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Marshal Dan Troop 70448

Riding for the Brand, SASS

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I agree with Captain Murphy,  the membership fee is high (for what you get) I enjoyed the monthly chronicle (besides Tex's editorials) SASS raised rates and took away monthly chronicle. $45 & $35 for spouse seems like better numbers too me. I wonder how many folks didn't renew with the increase and how many local pards that don't shoot state or above matches don't join or renew because of it, I guess we will never know.

I do agree with everybody on the reasons for joining SASS and renewing , I love cowboy action shooting , met and continue to meet a lot of good folks.

 

Some folks mention that you can buy this or that for x amount of dollars so $65 does not seem that high, in reality say the dues were $45 because SASS wasn't free, it's really say about $20- $25 on what you can be spending on something else like meals movies or whatever if that makes since, Unless You were not going to be a member at all. 

 

Maybe to some folks it's not the amount of money but the principle of what you get for your money, 

 

If I remember right there was a big discussion when they did rate increase, and Misty or somebody said membership dues were not used for Founders Ranch.

 

AO

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10 hours ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

Howdy Lone Ranger,

 

Welcome to the Wire and SASS family.

 

It would be helpful if you or any person, especially guests,  would list their general location. That way, folks from your area are likely to contact you with concrete help.

 

Regards,

 

Allie Mo

FIxed! Sorry didn't even think of it.

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I place God and country on a much higher plain than I do Kings and a piece of share crop land but then, just get the peasants frenzied up and they have problems keeping these issues separated.  Weird how someone who has had you flogged, starved, homeless and voiceless over the years can talk those same people into standing for the brand?  As to the Cracker Barl, mostly OK food BUT they are the only place I know where one can still order chicken and dumplings now days, so!!!!

 

 

PS:  Them dumpling do not compare to those old southern girl cooked ones I remember but are ok.     

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On 7/7/2017 at 0:08 PM, Assassin said:

Keeping old farts happy is the problem, we are not getting any younger people. We need some serious marketing and it does not appear to be happening. I don't mind paying taxes if the monies are not squandered. 

I agree with you. The marketing of SASS in general is severely lacking. The fact that I have not been targeted by SASS ads (if there are any) makes me think they are either not marketing at all or are marketing to the wrong metric and medium. Aiming for professionals in the ages of 25-50 would be an ideal group to go for. So far I have never seen a web banner ad, an ad larger than a postage stamp in a shooting publication, or any kind of 'viral' marketing campaign. I deal with my company's marketing folks on a regular basis and have assisted in the creation and propagation of several online ads, and almost every one of them ends up finding me eventually as I am in that target demographic. 

 

On 7/7/2017 at 11:48 AM, Rattlesnake Slim said:

Everything about Cowboy Action Shooting puts a big smile on my face, even paying my dues, both local and SASS. And that $65 is a very, very small part of what I consider "paying my dues".

 

On 7/7/2017 at 11:45 AM, Buckaroo Bubba said:

Ok my two cents...

 

I am a big Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. I support them win or lose. I buy the jerseys, the hats, etc. to show my support for "my team". Many fans don't always agree with or like what the team does with bringing in players, coaching, etc. but many ALWAYS support the TEAM.

 

Same thing for me with SASS. As much as I like my Steelers I don't have a say in anything they do. Other than watching the games, that's all I get. I spend money to represent my team and to watch them.

 

Now as for SASS, yes I pay my $65 a year. They will do with it as they see fit. That's their job to figure all that out. But I also get to run a SASS affiliated club. I try to provide a good time for all the shooters who come to shoot at my club. (where I don't make a dime, but hearing someone tell me they really enjoyed the day is priceless). I value all the friends I have made in this sport. My personal belief is without SASS none of those friendships would have been possible. Could we have a "Cowboy Shoot" without SASS? sure, but would it continue in it's current form for the next generation? Probably not.

 

The friendships are the ultimate value for me. Let's do the math on this. Say I have, for round numbers, 100 friends I have met over 14 years in this sport.

$65/100 = $0.65

So is $0.65 a year worth every friend I have because of this sport! Abso-freakin-lutely...

 

Again, my two cent, my view. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and can do what they want. But I will continue to promote and try to bring in as many new members as possible to make sure this sport and SASS is around for the next generation, aka my kids! I am lucky enough to share this sport and SASS with my Father, I want my kids to be able to share it with me.

 

Thanks, Bubba

 

On 7/7/2017 at 11:08 AM, Sgt. Chesty SASS # 73317 said:

Without SASS this game will not continue in any form like what we have been enjoying for years now.

 

I will happily continue to pay my dues and the dues for my wife. Additionally I will invest my personal time promoting the sport at both the local club level and help SASS run booths at events that I am able to attend. 

 

I promise you, nobody is getting rich off the dues...

