Prize money ideas? (AOA sponsoring the Southwest Airgunners June event!)
With the growing trend of prize money being awarded at competitive airgun events, I'd like to see some opinions of how potential competitors view these money "purses."
In typically generous and supportive Airguns of Arizona fashion, we recently received word from them (AOA) that they want to sponsor the big airgunning weekend we are having in Western, NM the second week of June. One of the events is Extreme Field target, and In the past, as well as this time, their sponsorship of EFT is PRIZE MONEY!!!
THANK YOU! AOA, it is incredible to see how much support you guys have for those of us that love airguns.
AOA told us to have the match directors decide how to split up the prize money they donated. And the match directors asked me to get some public opinion/input.
Do potential competitors want to see prize money purses split into a traditional 1st, 2nd, 3rd format? and if so, 60%, 30%, 10%? (or some other breakdown?)
Or all the money goes to the highest score?
Would it be good to use some of the money for other awards to help motivate people to come? Maybe a $20 bill for the person who traveled the furthest? or highest scoring first-time shooter? Or highest scoring youth or female shooters assuming more than one of each?
However the match director's decide to break up the Airguns of Arizona Prize money, anybody coming to the match will be more than happy, as AOA REALLY sweetened the pot!!!
Check here for further details on the event: https://airgunwarriors.com/community/postid/48318/
And please share your thoughts on what you think are cool and interesting ways to reward shooters for their skills, while also potentially motivating new people to come compete and have fun.
As someone who has organized prize awards along major matches, I will only give you my experience:
1.- Split.- I usually split the prizes in the 4-2-1 proportions In the old days, my prizes were silver coins, so the first prize got 1 oz Troy Silver, the 2nd place got 1/2 oz. and the 3rd place got 1/4 oz, but that was an expedient of what was available. I do think that the more relevant differences provide a strong incentive to place better.
2.- Make VERY clear what are the classes that will get prizes and that the class in which the shooter will be competing CANNOT be changed. You do NOT want to deal with the smart-a$$ that decides to change classes last minute depending on who is shooting which class. That does not mean that the shooter cannot change classes, just that his scores will NOT count for the cash prize.
3.- Unless you can make the announcement WELL IN ADVANCE (and two weeks is not enough in my book), putting prizes to the minority classes (youth, women, tyros, etc.) needs to be a LONG TERM investment. Meaning that it has to become a TRADITION where EVERY YEAR you do the same, otherwise, those minority classes will not get the message that it "pays to attend".
4.- Do NOT give cash. Better negotiate AGAIN with the sponsor how much that cash would be worth in GOODIES (you will be surprised at how much further money goes), and give GIFT CERTIFICATES. EXCEPTIONS would be the cash prize to the shooter that took the longest trip, or prizes awarded to International Competitors. That needs to be cash because it is designed to entice people to travel (gas money/snack money), or because buying from a US store from abroad poses some legal/practical restrictions.. At the current value of gas, I would say that $20 does not give you much mileage. Perhaps you can also negotiate with a local gas station to help you get more "mileage" out of the prize.
Cash prizes awarded in bills or checks, will spoil a bit of the fun.
I will agree with Hector that prizes may be a better expenditure than cash. A couple guns and scopes for top finishers. Pellets, scope rings, gun bags and such for lower places if attendance is high enough for 4-10th place. The more places(1-10) that can receive a prize should increase attendance and shooter retention for future matches.
Hunh, AOA, once again has not replied to my emails about sponsoring our Nevada State GP event... That's two years in a row.
Cash prizes are nice, we are offering them at our GP event this year. I think cash is flexible where as a gift certificate locks you into a certain place to redeem. Cash also allows more people to see a reward for their efforts, if you award prizes for the top three in the rifle events you'd need around 12 items to give away (that is if you consolidate the piston classes).
Other prizes are nice but tend to be expensive for the hosting group if they are not donated by individuals or retailers.
Money in general doesn't get you what it used to...more so if you can even find what you want in stock...
