Sunday, April 22, 2012

The newest player

I had a discussion with a Heroclix organizer who has grown his small two man group into a 28 man group in a short period of time and he asked me, since he knew I was in marketing, how he should go about getting sponsors for his tournament as we have done for ours.

I got to thinking about this and thought I would share my thoughts with you.

My advice to him was simple:  You can't talk to these sponsors about giving you free maps/Dice/Templates/whatever for the sake of people who already are buying or likely to buy their stuff.  That's a non starter.  What you need to do is remember what this game and everything they do should be about:  the newest player.

As organizers, we need to talk the sponsors language and that language is increasing their market.  I provided him two ways to approach it but for simplicities sake, suffice it is to say that if you bend your mind to this simple principle and get creative as to how YOU will use your prize support to bring people INTO the hobby, then they will be more likely to listen to you when you ask them for something.

Once you make the promise, though, your second job is to track the results of those marketing efforts and communicate with them in every way afterwards like an extension to their marketing department.  Every time you succeed in increasing your player pull, document the hell out of it and use that to show that you can get results for them.  If you bother them by talking about what you want out of the deal, you will fail.  But if you talk to them about what you're doing for them, you will never fail and you'll always have sponsors that will at least listen to your proposal.

The proposals they are always going to be most receptive to are those that involve them making more sales to new customers that arern't already engaged in the hobby and drawing people from other miniature wargames into theirs or perhaps brining those who normally eat at a competitirs location and changing that habit.  That's the golden rule.  The newest player is always what they are marketing to.  You should too.

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