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How can we effectively market CAS


Dusty Devil Dale
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Don't freakin' jump on me and flame me for asking.....anyway's I'll put my asbestos suit on just in case :) 

 

Why do people call it a 'game' and not a sport?

 

I'm pretty sure(?) most Aussies classify it as a sport.

https://ssaavic.com.au/disciplines/single-action/
https://www.littleriverraiders.com.au/about-us/

 

First line here on Wikipedia its called a sport -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_action_shooting

 

If its a competitive discipline with a needed skillset, has rules and is scored I think it falls easily under a sport.

 

SASS themselves call it a sport -

https://sassnet.com/

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

So having a difference of opinion makes you...apologize?

I think it is cheap...see, that's the problem. It a subjective issue.

Your suggestion has been happening since the beginning of time (SASS time). It ain't nearly enough...we've been doing it...I've been doing it for years and have brought a LOT of folks to the game...so you're suggesting that we continue to do what is not enough...???

The vehicle(s) used for Marketing/Promoting vary greatly with the product. TV Commercials would probably be the worst vehicle.

Again, why apologize??? What in the world makes you think I'm "Ticked off"???  Can't folks have opposing views without folk's getting their feeling hurt?

 

Phantom

I guess to me you sounded that way. Its good to know you wasn't. Everything is subjective to the person viewing it now isn't it. Since I haven't been in the game and am brand new at this I was giving my opinion from what I haven't seen over the years. And yes I am suggesting you keep doing what you consider isn't enough. It is helping in your own words just not as much as you'd like. 

Now as far as tv commercials being the worst. I guess what I should have said was use tv as a vehicle. TV now comprises more than just the old standard of tv commercials. More people probably are glued in front of a tv or their phone most of their life now days unlike when I was growing up. People stay glued to Fakebook, tiktok, snapchat and Twitter 4 more venues that could be perused.

I expect opposing viewpoints. If we always agreed how would we ever grow as people? And never think my feelings are hurt either I'd have to have feeling first to get them hurt. ;)

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6 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

Don't freakin' jump on me and flame me for asking.....anyway's I'll put my asbestos suit on just in case :) 

 

Why do people call it a 'game' and not a sport?

 

I'm pretty sure(?) most Aussies classify it as a sport.

https://ssaavic.com.au/disciplines/single-action/
https://www.littleriverraiders.com.au/about-us/

 

First line here on Wikipedia its called a sport -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_action_shooting

 

If its a competitive discipline with a needed skillset, has rules and is scored I think it falls easily under a sport.

 

SASS themselves call it a sport -

https://sassnet.com/

 

Pretty sure it is a sport and game is just a slang term. But don't games require discipline and a required skillset and has rules and is scored? LOL

 

Just funning you. 

6 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

 

 

 

Edited by Slapshot
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Posted (edited)

We seem to be circling around an impasse. 

 1) If SASS never makes a business decision to expend money or effort toward effective marketing, and we cannot do anything to affect that, and --

 

2) If local clubs either believe they cannot do marketing effectively without the national participation, or refuse to do it; believing it is a SASS responsibility, and --

 

3)  It is generally agreed that individual marketing efforts cannot be effective against the larger problem of attrition,

 

then where does it leave us?  Do we just ride the tired horse until it drops out from under us?  It seems like somebody needs to take some kind of action, either with or independent of SASS.  So 

what ideas are out there?  Could local clubs all collectively contribute to some kind of marketing coalition,  independent of SASS? 

Those of you with marketing expertise, what options do you see?  

Has anybody really read the SASS Marketing Plan that Roger Rapid described?  How do local clubs articulate in that Plan, and is it doable??  Where do we go from here? 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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There have been many good ideas discussed on this thread.  I may have missed some of the posts but here's one we can all try.
EVERYONE that uses the Wire forums, Facebook, or any other public forum/social media can do their part to effectively market SASS by being polite, helpful, and civil to each other.  A prospective new shooter should never be treated poorly because he/she asked one of those same questions that has been asked a thousand times before.  A prospective new shooter should not see infighting and rudeness among the ranks either.  It reflects poorly on all of us.  
Sometimes it's very difficult to rein in that keyboard commando but it needs to be done.  It has and will continue to turn people away if not harnessed.  We not only lose new shooters, but seasoned shooters as well.  For every one of us that is out there trying to promote SASS, there's likely some out there telling their friends how rudely there were treated.  Remember, those words we have all heard so many times from our parents.  "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  
 

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9 hours ago, Buckshot Bear said:

Don't freakin' jump on me and flame me for asking.....anyway's I'll put my asbestos suit on just in case :) 

 

Why do people call it a 'game' and not a sport?

