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Old 04-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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fundamentally flawed business model of the paintball world

I found an article on 68 cal interesting.


Here's a short version of it:

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If you are in the business of selling paintballs, and you drive your margins up so high that to shoot lots of paintballs is cost prohibitive for almost anyone (at $150 a case, even the well heeled wont be shooting a full case on a regular basis). So what do you do? You discourage people from buying lots of paint.

The net effect of discouraging people from shooting lots of paintballs is that they do not bother to make high-technology investments in their game. They stick with rentals. Or even worse for the operator, they go to an even lower technology unit than the rental marker, such as pumps and pistols in order to even further reduce their paint usage. Many paintball field operators are tied to a paintball retailer of some type, so this is totally insane. You have gun owners who are fighting renters with higher technology than they have because the serious regular players have to keep costs down. This also discourages the renters from becoming serious and lowers the total paint output of the rental player.

...

Make your money on renting really nice markers, or at least ones that shoot fully automatic. Include perks with entry, like lunch, dinner, or the ability to win real prizes in a regular game day.
It is difficult for a hodge-podge outlaw field to compete with a groomed, washed scenario field complete with amazing structures. People will play where the terrain is. Outlaw will always be cheaper, but if the price is marginally close, people will flee to the quality.


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The second fundamental flaw most operators make is the sickening price differential to speedball (or tournament practice). It is not uncommon for a standard recball field to charge $150 per case for players to play with rotting pallets and plywood and old tires, while their speedball park with it’s $40,000 bunker setup and groomed lawns only charges $60 per case for the same paint.

The effect of this is that the woodsball side of the sport (80% of the player base and 95% of new entrants) are subsidizing the speedball side of the sport. The speedball players often will come at the end of practice and shoot $60 a case paint at the woodsballers who are outgunned because they are shooting $150 per case paint. This subsidization doesn’t just end at the massive price differential, as fields often “sponsor” a raft of speedball teams with entry tickets and paint and jerseys and equipment at tournaments as well.

...

The solution to this is to make speedball pay it’s own way. That $40,000 inflatable bunker setup, night lighting, sponsorships, groomed lawns, jerseys, and constant-air 4500 fill station costs a ton of money. Meanwhile their woodsballers who are happy with mud, grime, rotting wood, and tires are paying three times more for paint, and by and large, other than the prices, are happy customers who don’t complain much.

If you were to make speedball pay it’s own way, you’d probably see a reversal in the pricing schemes and a flock to the woods out of speedball like never before.

...

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Last edited by C5TEK; 04-07-2011 at 10:59 PM. Reason: just like magic it's gone...
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The fundamental flaw with field ownership are the marker owners. The fields I know rely on rental players to cover 75-85% of their weekend total of players. The best run field i have played on was 100% rental field. And they were making damn good money providing one of the best paintball experiences i've had.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I feel that if you make speedball less attractive it will kill the sport. A lot of the national attention is on speedball, which drives the paintball economy and attracts more players. Although, I do aggre that you cant neglect woodsball in your business model.
Also, I have never played somewhere that charges woodsball players more. The only thing i have seen is have renters buy field paint only, but that is still fairly cheap. If anything speedballers spend more on paint because they shoot so much of it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The author also says:

Quote:
If you have one or two people shooting at full auto on your rental field, all players will be upping the ante and increasing their rate of fire to keep up Ė and therefore you are selling more paint. The answer isnít to kick the serious players to the curb, the answer is to offer the renters an upsize option to keep them in the game; say e-gripped A5s or TM7s. If youíre in the business of selling paintballs, why in gods name are you not renting automatics?
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do agree you want to keep the players as close to even as possible but disagree full auto is required. No player enjoys getting lit up, especially new players.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't sell paintballs I sell fun. Most of my customers don't consider getting blasted by 10-15 balls fun. Paint is only part of the experience.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk_6109 View Post
I feel that if you make speedball less attractive it will kill the sport. A lot of the national attention is on speedball, which drives the paintball economy and attracts more players. Although, I do aggre that you cant neglect woodsball in your business model.
I 100% disagree with this. Yes, a lot of national attention is on speedball but it does NOT drive the paintball economy nor does it attract more players.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onecaribou View Post
The author also says:.. If you’re in the business of selling paintballs..
^ flawed premise.

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Originally Posted by Tugboater203 View Post
I don't sell paintballs I sell fun.
^ this
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would be apprehensive about handing a high ROF gun to a renter... Enforcing a reasonable BPS cap for mixed or rental groups seems like a better way to even the field, although it won't help sell more paint.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You want to increase sales you have to get to the people. Rent a kiosk at your local mall directly outside from Gamestop (or another similar video game store). The traffic you will generate for the business will beat any other type of marketing plan period.
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