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Buckaroo Bubba

Ideas to Grow SASS Membership and expand the Sport

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Posted (edited)

You may have noticed the first article, The Guest Editorial,  in the latest Cowboy Chronicle,

'How do we stop the loss of members and expand our membership' by Fire Eater.

The last paragraph mentions getting ideas from our membership to help bring in new members.

 

Thought, why not here.

So let's hear your ideas to help promote SASS, and our local clubs.

 

A few things that we have done.

 

1) Pull in Club Sponsors. We setup once a year at a sponsors store with a full display of the equipment we use, information about our clubs and SASS, and have a bunch of us dressed up ready to talk about our sport.

 

2) I got hooked up with an outdoor radio show a couple of years ago. I was able to be a guest on their show a handful of times. I talked about SASS, and local clubs.

 

3) Flyers. Put flyers out anywhere you can.

 

4) Have Business Cards made up. Be ready at any moment to "Sell" our sport.

 

5) Club merchandise. We have club t-shirts, hats, and hoodies. I don't know how many conversations I have had with people just because of what I was wearing.

 

6) Social Media. (I know it has it's issues right now) but it's a Free Avenue to reach A LOT of people.

 

7) Websites. It's 2018. People use the computer and internet. Expose your clubs on the internet.

 

Let's face it, our sport isn't for everyone but let's dig up those people who belong here with us.

Thanks, Bubba

 

(Maybe a Moderator can "Pin" this for awhile to see what we can come up with?)

 

Edited by Buckaroo Bubba
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Include club Facebook page info on the affiliated clubs info page.

 

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It was brought up in another thread.  Provide some type of online orientation/training to explain the rules and techniques of the game.  Video would be good.  Yes, I know the rule books are available online.  Yes there are some YouTube videos out there, but as one can see by watching this forum, there always seems to be a great deal of debate over interpretation.  

 

My other suggestion is to have some type of beginners category, so that the new comer doesn't have to have all four guns to compete.  Yes, I know people can always borrow, but there is a pride issue in being able to do things without having to borrow other peoples stuff.

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My other suggestion is to have some type of beginners category, so that the new comer doesn't have to have all four guns to compete.  Yes, I know people can always borrow, but there is a pride issue in being able to do things without having to borrow other peoples stuff.

 

Sarge2 - I agree with you on this - Cowboy Shooting is not an inexpensive sport to get started in and borrowing someone else's guns is just not something I would not want to do - but there are plenty of guys who have offered to let me use their equipment and that is very nice of them. But to have a beginner category is a great idea - just to see if someone is going to like it or not.

 

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps have a "stock" gun category?  It's pretty intimidating to new shooters to be competing in the same category as people with fully customized short-stroked guns.  Or maybe a "stock" ammo category if that makes any sense.  It seems like a lot of people (myself included) have no interest in pushing a 90gr bullet at squib velocities.  Like an NCOWS category or something with more emphases on authentic guns, ammo, and costume.

 

I'm not complaining and I understand I'll never be near the top, but it seems like there are two types of shooters in SASS.  Those that are gaming with the slickest guns and lightest ammo, and those that are going for something more authentic.  Just seems like they should not be competing in the same categories. 

Edited by July Smith
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Posted (edited)

I believe advertising SASS as an organization nationally is our best bet.

 

I did a search on YouTube for "SASS".  The top two videos are tutorials for using a computer code writing program, "Sass".  Then there are some shooting videos made by individual shooters around the country.  The tenth video is the first one authorized by SASS, the video produced for Evil Roy's induction into the SASS Hall of Fame in 2006.  Then it becomes a mix of women's makeup tips and more about the Sass computer compiler.

 

Next I did a search for "Single Action Shooting Society".  More private individual shooting movies than before show up on this search. The first official SASS produced video was number 24, the same Evil Roy induction video.  I saw no other "official" SASS videos from the search.

 

A prospective cowboy action shooter who has never attended a match is going to have to be sold on the idea in a minute or two of contact.  I love watching Hawkeye Gin's movies and Jedi Knight, Long Hunter, Grizzly Dave, and Hickok 45 like the rest of you.  But those are aimed at the shooter who already knows about SASS matches and cowboy guns.  A prospective shooter is not going to endure a lot of "talking head" time to see if cowboy action shooting appeals to him or her.

