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Creeker, SASS #43022

You are the King/ Queen of SASS

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

Get the guys that do Black Rifle Coffee Company’s advertising.

What are they doing that impresses you?

 

Are they selling product or image?

 

And is there a difference between marketing a commodity (coffee) and an activity (SASS)

 

Can we/ SASS replicate, duplicate or emulate it?

 

Something they are doing has struck a chord with you - let us know what that is and how it could apply to our growth.

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There advertising seeks out Vets, gun owners, police and firefighters. Whatch some of their adds funny and spot on. I see your point they are selling a consumable and we are a selling an activity. 

Good lord golf is the most boring sport in the world but millions play and watch. 

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The black rifle Company along with many other has become sort of a cult following and they do get the word out well. Some links below of examples:

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/MBest11x

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnhTGM083kfLSNfRSmQjAzg

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/RangerUpVideo

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/danalarik

 

Examples as listed above register well with the millennial/younger crowd, now this are veteran base but gives you an idea on how they go about getting the word out and staying relevant.

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OK we can all agree that there are a lot of options to grow our sport. Yes there are some limiting factors. Like how much it costs where the regional and national and world shoots are held and a lot of other things.

I think that it is correct in saying that it is every participants responsibility to help grow our sport. I think it is important that every club reach out to their local community and find some effective way of spreading the news and creating interest in what we do. One of the things that our SASS club the Briggsdale  County shootist’s in Briggsdale Colorado focus heavily on is youth shooting participation and actively reaches out to a variety of youth programs. They do anything and everything possible to bring youth shooters into the game which brings their families into the game. They do not charge a fee to the youth shooters at the monthly or annual shoots. They are huge supporters of the 4H western heritage group - project and have hosted the state competition twice in the last four years. I am a coach in this program and anytime I ask for any type of help their answer is always yes no matter what it is if I ask for a spoonful they give me a bucket full with a huge smile on their face. The 4H Western heritage program is a great opportunity for SASS to support and nurture for a variety of reasons. The youth participants are already shooting cowboy action. Yes there are slight modifications between 4H rules and SASS rules. The other awesome part of this youth program is that it teaches the way of life and real Old west history. The program focuses on westward expansion history from 1860 to 1900. If you don’t know anything about this program I would encourage you to do a search on the Internet and I think everyone will be amazed at what they find. If you know anything about 4H you already know that this is one of the worlds largest youth develop programs. This youth program is shooting sports friendly. They offer 22 pistol and rifle air rifle and pistol ,archery ,shotgun sports ,muzzleloading ,Western heritage and outdoor skills. 4-H shooting sports is one of the largest youth shooting Projects in the country. This is a group that needs every Sass club’s support if you don’t have Western heritage in your area please help to get it started.
if you have questions just shoot me a PM I would love to talk to you.

Oak Creek Martin 

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Another point to consider...

We have been in continual war/ conflict since September 11.

There is a huge pool of current and retiring military members to be tapped.

 

Many veterans are aficionados of history; some may crave firearms competition but may not want to do so with the arms of their service.

Or may be physically limited as such that a less intense shooting sport is desired.

 

Outreach and invitation to local veterans groups would be a good idea.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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One thing to consider is what SASS is doing right. From what I've seen it has a higher ratio of ladies participating than other shooting sports. I know that USPSA does not attract as many female shooters. Whenever you talk about changing an organization you need to be careful not to mess up what attracted the people you do have participating. One of the aspects I like about SASS over USPSA and 3gun is the focus on the spirit of the game. I like the idea that you aren't out there just trying to figure out a way to chisel out a little more of a competitive advantage by gaming the rules. I also like the history too. I wouldn't want that to get lost trying to cater too much to computer gamers or some other fantasy element - though I'm not saying that there isn't room for those folks after all my alias is a bit of nod toward the fantasy element. Anyway this is just my two cents worth.

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Good points, @Creeker.

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So I'll be the counter point guy.

Moving EOT and WR isn't about new members, it's about moving the shoot closer to the shooters who don't want to travel to their current location.

I posted this in another thread; Our local club in Reno Nevada has about 300,000 people around it. So small but also not small. We have tried;

Newspaper articles, radio spots, 15 second TV commercials, tables outside of Cabella's and Sportsman's, flyers pinned and handed out everywhere in town, tables at the gun shows, bringing Boyscout's to the range, competitions with the local LEO's, attending NRA events. We have a very good Facebook page that gets lots of views, but no new members. We have posted many, many Youtube videos of us shooting, but no new members.