 

I'm pretty sure(?) most Aussies classify it as a sport.

https://ssaavic.com.au/disciplines/single-action/
https://www.littleriverraiders.com.au/about-us/

 

First line here on Wikipedia its called a sport -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_action_shooting

 

If its a competitive discipline with a needed skillset, has rules and is scored I think it falls easily under a sport.

 

SASS themselves call it a sport -

https://sassnet.com/

 

 

 

I call it both depending on the context of my discussion. Not a big deal really - at least to me what it's called

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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This will likely get lost in this thread but I have talked with a number of shooters about SASS. 

 

Most don't have the time or finances.  Other than making leather and gun rentals available I don't see a solution to this.  For whatever reason I can hardly find a new shooter to loan guns and give ammo!

 

Some don't like the alias or costume.  Don't want or need those type.  SASS just never will be their game.

 

A surprising number make fun of and think the light "puff" loads are needed to win.  Many think we shoot wax bullets or even blanks!  Perhaps raising the power factor for all categories save for the older age based ones?  I understand the "puff" loads don't offer an advantage, and everyone is free to play this game however they see fit within the rules.  But when it comes to attracting new shooters I have been surprised by how often the ultra light loads have been mentioned and are a turn off to many non-SASS shooters. 

 

Again a surprising number of non-SASS shooters are really bothered by the shotgun starting empty.  Two revolvers loaded with 5 makes sense because that is safe and likely how it was really done in the old west.  A rifle loaded with 10 and closed on an empty chamber makes sense because that is safe and likely how it was really done in the old west.  The shotgun starting open and empty baffles a lot of non-SASS shooters.  I understand the open and empty is a way to level the playing field across a wide range of makes and models, but with shotguns starting on a table being pretty much the norm would it be possible to change the rules to allow for them to start with 2 loaded?  SxSs could start open with two in the chamber, 87/97s closed with two in the tube. 

 

Just a few suggestions based on actual feedback from younger shooters that are interested in SASS but for one reason or another have yet to jump in.

Edited by July Smith
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11 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

We seem to be circling around an impasse. 

 1) If SASS never makes a business decision to expend money or effort toward effective marketing, and we cannot do anything to affect that, and --

 

2) If local clubs either believe they cannot do marketing effectively without the national participation, or refuse to do it; believing it is a SASS responsibility, and --

 

3)  It is generally agreed that individual marketing efforts cannot be effective against the larger problem of attrition,

 

then where does it leave us?  Do we just ride the tired horse until it drops out from under us?  It seems like somebody needs to take some kind of action, either with or independent of SASS.  So 

what ideas are out there?  Could local clubs all collectively contribute to some kind of marketing coalition,  independent of SASS? 

Those of you with marketing expertise, what options do you see?  

Has anybody really read the SASS Marketing Plan that Roger Rapid described?  How do local clubs articulate in that Plan, and is it doable??  Where do we go from here? 

Seems to me that direction and support for any type of marketing of the SASS brand/label/identity should come from the top. With the new board onboard I expect to see some type of revamping of their virtually non existent SASS marketing approach. Many, many clubs nationwide, maybe worldwide are on the verge of collapse because of membership loss brought on by many factors. One factor that SASS has 100% control of is how their SASS brand is projected and marketed. Time will tell as to whether it will grow and prosper or wither and die. In many places it’s on life support.

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DDD…
Yes it is an impasse, and a serious one.
 