Giving out swag (aka pellets, gift cards, scopes etc) is always well received. When cash is awarded people get weird unless there is complete transparency about the price purse. For instance, in bass fishing events, organizers will say something like, “80% payback from entry fees”, meaning that they will take 80% of the entry fee and create the cash prizes from those entries. They also are very clear about how deep they will pay out, i.e they will say, “cash prize for 1st in each division up to 10 participants; 11-15 participants 1st and 2nd; 16-20 participants 1st, 2nd and 3rd etc”. The problem I see with FT in America is there simply isn’t enough participation to warrant cash prizes nor do I think a few hundred dollars is going to somehow increase participation, however, if someone says, “dude I won a Beeman R7 at Pete’s Pellet Driver’s Field Target Festival in Austin”, that might encourage others to participate in subsequent years.
If the topic is new competitors... or even if it isn't, it should be. Shooting sports of all kinds NEED more young blood, in a way which isn't diluted (negated) by Boomers and Gen X with fancy gear/money.
Kids who wouldn't touch boom sticks, can be found shooting airguns. The problem, these are usually (IMHO,IMHE) junky low-grade airguns. A.O. Martinez' thread on the Walmart Crosman is case and point. https://airgunwarriors.com/community/airgun-talk/my-crosman-f4-quietfire-walmart-exclusive-no-refund-return-policy/
One guy (new adult shooter) had a slide-cocking spring-piston BB pistol, junky as a dime store squirt gun. His daughter was popping off shots at 20ft, hitting a pie plate. Dude couldn't hit the same pie plate at 20 yards. I took it away from him, shot at 40 yards so the sun would reflect off the BB. 4ft left, 4-6ft low. In a few shots I was hitting the tree OUT THERE (only compensating windage) and was able to compensate and hit both closer targets by adjusting. Win, sort of.
We can't expect anyone to develop marksmanship with that sort of equipment.
The girl was attentive to my explanation of spotting my own shots, using reflection, and eventual point of aim. I also explained, gently, that her equipment, 200fps smoothbore with a heavy left spin, was utter rubbish from the 16th Century. She'll be getting one of these Beeman P17s, soon as I can get one to hold air.
There is an on-topic answer in this post.
If the topic is competition... my answer is the same, gear. Something they wouldn't know TO buy, or wouldn't buy for themselves.
Our champion Supercross/Supermoto, whatever, neighbor across the street was throwing out a HUGE pile of trophies recently.
Maybe 100? About half 1st place, by a quick count.
Trophies discarded like common trash? I don't remember my question exactly, it went something like
"That's a LOT of 1st place trophies! Did you keep some others? How do you pick? Like... keep the tallest ones? By class?"
The Father/Coach/Mechanic/Financier of the moto team, replied along the lines of
"Yeah... got so many $^%*(&)# trophies. Finally time to get rid of some! We were just storing them in (moved out son's) room. "
That didn't answer it, I was interested in whatever a trophy is?
"Uh... you know, I'm not sure if I've EVER won a SINGLE trophy. I must have, I seem to remember one, or three? (conjures mental image) But I have no idea WHAT FOR, or where. Huh. I don't even know what ever happened to them.
Soooo, that got me wondering, how does it FEEL to throw away SO MANY trophies? I mean, mine were from a crap meet in Po-Dunk, who cares, but..."
He looked at them and said "Gimme SOMETHING I CAN USE! Tires, fuel, gift certificates, parts... not another trophy!" 🤬
Here I was, expressing sentimentality for trophies which weren't even mine, he resented them as if the prize had been a stack of moldering pallets.
I took a tall one to shoot at.
Thank you for the input fellas.
I am not in favor of cash prizes for my FT events. People get weird when cash is involved.
Probably too late at this point but, invest the money (at least the bulk of it) in the club. Upgrade the targets, buy a quality compressor for the club to use, a loaner rifle and scope for new shooters, etc.
The folks you shoot with all the time and help you match in and match out should benefit first.
I just ran a match with cash prizes and medals, nobody got weird at all, in fact a few people gave the prize money back to the club as a donation.
Perhaps the people who get weird are not normal...and that it has nothing to do with the money involved, just them being....off.