It netted a handful of new members. Which offset the ones we lost. So no gain. Our best gain of new members has been through word of mouth with folks who have an interest in shooting.

The real issue here is the younger folk aren't going to shell out $$$$$ compared to an X-Box. They are also not a gun culture in any fashion unless they went in the military or are LEO's.

IMHO the target audience here is people 45 to 80.

Ike

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I would start by issuing lifetime bans for members who come on the Wire and state that 'they're only in it for fun.'

 

I would also ban for life members who constantly harp on the evils of short stroke kits and shooters who want to shoot fast.

 

Joking aside, once those two things had cleaned up the SASS gene pool I would retain a market research firm to research what publications and tv shows our target audience watch/read and aggressively market SASS using those publications, shows.  It really strikes me how fortuitous it was that I found SASS.  I'm a life member of the NRA and receive the 'Rifleman' magazine every month.  I was also a subscriber to Guns and Ammo for decades.  It was an article in Guns and Ammo that brought SASS to my attention, but I had been receiving those publications for years and years previously and never caught a glimpse of SASS. 

 

I think Widder's idea has merit.  New Mexico is a long way off, it would be nice if we could have an EOT on the eastern side of the country every now and then.  Not all cowboy shooters have $2-$3 grand to drop on attending. 

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8 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

So I'll be the counter point guy.

Moving EOT and WR isn't about new members, it's about moving the shoot closer to the shooters who don't want to travel to their current location.

I'd counter that it is about getting people to watch. It's kinda like a car show. Eventually you're gonna want your own car to bring. When there is an obvious dearth of spectators, it has to be location and/or advertising.

8 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

 We have a very good Facebook page that gets lots of views, but no new members.

Is it set to "public"?

8 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

We have posted many, many Youtube videos of us shooting, but no new members.

It netted a handful of new members. Which offset the ones we lost. So no gain. Our best gain of new members has been through word of mouth with folks who have an interest in shooting.

The real issue here is the younger folk aren't going to shell out $$$$$ compared to an X-Box. They are also not a gun culture in any fashion unless they went in the military or are LEO's.

IMHO the target audience here is people 45 to 80.

Ike

The kids don't have to shell out the cash nowadays. The parents and grandparents do that now. I'd say 25yo to just above retirement age. Just my .02

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As I am the rightful ruler of all things SASS, here is my thoughts.  

 

I. Run the clubs for the every day shooter.  Rules, schedules, shoots, and events. Do whatever is best for most of them and you'll have success. 

2. Center recruiting around our base,  Its the 40+ Moms and Dads out there that can afford the bells and whistles of the sport. The Kids are wonderful to watch, but they'll be there anyhow pleasing the family.  We won't see them again until they are 40+.

3. Keep the rules straightforward and as clear cut as possible.  

4. The top guns and fast ones will always be with us, but don't become focused on serving or trying to please them.  You probably can't and numerically, they are not the financial backbone of SASS anyway.  Don't go crazy on fancy plaques or glitzy belt buckles as prizes.  When was the last time you saw one at a monthly match? Keep the fees lower to cover the things that most of the turnout will enjoy or benefit from.

5. Have "Invitationals" or "Regionals" where the TOP GUNS come show off their skills and prowess.  Events you have to earn the right to shoot in.  We all will admire them but few of us will dedicate themselves to the time and effort it takes to be one of them. Or travel to watch them in person.

6 Keep it fun.  Remember its a fantasy sport, play it that way, WHEN IT STOPS BEING FUN, they won't come if you gave away Cadillac's.

 

IMHO only...

 

I know I have committed heresy here, go ahead and blast away at me...….  Its a FANTASY SPORT!

 

Youngblood 

Edited by Youngblood
misspelling and left out words. Sorry
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I did an informal poll of two young shooters.  Here's what they said about their likes and dislikes at SASS matches.

 

Pros

(1) The people, the competition, shooting,.

(2) dressing like a cowboy, shooting.

 

Cons

(1) Weather, nobody their age to talk to.

(2) Talking to older people, weather

 

This is why our target market is not the young guns, it's the 30s and up.  I've seen quite a few new shooters join SASS and young ones who stick around are rare.

