities.

 

Our last clinic, that targeted all age groups, was 75% 55 plus and the remainder were in their 20's and 30's.

 

Going after a camper group is really slimming down the possibilites in my opinion.

 

But, as long as you are attempting to get any age group invloved, you are at least trying to grow the sport.

 

Roo

 

Roo

I agree 100% with getting anyone...anyhow...anyway into our sport ;)

 

But usually, at least at the corporate level, promotional efforts usually will be kinda focused. So I suppose I'm looking at it from what/where SASS should target their efforts.

 

Phantom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not many empty nesters want to run 30 yards and throw themselves on the ground to take a long shot with an AR.

 

I don't think 3 gun is SASS' competition. We aren't up against 3 gun. I think SASS's real competition is Harley Davidson. Going after the empty nester is their business model.

 

And it is always about the money.

That's interesting...considering where SASS actual came from...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting...considering where SASS actual came from...

Where SASS came from isn't as important as where SASS is and where it is going.

 

You have to know your membership and your market. When I look at my club's newer membership I see a lot of empty nesters. The younger members are often paired with their parents.

 

By the way, I am all in favor of attracting young people. I just don't know how to do it. I would love to read your thoughts on how SASS would go about attracting younger people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

double post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double post


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 100% with getting anyone...anyhow...anyway into our sport ;)

 

But usually, at least at the corporate level, promotional efforts usually will be kinda focused. So I suppose I'm looking at it from what/where SASS should target their efforts.

 

Phantom

Phantom,

 

I agree totally, but we need to do all we can from the front lines as well.

 

Roo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where SASS came from isn't as important as where SASS is and where it is going.

 

You have to know your membership and your market. When I look at my club's newer membership I see a lot of empty nesters. The younger members are often paired with their parents.

 

By the way, I am all in favor of attracting young people. I just don't know how to do it. I would love to read your thoughts on how SASS would go about attracting younger people.

It is important where SASS came from. It is equally important where it is headed. If you were to ask 100 20 something shooters what action shooting is I would be surprised if 3 of them said the word cowboy. For the attention of the younger demographic we are competing against 3 gun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 51 when I started this game. I talk to lots of 50 + shooters who would love to join us. Most of the new shooters ARE people in their 50's and even 40's. They're the ones with the money to start and they're already shooters of some kind. SASS should advertise to older shooters!

 

Rye ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 51 when I started. I always enjoyed shooting and belonged to a club that has a cowboy group. I had seen the cowboys shooting all dressed up in cowboy gear. I did not grow up watching westerns.

 

I work with the wife of a TG at a local club. She kept asking me to come out and watch. One weekend I did. The TG said that after the posse was done shooting they would give me a chance to try. That's all it took!!! I was hooked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where SASS came from isn't as important as where SASS is and where it is going.

 

You have to know your membership and your market. When I look at my club's newer membership I see a lot of empty nesters. The younger members are often paired with their parents.

 

By the way, I am all in favor of attracting young people. I just don't know how to do it. I would love to read your thoughts on how SASS would go about attracting younger people.

Well that sounds cute, but it counters your comment that you made regarding 3-gun. That's the point I was making... :wacko:

 

So you see "empty nesters" and think that's where the promotional attention should be. I see it the other way around. Nothing seems to be attracting the young folks. And by "younger", I don't mean those that are still at home.

 

And as far as my thoughts on how to attract young folks? I'm sorry, but I don't think I can come up with a strategy right now and post it here on the stoopid Wire. I mean really???? Perhaps you'd like me to publish a Strategic Analysis while I'm at it...???? :lol:

 

Phantom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phantom,

 

I agree totally, but we need to do all we can from the front lines as well.

 

Roo

Yep!

 

The game should be promoted on the general level as fun for every age level...and race, gender...etc!

 

Phantom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is SASS the company doing to promote cowboy action shooting for any age group. I see very little promotion of SASS by SASS the company. A few years ago you would see a TV show on SASS every week, ads in gun magazines, etc. I do not see these things happening today! I see local clubs doing a bit of promotion but very little in most locations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SASS has a booth at both the SHOT show and the NRA Convention. They get a lot of traffic. They sign up a bunch of new members at both shows. I don't know if any of the new members actually become active shooters though. With the disappearance of the Chronicle I think it hurts recruiting across the board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

many many businesses have gone broke attempting to attract demographic of which there is no population. Ifby younger you mean 25 and 30 year olds- good luck...they still live with mom and dad. if by younger you mean buckaroos then you might note that all of our top champions were introduced to this sport by their parents and grandparents.

my view is that we are missing the opportunity to promote sass as a family Shooting sport using non military hardware.and a playful safe venue for all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SASS has a booth at both the SHOT show and the NRA Convention. They get a lot of traffic. They sign up a bunch of new members at both shows. I don't know if any of the new members actually become active shooters though. With the disappearance of the Chronicle I think it hurts recruiting across the board.

+1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

many many businesses have gone broke attempting to attract demographic of which there is no population. Ifby younger you mean 25 and 30 year olds- good luck...they still live with mom and dad. if by younger you mean buckaroos then you might note that all of our top champions were introduced to this sport by their parents and grandparents.

my view is that we are missing the opportunity to promote sass as a family Shooting sport using non military hardware.and a playful safe venue for all.

 

 

I agree.

 

A couple of years ago I posted the question in another online shooting forum, "Why aren't you a cowboy action shooter?" The main reasons were cost of the guns and don't want to play dress up.

 

We can argue a long time about the cost of guns versus cost of a bass boat or a country club membership...we can argue a long time about how the SASS dress code isn't that much different than what some folks wear every day...

 

The fact remains that these are the perceptions of our sport among other shooting enthusiasts, I think it should be easier to get other shooters involved in our sport, rather than going for folks who have never held a gun before. Certainly the non-shooters can become very enthusiastic about cowboy action shooting once they get into it, and we should not ignore them. I just think existing shooters may be easier to convince. After all SASS was started by folks who were already shooting guns of some kind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.