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    Dartplayer Dot Net :: View topic - Are American Dart Pros Dropping the Ball?
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    Are American Dart Pros Dropping the Ball?
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    KopRalph11
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Are American Dart Pros Dropping the Ball? Reply with quote

    I just got finished reading about Paul Lims constant promotion and travel throughout Asia for the game. In Many ways he is shaping the game over there. I imagine a lot of it is because of his sponsors wanting him to promote them and their products.
    Now I have to ask; Why isn't that happening over here? Why aren't sponsors pushing their products in one of the biggest consumer countries. Why aren't the domestic top players promoting themselves and hitting the exhibition Road.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I'm wondering if this is a joke.... even though we all know there aren’t supposed to be jokes in the Straight Shooting section.

    Really????? Shocked US “Pros” dropping the ball? I know of exactly one (1) US player that makes his living from playing darts exclusively (i.e. a PRO)...... and not a particularly good living at that..... but he gets to do what he loves and that I respect that (and him) very much.

    Calling him and the other PART TIME “PROS” out for not hitting the "exhibition circuit”!!!!…… Come on man!

    1. I'm sure Paul does not travel around on "HIS" dime to support the products that he does. Until such time that the sponsors of US based players are willing to foot the bill for them to traipse around the VAST USA hocking their products you won't see it. It will continue to be as it is now....with the players promoting their sponsors products at TOURNAMENTS where the player is going to be anyway and has at least a fighting chance to recoup travel expenses.

    2. I know a lot of what you consider "US Pros" personally and as much as I LOVE the game of darts and like them as people and respect their abilities as dart players I would not walk across the street to PAY to WATCH them play in an exhibition. I would (and do) fork over the cash fairly regularly to have a chance to play against them but that s not what you are talking about is it? Please trust me on this….there is no real market for this type of stuff here. The 5ish or so dart crazy people that post on this site are NOT representative of the rank and file dart players in this country. Over and out …….
    Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I prob should have worded and titled that better.
    I should have asked more specifically why aren't sponsors pushing their players in the US? Is there really zero market here? Is it simply not worth it to go through the expense?

    I can see the benefits of the Asian Market sponsoring US players. I just don't appreciate why it doesn't work in this market.

    I have to wonder if people even try...
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Sposors/advertisers tend to put their investments into markets that are already established in order to maximize thier profits.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Agreed, But if I was a sponsor of any US based player I would want them to hold tournaments even at the local level for product exhibition and exposure. Player-product-game promotion would seen just logical. Everything starts somewhere.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Robbie Phillips is heading to the UK to play in the Winmau World Masters. I wonder if anyone stateside has even approached him for product exposure deals. However small its better then having empty shirt space.

    Heck my local soccer team were sponsored by Bank One and St Paulis Lager.
    Seems like imo a lot of opportunities are missed.


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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Robbie Phillips is heading to the UK to play in the Winmau World Masters. I wonder if anyone stateside has even approached him for product exposure deals. However small its better then having empty shirt space.


    I'm not trying to be difficult here...... well maybe a little.......

    Why on earth would an American Company be particularly concerned with product placement on a shirt that will most likely NEVER be seen by the consumers they are trying to reach with the product advertisement in the first place? I could see an English company being remotely interested but they are not lacking for home grown talent dart shirts on which to showcase their wares.

    The only way an American company gives money to a US player playing in the UK without a guarantee of Stateside TV exposure would be as an act of charity. I’m not saying I’m not in favor of charity but at least call a spade a spade and don’t try to masquerade it as a viable business model for that company.

