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  • Disc Golf and Making Money

    So, as most know, I'm unemployed and have been for awhile now. So I sit and think to myself, "Boy if I could only make money doing what I love". What I love is disc golf! I could sell disc's but you have to sell a lot of disc's to make a living doing it. But what if, and that,s a big, dream in the sky, IF? If a company, say DiscGolfPromotions.com (just made that up) were to work pretty much full time and sell advertising, say to the tune of $100,000-$200,000 a year and promote and run big tournaments, like an NT and a couple of A tiers a year and make the venture 'for profit', and pocket a nice chunk of change, would the golfers out there be ok with that? The $$ numbers are just numbers as I don't know how much it would actually take to run several or more tournaments a year AND make money. Just thinking out loud here. I also am not saying I'm going to do it but just floating the idea.

    What do you think?
    Bob

  • #2
    Originally posted by "Over the Hill" Bob View Post
    So, as most know, I'm unemployed and have been for awhile now. So I sit and think to myself, "Boy if I could only make money doing what I love". What I love is disc golf! I could sell disc's but you have to sell a lot of disc's to make a living doing it. But what if, and that,s a big, dream in the sky, IF? If a company, say DiscGolfPromotions.com (just made that up) were to work pretty much full time and sell advertising, say to the tune of $100,000-$200,000 a year and promote and run big tournaments, like an NT and a couple of A tiers a year and make the venture 'for profit', and pocket a nice chunk of change, would the golfers out there be ok with that? The $$ numbers are just numbers as I don't know how much it would actually take to run several or more tournaments a year AND make money. Just thinking out loud here. I also am not saying I'm going to do it but just floating the idea.

    What do you think?
    Bob


    Its the same thought that MANY Disc Golfers have had and obviously STILL do to this day.
    How can I make a living playing & promoting Disc Golf?

    YES, It can be done, It is NOT easy. But with the proper motivated person, I believe that it could be done.

    I think that AS LONG AS the players feel that they are getting WHAT THEY PAY FOR, there would be NO ISSUE on the amount of $ that you "profit".

    Comment


    • #3
      Probably make more money if you only ran tournaments around the country limited to amateurs. I'm surprised no entrepreneur has tried that yet. Stokely was pretty successful doing something similar when he was on tour running doubles events on Thursday or Friday just before the weekend events he played.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm all for it. I think that at some point we'll have to start moving tournaments more to that model.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ya gotta land that big teevee contract, have some anonymous fan throw a disc through a ring at halftime for a million dollars, pay a few kick-backs, and get the Air Force to do a fly-by while the national anthem is being sung by a country and western star. Then the bucks will be rolling up there and you'll be doing what you love.
          The Corporate Empire is NOT a Constitutional Republic...
          ...but it plays one on TV.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am in full support of a fee to pay TDs at our events. I think TDs should be paid in some way for their work but all of the fees need to be upfront and obvious to the players. I would be happy to pay $5 to the TDs at a big event provided the event was top notch.
            Nate
            Innova Champion Discs
            Discmania
            huk lab
            Keen Footwear
            Grip EQ Disc Golf Bags
            Stimpi Ridge Disc Golf in Spokane, WA
            Play it Again Sports Corvallis and Eugene

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Magilla View Post


              Its the same thought that MANY Disc Golfers have had and obviously STILL do to this day.
              How can I make a living playing & promoting Disc Golf?

              YES, It can be done, It is NOT easy. But with the proper motivated person, I believe that it could be done.
              I think that AS LONG AS the players feel that they are getting WHAT THEY PAY FOR, there would be NO ISSUE on the amount of $ that you "profit".

              Yeah, at 58 years old, I'm not sure that is me, BUT! It just makes sense to me that if an individual focused on getting Advertising dollars and showing the advertiser how to maximize their exposure over a series of events versus individual events that they may be willing to step up to a new level. More money=higher payouts=happy player, right?

              Bob

              Comment


              • #8
                You'd have to figure out a way to get some advertising or some other type of $$ into your pocket. Many disc golfers are inherently pretty cheap so it would be hard to get much $ out of them without complaints and very high expectations.