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11 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I did an informal poll of two young shooters.  Here's what they said about their likes and dislikes at SASS matches.

 

Pros

(1) The people, the competition, shooting,.

(2) dressing like a cowboy, shooting.

 

Cons

(1) Weather, nobody their age to talk to.

(2) Talking to older people, weather

 

This is why our target market is not the young guns, it's the 30s and up.  I've seen quite a few new shooters join SASS and young ones who stick around are rare.

I just had a great idea! We'll sign up some young shooters by marketing the match as some kind of live action gaming system. It's so advanced, not only do you not see the wires, you don't even need wireless controllers! It operates on brainwaves and body movements alone! Yep, this is the next generation in gaming. Almost impossible to tell from the real thing.

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To move EOT or WR you need a large local club, with a range that accommodate 12 individual bays, lots of parking and vendor space. So if that exists why doesn't one of those clubs put on a fall shoot, WR is late Winter, EOT is early summer. You're not going to move the storefronts and props from EOT or WR. If a club has a range like this then why haven't they stepped up? If it's mid-south or North east you'd have a new bunch of shooters that wouldn't take away from EOT or WR.  Call it the Chisolm Trail.

 

SASS isn't going to foot the bill to re-build EOT to another location. They already did that once.  Moving WR isn't going to be done by the club that puts that on. 

 

Good ideas need to be backed by logistics and finances. Maybe we need to include options for that in our discussion.

Ike

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5 hours ago, BootStrap Phil said:

The black rifle Company along with many other has become sort of a cult following and they do get the word out well. Some links below of examples:

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/MBest11x

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnhTGM083kfLSNfRSmQjAzg

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/RangerUpVideo

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/danalarik

 

Examples as listed above register well with the millennial/younger crowd, now this are veteran base but gives you an idea on how they go about getting the word out and staying relevant.

 

I do enjoy watching the Black Rifle videos, and I have sent their coffee as gifts. People loved getting it.

I suppose you could ask the Black Rifle guys to put together a "Cowboy" coffee blend. They have many blends with different, catchy names. SASS could get a cut on the coffee sold. Could be a win-win; SASS gets their name out there, and picks up a few bucks.

But something like this has to come from HQ.

It's worth a phone call, at least.

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I started shooting SASS back in 2006 at the Plum Creek Shooting Society outside Lockhart, Texas.  Back then it was about costuming and having fun.  Life forced me out of the game until this year.  Fortunately, at 58, I am able to handle the burden of acquiring new guns, leather, and costuming.

 

I visited two different clubs before making the initial investment of re-entering the game.  I was amazed and baffled at the target shapes and locations.  I was also amazed at the speed of some of the shooters.  I went to YouTube and watched what i could about CAS and SASS.  I was pretty sure that there was no way I would be able to compete because all I saw was folks doing things with there guns that seemed impossible.  Everything I saw was how fast these folks could cycle the guns.  I was impressed by the skill level but unsure I should try and get back into the game.  After all, I didn't have THAT much disposable income to fancy-pants my guns.

 

I made the decision to go ahead and get back in the game.  To heck with the prizes...I like dressing in full cowboy garb and I like shooting.

 

I am concerned that if all anyone sees on the webs is the best of the best...they might think it is a sport for elite shooters.  There are lots of normal folks shooting and having fun but it seems we only concentrate on the top-tier folks.  We all like watching highlight reels but, for those that aren't familiar with the game, some average and everyday video examples might just help those on the fence.

 

Just thinking out loud.

Edited by Abilene Red
word placement
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.

 

 

Edited by J-BAR #18287

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3 hours ago, Abilene Red said:

We all like watching highlight reels but, for those that aren't familiar with the game, some average and everyday video examples might just help those on the fence.

 

Like this?

 

 

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7 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

 

Like this?

 

 

What a wonderful range!!!

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There is nothing wrong with looking at people that already shoot to draw in new members.  Another place to get shooters is the non-shooting population.  Many states require a class to get a license.  Big hurdle to some, but even if they do that, they still didn't get any range time with the kind of guns we use.  We specifically say coming to a match is not the place to learn to shoot.   Yes, we help new people on an ad hoc basis but there's not an overall plan for that in SASS.  

 

Ladies are the key:  If Mamma wants to shoot, the family is gonna go shooting!