To your points:
1) If SASS never makes a decision to drive a focused marketing campaign... Then our days are numbered.
2) If local clubs cannot do marketing… The message needs to be a clear, concise, globally-positioned SASS message not a club-positioned one.
3) Can individual marketing efforts hedge attrition… While some local clubs can be somewhat proactive to grow a few members here and there, the growth has to be more than a 10% growth in 10% of the clubs. It’s just not enough to sustain the big picture.
 
It appears that whatever efforts are coming from SASS only serve to protect their payroll and new building, and are not directed toward the common good of growing our sport or even keeping it alive.
 
This post is filled with good ideas and valid concerns, and in just two days it has scratched the attention of 1,600 views1 The issues raised about THE cost of guns and leather, and the availability of primers and ammo is a real and valid concern, and is what it is. It will continue to weed out those who cannot afford the barrier to entry. But look at our current membership; every single one of us found a way through the barrier. We are not the only ones who can afford cowboy action shooting.
 
Bottom line is that we must backfill the dropouts and the seniors who can no longer shoot. We absolutely must speak to new and younger shooters - SASS must focus on having shooters grow through our sport and not grow up with it.
 
The silence from SASS is deafening!!!. Have you seen a single post here from SASS leadership? Is no one there reading the organization's own chat site?
 
RR
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30 minutes ago, Roger Rapid said:
DDD…
Yes it is an impasse, and a serious one.
 
To your points:
1) If SASS never makes a decision to drive a focused marketing campaign... Then our days are numbered.
2) If local clubs cannot do marketing… The message needs to be a clear, concise, globally-positioned SASS message not a club-positioned one.
3) Can individual marketing efforts hedge attrition… While some local clubs can be somewhat proactive to grow a few members here and there, the growth has to be more than a 10% growth in 10% of the clubs. It’s just not enough to sustain the big picture.
 
It appears that whatever efforts are coming from SASS only serve to protect their payroll and new building, and are not directed toward the common good of growing our sport or even keeping it alive.
 
This post is filled with good ideas and valid concerns, and in just two days it has scratched the attention of 1,600 views1 The issues raised about THE cost of guns and leather, and the availability of primers and ammo is a real and valid concern, and is what it is. It will continue to weed out those who cannot afford the barrier to entry. But look at our current membership; every single one of us found a way through the barrier. We are not the only ones who can afford cowboy action shooting.
 
Bottom line is that we must backfill the dropouts and the seniors who can no longer shoot. We absolutely must speak to new and younger shooters - SASS must focus on having shooters grow through our sport and not grow up with it.
 
The silence from SASS is deafening!!!. Have you seen a single post here from SASS leadership? Is no one there reading the organization's own chat site?
 
RR

Have you attempted to contact SASS and discuss with them? Yes there has been post(s) on the Wire from Misty Moonshine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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3 hours ago, Black Hills Barb said:

Sometimes it's very difficult to rein in that keyboard commando but it needs to be done.

Passive-Aggressive behavior is not very "Cowboy" either.

 

;)

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1 hour ago, Yul Lose said:

Seems to me that direction and support for any type of marketing of the SASS brand/label/identity should come from the top. With the new board onboard I expect to see some type of revamping of their virtually non existent SASS marketing approach. Many, many clubs nationwide, maybe worldwide are on the verge of collapse because of membership loss brought on by many factors. One factor that SASS has 100% control of is how their SASS brand is projected and marketed. Time will tell as to whether it will grow and prosper or wither and die. In many places it’s on life support.

 

Absolutely, the best comment that I've seen on this subject...the subject that's been going on for the last 15, or so, years.

 

Thank you, Yul Lose

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   This has been touched on before, it's something I think would help. 

 SASS has lots of divisions, an entry level division could easily added. .22 pistols and rifle, with a sxs or pump. Almost any pump could work, (no tactical) they all work basically the same as a model 97 or12.  No leather would be needed as the shooter could stage everything. A club could own the firearms and loan them out. Ammo would be factory so no liability on reloads. The cost would be low, two .22 Chiappa 1873 revolvers @$180 each, a Henery .22 rifle $386 and a Stoeger 20 GA SXS $549. All prices retail come to $1295, so you could find cheaper new guns or go the used route.

    Call it Tin horn or Pilgarm, or whatever. If your worried about high overall, this division doesn't have to eligable to win it.   