                If you use the $5 per player number that Nate threw out, which seems reasonable, and were only making $ from players fees you would have to run 14 BSF size/quality tournaments a year to make more than you would get from a year of Oregon unemployment benefits. I know most people prefer to work for their money but it would take a special person to deal with the stress involved with 14 NT's or A-tiers for around $22k a year.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by "Over the Hill" Bob View Post
                  So, as most know, I'm unemployed and have been for awhile now. So I sit and think to myself, "Boy if I could only make money doing what I love". What I love is disc golf! I could sell disc's but you have to sell a lot of disc's to make a living doing it. But what if, and that,s a big, dream in the sky, IF? If a company, say DiscGolfPromotions.com (just made that up) were to work pretty much full time and sell advertising, say to the tune of $100,000-$200,000 a year and promote and run big tournaments, like an NT and a couple of A tiers a year and make the venture 'for profit', and pocket a nice chunk of change, would the golfers out there be ok with that? The $$ numbers are just numbers as I don't know how much it would actually take to run several or more tournaments a year AND make money. Just thinking out loud here. I also am not saying I'm going to do it but just floating the idea.

                  What do you think?

                  Bob
                  This sounds vaguely familiar to the conversation you and I had recently. HMMMMM.........
                  Training to be a bagger

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by smobro View Post
                    This sounds vaguely familiar to the conversation you and I had recently. HMMMMM.........
                    Hmmmmmmmmmm......doesn't it though?

                    You'd have to figure out a way to get some advertising or some other type of $$ into your pocket. Many disc golfers are inherently pretty cheap so it would be hard to get much $ out of them without complaints and very high expectations.

                    If you use the $5 per player number that Nate threw out, which seems reasonable, and were only making $ from players fees you would have to run 14 BSF size/quality tournaments a year to make more than you would get from a year of Oregon unemployment benefits. I know most people prefer to work for their money but it would take a special person to deal with the stress involved with 14 NT's or A-tiers for around $22k a year.
                    Yes, the key is in advertising! If a business gets exposure at say 5 A tier AND an NT each year it would maximise their advertising dollars with banners at all events, name on website, flyers, ect. It would take some number crunching but it's just a thought. Could it work as a sole income? I don't know but it is intrigueing.

                    Bob

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Before I moved back to Portland a couple years ago, I spent a year managing a climbing gym in NY. I see a lot of parallels between climbing and disc golf. They are both fringe sports. They both have lots of tournaments, generally with pretty small payouts. There is sponsorship available, but not for massive amounts of money. A few fortunate people are able to make a modest living solely from participation in the sport (including sponsorships), while a much larger number of people are able to make a living on the support end (equipment, sales, teaching, etc). Maybe most important, a healthy majority of the non-pro participants are somewhere between poor and cheap.

                      The owner of the gym I worked at had a very good business model. He realized that you will only get so much money out of the more dedicated climbers. If you really want to run a successful business in the sport, you must tap an additional resource. In the case of a climbing gym, that meant aggressively going after groups of kids, where parents (rather than 25 year olds) have more disposable income. The upside was the ability to run a good business where climbing was what we did and loved. The downside was that a lot of our time was spent running birthday parties and other events for groups of kids. That trade-off seems to be one of the major differences between most successful and unsuccessful climbing gyms.

                      My point is that there may be some new demographic that can be tapped to make a real career in disc golf. I'm not sure it's the same exact group as with climbing, the kids, but I would guess that, as with climbing, tournaments aren't going to be a very lucrative business unless disc golf moves out of the fringe and way into the mainstream. Until that point, it won't be worth it for advertisers to throw down big money for sponsorship.
                      Last edited by dan; June 4th, 2009, 09:41 PM. Reason: spelling

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There is little to no money to be made running events in disc golf at this time. Yes, the way to do that is to get advertisers and sponsors. The way to get them is to show that their brand will be made visible to a huge audience that will then be motivated to purchase their products to the tune of not only paying back what they sponsored but then some. There is no audience for disc golf at this time. There is no body of people that the sponsors will be sold to.

                        Further, disc golfers have generally become spoiled and want to get MORE than what they paid for in entry fee. Not just the winners, but everyone. If there isn't a huge player's pack and payout of 200% people want to know where the profits went. Having a sport that plays on courses for free, that only a handful of people have to work at to get in so that thousands can enjoy their labors, doesn't lend itself to people wanting to pay money for just the event and experience.

                        It's a shame. As Nate said and as I have said numerous times before, TD's should make a minimum of $5 a head for their efforts. That would be the smallest amount anyone could ever pay for what is in the NW usually 2 full days of enjoyment. Hell, a movie, popcorn and a coke sets you back $20 and after two hours you don't even get a shirt to say that you saw the movie. Five bucks is nothing for the work those TD's have gone through. If you wonder whether or not I really know how much work, come to Howliewood some year and let me know if you got your money's worth.

                        The real money in Disc golf is limited to a VERY select few golfers who are course gods and the guys in the factories that make thes discs. After that, we are all just chasing each other's money....but I still love it. Oh, and I really want your money.....