 

Gun magazine subscriptions are reportedly declining, so maybe it would behoove us to produce a professionally filmed 15 to 30 second ad that could be shown on multiple TV channels,  Fox News, The Weather Channel, etc., which would show a link to a longer professionally filmed SASS promotional video,  stored on the SASS Server, that explains the sport in detail.   Yes, there would be expense, I don't know how much.  But it seems to me this is appropriately a SASS central office task.  Local club projects like the OP lists are helpful.  But each individual club is not going to have much influence outside a 2-hour driving radius.  If instead each local club could contribute to a centralized fund for professionally produced national advertising, I think we would ultimately reach more potential shooters.  I also wish that somehow SASS and the NRA could promote each other more, to the benefit of both organizations.  Promoting both the NRA and Cowboy Action Shooting in the same advertising spot sounds mutually beneficial and would help out with expenses.  But those policy decisions are again appropriately handled at the national level, rather than the club level.

 

 

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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Posted (edited)

Outfit rental...the 4 guns, holster, (double buckled rig will fit about any size) and rifle-pistol ammo $20.

Supplied by clubs or individuals...may even thro in a gun cart!! 

Also single firearm rental 92,66,73,Henry...97,87,double,hammergun...44 Russian, Scofield, Remington.

All those guns you wanted to shoot, but didn't want to pay $600-$1200 to try!! $10 with ammo.

Ya that may cover the cost of reloads!

Ya don't have to borrow and ya don't have to spend $2000 to shoot your first match!!!!

Edited by Bad Hombre #23212
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Posted (edited)

Where I live, Southern California, older white people make up about 99% of CAS participants. Shocking, I know, but realistic. You can probably count on one hand the number of black participants in the San Diego/LA area, one hand also for the Asian participants and maybe two hands for the Hispanic participants. I’m pretty sure but I don’t think you can count the number of Muslim participants on one finger. If we market our game to older, white participants we’ll attract older white participants.

 

So the question is how do we reach out to these other ethnic communities? At the Cowboys match in Norco a young Hispanic man is on my posse and one day at the unload table I asked him why more Hispanics don’t play our game and he listed a number of very good reasons a couple of them were that Hispanics didn’t watch the Saturday westerns like whites did back in their childhood and guns were outlawed where they and their parents came from so they don’t have the fascination or firearms experiences that we do. I asked a black man the same question at our Escondido match one day and he told me that he didn’t feel real welcome in some clubs and not many blacks had the extra money laying around to invest in the game.

 

San Diego has a huge Asian population and I’ve only seen one Asian participant at our local clubs in the 11 years that I’ve been involved. About every two weeks I visit a water store to get our water bottles refilled and I’ve pitched SASS and CAS to the man and woman that own the place and I get this look like I’ve just tried to rob the place. Any mention of firearms is met with a glare. I’ve mentioned CAS to a couple of muslim guys that run a local liquor store (strange, huh) and they tell me that they’d like to try it but don’t think they’d be welcome, I’m still working on them.

 

If we think we’re going to grow our sport with the upcoming utes, 20 and 30 something’s I think we’re very sadly mistaken. School kids are being indoctrinated to believe that each and every gun and gunowner are bad and they are believing it on a large scale. The 20 and 30 something crowd are into black guns, if you will, and have very little interest in cowboy guns and spending money to dress the part to play the game.

 

So how do we attract other ethnic groups to our game? That is the question and if we/SASS could figure that out we would have more CAS participants than we’d know what to do with.

Edited by Yul Lose
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I will leave copies of my Cowboy Chronicle on tables in lobbies

where I suspect the right age group will pick it up and read it.

                     5acd040311e51_CowboyChronicleMaqazine.jpg.098fdc82dab7dc03d93f5f162b7e9036.jpg

 

And I also leave my business card on it just in case they have questions.

 

5acd03f11bc0c_BusinessCard-FrontMODIFIED.jpg.893fff2bf640db6d12c3ecd571b6ff07.jpg

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I'm going to stick my foot in it here, and expand a little bit on Yul Lose's post about getting minorities to invest in our game...  Think of how the black community has been raised to view the Confederate Flag.  To many of them it is a sign that we support racism and see them as second class citizens.  Yes, I know most of those wearing a Confederate uniform or displaying the flag are simply honoring their heritage.  Yes, I know the flag and the culture were a part of history.  But, if you want to recruit to our ranks from that segment of society, you have to get them in before you can teach them the real history of the South.