 

Women on Target from the NRA does events for non-shooting ladies.  Often, the fellers have to chip in to help run them as we don't have enough ladies to do all the instruction, supervision and to run the event.  Having as many women as you can is key so the ladies can see that it is totally possible for them to learn to shoot.  Sometimes it is a pared-down day taken from an NRA basic pistol class, with safety instruction followed by one-on-one assistance at the firing line, sometimes it features a variety of shooting sports (IDPA, silhouette, trap, COWBOY, etc).   Another feature of the day can be demonstrations by people (hopefully mostly or at least some ladies) of what doing that specific sport looks like in competition.   Yes, you can bring in a top shooter to wow them but average or less is even better.   Non-shooters perceive things differently and a mediocre lady shooting BP gunfighter will draw more enthusiasm than a shooter with multiple championship buckles.  

 

Maybe we could work on partnering more with the NRA to get in on more of these events.  it seems to me it's a local thing and dependent on having a cowboy that happens to be involved in a WoT sponsoring range or club.  We could also partner with the ranges and clubs and NRA instructors locally to offer a cowboy gun-specific follow up once the NRA class is complete (next day, next weekend, once a month on a specific day)  A simple flyer with link to local cowboy club that has the contact info to sign up would do it.  Some overall SASS plan or strategy would need to be in place - Perhaps official coordinators by Region so there were easy points of contact for the NRA and someone that knows the who's who in the Region to pair them up?   

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I don’t know for certain why the NRA and SASS are not more closely affiliated.  But I remember hearing a rumor from many years ago that in the early days of SASS, a partnership of sorts was discussed, but the NRA asked for more control over matches and rules than The Wild Bunch was willing to relinquish.

 

This may be completely wrong and if so I hope it will be corrected by those who are better informed.  In any case, it seems like both SASS and the NRA have a lot of goals in common, so maybe it’s time revisit a closer partnership.

Edited by J-BAR #18287

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As a newbie - one of the things that helped me starting out was that our two local clubs post the stages for the match ahead of time. Being able to study the stages made me more comfortable going to my first matches.

 

Something else that I believe would have helped get me started sooner - and this may seem silly or impractical - but if the clubs would have a set of guns and leather that they would rent out to a new shooter. I no that it's a little crazy since people at a match will loan you guns for nothing, but I don't really like borrowing stuff but for some reason renting it seems okay. Maybe it's a guy thing. I would have been quicker to get into the game if I could have "rented" guns and leather for a reasonable price ($25?). Maybe they're just individual member's guns who have agreed that they would make them available. Folks already do this but they don't get a stipend for doing it. Like I said it seems silly, but I've seen other posts with prospective new people who say they don't like to borrow equipment. 

 

Also if a club could offer a course in Cowboy action shooting to interested people. Again, I know that you can just come out and shoot a match and people will instruct you as you go, but getting some instruction before the first match would make a lot of people more comfortable. Just four hours on a Saturday or Sunday twice or four times a year.

 

Just some my thoughts

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11 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

 

Like this?

 

 

Thanks for the video!  That, my friend, is a recruitment video.  It is a great range and shows all levels of shooting.  I may just have to put next September on my calendar.

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11 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

 

Like this?

 

 

 

That's one sweet range you got there J-Bar.

Can't wait to see it again!

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8 minutes ago, Brimstone Bill Willson said:

Movement would be great, every other gunsport I play allows it.

Define movement.

You mean firing while moving?

Because depending on the venue; events have plenty of movement.

 

And keep in mind; this thread is about GROWING our game.

That means bringing in shooters from other games or current non shooters.

 

Talking about moving shoots to cater to the other side of the country is simply trading one cowboy shooter for another.

Net increase of zero.

 

Changing an internal rule that is not drawing shooters or dissuading shooters may make the game "better" for someone...

But those someones are already playing.

Net increase of zero.

 

I don't disagree that there are myriads of rules and conventions that should be tweaked; but those changes are simply for those already playing.

They won't entice someone who has never played to get off the couch and come out.

 

We need a goal; say 10k NEW shooters in 2020.

That's an increase of $650,000.00

 

If 40% of that would be eaten in added admin and overhead.

And we want 20% to go to bottom line revenue for future growth or campaigns.

 

That allows us to budget $260,000 for this proposed growth.

Quarter million dollars.  Nice number.

