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Old 05-07-2006, 03:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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K2 claims Paintball participation declined in 2005

I am reading K2's 2005 annual report and some of the first words out of the chairman's mouth is "Operationally we had a terrific year in all of our categories except for paintball."

Upon further reading in the report, Under Team Sports, K2 is claiming under a banner that reads "Under Siege, but Fighting Back"-->

"2005 was a tough year for the paintball category. Paintball participation declined and the market suffered from oversupply resulting in downward competitive pricing pressures. However, Brass Eagle, LLC is still the best positioned company in the paintball industry.

Brass Eagle, LLC is comprised of four bands that are individually leaders in specific product categories and collectively form the industry leader. Brass Eagle is the largest single brand in the category with excellent distribution through many of the world's largest retailers. Viewloader is a technology brand that focuses on loaders and accessories. Worr Game Products is the maker of the legendary Autococker, the world's most accurate marker. JT USA is a leader in protective equipment and cutting edge apparel and is a brand that has the distinction of being a pioneer in the development of two emerging action sports -- paintball and motocross. The company wll refocus on branding efforts transferring the equity in acquired product specific brands into lifestyle brands that speak to the interests of various paintball enthusiast groups"


On the bottom of the same page-->

VLocity Select-force Paintball Loader from Viewloader Leads the Industry Into the Future

The top professional paintball teams in the world have a "need for speed" when it comes to their loaders. The all new VLocity Select Force electronic loader delivers a staggering 25 balls per second on gun feed rate. With a patent pending Double Vision System, and electronically controlled anti-jam, the VLocity not only delivers speed but is also very gentle on the most brittle paintballs. The most innovative feature is re-programmable software with eight levels of force, allowing for custom settings to match makrers and paint for better performance

--

A few things to discuss:
Quote:
Paintball participation declined
Has anyone noticed a decline in participation? I sure as heck not. Where I live, just last year they opened a new indoor field close by and had respectible numbers and soon, another indoor facility will be opening soon.

Older, more established fields don't seem (to me at least) to be having an issue with lack of customers playing.

It could also be that K2 has only mediocre paintball products and people are wondering why should someone (like a new person to the sport) buy a "custom" $1k+ e-cocker when they can buy a Triligy?

Unless other companies, such as Tippmann and the likes, has experienced a slowdown in product sales, then I think it's more or less a K2 issue and not industry wide as K2 would like us to believe.

Quote:
market suffered from oversupply resulting in downward competitive pricing pressures.
Wel it could also be the fact that people are finally understanding that LAST YEAR'S high end paintball gun model still works and there is NO NEED to keep buying the "latest and greatest" just for buying sake?

Quote:
world's most accurate marker.
I am not going to start a autocockers vs everything else war here. But I think this is an overstatement and overly simplified. It's like stating it's mechanical, low-end Trilogy marker is just as "accurate" as their Karnivor. Because if that's what they are saying, then why should anyone buy their $1k plus guns with fancy paint and "custom" milling?

Quote:
The top professional paintball teams in the world have a "need for speed" when it comes to their loaders.
Well, I could say something but I have been told by the mods recently here to play nice so I won't comment on what I think what these pro's (and the so-called wanna-be pro's) "need".

But I think I can ask, who the HECK can even fire 25bps??? Not talking about e-triggers that can go automatic (which I think should be banned industry wide) but good-old fashioned semi-fire... Which is what these so-called pro's are SUPPOSED to be firing in their precious tournaments in the first place.
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that they probably concluded that a decline in their sales must equal a decline in participation. More likely its because people are buying gear from other companies or buying used gear like you said, not that actual participation has gone down. WGP has used that "most accurate" slogan for years to convince new players that they need an autococker to shoot accurately.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah...I think they are claiming an overall downturn in paintball as an excuse for lower than expected profits. Paintball here seems to be thriving. Mil-sim markers and accessories seem to be quite the rage at the moment, and as K-2 doesn't seem to have much in that market sector that could be hurting them quite a bit. If the local market is any indication Tippmann must be rolling in dough, mil-sim tippmanns outnumber electros by about 3 to 1 at our local field. There were exactly zero cockers out there the last time I went and a mere scattering of spiders and other blowbacks.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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More focus on the consumer

Part of my thinking on this is that outside of Smart Parts who else out there do we as rec players not really like. A big company eating up the little ones. Putting good companies out of business just to raise your profit margin by killing the competition. K2 is a giant nameless, faceless company to most people. Anyone around here know the names of some K2 owners that care about paintball as anything other than a bottom line. I feel that most of K2's divisions are so out of touch with what not only the pro's but most importantly of us rec ballers, the ones who actually pay for equipment, want that they saw a slight downturn in their profits. I used to love cockers from WGP now I try to purchase alternativly made fockers. My 2 cents....
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ask any store owner sales were down, also k2 has killed their own gun the cocker.
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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3 local paintball stores in my area closed within the last year. I'm inclined to believe it.
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the problem is not declining participation, it is declining buying, at this point there is a 'market saturation' of "old" markers (read 2003 and on), couple this with the fact that due to socio-political factors (Iran, Iraq Afgan ect) and the rising price of fuel, people are less willing to spend money on new equipment for a hobby when thier buddy has a spare he's willing to sell at discount.

face it, when a new player is faced with buying some POS for around 100, or picking up a decent 98c for 120 with a few upgrades, what would you choose?


it is true though that K2 is covering their loss with claims of declining player interest, many people here in canada choose to play at private fields too, more and more with the rising cost and unfriendly 'pro' players
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also think

that players are finally wising up to prices. Personally I think many prices are a joke. Show me a marker that is really worth 1K+. Rising fuel prices are hitting the market as well. This weekend I saw more Tippys than anything. I was the only one shooting a cocker and one of the two shooting a Timmy. I had alot of fun with my cocker. Great just shooting pneumatic. I think K2 is seeing a decline in just their sales. With them and smart parts sueing everyone,it kind of leaves a bad taste. There was always room for clones. They had the high end market, now they have nothing. The pump play making a come back has dented their wallet too. CCI is probably getting alot of business. HMMMMMMM Maybe the days of 4 guys splitting a case will come back. I think the rise of milsim and alot more scenario games are hurting the high end market too. Maybe the field owners finally realize where the cash flow is coming from (oops rec player ). I'm sure new players are finally realizing that it's not the gun,but how you play and having fun.
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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play at my local field was way down, the owners are selling now
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Old 05-07-2006, 11:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Very good points. Here in FL I have seen a rise in the amount of players but they are almost exclusively using Tippy's. It doesn't seem to matter if it is a 98 or A-5, they like the fact it is built like a tank, has upgrades and is user friendly. I predict another good year for Tippmann with the ACT and new loaders coming out. Maybe they will take a bite out of K2.
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