 

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1 minute ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

It does?

Categories

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26 minutes ago, Hoss Shoer said:

   This has been touched on before, it's something I think would help. 

 SASS has lots of divisions, an entry level division could easily added. .22 pistols and rifle, with a sxs or pump. Almost any pump could work, (no tactical) they all work basically the same as a model 97 or12.  No leather would be needed as the shooter could stage everything. A club could own the firearms and loan them out. Ammo would be factory so no liability on reloads. The cost would be low, two .22 Chiappa 1873 revolvers @$180 each, a Henery .22 rifle $386 and a Stoeger 20 GA SXS $549. All prices retail come to $1295, so you could find cheaper new guns or go the used route.

    Call it Tin horn or Pilgarm, or whatever. If your worried about high overall, this division doesn't have to eligable to win it. 

 

Quote

*Shooting categories offered at any match are ultimately at the discretion of the Match Officials to ensure the success and viability of each match individually.

SHB p.10

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14 hours ago, Buckshot Bear said:

 

 

14 hours ago, Buckshot Bear said:

Why do people call it a 'game' and not a sport?

 Maybe, in part, because when I started in wasn't simply, "Let's see how fast you can shoot." There was usually a theme to a shoot and a back story with starting lines from a movie or TV show. You did non-shooting activities ( like shooting an arrow, throwing a hatchet or lasso), on the clock. You shot from a rocking horse or some type of prop. Yes, it was always a timed competition, but the emphasis wasn't on sub 20 second stages. 

Then, people started to ask about marketing SASS. There was a trend to less stuff and larger, closer targets all in a straight line and the same height that let you shoot faster. Now, some have suggested that way to attract new shooters is to make it more challenging.

I could go on, but I think you see what I'm saying. Besides, this is not a new topic and very little, if anything, is ever accomplished by bringing it up.

It's time to close it and move on to the "NEXT SHOOTER!"

 

 

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I think we're overthinking this.  SASS is a for-profit business.  It costs more to join than any other shooting organization I'm a member of.  Expecting younger people with full-time jobs to do their marketing, is, IMO, not realistic. 

 

That said, there are three categories of reasons it's hard to grow this sport:

 

1. Equipment.  Having to have 4 guns and uncommon ammo alone makes it hard.  Now add the rig, cart, etc., and this is a huge barrier to entry.  That's not even mentioning trying to keep some of these older guns running.  For me, this wasn't a big deal because I already had casting and reloading equipment, but for all of my friends, it's a very big deal; there's seldom even anywhere to buy bare lead ammo anymore (at least not locally).

 

2. Athleticism.  The costumes are cool, and the rules seem to restrict some of the more difficult gun handling (movement), but I'm not sure young people want to be told to wear long sleeves or stay home.  The costumes are fun for some and for others, just in the way.  People like dynamic shooting sports because they want to have some athleticism with their shooting; SASS's rules prohibit that in a lot of ways, some of which enhance safety and many of which are just tradition.

 

3. Difficulty/skills.  This game is very unlike other shooting sports.  It's hard to learn all the sweeps, memorize everything that needs to be memorized, etc.  People just want to show up and have a good time.  More consistent rules about target engagement could go a long way to make this game easier for everyone to understand rather than reinventing the rules every stage.  Nothing would be lost from the sport from making it one per target and transition, or two on each, or whatever.  Having to learn 5 different sweeps for 5 different stages in one day isn't making the game better or more competitive.  And that's not even considering the different kinds of equipment, shotguns, rigs, etc.  The stages in SASS are not too hard, but I think a lot of old timers don't realize how unnecessarily complicated some of these stages are, and in a way that doesn't improve competitive equity.

Edited by Chacón
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2 hours ago, Hoss Shoer said:

   This has been touched on before, it's something I think would help. 

 SASS has lots of divisions, an entry level division could easily added. .22 pistols and rifle, with a sxs or pump. Almost any pump could work, (no tactical) they all work basically the same as a model 97 or12.  No leather would be needed as the shooter could stage everything. A club could own the firearms and loan them out. Ammo would be factory so no liability on reloads. The cost would be low, two .22 Chiappa 1873 revolvers @$180 each, a Henery .22 rifle $386 and a Stoeger 20 GA SXS $549. All prices retail come to $1295, so you could find cheaper new guns or go the used route.