    Makes about as much sense as Will.I.Am broadcasting his music on Mars. Rolling Eyes
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    another short story ....... Laughing

    I was once a “sponsored player” I was going to be in the 2007 US Open of darts. So I went to the owner of the bar I played out of (a strip club to be specific) and asked him if he would sponsor me. He asked “what was in it for him” I explained that many dart players like to drink (not all) and might even like to patronize adult establishments (not all) and in return for paying my entry fee I would advertise his bar which was in fairly close proximity to the venue and of many of the hotels that were being used by visiting players. Not only that…… there was a small chance I might even get on TV for even more exposure for his place. (I didn’t) With this knowledge …..he paid my entry and had a nice shirt embroidered shirt made (showcasing his bars name). In return I handed out a couple hundred business cards enticing players back to his bar where he could MAKE MONEY selling them booze that they might otherwise have drank elsewhere. That is solid business. Had the tournament been in England he would have laughed me out of his bar and although I am talking on a micro scale level with my story you can easily see how it translates to the bigger stage in the economy of business advertisement.

    I lost to Wayne Mardle 1st rd Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I actually don't think you're being difficult here at all.
    There is nothing there or in it for anyone on the surface. And will likely stay like that unless someone thinks otherwise. It is incredibly easy in todays electronic age to gain exponential exposure for product placement and exposure.

    With twitter, youtube, facebook, blogging and web content, It doesn't take much imagination to produce and envision both a player and his wears. Now lets say all said player does is post his adventure at the world winmau masters on youtube. In a year he may if done correctly gets him about 100k hits. 330$ bucks he would not have had. Lets say said player hits a 9 darter as an American playing across the pond in a major. He post his video with his rights so they can't be duplicated on Youtube. He gets 1m hits. Hmm thats 3300$. That same person uses a particular dart his local shop made. He was smart enough to negotiate 10% of said dart sales. He pockets a little more dough. He happens to be wearing a really cool shirt with mesh inserts. Again he was smart enough to negotiate with a local manufacturer that he would get returns/ say 5 %. And of course the biggy. He happens to be sipping Budweiser and you can put the rest together. Yes a bit of a pipe dream . But believe me success comes easiest to those whom prepare for it.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Sorry about the Mardle Loss SM, Believe me I see your points. I also see if done a little differently you might be still making coin from it.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Sorry about the Mardle Loss SM, Believe me I see your points. I also see if done a little differently you might be still making coin from it.


    I see where you are going with this....... Very Happy Very Happy

    next time...... I will have two naked strippers wearing rubber Obama masks and Coors Light commemorative socks attack my opponent (hopefully Phil Taylor) with feather dusters while I film it for Youtube and twitter about it on Facebook.

    It's genius!

    Laughing Laughing

    I'm just messing with you! I hear what you’re saying but unfortunately its a little rainbows and unicorns for me to get on board with. We shall agree to disagree fine sir.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    LMAO SM. What a hoot that would have been. I admit I'd pay to see that. Phil playing you that is Wink
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Figure you'd get a chuckle off this SM

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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Robbie Phillips is heading to the UK to play in the Winmau World Masters. I wonder if anyone stateside has even approached him for product exposure deals. However small its better then having empty shirt space.

    This is coming 100% out of my pocket. Evil or Very Mad
    My pipe dream has been to represent the USA in England, so I'm pretty excited about that. As far as sponsors, I have no clue what they're looking for. I thought I did, but from what I've seen I must be way off. I in no way think I'm the best dart player or person out there, but I think I'd give myself a decent score in both. I've seen sponsored players with less talent, and little to no class embarrassing our game, much less the logo on their shirt. I'm just happy I can make enough to afford to play the game I love.
    As for as the main topic, I think it works in Asia because darts is on an upward trend. It's also trendy in Japan and HK. Here, it's about from trendy as it can be.
    We need to hit the colleges. I have plans to start something in my area, (Duke, UNC, NC State) but I don't have the free time right now.
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Robot, I really honestly believe many miss the point of promotion and sponsorship. It's about characters and personality to reflect a specific brands. Paul Lim does it because he is a character and a personality. The Brands follow him. Its actually is very similar at all levels of play. Creating a persona and career intent is just as important at this stage of progression as it will ever be.

