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View Full Version : Do the pros draw fans?



jjinfla
07-25-2011, 08:18 AM
Remember Kevin Trudeau and the IPT Tour? Dec 2005 in Orlando? Where he selected the top pros, both men and women, to compete in round robin play? This was a mecca of all the top players. Both old and new. Fans could rub elbos with them for 5 days. So how many "fans" paid for this honor? Well there was me and my buddy. The Preacher and a couple more people from The Villages. Kay, the TD of Kingsbay tournament, and perhaps a dozen or so other fans. Maybe a few more but it sure didn't look like many fans came out. Most likely under 50. The majority of people I saw in the stands were players who were not playing and their family.

So why such a low turnout to see the best play? I suggest it is because the Pros do very little to attract fans. Instead of working the crowd, the players ignore the crowd. People love or hate Earl but they all watch him play. He pisses them off and they like it. They are always waiting to see what he will do next. 72" cue - 29 oz. LOL. A big weight on his arm. I hope he wears one in the US Open and has his sponsor's name all over it. The cameras sure will focus on it and get a close up of his sponsor.

Instead of criticizing Barry for late payments perhaps the ABP should teach (yes teach) their members how to be more fan friendly and work the crowds. The ABP should make up a program (like Kevin had at the IPT) and make it available to BB to sell at the Open and also they could sell it on-line. Sell individual sheets that could be placed in a 3 ring binder. That would be something fans could sink their teeth into.

I have the program from the IPT with most of the player's signatures. I missed Ginky. But I do have a cue ball signed by him from when he was in Tampa.

Do pros realize that if fans start coming to see them play and pay for the opportunity then the ABP could receive a percentage of the gate in addition to what is paid out in the tournament.

Do pros realize that if fans start paying to watch them on TV then the ABP could get a percentage of that money?

But first the pros have to make themselves an attractive product.


I'm done. Someone just told me the horse is dead.

bradb
07-30-2011, 09:50 AM
The horse has departed us, but you do bring up some other good talk-able points.

I would go out of my way to see some top amateur players shoot it out at a local pool hall. The side action would be interesting, I probably would run into some old mates and get some really good pool playing in. I would down a few beers, BS about the old days and would'nt get home till 2:am all psyched up with pool and feeling good.

But at a top pro match... I would sit and be bored as each player takes turns running the table, I wouldn't really care who won because In don't know them and they aren't that accessible. Then I would go home because there would be few people I knew there and no tables to play on if there was.

Thats not to say I disdain the top matches, I like to go to the big tournaments, but its usually to much hassle to travel there for me. Pool is to small to be on the big scene.

We are in a specialized sport where the only people who know about it are also the only people who play it. So the fans for pool are a different kind of cat. I complain sometimes about why pool is so poor at promoting its self and never changes its little league way of operating. But it has to remain what it is.

Brad

jjinfla
07-30-2011, 10:01 AM
Nothing has really changed since 1998 (when I first became aware of them). They keep doing the same thing over and over and over and expect different results.

I just found out that the local pool room (Bankshots) has a tournament every Sunday that is becoming popular since the owners add half of the entry fee to the pot.

bradb
07-30-2011, 10:17 AM
Yes, the local pool venues are getting better at promoting themselves. We have a Bankshots here that has had some success.

If I had nothing better to do with my money I would hire Strickland and take him on the road promoting him as the worlds baddest pool hustler. He will take on all comers and give them any odds. I'd rent a big stadium and pack em in. The crowd would jeer him and the more he acts up the better. What a hoot! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Brad

BurnsideSnooker
07-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Certainly pool is a terribly underrated sport. A pro plays for years and practices for thousands of hours to be competitive. I don't understand why, after all this effort, they don't do more to promote the sport. I live in Spring Hill, Fl and play at Capones. The owner of Capones, Rocky McElroy, certainly goes the extra mile to support the players. I don't understand why the beer and liquer companies aren't playing a much larger role.

jjinfla
07-30-2011, 11:04 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bradb</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Yes, the local pool venues are getting better at promoting themselves. We have a Bankshots here that has had some success.