    Call it Tin horn or Pilgarm, or whatever. If your worried about high overall, this division doesn't have to eligable to win it.   

 

And here in lies the problem...

 

Coming up with a solution to a problem that one "Thinks" is a problem is a baaaad way to run a business. This issue is what good Marketing deals with; First research and define the problem(s), then come up with a solution.

 

Or...we can keep throwing darts...

 

Phantom

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Interesting thread here. I agree with a lot of what most everyone has said.

 

There's no one size fits all solution, unfortunately. Clubs need to promote themselves somehow. SASS/CAS needs to promote itself as well. Barriers to entry are real, as we all know. Spending several hundred dollars on a fancy baby stroller was the biggest barrier to entry for my wife and I. Luckily there was a pard who was generous enough to just give us his old cart that I believe he built from a kit (never met him, but I owe him a few beers!), otherwise I would have just carried around a gun case and used that. To that point, we knew we wanted to participate in this sport and would have figured a way to make it work. That's harder and harder to find today.

 

This sport/game/hobby is interesting to a lot of people, but not interesting enough to get a lot of people to jump in with both feet. It's neat to watch, but getting that commitment from people to spend their hard earned Saturday(s)/Sunday(s) dressed up and sweating and dragging stuff all over the place is hard to do. There's no other incentive other than "it's fun" or "I want to be the fastest *whatever* shooter". For us already here one of those two incentives are more than enough. Others, not so much. 

 

We (CAS Shooters) are competing with all kinds of instant gratification distractions that, unless you're unnaturally good, just doesn't happen with CAS. It takes time and effort to learn and sadly a lot of people don't want to invest. The current political climate along with people still struggling with the last 56 weeks of two weeks to flatten the curve definitely don't help. 

 

Not even sure if what I just wrote makes sense or is word vomit, but those are my thoughts on this subject. 

 

JR

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Chacon...

Yes, the three attributes you describe - equipment, athletics, and skills - speak to some of the demographic elements of our market segment. These and other attributes are what 99.9% of you and your fellow cowboy shooters are made of.

 

The task is to find others like us who have similar attributes but never heard about Cowboy Action Shooting™, and bring them into our fold.

RR

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3 hours ago, Hoss Shoer said:

    A club could own the firearms and loan them out. 

Sure they could, because of all the extra $$$$ they have just laying around.:blink:

The majority of SASS clubs are to small and and don't have the budget. 

To say nothing of the liability involved.

OLG 

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34 minutes ago, Roger Rapid said:

Chacon...

Yes, the three attributes you describe - equipment, athletics, and skills - speak to some of the demographic elements of our market segment. These and other attributes are what 99.9% of you and your fellow cowboy shooters are made of.

 

The task is to find others like us who have similar attributes but never heard about Cowboy Action Shooting™, and bring them into our fold.

RR

 

The challenge for any shooting sport is to find people that don't look exactly like the ones already out there and draw them into the sport.  Like last weekend when I was shooting at the 500 meter rifle range and a guy invited me to shoot a round of 5 stand with him when I told him I've never done that, and I invited him to shoot with us.  The goal should be to make it appealing to a greater number of people without losing the core things that make it fun for us.  If we're looking for people who already own a safe full of cowboy guns, we're going to be disappointed, because they are by far the most rare firearms sold at any gun store.

 

That said, we're already doing better than ICORE, so there's that.

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Good Day All,

 

The SASS Board and Misty Moonshine read many of the threads on the wire (I am one of the Board members).

Speaking for myself, I do not reply often, based on time and the number of replies it takes to explain many items.

Some things on this topic that I would like to add are as follows:

 

SASS membership is strong and has a great retention and new customer base.

SASS sees new member applications from all over the world daily.

SASS is actively researching and discussing marketing and programs for 2022 (details will follow in 2022)

SASS is a strong and viable company and is working hard to build a strong future for the brand and members.

I have an extremely strong background in marketing (as do several other Board Members and Misty Moonshine).