 

 

On 7/7/2017 at 10:20 AM, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

As usual the topic kind of went sideways. All I can say is this, I enjoy being part of SASS. Besides shooting I have made many new friends and enjoy talking about how fast and good looking we were when we were 20.

 

If you feel you're not getting your $65 worth, then thats on you not SASS. The people who run the organization work hard to try and make a bunch of opinionated old farts happy. Not an easy job.

And lets not forget all of the volunteers who help just because they want to support what we do.

Ike

 

So all of the above posts have provided the feeling that you get from paying those dues but no tangible benefit. SASS is 99.9999% volunteer and will continue as such for the foreseeable future with or without the corporation to guide it. What I am saying is the corp is not apparently providing a tangible benefit, or is not effectively broadcasting any benefits they are providing. Without seeing some real behind the scenes progress it is really hard to convince people beyond the first year that they need to pay $65 for something more than just 'you have to pay to play'. So, if I feel like I am not getting the money's worth, how many other members (and now prior members) are feeling the same?

 

Every year I pay dues to the Lodge and every year I get a breakdown of where that money went. I can see net benefits to where that dollar goes for what I put in. If the cost doubled I wouldn't balk at it because I can see where that money went to, and who it benefited besides me.

 

13 hours ago, Arcadia Outlaw SASS#71385 said:

I agree with Captain Murphy,  the membership fee is high (for what you get) I enjoyed the monthly chronicle (besides Tex's editorials) SASS raised rates and took away monthly chronicle. $45 & $35 for spouse seems like better numbers too me. I wonder how many folks didn't renew with the increase and how many local pards that don't shoot state or above matches don't join or renew because of it, I guess we will never know.

I do agree with everybody on the reasons for joining SASS and renewing , I love cowboy action shooting , met and continue to meet a lot of good folks.

 

Some folks mention that you can buy this or that for x amount of dollars so $65 does not seem that high, in reality say the dues were $45 because SASS wasn't free, it's really say about $20- $25 on what you can be spending on something else like meals movies or whatever if that makes since, Unless You were not going to be a member at all. 

 

Maybe to some folks it's not the amount of money but the principle of what you get for your money, 

 

If I remember right there was a big discussion when they did rate increase, and Misty or somebody said membership dues were not used for Founders Ranch.

 

AO

 

Increasing costs and decreasing benefits seems to be the tune of our society right now. If there is no money going toward permanent fixtures then I am even more confused as to where that money is going. I would love to see some transparency come from the SASS corporation about where this money is going. It may alleviate some of the concerns I have and help in promoting the organization (note, I didn't say sport because the sport will live on without any governing body taking $65 from everyone). 

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I don't think people should be making the decision on how much one can spend or what is expensive and what isn't. Each of us has to make that decision on our own based on financial situations only they know about. $65 isn't that much for me, but it might be a whole lot for someone else. I also feel that it goes both ways. You can't tell people that $65 is too much for you to spend and then say $40k is way too much to pay someone to run a million dollar organization. A lot of that is also dependent on where one lives. Where I live, that salary will have you living on the streets before long. Please try to remember that when your asking people to empathize with your financial situation. 

 

As for transparency, that won't happen until sass becomes a non profit and is required to post their financials. It's my opinion that that is a reason for the delay. They don't really want to open the books and have to answer more of these types of questions. 

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Captain Murphy , I wish SASS would hire someone that thinks like you, we need more people to join SASS and SASS needs to do some marketing that would get the 25-50 year olds involved, I think promoting as a shooting sport rather than a fantasy sport might help with that. So I would agree I would like to see SASS use some of the $65 for marketing to get some more folks coming in.

AO

 

the big excuse some folks will say is people is this age group don't have the money but I used to bass fish and the boats, rods & reels, fuel, trucks to pull boats cost a lot more than a few guns

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1 minute ago, Redwood Kid said:

I don't think people should be making the decision on how much one can spend or what is expensive and what isn't. Each of us has to make that decision on our own based on financial situations only they know about. $65 isn't that much for me, but it might be a whole lot for someone else. I also feel that it goes both ways. You can't tell people that $65 is too much for you to spend and then say $40k is way too much to pay someone to run a million dollar organization. A lot of that is also dependent on where one lives. Where I live, that salary will have you living on the streets before long. Please try to remember that when your asking people to empathize with your financial situation. 

 

As for transparency, that won't happen until sass becomes a non profit and is required to post their financials. It's my opinion that that is a reason for the delay. They don't really want to open the books and have to answer more of these types of questions. 

I am trying to look at it from the perspective of a business manager by breaking down the P&L. I also know that the company I work for is a multi-million dollar company and they pay the admins the rate I put forward with 200 events hosted/attended a year and large amounts of B2B conferences to attend and we have 3 admins that do all of that work. Since there is no transparency into the organization then I have to make assumptions on the costs for them. Even if the pay was 3 times as much there is still a massive margin of difference for what they take in and what would be spent. 