 

I distinctly remember when a black shooter brought his wife to one of our matches, and I was standing near her wearing a Confederate uniform.  One could feel the discomfort radiating off her.  Not anger, she just didn't "get it", and I didn't get a chance to explain.  Wish I had.  I haven't seen her or her husband again.  I don't think he shoots anymore.  I tried to make him feel welcome, even gave him a pair of boots.  We don't get many chances to make a first impression. 

 

Anyway, just something to think about.  

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SASS is a weird version of a business.  We are customers, and we are here talking about how to grow the "Membership" aka customer base.  What other business does that?

 

So to address the OP

 

SASS needs to take the reins on membership/customer growth-like any other business and spend money advertising and promoting SASS.  Alternatively, they could change the structure of SASS to a true membership organization, which would give members a real reason to promote the sport.

 

Now as to promoting club level membership (Now I am not talking customers, but true club members that vote and are heard and have influence in what really goes on),  Word of mouth, dressing up for gun shows and giving away flyers, renting a booth and running videos and promoting local matches all make sense.  Other things like a food drive, a coat drive thanksgiving dinner for Veterans etc are all things that members can do to get in a position to make that initial contact.

 

 

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The first time I heard of SASS a local club had a booth setup at a gun show.  Nothing was for sale, but they had all the equipment out and people were dressed up.  I haven't seen anything like that since.  

 

I disagree slightly with the idea of a beginner's category.  Maybe we should tell them there's a beginner's category, and then when they get to the range someone can loan them guns.  One of the things that impressed me the most was how people were tripping over themselves to loan me guns when I showed up for my first match with the wrong equipment.  

 

 

Other than that, I got no ideas.  I'm not a marketing genius.  The last business I had was mowing yards in Jr High.  I advertised door to door, and I don't think that would work here.  

 

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3 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

. . . . .

Now as to promoting club level membership (Now I am not talking customers, but true club members that vote and are heard and have influence in what really goes on),  Word of mouth, dressing up for gun shows and giving away flyers, renting a booth and running videos and promoting local matches all make sense.  Other things like a food drive, a coat drive thanksgiving dinner for Veterans etc are all things that members can do to get in a position to make that initial contact.

 

 

 

Excellent ideas right there, J. Mark.

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Make a set of firearms available for rent (not free, people would be more willing to rent) so someone can try a match once and see if it gets them hooked.  Get some of the costumes from the Old time photo places so they can look the part a bit. 

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Like Father Kit Cool said.  When we go somewhere where there is a waiting room, take along an old issue of the Cowboy Chronicle and leave it on a table or magazine rack.  Be sure to remove your name and address or some anti-gunner will send you nasty letters.

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When I was in AZ for Winter Range, I saw a segment for the match on the local news.  That was free publicity and, as I recall, there were a number of visitors to the shoot who would not have otherwise come if they had not seen the segment.  In that vein, there are web sites, such as The Outdoor Wire and The Shooting Wire that will publish information on upcoming shoots, if someone submits the information.  To my knowledge, I have never seen any information on upcoming regional or annual SASS shoots.  As far as I know, these sites don't charge for the notice.   As J. Mark said above, there has to be an effort to advertise the game and, although individual members may be successful on an individual basis, the reach of the Internet is nationwide.

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7 hours ago, July Smith said:

Perhaps have a "stock" gun category?  It's pretty intimidating to new shooters to be competing in the same category as people with fully customized short-stroked guns.  Or maybe a "stock" ammo category if that makes any sense.  It seems like a lot of people (myself included) have no interest in pushing a 90gr bullet at squib velocities.  Like an NCOWS category or something with more emphases on authentic guns, ammo, and costume.

 

I'm not complaining and I understand I'll never be near the top, but it seems like there are two types of shooters in SASS.  Those that are gaming with the slickest guns and lightest ammo, and those that are going for something more authentic.  Just seems like they should not be competing in the same categories. 

Hi July,

 

I'm sorry that you feel that way. It is not necessarily the short-strokes or mouse pharts that help people to win. The biggest factors are motivation and practice.

 

About ammo, Badlands Bud, multiple time EOT winner was like a son to Hubby. Bud shot my light, 108 grain, pistol ammo and did not like it. It did not have enough recoil for him. He and his sister loved my SG shells that kicked and went BOOM! Also, IIRC, he had his guns stolen one year, borrowed stock guns, and won EOT again.

 

So don't be discouraged if you cannot afford the slickest guns. The ability to win is so much more than that.

 

Happy trails,

 

Allie Mo

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5 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

SASS is a weird version of a business.  We are customers, and we are here talking about how to grow the "Membership" aka customer base.  What other business does that?