    I happen to know a little about the process. Business at all levels is about selling the company and it's ability. Same with a person. It is so important to develop It now. You can do your branding and be wise to the process. Or you will be branded. Darts is dying for Characters. The PDC needs a Captain America good guy persona. Paul does great because he is different and cross cultural. Look what being jovial did for Mardle. I prob have too much to say. Pm me if you want to yap.
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Robot wrote:
    KopRalph11 wrote:
    Robbie Phillips is heading to the UK to play in the Winmau World Masters. I wonder if anyone stateside has even approached him for product exposure deals. However small its better then having empty shirt space.

    This is coming 100% out of my pocket. Evil or Very Mad
    , I have no clue what they're looking for. I thought I did, but from what I've seen I must be way off. I in no way think I'm the best dart player or person out there, but I think I'd give myself a decent score in both. I've seen sponsored players with less talent, and little to no class embarrassing our game, much less the logo on their shirt. I'm just happy I can make enough to afford to play the game I love.We need to hit the colleges. I have plans to start something in my area, (Duke, UNC, NC State) but I don't have the free time right now.

    It's all about point of sale advertising (when talking about taverns and bars). It's not complicated. Each dart league I know which is not stagnating has at least one, but usually not more than five, people who have data about the impact of darts on the bottom line of a business, burning up time and shoe leather putting that information in front of people who may benefit from it. Mostly that's in taverns and bars, which are not 'trendy' by and large, but can be many other types, from beauty shops to auto repair shops. Give the business person this information and they'll act on it. The creativity of the sales person for Darts is a big deal in this.
    Dollars invested vs exposure to potential customers is the simple equation. This work must go from the bottom up, not from the top down. Bottom being league memebers and top being 'pros.' This means you have to have the league members first in order to have something to offer.
    Go out and get more people playing the game. This is the hard work which is not being done. It's what is happening in Asia on a higher business level. They discovered an attraction (soft tip machines) which puts people in places of business, which sells to business persons. The money is not in flights and shafts and such. It's in membership dues, price to play(quarters in machines) and products purchased (libations and food in taverns and bars).
    The challenge to steel tip is to find what is attractive to non-dart people then learn how to put that before them so they become dart people.
    Talking about tournaments, championships and such is preaching to the choir.
    There is no coorelation between successful tournaments and league membership growth
    I've done this ground work and know what it takes to develop league membership and the interest of business people who may get more customers in their place of business due to their association with Darts.
    The time and effort that needs to be put in is simply not being done.
    .
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I'm a little late to the conversation here, but I have an opinion on this.

    In my personal opinion, I feel one of the main reasons there isn't more sponsorship here in the U.S. is because there are no spectators. Most of the Top PDC and BDO pro players suppliment their tournament incomes by doing exhibitions. It gives people a chance to see players they look up to and even get a chance to play them. I've seen on a few top U.S. pro's personal websites that they offer exhibitions (or used to). The only problem for them here in the U.S. is if you want to meet a top U.S. player just go to a ADO event with a purse over $10,000. Then, even if you've never thrown a dart in your life, just put down $15-$20 to enter a event and you may draw one of them in your first match. It's happened to me several times.

    I'm a decent player. I am by no means a sponsored player or even good enough at this point to be one. I hope to someday reach that point, but I'm not there yet. In saying that, I've played against Johnny K, Ray Carver, Robot, Bill Davis, Larry Butler, and so many others that have a sponsor's name on their shirt.

    When a sponsor looks at our sport here in the U.S. the first thing they'll notice is there isn't anyone watching the events. That is, other than the hand full of people who will watch a final against two top players.

    There are a hand full of groups out there that have started separate leagues that they are calling (pro) in some form or fashion. However, anyone can play in them no matter their skill level and there aren't any spectators at any of them either.

    I feel that until one is set up specifically for sponsored players and only sponsored players and made into a spectator event then the real money won't come in. The way it is right now isn't fair for anyone. If you are sponsored here in the U.S., you are still playing in amatuer events against novice players week in week out. For them there usually isn't a challenge until they get into later rounds unless they are drawn against another top player in an early round. But for novice or amatuer players (like me) you very well may draw a pro in the first round and you're out.