 

Any group that won't show financials (or at the very least some expenditures with net benefit reports) but depends on membership support to keep operating is suspicious, at the least, to me.

 

I will be totally frank here, I could drop that $65 in a heartbeat if I thought it got me something. Except I don't see it and would rather that $65 went into my retirement account for a later day than to someone else's retirement account since I can't see that it is going to actually benefit anyone. Again, it isn't that it has to benefit me directly but I want to see who it benefits and how. Until then I guess I will simply shoot local matches and start switching to IDPA/IPSC in the meantime.

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Something tangible for the SASS dues?

 

Eliminate SASS and see where CAS is in a couple years.

 

SASS itself is the tangibility for CAS. 

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I'm a Life Member, and it was a high price to outlay at the time. What have I gotten during that time?

The Forum, (which isn't free), were we post and discuss. Were we can look up states and clubs to plan our travels and shoot. We can look at scores, be it our monthly club, far away clubs, or events above monthlies and check out shooters.

Were else would you find this information if the Forum was no longer there? How would you know of clubs, clubs name, or when they hold matches?

We have Handbooks also we can look up, and see the rules, and regulations for the different categories. Which all clubs should follow and most do. So a newcomer will know that what he wears, or shoots that is good at his club, will be honored at other clubs.

Without the Forum were would we be with "what's the call", so we can all be informed and follow accordingly.

We get the Chronicle every month, and a hard copy every quarterly. Were we can see write-ups, pictures, scores, clubs, and new members listing. We can see friends, and maybe ourselves in articles, or we can provide articles and pictures of ourselves, or club events to share.

Were would this all go without an organization to provide this, who would be wiling to take up the reins if it came to that SASS is no longer viable? The Forum shut down as well as the Chronicle.

SASS has expenses, as will any head of a sport/game to continue giving us what it has. Besides some of the expenses, someone to answer the phone, the phone, paperwork and paper, computers and cost of putting the Forum and Chronicle out there. I'm sure the organization would like to find free phones, computers, people answering and doing paperwork, etc at no cost to them. Same as a headquarter, we want our organization, SASS, to stand out, show pride, etc. Rather then have a headquarter in a flea bitten run down building, right?

As to raising yearly dues, it might very well be that as shooters that drop out of supporting the organization, but rather pay monthly fees to just shoot monthlies, are also missing out on meeting, and enjoying bigger matches, and the chance to meet the cowboys/cowgirls that may never get a chance to shooter at your club. Someone has to fill that void, and the shooters that support SASS are doing that because they also believe Riding for the Brand, means also supporting the Brand..

What have- I gotten-friends and new friends. Taking the wife along and seeing how much she enjoys just helping at different matches and the friends she has made over the years.

The eagerness that comes from each upcoming match, and the chance to meet shooters and friends I didn't know before.

Learning skills and sharing of same.

Having discussions on the wire, even if I find out I been wrong on a subject, learning.

Reading the Chronicle and seeing familiar faces, and strangers I hope to meet soon.

Ads- on clothing, firearms, and repairs of same which I would not have been aware of if it wasn't for SASS.

There's more, but its hard to put a price tag on many things that SASS has given me, and provided for me.

I don't need trinkets, or things to hold, for me to know that SASS has provided and given me much more then my Life membership which still has years to go before it even's out to yearly dues.

Just were would all this go, if tomorrow SASS shut the door and closed down?????   MT

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Just now, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

It seems ironic that someone would imply that they don't get much, if anything from their dues by posting on a SASS forum.

Sorry, forums are cheap. I have run and managed a number of them over the years that were no cost to end users and were used as platforms to promote specific aspects of a brand and have never had to burn more than a couple hundred a month of the entire platform fees, and those costs are steadily dropping across the board. This forum (which I have posted on 22 times in the past 5 years, so at $45/yr for dues that is around $10 per post or so of benefit) can't cost that much, especially when moderated by unpaid staff for most of the work. Even if every member posted here every day the server costs still could not be justified by the current dues. 

 

18 minutes ago, Dantankerous said:

Something tangible for the SASS dues?

 

Eliminate SASS and see where CAS is in a couple years.

 

SASS itself is the tangibility for CAS. 

The same place that other sports and organizations have been. Some new group would take charge and push the sport. 

 

I read through The post here about expenses. Why EOT can't sustain the core organization is beyond me. 

 

Just for some comparison:

USPSA - $40/yr

IDPA - $40/yr

 

Both of those organizations have MUCH more comprehensive websites (and forums) than SASS with match listings, lookups, membership management tools, etc. All for 61% of the cost. Now, to also point out that I have seen and been targeted by online ads from both organizations. 