                        I hope that read as funny as it sounded as I wrote it....

                        Later,
                        Scott Papa
                        Team Discraft
                        Instructional Editor DiscGolfer Magazine

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know the previous post was tongue in cheek to a certain extent but I just want to throw out some caution here. Disc Golf has had some VERY mainstream companies sponsor events. It is likely that someone from any of those companies in their marketing departments does some monitoring of public disc golf forums. They do this to see if their ROI is on task with what was promised. If they are being discussed on the internet then they are likely seeing sales results from that market.
                          That being said, alot of assumptions are being made regarding disc golf promotion.
                          My question is why would we want big title sponsors? Or why do we want the sport to grow? As a disc golf community we really need to be able to answer that question authoritatively first. Keep in mind there are many players that don't want this sport to grow anymore. They express it readily.
                          SO, what is the purpose of promotion? Once we know that, then we can market like crazy.
                          My guess is that the people who want to promote the sport want the marriage of doing something they love while making a living at it. That generally only works out for those that are elite players, not so much for their handlers or promoters. Ask the surfing industry or the snowboard industry or the BMX industry. The truth is promotions is a business. And in this case it is a start up business. Which means the people running it will most likely spend their days not at the golf course but in presentations and at their laptops. Doesn't sound fun to me.
                          However, there are sports promotions companies in place that might be interested in capitalizing on the growing popularity of the game and the soccer moms turned disc golf moms that we are all starting to see at local courses. However, Disc Golf has to be promotable to that demographic. I am not saying we need to get rid of purple haired pros (JK) or smoking on the course or the language or any of that, just dress it up a bit for our viewers at home. Image is everything. Sports that are big promoters control everything.
                          Check out the young golfers today. They are dressing up the game. Bringing back the fun. TV land wants to see guys with white belts, big belt buckles and rhinestone covered golf shirts canning 180 foot approaches and driving the ball 335 yards. They will pay for that. Trends that we have that are marketable are long socks with shorts (silly looking but fun and practical), Young men with long hair (chicks dig it), Silly hats, crazy beards, lots of mainstream brands that we use, Chicks that wear sassy skorts (showing the legs, guys dig that), Chicks wearing sporty clothes, the list goes on.
                          We have a promotable product. We just need to decide if we want to and why.
                          I would suggest that if we as a disc golf community see a valid reason to promote the game, then our clubs should each have a marketing committee that would get together to develop a plan.
                          Or we could ride the coat tails of an organization that is already built and functioning well like the PDGA. They are doing a phenominal job of garnering clout within the promotions and marketing industry. I predict that within 5 years due to their work and an economic upshift, we will see $250,000 purses at the USDGC and perhaps a couple of NT's.
                          Just trying to get people thinking.
                          Training to be a bagger

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            sorry, one more thought.
                            IMO this is the perfect economic and social time to be promoting DG. We can ride the counter culture revolution, the Green wave, and let's face it, people are looking for cheap ways to have fun. We could have a tag line like "Disc Golf- get yer butt in the woods and throw some stuff"
                            We should however be taking advantage of Cheap, Green, and all the cool people do it. We need to get someone hooked on it like Ashton Kutcher or Miley Cyrus or you know, a star who will promote it. Like Scott Hill or Sam Gibson maybe. Anybody know a famous person who plays and is addiscted to it?
                            Training to be a bagger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by smobro View Post
                              sorry, one more thought.
                              IMO this is the perfect economic and social time to be promoting DG. We can ride the counter culture revolution, the Green wave, and let's face it, people are looking for cheap ways to have fun. We could have a tag line like "Disc Golf- get yer butt in the woods and throw some stuff"
                              We should however be taking advantage of Cheap, Green, and all the cool people do it. We need to get someone hooked on it like Ashton Kutcher or Miley Cyrus or you know, a star who will promote it. Like Scott Hill or Sam Gibson maybe. Anybody know a famous person who plays and is addiscted to it?
                              We are on the verge of breaking out and becoming mainstream and have been now for 30 years. I wasn't here 30 years ago but when talking to old schoolers that is what was being said. 25 years ago the same was being said. 20, 15, 10 years ago it was said again and again. What WILL it take? We now have Keen coming out with a shoe actually designed with the disc golfer in mind. Hmmmmmm! Who or whats next? I'm gradually working an idea that may or may not bring in another larger company to disc golf. THEY have to realize the benefit to them. What about media? What will it take to get media coverage? Money from sponsors! It's a slow process but if we keep working at it and not just dreaming it may become a reality.

                              Bob

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