Steve Dodge: A man for change!

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Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby Jerbob » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:43 pm

I don't usually care about the national tour, people becoming pro's, disc becoming a national huge past time, but maybe the man has some ideas. Like the course, so I figure I would show some love to the Vibram Open peeps.

http://www.vibramdiscgolf.com/grow-the-sport.html
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby keltik » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:30 pm

I think he has the right idea. The sport needs corporate sponsors to up payouts and thus up exposure. if that's what we want of course.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby warobert » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:52 pm

That was an excellent and well presented overview of the state of Professional disc golf. The real questions in my mind though are, is this the direction we definitely want to move the sport and who is realistically going to fund these 50k payout events? I don't think any but the largest manufacturers could swing it and I don't think any of the major tournament organizers ( Ls, DD, etc.) could do it without a corporate backer. I like what Mr. Dodge is saying but somebody from outside the sport is going to have to show up with the marketing dollars and I can't think of any companies with disc golfers as a large enough customer bloc to justify the expenditure.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby JHern » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:17 pm

It will take Vibram-like sponsors to get more $50K events. Keen is coming along as a big sponsor. Others, like Anderson Valley Brewing Company, are growing into becoming large sponsors. Seriously though, forget the big corporations, they don't invest in possibilities, they only chase a sure thing (they'll come running only after disc golf hits the big time). We have to make more connections with companies that are compatible with disc golf. Small and mid-sized companies whose products are popular among disc golfers, that's the key right now, at this stage of development.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby JR » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:28 am

I'm doing my share i bought Anderson Valley Barney Flatts yesterday :-D
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby keltik » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:24 am

Corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, Toyota, Bayer, Citi-Bank etc. are what we need to be shooting for. Those guys could put 100K down for a tournament no problem. It's a write-off. and If you get one big sponsor and about 3 or 4 smaller ones then you have even more money to give to the winners.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby iacas » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:03 am

keltik wrote:Corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, Toyota, Bayer, Citi-Bank etc. are what we need to be shooting for. Those guys could put 100K down for a tournament no problem. It's a write-off. and If you get one big sponsor and about 3 or 4 smaller ones then you have even more money to give to the winners.

It might be pocket change to them, but do you always give a few dollars to the bums on the sides of the street?

What's in it for Coca Cola? Why should any sponsor "up" the prestige of the sport? Out of the goodness of their heart?

Disc golf could perhaps use a guy like Kevin Trudeau - except not as sleazy/criminal/etc. Basically, someone wealthy who really likes disc golf and wants to help support it.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby aerodriver » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:39 am

I like his ideas and his figures seem accurate, but I think for a 50K payout the top performer should get more than $2,500. I'd think $3,000 is fair for starters. I would say that the top 30 finishers get payments and the rest get a disc or two from the sponsor.

This whole exposure mess is really big in disc sports right now, disc golf and Ultimate included. Ultimate is facing a lot of fracturing in the direction of the sport, which is partly due to so many differing opinions. Disc golf on the other hand has a singular direction: more payouts, more sponsors, more growth. It's a fairly basic concept that can't be easily had as it can be said.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby veganray » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:50 am

aerodriver wrote:Disc golf on the other hand has a singular direction: more payouts, more sponsors, more growth.

People often say absurd things on the series of tubes. This is one of those times.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby aerodriver » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:05 pm

veganray wrote:
aerodriver wrote:Disc golf on the other hand has a singular direction: more payouts, more sponsors, more growth.

People often say absurd things on the series of tubes. This is one of those times.


So are you implying that growth should be obtained by some other means? Or that the payouts and sponsors only put more money into the game but do not necessarily grow it? Or perhaps that growth is a vague, unrealistic expectation from pumping more funds?

If you're going to disagree, it would at least be polite to offer your end of the argument so that a discussion can be made, rather than me having to do what I have done and probe into a topic/opinion you may be eagerly willing (with the right amount of interest) or tentatively unwilling (because you may not actually have any idea to a solution, leaving your rebuttal is unwarranted) to share.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby keltik » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:07 pm

@ iacas: yes I do give to bums, maybe I'm a softie. but that is one citizen being generous to an indigent.

Coca-cola or whoever is interested in selling their products. if they feel like they can market something to disc golfers then it would behoove them to sponsor our little events and to subliminally induce us to buy their wares. Coca-Cola owns/produces Powerade. why not market it to DGers telling them something stupid like "add 30 feet to your drive with every sip!" People in general are basically gullible.

Somebody with a silver tongue needs to get in front of these larger entities and tell them that disc golf is a community full of young males that are willing to pay ~$20 for a plastic frisbee, and are probably willing to pay money for whatever you make and sell if it is positively associated with their favorite hobby/sport. and for X amount of dollars you can put your name and advertising all over an event. the winner of said event can probably be talked into wearing/using/drinking/eating whatever product in front of a camera during event coverage/media. Fans then think hey that's what I need to play like this guy who is a winner. it's that simple.

and it doesn't have to be Coca-Cola necessarily they are just one ubiquitous example. Maybe better sponsors for us would be something like REI or Columbia Sports Wear. But it's clear from the Dodge article that the disc manufacturers can't foot the bill for all these NT/A tier events any more. If we want to get bigger, media and exposure wise, we need to play out of the PGA playbook. We could also take notes from the X games/skateboarding scene as well.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby iacas » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:09 pm

keltik wrote:Coca-cola or whoever is interested in selling their products. if they feel like they can market something to disc golfers then it would behoove them to sponsor our little events and to subliminally induce us to buy their wares. Coca-Cola owns/produces Powerade. why not market it to DGers telling them something stupid like "add 30 feet to your drive with every sip!" People in general are basically gullible.