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25 minutes ago, Captain Murphy said:

Sorry, forums are cheap. I have run and managed a number of them over the years that were no cost to end users and were used as platforms to promote specific aspects of a brand and have never had to burn more than a couple hundred a month of the entire platform fees, and those costs are steadily dropping across the board. This forum (which I have posted on 22 times in the past 5 years, so at $45/yr for dues that is around $10 per post or so of benefit) can't cost that much, especially when moderated by unpaid staff for most of the work. Even if every member posted here every day the server costs still could not be justified by the current dues. 

 

The same place that other sports and organizations have been. Some new group would take charge and push the sport. 

 

I read through The post here about expenses. Why EOT can't sustain the core organization is beyond me. 

 

Just for some comparison:

USPSA - $40/yr

IDPA - $40/yr

 

Both of those organizations have MUCH more comprehensive websites (and forums) than SASS with match listings, lookups, membership management tools, etc. All for 61% of the cost. Now, to also point out that I have seen and been targeted by online ads from both organizations. 

As to forums, one that I followed for over 20 years. Had ads, and also provided security for its members as well as the Forum from being hacked. Shut down in June because the cost which was almost doubled was above what membership and ads provided. Cost to members would be double, as well as ads. There is a popular Model train Forum which is also starting to have problems and may shut down, cost is going higher then members are willing to pay in due increases.

Yes, there are other firearm sports, but chances of them taking on a different venue may not be what they want, and maybe someone will or could take over, but who will lead?  How would you communicate to those that were shooting CAS that there is a new venue?

Our game is unique, the firearms and how we present ourselves in the clothing we also wear. This may all be lost over time, except for the firearms maybe all that's left.  MT

 

Added- My neighbor spends between 250.00 to 300.00 every 4th July on fireworks. After their set off, he cleans his yard and the roadway. What does he get out of it I asked one time when he told me how much he spend yearly, He said pleasure, and a small price to pay for 1/2 hour of fun.

SASS yearly fees are a small price for year round fun and friends I meet. Shooting is secondary and reasons I show up early.

 

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Taking my Mod hat off lest someone think I tow "the company line" - here's a hint - I do what I do for free. SASS owes me nothing / I expect nothing in return for what I volunteered for. As a matter of fact, I have no interaction with anyone that is "in charge" at SASS...at all.  Thank you.

 

One of the old adages that I try to follow is: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you". I may nibble once in a while, but I don't bite. ;)

Now, I know SASS isn't our "employer" or doesn't pay our bills but if it wasn't for SASS how many of you would be doing what we do?

I, for one, do not think annual fees are all that much. If I thought they were, I wouldn't be here.

I, for one, couldn't care less how much money SASS brings in or what they do with it. It's none of my business.

I, for one, do not care how SASS runs "their" organization as long as they keep SASS and CAS alive. Do I agree with everything they do? No.

I, for one, do not care if SASS goes public, private, non-profit, rogue, whatever. It's none of my business.

 

I find it ironic that 15 - 20 years ago I saw the same bellyaching here on the Wire. Obviously it wasn't this particular Wire but it was The SASS Wire.

I find it wonderful that I saw the same love of the game, the Cowboy Way, the friendships, the comradery, the helpfulness, the kindness, the openness, and the passion for this "sport" and for some, "lifestyle", that I see here today. As you can see, in my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

 

My 2 cents. Y'all have a wonderful day. I will.  

PS: Today I am getting my guns and gear ready for our annual match at the end of the month. And I am tickled pink that I can do so and I really look forward to the fun I am going to have for those 3 days. Heck, I might even make a friend or two. I may even get to meet folks that I see here on the Wire but have never had the pleasure to speak with face to face. I think it'll be a great time...that's why I am here. To have great time with a lot of great people. :D

 

 

 

 

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It's pretty simple, if you don't feel like you get your "value" out of it, you won't pay it.

 

If you feel like you do get your "value" you will pay it. 

 

Just figure out which side you fall on. 

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More than one way to support SASS, other than the payment of yearly 'dues'.

Scholarship foundation is just one such example. ;)

OLG

 

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On 7/9/2017 at 10:33 AM, Captain Murphy said:

...The same place that other sports and organizations have been. Some new group would take charge and push the sport. 

 

 

I highly doubt that. Remember, this is a very small group of individuals in a very eclectic and unique hobby. We are certainly devoted and dedicated to this but once you decentralize the foundation I think we certainly have problems pop up in short order.

 

I'm not willing to bet a paltry $65 per year in membership dues that SASS and cowboy action shooting would continue as is or at a higher quality level if dues were either lowered or eliminated. Again, I will state that SASS is the organization that possesses the tangibility that is cowboy action shooting.