 

What do you do with it?

 

 

 

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I like the idea of a 22 category for adults. 

Two Ruger Wranglers, Henry lever and various shotgun.

 

This removes a huge price objection from start up cost.

Full array of guns under $1000.00

 

Along with clubs purchasing a set of 22 caliber pistols/ rifle for "rent" or borrow for interested shooters.

I, like many others, wouldn't want to borrow guns from another shooter at start up or to try it out...

But a club set of loaners?  I might.

 

I bet SASS could get a price break on these guns from Ruger and Henry as well.

Perhaps some ammo sponsorships for club use 22 and featherlight sg ammo.

 

 

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Exposure:

I mentioned You tube videos.

But what about live streaming?

A permanent range (Founders ranch comes to mind) could set up three cameras on each bay to both record and live stream events.

 

Imagine jumping on YouTube and being able to watch your buddies shooting EOT live.

 

Obviously this would lead to other events doing the same and perhaps even a cottage industry of someone traveling around to various annual matches and setting up temporary systems for that event.

 

An additional benefit would be the potential for broadcast of a stage behind the safety area for greater onsite  spectator viewing.  

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37 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

I like the idea of a 22 category for adults. 

Two Ruger Wranglers, Henry lever and various shotgun.

 

This removes a huge price objection from start up cost.

Full array of guns under $1000.00

 

Plus no need for reloading equipment - eliminating another startup cost.  Further, painting targets after every shooter eliminates scoring problems.

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4 hours ago, Brimstone Bill Willson said:

Movement would be great, every other gunsport I play allows it.


The most popular gun game at my club’s Action Range does not have any movement.  This is to allow shooters who are not Action Range certified to play.

 

This is basically a “show up and shoot” event with most any handgun or rimfire in your closet.  It more, or less, mimics steel challenge.

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5 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Define movement.

Hence Movement

 

 

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1st - roll the clock back 35 years.

 

2nd - never allow any modification that alters the operation of rifle, shotgun or handgun from the parameters to which it was built.  Lighter springs and smoothing parts to ease operation, ok... but not shortening stroke of lever stroke or hammer pull strictly verboten.  This would include "reprofiling hammers".  I.e., no SBH hammers on any model except the SBH, and other changes of this ilk.

 

3rd - increase advertising budget 35% of income.

 

4th - offer a free 1 year annual membership to any current member signing up a new member.

 

5th - offer discounted 3, 5 or 10 year memberships.

 

One of the above is offered tongue-in-cheek... 

 

Flame away... have fun with your flaming, but try to be creative at the very least.  In this case copying, is not a form of flattery; it's simply redundant and shows a lack of creativity.  If the above offends you, too bad.  Every decline in membership has followed the relaxation of the rules.  The fact that so have the increases, is merely coincidence.

Edited by Griff
misstated my intent
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BTW, don't be critical of my post... blame Creeker, he's the one that asked.

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37 minutes ago, Griff said:

 

2nd - never allow any modification that alters the operation of rifle, shotgun or handgun from the parameters to which it was built.  Lighter springs and smoothing parts to ease operation... or, shortening stroke of lever stroke or hammer pull strictly verboten.  This would include "reprofiling hammers".  I.e., no SBH hammers on any model except the SBH, and other changes of this ilk.

 

May be just me, but I never would have joined if this were the case.

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39 minutes ago, Griff said:

1st - roll the clock back 35 years.

 

2nd - never allow any modification that alters the operation of rifle, shotgun or handgun from the parameters to which it was built.  Lighter springs and smoothing parts to ease operation... or, shortening stroke of lever stroke or hammer pull strictly verboten.  This would include "reprofiling hammers".  I.e., no SBH hammers on any model except the SBH, and other changes of this ilk.

 

3rd - increase advertising budget by 35%.

 

4th - offer a free 1 year annual membership to any current member signing up a new member.

 

5th - offer discounted 3, 5 or 10 year memberships.

 

One of the above is offered tongue-in-cheek... 

 

Flame away... have fun with your flaming, but try to be creative at the very least.  In this case copying, is not a form of flattery; it's simply redundant and shows a lack of creativity.  If the above offends you, too bad.  Every decline in membership has followed the relaxation of the rules.  The fact that so have the increases, is merely coincidence.

3rd- increase advertising budget, 35% x 0 =0 :o 

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