Because the market simply isn't there. Yes, obviously if Coke can invest $100k and make $1M, they'll do it pretty much every time, and if they invest $100k and make $10k (losing $90k), they'll most likely NOT do it every time.

Clearly advertising to DG is closer to the latter than the former.

keltik wrote:and it doesn't have to be Coca-Cola necessarily they are just one ubiquitous example. Maybe better sponsors for us would be something like REI or Columbia Sports Wear. But it's clear from the Dodge article that the disc manufacturers can't foot the bill for all these NT/A tier events any more. If we want to get bigger, media and exposure wise, we need to play out of the PGA playbook. We could also take notes from the X games/skateboarding scene as well.

The "PGA playbook"? Okay, so first step: get 30-55 reasonably wealthy males to be your core audience who spend $5,000+ per year on their sport.

Get back to me in 20 years.

I'm not trying to disparage disc golf, but c'mon. You're in the same league as bowling and aspire to be in the same league as pool, you're not the same continent as the PGA Tour or golf in general.

You have the steps backwards:
1) Build an attractive audience
2) Attract big sponsors

It's not the other way around.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby JHern » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:49 pm

keltik wrote:Corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, Toyota, Bayer, Citi-Bank etc. are what we need to be shooting for. Those guys could put 100K down for a tournament no problem. It's a write-off. and If you get one big sponsor and about 3 or 4 smaller ones then you have even more money to give to the winners.


This is a pipe dream. If you haven't been paying attention, then you might not have noticed how insanely tight-fisted large corporations have been behaving, particularly in recent years. Let's review:
1) The fortune 500 earned $824.5 billion in 2011, a 16.4% increase over 2010, and an all-time record high. The previous record was $785 billion, in 2006.
2) The dividend pay-out ratio for the fortune 500 is lower than in more than a century, they're sitting on their profits, hoarding immense cash reserves, and doing absolutely nothing.
3) They aren't hiring more workers (who are more productive than ever before), the fortune 500 employs 25.8 million, a less than 1.0 percent increase since 2007.
4) Wages for employees of fortune 500 companies continue to rise well below inflation rates.
5) Business investment by fortune 500 is down 5% since the recession, and never picked up, even after enormous profits began to roll in.

I could go on, but I'm sure you guys already know all of this...

Large corporations are slow to recognize new potential markets, and are always late to exploit new fads or trends. They are decidedly NOT cool. They are governed by people who are (without exception) extremely wealthy and who live in a different world than you and I, and they have no idea what life is like for the average person, nor are they connected to their society (they are sheltered away in high society). Only long after people settle into (or even begin to tire of) a fad, will a firm like Coca-Cola pop in and invest a lot of money and marketing. They do not serve any role for finding new potential markets, nor do they show any interest in discovering and cultivating new markets. They simply stick with the sure thing, they only exploit those things which are already successful and proven. They never help anyone get to the big time, they only give money to those who have already made the big time. They don't have new ideas, instead they just buy out small businesses when those small firms have a new idea that is generating excitement in the market. They don't invest in pure research, they want the gov't to do it for them, but of course they don't want to pay taxes, either (87% of the fortune 500 had negative income tax rates from 2008-2011, meaning that they are actually paid by money from other taxpayers, like yourself). None of those corporations is really compatible with the disc golfer demographic, at least not the disc golfers I've come to know.

The good businesses in the US, the ones that are making a positive contribution to our society, who are hiring our neighbors, who are developing new and innovative products, who pay their fair share of taxes, who are discovering and cultivating new markets...they are all small- to mid-size businesses! Let's develop better relationships and partnerships with these kinds of firms, since many exist that are compatible with the disc golf demographic (from a marketing POV), and they are exactly the kind of businesses that would actually sponsor disc golf at the $50K level. Like I said before, Vibram is a great example of such a firm, and are obviously compatible.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby keltik » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:19 pm

I guess I should clarify what I meant by the PGA Tour Playbook. I guess I was thinking about how they structure their tournaments and how they pay for them. I was thinking that if we presented ourselves in a similar manner it would make our sport more easily digested by a new audience.

and as far as me shooting for the stars with sponsors, why not aim high? yeah we're in a recession but why can't somebody be positive. even if we did magically get a big time sponsor it won't change anything for a while. But we do need to change how we operate. that is obvious.

I don't disagree that our global economy is too big for its britches. but changing an economy is slower than changing disc golf.
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Re: Steve Dodge: A man for change!

Postby JHern » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:01 pm

keltik wrote:...yeah we're in a recession...


We're only in a recession because the fortune 500 are making record profits and siphoning liquidity out of the market, to cushion their fat asses. The problem with going to large corporations is that they are the problem.
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