 

I realize that $65 per year for membership dues to some people (and considering the dues increase of late) is not a small amount. And yet plenty of those people believe  enough in SASS to find that dues increase and pay it, most I would bet happily. Remember, most of us here had been paying $45 per year and we recently realized a $20 increase.  For the bulk of membership here who are not life members that is a $20 a year dollar amount, not the $65 per year being discussed ( except for brand new incoming potential members). $65 per year is less than $6.00 per month but the debated dues increase is only $1.66 per month. 

 

Either SASS as an organization and what they have accomplished over all the years is worth it to an individual or it is not.

 

I'm thinking some people are overthinking all of this. Just go shoot.

 

:D

 

 

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I've said this before and i'll put it out there again. Ya'll think that if SASS becomes a Non-profit corporation all the members will get to see where every dime is spent. The Corp. laws and tax code doesn't require that.

 

They have to file an annual tax just like anyone else. But Like any other corporation they will list Income as a lump.

Interest paid or earned. Expenses by category, Mortgage, labor, utilities, improvements etc.

Non-profits are can pay for labor at what the market pays and they can give out incentive bonus's.

And if they can they can retain earnings/profits to allow them to buy equipment, make improvements like any other corporation. 

Under the listing of what or who can be a non-profit they may use the same area our club used, the organization supports and promotes a national sporting event. In our case , shooting.

So if you think your going to see a line item for who gets paid what, you need to let it go.

 

And again, none of you are asking the same of the NRA, or??????

Really $65, when you all have thousands in guns, trucks, etc. "be not penny wise or pound foolish".

Ike

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3 hours ago, Captain Murphy said:

Sorry, forums are cheap. I have run and managed a number of them over the years that were no cost to end users and were used as platforms to promote specific aspects of a brand and have never had to burn more than a couple hundred a month of the entire platform fees, and those costs are steadily dropping across the board. This forum (which I have posted on 22 times in the past 5 years, so at $45/yr for dues that is around $10 per post or so of benefit) can't cost that much, especially when moderated by unpaid staff for most of the work. Even if every member posted here every day the server costs still could not be justified by the current dues. 

 

The same place that other sports and organizations have been. Some new group would take charge and push the sport. 

 

I read through The post here about expenses. Why EOT can't sustain the core organization is beyond me. 

 

Just for some comparison:

USPSA - $40/yr

IDPA - $40/yr

 

Both of those organizations have MUCH more comprehensive websites (and forums) than SASS with match listings, lookups, membership management tools, etc. All for 61% of the cost. Now, to also point out that I have seen and been targeted by online ads from both organizations. 

I can't speak for IDPA, but I used to help run a USPSA club. And $40 is not the only charge. Member clubs also had to pay a fee of several dollars for each shooter that shot at the club every month when we uploaded our scores to their database for rankings. And that wasn't an option, because if we had failed to upload at least eight monthlies or matches per year, we would have lost our member status. In our case, we were sending USPSA well over $100 per month per match, and if the shooters thought that the fees we were charging sis not reflect that cost, they were fooling themselves. As a club, we were averaging over $1200/year in USPSA fees, but then again, we had nice turnouts at matches

 

Now I am not trying to say that SASS gives you what you want, but just wanted to clarify that while the direct cost per shooter might only be $40, for active shooters they were paying a lot more than that in reality

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26 minutes ago, StirrupTrouble said:

I can't speak for IDPA, but I used to help run a USPSA club. And $40 is not the only charge. Member clubs also had to pay a fee of several dollars for each shooter that shot at the club every month when we uploaded our scores to their database for rankings. And that wasn't an option, because if we had failed to upload at least eight monthlies or matches per year, we would have lost our member status. In our case, we were sending USPSA well over $100 per month per match, and if the shooters thought that the fees we were charging sis not reflect that cost, they were fooling themselves. As a club, we were averaging over $1200/year in USPSA fees, but then again, we had nice turnouts at matches

 

Now I am not trying to say that SASS gives you what you want, but just wanted to clarify that while the direct cost per shooter might only be $40, for active shooters they were paying a lot more than that in reality

But you know what I saw in last month's NRA magazines? Ads for the USPSA and IDPA as well as match reports, photos, and more promotion of their sports. I haven't seen anything more than reviews on replica 73's and SAA's in the NRA sporting mags in years and those are not even mentioning that there is a complete sport to use them in. People find out about SASS because a friend tells them about it, and when membership is dropping you end up with less friends getting brought in. That all seems like  gross oversight on the SASS company's part to not have partnership with the NRA and other shooting sports to coordinate and share media outlets.

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So much pure speculation here about what things cost and how things could be done better. Reminds me of another post not too long ago about a fella who never put on an annual but insisted he could make it work because of other life experience he had had and, you know, math.