Misty always appreciates suggestions in well thought out and worded emails, and those can go to any board member or to the SASS office. That will provide a complete structure for a reply or use of information.

The Board and Misty are working very hard on many fronts to improve the quality of the sport/game, the increase in membership, member retention, club retention, new club affiliation and many other topics during every Zoom meeting and or emails exchanged. Rest assured SASS is in very capable hands and will be here for many years to come. We thank you all for your support, membership and for your efforts at any level to increase and add new members.

2020 was a tough year for the world and for almost all businesses, 2021 is and was about setting the pace and tone for 2022. This planning and strong reaction to 2020 to improve 2021 again shows how well SASS is operating.

2022 will be a great year for SASS and it's members.

Thanks again and take care everyone. 

    

 

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15 minutes ago, C.C. Top said:

Good Day All,

 

The SASS Board and Misty Moonshine read many of the threads on the wire (I am one of the Board members).

Speaking for myself, I do not reply often, based on time and the number of replies it takes to explain many items.

Some things on this topic that I would like to add are as follows:

 

SASS membership is strong and has a great retention and new customer base.

SASS sees new member applications from all over the world daily.

SASS is actively researching and discussing marketing and programs for 2022 (details will follow in 2022)

SASS is a strong and viable company and is working hard to build a strong future for the brand and members.

I have an extremely strong background in marketing (as do several other Board Members and Misty Moonshine).

Misty always appreciates suggestions in well thought out and worded emails, and those can go to any board member or to the SASS office. That will provide a complete structure for a reply or use of information.

The Board and Misty are working very hard on many fronts to improve the quality of the sport/game, the increase in membership, member retention, club retention, new club affiliation and many other topics during every Zoom meeting and or emails exchanged. Rest assured SASS is in very capable hands and will be here for many years to come. We thank you all for your support, membership and for your efforts at any level to increase and add new members.

2020 was a tough year for the world and for almost all businesses, 2021 is and was about setting the pace and tone for 2022. This planning and strong reaction to 2020 to improve 2021 again shows how well SASS is operating.

2022 will be a great year for SASS and it's members.

Thanks again and take care everyone. 

    

 

So, is that a yes to the beef jerky? 

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1 hour ago, C.C. Top said:

Good Day All,

 

The SASS Board and Misty Moonshine read many of the threads on the wire (I am one of the Board members).

Speaking for myself, I do not reply often, based on time and the number of replies it takes to explain many items.

Some things on this topic that I would like to add are as follows:

 

SASS membership is strong and has a great retention and new customer base.

SASS sees new member applications from all over the world daily.

SASS is actively researching and discussing marketing and programs for 2022 (details will follow in 2022)

SASS is a strong and viable company and is working hard to build a strong future for the brand and members.

I have an extremely strong background in marketing (as do several other Board Members and Misty Moonshine).

Misty always appreciates suggestions in well thought out and worded emails, and those can go to any board member or to the SASS office. That will provide a complete structure for a reply or use of information.

The Board and Misty are working very hard on many fronts to improve the quality of the sport/game, the increase in membership, member retention, club retention, new club affiliation and many other topics during every Zoom meeting and or emails exchanged. Rest assured SASS is in very capable hands and will be here for many years to come. We thank you all for your support, membership and for your efforts at any level to increase and add new members.

2020 was a tough year for the world and for almost all businesses, 2021 is and was about setting the pace and tone for 2022. This planning and strong reaction to 2020 to improve 2021 again shows how well SASS is operating.

2022 will be a great year for SASS and it's members.

Thanks again and take care everyone. 

    

 

Thank you for joining our discussion.  We all look forward to seeing all of that tangibly accomplished, and I'm sure most will do what we can to assist, if called upon, at least at the local level.  It is very good to read that the organization is overall much stronger than can be perceived from the grassroots club level.  We look forward to seeing the particulars of the 2022 marketing, and more importantly, to the results that will save many clubs from fading out.  Thank you again. 

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I was just reading the latest American Rifleman with an article about RCBS.  It discusses reasons for the decline in handloading recently, particularly for shotshells, and citing one of the reasons being the fact of “the sun setting on the growth of CAS.”

 

Seamus

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