If I had nothing better to do with my money I would hire Strickland and take him on the road promoting him as the worlds baddest pool hustler. He will take on all comers and give them any odds. I'd rent a big stadium and pack em in. The crowd would jeer him and the more he acts up the better. What a hoot! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Brad

</div></div>

The McEnroe of pool.

jjinfla
07-30-2011, 11:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BurnsideSnooker</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I live in Spring Hill, Fl and play at Capones. The owner of Capones, Rocky McElroy, certainly goes the extra mile to support the players. I don't understand why the beer and liquer companies aren't playing a much larger role. </div></div>

Lucky you! Capones is my favorite spot to watch the pros. Only about 60 miles from my home. Rocky sure does a lot for the pros.
Rodney is back. Corey Deuel and Rob Saez still house pros?

Have the pros approached the beer companies? It most likely wouldn't do a single pro any good to approach a beer company they would have to have an organization behind them to do that.

What does it take to write a letter to the CEO?

jjinfla
07-30-2011, 11:17 AM
Hey Burnside Snooker I just noticed that was your 1st post. Welcome to the friendliest board around.

bradb
07-30-2011, 11:25 AM
Greetings Burnsidesnooker. Good to have you on the forum.

I used to work at an ad agency and we marketed a local beer. I tried many times to tie our client in with hockey but CRTC here in Canada stipulates that beer and wine ads cannot tie into sports.

You can do it but the tie in has to be so subtle that only a die hard fan sees the connection. For instance Bud will use a tail gate party in their ads but they can't mention or show football.

You can do it in some print ads but its still pretty strict.

Of course sports celebs will work if they don't directly mention their sport, but it would be a problem for pool players who are largely unknown. Brad

Fran Crimi
07-30-2011, 01:48 PM
Jake, I've spent a lot of time asking myself the same question about why people don't come, and I'm afraid the answer is probably not the pros' fault or the industry's fault. It's pool. Pool may be on the way to becoming obsolete in the U.S. and it's nobody's fault.

Look around ---- everything is changing at such a rapid pace. People have so many other choices as to what to do with their time. Pool doesn't have the appeal that it had all those years ago.

I think we should just accept it for what it is and enjoy playing it and being a part of a very small community. As for growing the sport, I think the chances are small-to-none....not with all that competition out there these days.

bradb
07-30-2011, 03:08 PM
Fran, I think if the right person came along with deep pockets and real skills at marketing, pool could find a bigger audience.

A good example is cage fighting, it was almost dead, but was turned into a major sport by a few guys with a smart business plan. But will it happen for pool? I doubt it, its just not a viable venture, to risky for an outsider to take a chance.

Brad

BurnsideSnooker
07-30-2011, 05:00 PM
Rodney and Cory are there, Earl gave an exibition yesterday

jjinfla
08-03-2011, 08:52 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Jake, I've spent a lot of time asking myself the same question about why people don't come, and I'm afraid the answer is probably not the pros' fault or the industry's fault. It's pool. Pool may be on the way to becoming obsolete in the U.S. and it's nobody's fault.

Look around ---- everything is changing at such a rapid pace. People have so many other choices as to what to do with their time. Pool doesn't have the appeal that it had all those years ago.

I think we should just accept it for what it is and enjoy playing it and being a part of a very small community. As for growing the sport, I think the chances are small-to-none....not with all that competition out there these days.</div></div>

Of course you are right. I sure don't see anything changing in the future. At least not for the good. I suspect the economy will force many of them to give up playing altogether. The pros depend on the bottom 75% of the bracket, the ones who do not come in the money, to support the top 25%. The fewer that show up, the less money in the pot. Not winning any money and spending $400, $500, $600 can get old mighty fast.

Oh well, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to watch so many of them play in person. I most likely will start watching them on the computer in the future.

JoeW
08-04-2011, 12:53 PM
I do not think the problem is with the players' ability to draw fans.

I think the problem lies in the lack of excitement in a pool match. The runs are too long and observers lose interest. There needs to be more tension more often to keep people interested. In most sports the opponents have to shift from offense to defense fairly often and this creates tension.

Players appreciate the finesse of a long run, fans do not. To some extent pool suffers because it currently appeals to players and there are not enough of them to sustain the sport. I think it is probably reasonably well known that most, if not many, “players” are cheap when it comes to spending money. They may gamble but they do not spend a lot of cash on pool related things. Fans are needed and they show up when the event is exciting.