 

Listen, SASS is struggling due to diminishing membership and they have compensated for lost revenue by raising the amount of annual dues by twenty bucks. We are not arguing about $65 a year here, we are really arguing about twenty bucks a year. I mean if you don't want to pay it then don't pay it but in a world where lunch costs ten bucks this kerfuffle about the difference between forty-five dollars (good) and sixty-five dollars (bad) is much ado about very little indeed.

 

SASS is a community that we all benefit from in one way or another. To parse about whether or not I get my additional twenty bucks of benefit from the community seems like such a false economy. You might not benefit directly but the community benefits. Make a sandwich instead of buying lunch a few days this year. Problem solved.

 

Now let's go shoot!

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18 minutes ago, Lead Friend, SASS #53635 said:

So much pure speculation here about what things cost and how things could be done better. Reminds me of another post not too long ago about a fella who never put on an annual but insisted he could make it work because of other life experience he had had and, you know, math.

 

Listen, SASS is struggling due to diminishing membership and they have compensated for lost revenue by raising the amount of annual dues by twenty bucks. We are not arguing about $65 a year here, we are really arguing about twenty bucks a year. I mean if you don't want to pay it then don't pay it but in a world where lunch costs ten bucks this kerfuffle about the difference between forty-five dollars (good) and sixty-five dollars (bad) is much ado about very little indeed.

 

SASS is a community that we all benefit from in one way or another. To parse about whether or not I get my additional twenty bucks of benefit from the community seems like such a false economy. You might not benefit directly but the community benefits. Make a sandwich instead of buying lunch a few days this year. Problem solved.

 

Now let's go shoot!

Unfortunately we have to work with speculation due to lack of financial disclosure. Not saying I, personally, could do it better, but from the outside there is a LOT that is lacking in terms of visibility of the 'brand' and the sport in general.

 

Raising the price of individual membership drastically is quite simply a death knell for most clubs. Especially for passive members like myself that get no direct interacted benefit from the SASS organization itself, only through volunteers that carry the burden of expanding the brand. Also, we are not talking about $20, we are talking about $20 * 23,000 = $460,000. If the club was already THAT far behind on the profitability then the entire model of the corporation needs to change, not just increase dues. The current corporate model is apparently unable to be sustained as is, and the membership drop off is a clear indicator of some reform needing to be done. We are in an economy that is slowly recovering from horrible times and people are now with more disposable income yet we are losing members left and right. I would love to see exit surveys of members that did not renew over the last year and get some insight into why they didn't sign up again. It sounds very much like SASS needs a lean manager to come in and find ways to cut costs and increase productivity. 

 

The thing is, it isn't that I can't make up the difference, or even that the difference is that big of a deal. What the problem is, is that the alternative for me is not to scrimp on lunches a few times, it is simply to stop paying the dues and just shoot local matches. At our club only a fraction of shooters take part in matches higher than local level, so if all of us stop paying those dues, the SASS corp is going to feel it. Before long those regional shooters are going to be in for $85/yr, $100/yr, etc to make up that margin instead of fixing the problem in the first place by spending EVERY spare dime on increasing membership.

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1 hour ago, Captain Murphy said:

Unfortunately we have to work with speculation due to lack of financial disclosure. Not saying I, personally, could do it better, but from the outside there is a LOT that is lacking in terms of visibility of the 'brand' and the sport in general.

 

Raising the price of individual membership drastically is quite simply a death knell for most clubs. Especially for passive members like myself that get no direct interacted benefit from the SASS organization itself, only through volunteers that carry the burden of expanding the brand. Also, we are not talking about $20, we are talking about $20 * 23,000 = $460,000. If the club was already THAT far behind on the profitability then the entire model of the corporation needs to change, not just increase dues. The current corporate model is apparently unable to be sustained as is, and the membership drop off is a clear indicator of some reform needing to be done. We are in an economy that is slowly recovering from horrible times and people are now with more disposable income yet we are losing members left and right. I would love to see exit surveys of members that did not renew over the last year and get some insight into why they didn't sign up again. It sounds very much like SASS needs a lean manager to come in and find ways to cut costs and increase productivity. 

 

The thing is, it isn't that I can't make up the difference, or even that the difference is that big of a deal. What the problem is, is that the alternative for me is not to scrimp on lunches a few times, it is simply to stop paying the dues and just shoot local matches. At our club only a fraction of shooters take part in matches higher than local level, so if all of us stop paying those dues, the SASS corp is going to feel it. Before long those regional shooters are going to be in for $85/yr, $100/yr, etc to make up that margin instead of fixing the problem in the first place by spending EVERY spare dime on increasing membership.