    Don't get me wrong, I love getting the chance to test my skills against the top players in the U.S. at events all over; but it's still not really fair to either side. As long as the top players are still playing in these amatuer events, they will never make the money they deserve to be making, and as long as novice and average players are up against them week in week out, then we have no goal to strive for. What's my incentive to practice and become better? Other than getting a sponsor to cover my entry fees. I'm already playing the best players in the U.S. at every tournament now. The only thing that would be a incentative to be better is the chance to get to later rounds and actually get some of my money back.

    Again, this is just my opinion, but the big difference I see between top players here and top players in Europe and Asia is the hundreds of people they are playing in front of. Most of the people they play in front of here are the people already playing in the event who have been eliminated.
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    PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    My ideal job would be to work for a company that has me doing all sorts of promotional tasks. A job/sponsor in one. Working my butt off Tuesday-Thursday, continuing through tournaments to promote their products. Anything from snacks to energy drinks to adult beverages...endless possibilities. You just have more dedication and energy on the job when your employer believes in you and shows it.
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    PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    That would be a dream job for me too. I'd love a job in darts. I've worked for years in customer service and sales. I love this sport and want it to grow. It would be a dream come true to mix the sport I love and a job I'm good at. I'd be the hardest working employee in the world! I'm sure there's tons of people on here that would love that job.
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    PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I am currently in the market for a job where I review/play golf courses Tuesday thru Thursday and play darts/drink high end Scotch and Irish Whiskeys Friday to Monday. I would also like a second job as a Food critic specializing in critiquing steak and seafood restaurants around the world. I am willing combine all these into one job providing the compensation is acceptable to me. I am willing to settle for a salary in the high 80s low 90s with a travel stipend of course. If anyone is interested please PM with the address in which to send my resume. Thanks.
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    PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Squiggle wrote:

    In my personal opinion, I feel one of the main reasons there isn't more sponsorship here in the U.S. is because there are no spectators. Most of the Top PDC and BDO pro players suppliment their tournament incomes by doing exhibitions. It gives people a chance to see players they look up to and even get a chance to play them. I've seen on a few top U.S. pro's personal websites that they offer exhibitions (or used to). The only problem for them here in the U.S. is if you want to meet a top U.S. player just go to a ADO event with a purse over $10,000. Then, even if you've never thrown a dart in your life, just put down $15-$20 to enter a event and you may draw one of them in your first match. It's happened to me several times.

    ...

    When a sponsor looks at our sport here in the U.S. the first thing they'll notice is there isn't anyone watching the events. That is, other than the hand full of people who will watch a final against two top players.

    There are a hand full of groups out there that have started separate leagues that they are calling (pro) in some form or fashion. However, anyone can play in them no matter their skill level and there aren't any spectators at any of them either.

    I feel that until one is set up specifically for sponsored players and only sponsored players and made into a spectator event then the real money won't come in. The way it is right now isn't fair for anyone. If you are sponsored here in the U.S., you are still playing in amatuer events against novice players week in week out. For them there usually isn't a challenge until they get into later rounds unless they are drawn against another top player in an early round. But for novice or amatuer players (like me) you very well may draw a pro in the first round and you're out.

    ....

    Again, this is just my opinion, but the big difference I see between top players here and top players in Europe and Asia is the hundreds of people they are playing in front of. Most of the people they play in front of here are the people already playing in the event who have been eliminated.


    This is a conversation that really needs to be emphasized... The sport of darts and darts sponsorship will not grow in the USA and all of North America until there are real dedicated dart fans that enjoy the game and love seeing their players succeed.