 

Well, we don't have to work with speculation. We can sit around and speculate about it all we want but our educated guesses have nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of the situation. And we are talking about twenty bucks a year here. We as individuals have a twenty dollar choice to make. That's what it comes down to in stark terms. If enough people choose to make the payment then SASS continues as we know it. If not then things change, most probably in the way you laid out, with ever increasing dues and ever diminishing membership and death on the vine due to attrition.

 

SASS membership is not diminishing due to any particular fault of SASS. We play a niche game and we collectively have niche tastes in entertainment. Westerns aren't cool anymore. Cowboys aren't cool anymore. That's demographics, that's not marketing. At no point since I started this game has it been awash with young fresh faces. It's consistently been the same age group represented on the wire and at local shoots, and that group is aging out. SASS membership isn't falling because of dues, it's because the world is changing. I imagine that this thread is rather like a meeting of the Buggy Whip Marketing Board with arguments going back and forth placing blame for dwindling sales on the perceived mismanagement of funds in the budget for print advertising, and as they sat and talked and talked more cars rolled off the assembly line. It's a different planet than it was when SASS started, and a different economy, and the young have many more and varied options for entertainment. Clearly there is work to be done but the fact that the world has changed is not a failure of SASS.

 

If your solution is to "simply stop paying the dues and just shoot local matches" then I say that is a false economy. When SASS is gone then what is going to happen to those local clubs? How will travelers find them, how will the curious but uninitiated find them, how will the fresh new faces find them, how will cowboys communicate over many miles, who will build enthusiasm for the sport by throwing regional, national and world championships, where will the vendors that feed our sport advertise, who will host the new Wire? Will you? I hear they are cheap. Who will be the unpaid staff that moderates it? Will you? 

 

It is up to the individual to decide whether they get sixty-five bucks worth of value from SASS and I respect every individual's decision. The metric I use for myself to determine the value in cowboy shooting is joy. I shoot where I feel joy, and I belong to SASS because fundamentally it brings me joy. For the amount of sheer joy it brings me sixty-five bucks is a bargain.

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12 hours ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

I didn't hear much complaining when SASS HQ held the line on dues for many years, probably more than it should have. 

That means people thought they were getting the right value for their money. The amount of threads I ran across of people getting a refund for that $20 difference on the first rate hike was a pretty clear indicator that people put a high value on that amount.

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13 hours ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

I didn't hear much complaining when SASS HQ held the line on dues for many years, probably more than it should have. 

 

:wacko: that does not even make sense lol, why should they of raised fees ? 

 

 

AO

 

Captain Murphy didn't mention the $5 fee SASS added for state and above shoots for each shooter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Arcadia Outlaw SASS#71385 said:

 

:wacko: that does not even make sense lol, why should they of raised fees ? 

 

 

AO

 

Captain Murphy didn't mention the $5 fee SASS added for state and above shoots for each shooter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't even know about that fee. So it is getting more like the USPSA model that was described above with the active shooters paying more per shoot except we also have the passive shooters paying more,as well, for yearly membership fees.

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3 minutes ago, Arcadia Outlaw SASS#71385 said:

 

:wacko: that does not even make sense lol, why should they of raised fees ? 

 

 

AO

 

Captain Murphy didn't mention the $5 fee SASS added for state and above shoots for each shooter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because things cost more, and SASS ate those inflationary costs for many years instead of passing them on to the consumer. Then when SASS finally realized they could no longer eat these ever increasing costs they had to do one big dues increase instead of doing several smaller ones over previous years. Its pretty simple. 

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Just now, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

Because things cost more, and SASS ate those inflationary costs for many years instead of passing them on to the consumer. Then when SASS finally realized they could no longer eat these ever increasing costs they had to do one big dues increase instead of doing several smaller ones over previous years. Its pretty simple. 

Not only that they have 'eaten' the inflated costs, but they have also actively increased their costs by funding things that are not intrinsic to the corporation like a large shooting range.

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You seem upset because a private company (SASS) bought a piece of property to hold SASS events on and what, didn't get customer approval? It is a for profit PRIVATE COMPANY folks, we have no say in how they spend their money, AND IT IS THEIR MONEY. 

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30 minutes ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

You seem upset because a private company (SASS) bought a piece of property to hold SASS events on and what, didn't get customer approval? It is a for profit PRIVATE COMPANY folks, we have no say in how they spend their money, AND IT IS THEIR MONEY. 

 

As I said before I don't think the dues go toward Founders Ranch, big discussion when dues increase were raised.

 

AO

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Captain Murphy,

As I understand it, SASS bought Founder's Ranch in order to have a guaranteed place to shoot since it seems more and more ranges are getting closed for various reasons.  I know they moved from California to a place that is certainly more "gun friendly."   I'm glad some of my dues helped make this purchase as at least two of the clubs and ranges that I shot at have had to close because of neighborhood growth (building houses in what used to be country).

 

 

 

 

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The Wild Bunch own Founders Ranch not SASS. 

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5 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

The Wild Bunch own Founders Ranch not SASS. 

 

And there you go.

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1 hour ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

Because things cost more, and SASS ate those inflationary costs for many years instead of passing them on to the consumer. Then when SASS finally realized they could no longer eat these ever increasing costs they had to do one big dues increase instead of doing several smaller ones over previous years. Its pretty simple. 

 

Dont get me wrong , I love cowboy action shooting, I shoot 2-3 matches a month I've been a MD for a long time, go to a couple of state matches per year. My club has the most shooters on a monthly basis in Florida, we put on a annual match with over 150 shooters , we did the state match this year with over 250 shooters. This info is to show my involvement with CAS

 

consumers ? What are we consuming that costs money ? 

 

I think as CM stated that SASS has to get more $ from fewer members, less folks coming in as going out due to whatever reasons. What frustrates me is as CM pointed out that SASS does very little for marketing the sport and so much is based on volunteers. Their idea of helping a club market the sport is giving a bunch of old chronicles. It's like a company that doesnt pay 99.9% of its workers. Too me the SASS Company is all about collecting the membership & dues and most everything else is volunteer work from folks that love the sport. It's a great business model.

 

What annoys me is paying the $65 (which I disagree with rate increase ) then SASS sends a sticker which reminds me about paying it which I rather forget till next time. I can easily afford the $20 difference it's the principle to me. This thread came along and I got to vent a little bit.

 

I just wish SASS would do some marketing ! Get some more folks coming into sport , at least try  

 

AO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Arcadia Outlaw SASS#71385 said:

 

As I said before I don't think the dues go toward Founders Ranch, big discussion when dues increase were raised.

 

AO

 

25 minutes ago, Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life said:

Captain Murphy,

As I understand it, SASS bought Founder's Ranch in order to have a guaranteed place to shoot since it seems more and more ranges are getting closed for various reasons.  I know they moved from California to a place that is certainly more "gun friendly."   I'm glad some of my dues helped make this purchase as at least two of the clubs and ranges that I shot at have had to close because of neighborhood growth (building houses in what used to be country).

 

 

 

 

 

22 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

The Wild Bunch own Founders Ranch not SASS. 

 

16 minutes ago, Lead Friend, SASS #53635 said:

 

And there you go.

 

Looking up some public records shows a different company(Founders Ranch LLC) owning that land than SASS Inc. Although, the website shows that facility management is done through SASS, Inc. SO, now I am confused again as to what the real relationship is between SASS and FR. Is SASS paying for insurance on FR property? It just muddies the water even more for me. What expenses on the FR property are being absorbed by the SASS Inc and benefiting FR long term? 

 

1 hour ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

You seem upset because a private company (SASS) bought a piece of property to hold SASS events on and what, didn't get customer approval? It is a for profit PRIVATE COMPANY folks, we have no say in how they spend their money, AND IT IS THEIR MONEY. 

I think you misunderstand my motivation here. Initially I was annoyed at the price increase, but now it has become a rabbit hole of 'where did the million dollars go?' that has gotten me to then wonder 'why is no one else doing the same?'. It really does make me wonder that members that are wholly concerned with the future of SASS are not more concerned that there is possible mismanagement of funds that could literally end the organization that everyone so truly loves. Were it me in that position I would be asking a LOT of questions as to why there is that level of income and so little to ensure the survival of the brand.

 

9 minutes ago, Arcadia Outlaw SASS#71385 said:

 

Dont get me wrong , I love cowboy action shooting, I shoot 2-3 matches a month I've been a MD for a long time, go to a couple of state matches per year. My club has the most shooters on a monthly basis in Florida, we put on a annual match with over 150 shooters , we did the state match this year with over 250 shooters. This info is to show my involvement with CAS

 

consumers ? What are we consuming that costs money ? 

 

I think as CM stated that SASS has to get more $ from fewer members, less folks coming in as going out due to whatever reasons. What frustrates me is as CM pointed out that SASS does very little for marketing the sport and so much is based on volunteers. Their idea of helping a club market the sport is giving a bunch of old chronicles. It's like a company that doesnt pay 99.9% of its workers. Too me the SASS Company is all about collecting the membership & dues and most everything else is volunteer work from folks that love the sport. It's a great business model.

 

What annoys me is paying the $65 (which I disagree with rate increase ) then SASS sends a sticker which reminds me about paying it which I rather forget till next time. I can easily afford the $20 difference it's the principle to me. This thread came along and I got to vent a little bit.

 

I just wish SASS would do some marketing ! Get some more folks coming into sport , at least try  

 

AO

I think everyone should be annoyed at the lack of marketing. They really need to hire a PR firm that understands how marketing works in the current world for a younger generation except at the current rate that would push dues up another $20/yr.

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