    Our dart league (VCDA) and area Sponsors the Bench Warmer, Sam's Saloon, Butera's Billiards all banded together to raise just over $2,600 to send Howard Meyers to the Winmau Masters. Granted we have had a lot of time to work on the project, but everyone in our league really likes Howard and wants to see him do well and take his game to the next level. So you could say we are his biggest fans, outside of his Mom and family, and it made it easy for us to approach league members and local venues to seek support.

    Until every local dartplayer is a fan of the sport and are working to promote the game and players that they are truly proud of, the game won't grow and sponsors won't come into the game. The folks that could sponsor our sport are not only interested in the quality of the player, but the quality of the fans that support the plalyers.

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    PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I think that some of the new associations like MLD and NAPDA have great ideas of how to improve darts and I like what they are doing. But I feel until darts can be made a spectator sport in North America then no serious sponsors will ever come on board. I can't think of any heavily sponsored event in the U.S. that isn't played in front of a crowd.

    I'm not one of those negative people who think it'll never happen. I truly hope that we can someday reach that point and more North American players can truly make a comfortable living playing the sport we love.
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    JDNY
    Dart Corporal
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    Joined: Mar 24, 2012
    Posts: 123

    PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    You know what I see 1st hand?

    A lot of so called "american pro's" that are sponsored posting pics of their hotel room dresser. And what's on top of it. A full bar. Rolling Eyes

    Now I said "a lot". Not all.

    Talking about how much you drink at tournaments as a sponsored player certainly doesn't go over well... in my eyes anyway.

    In fact, I can't think of many that post positive pics on Facebook. The ball room, some players in action, etc... Would be nice to see some of that stuff.

    A fridge full of jello shots doesn't interest me.

    Just sayin...
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    Thanatos
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    Joined: Aug 06, 2012
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    Location: Bremerton, WA

    PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    JDNY wrote:
    You know what I see 1st hand?

    A lot of so called "american pro's" that are sponsored posting pics of their hotel room dresser. And what's on top of it. A full bar. Rolling Eyes

    Now I said "a lot". Not all.

    Talking about how much you drink at tournaments as a sponsored player certainly doesn't go over well... in my eyes anyway.

    In fact, I can't think of many that post positive pics on Facebook. The ball room, some players in action, etc... Would be nice to see some of that stuff.

    A fridge full of jello shots doesn't interest me.

    Just sayin...


    I think one of the big things holding back darts in the US is its negative image, because its almost always associated with drinking and/or gambling. The same problem affected darts in the UK at one point too, but more because the players would drink while playing, and it was broadcast that way. They eventually recovered though, thankfully, although they're very strict about beverages now, and water is the only thing allowed.

    There is a pretty good documentary covering this and more about the PDC/BDO split called "Blood on the Carpet - The Split in Darts." Not sure if there is a rule against posting video links. If there is, Admin please remove. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Iwr3u5HzoM

    I'm sure pool/9 ball and poker both had to overcome the same thing at some point, but now they're getting extremely popular and you can watch them on tv all the time. Obviously poker had some wealthier backers to get that started, so maybe pool is the better comparison here.
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    Dart_talker
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    Joined: Sep 05, 2005
    Posts: 4968
    Location: Southern California

    PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Squiggle wrote:
    I think that some of the new associations like MLD and NAPDA have great ideas of how to improve darts and I like what they are doing. But I feel until darts can be made a spectator sport in North America then no serious sponsors will ever come on board. I can't think of any heavily sponsored event in the U.S. that isn't played in front of a crowd.

    I'm not one of those negative people who think it'll never happen. I truly hope that we can someday reach that point and more North American players can truly make a comfortable living playing the sport we love.


    I'm convinced that building a fan base in the USA is up to everyone that calls themselves a dartplayer, from the guys who play darts with buddies in the garage, and the one night a week league player on up to the guys that live and breath darts. It's these folks who need to be spectators at all the tourneys and finals, it's these guys that need to teach their kids, family and friends about the game so that they know what they are watching. It's up to us to build the fan base for the sport of darts.

    I agree that big money sponsors follow the crowds... if a sport has loyal fans the money will follow!
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