 

So to address the OP

 

SASS needs to take the reins on membership/customer growth-like any other business and spend money advertising and promoting SASS.  Alternatively, they could change the structure of SASS to a true membership organization, which would give members a real reason to promote the sport.

 

Now as to promoting club level membership (Now I am not talking customers, but true club members that vote and are heard and have influence in what really goes on),  Word of mouth, dressing up for gun shows and giving away flyers, renting a booth and running videos and promoting local matches all make sense.  Other things like a food drive, a coat drive thanksgiving dinner for Veterans etc are all things that members can do to get in a position to make that initial contact.

 

 

I agree, the marketing needs to come from SASS HQ. The old newspaper form of the CC was the best marketing tool and I would watch folks pick it up in the barber shop and read it even if it was 5 years old. Not to beat a dead horse, but the new format with shiny paper just isn't the same. Henry Repeating Arms runs an infomercial

it can't cost that much to market on national TV. If SASS was serious about increasing the membership, they would hire a marketing firm and make the necessary investment. I don't buy the "only old people want to shoot cowboy guns" argument. Most folks have never heard of CAS.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Assassin said:

I agree, the marketing needs to come from SASS HQ. The old newspaper form of the CC was the best marketing tool and I would watch folks pick it up in the barber shop and read it even if it was 5 years old. Not to beat a dead horse, but the new format with shiny paper just isn't the same. Henry Repeating Arms runs an infomercial

it can't cost that much to market on national TV. If SASS was serious about increasing the membership, they would hire a marketing firm and make the necessary investment. I don't buy the "only old people want to shoot cowboy guns" argument. Most folks have never heard of CAS.

 

 

I think you’d be surprised at what it costs to market on national TV. To run an ad campaign you’re talking a pretty large investment. What channels and venues do you run  it on?  To reach a lot of people you’re going to have to have many ads and outlets one or two over a period of time won’t do much. To be effective it would have to be in front of people repetitively or it won’t show results. I know someone in the business and he said the outlay would be very significant and to keep the campaign going would really be costly. I’ll bet Misty and crew have checked into an advertising program like this and the expense was much more that they could afford.

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5 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

The first time I heard of SASS a local club had a booth setup at a gun show.  Nothing was for sale, but they had all the equipment out and people were dressed up.  I haven't seen anything like that since.  

 

I disagree slightly with the idea of a beginner's category.  Maybe we should tell them there's a beginner's category, and then when they get to the range someone can loan them guns.  One of the things that impressed me the most was how people were tripping over themselves to loan me guns when I showed up for my first match with the wrong equipment.  

 

 

Other than that, I got no ideas.  I'm not a marketing genius.  The last business I had was mowing yards in Jr High.  I advertised door to door, and I don't think that would work here.  

 

Our club set up a booth at the local FNRA dinner three years running.  We had guns, video, flyers, and people in costume.  Got two shooters in three years.  No matter what you try, prepare to be disappointed.  That's just how it is.

 

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As a member of the outdoor media, I have a few recommendations. If you're having a major event, such as the End of Trail, invite the media to a media event. Dress them up, let them shoot in a media-only match. OWAA, POMA, SEOPA, AGLOW are all outdoor related media organizations. Many states have their own outdoor media organizations. In Indiana, it is Hoosier Outdoor Writers (HOW). Every organization has a yearly conference. SASS could become a corporate member and attend the conference and talk about SASS and CAS. Every conference has a break out day during which members get to try products, go fishing, canoeing, shooting, etc. SASS could attend or sponsor the event.

On a local basis, local SASS clubs could contact the state organizations and offer them a media event or offer to speak at the conference, or at the very least, offer to outfit any media member that attends for one event. All it would cost the club is a little time and ammo.

 

I just joined SASS last month an I've already written an article for HOW about my first SASS shoot. Our yearly conference is next weekend. I hope to get a few other writers to come to another shoot.

I know there a big SASS club in northern Indiana. The OWAA conference will be in Ft Wayne this summer, not far away. It shouldn't take much to make the connection for an outing.

You want free advertising, here it is.

 

If you need more info, PM me or post it here.

 

On the same topic, what has held me up for two decades is the huge investment in firearms. Someone told me NCOWS has a working cowboy division that just requires one pistol and one rifle. That would have been a HUGE help to someone like me that was raising two kids and working overtime to do it. Now, the kids are grown, so I have a little more folding money, but even now buying leather, outfits, multiple guns, and all the accessories is keeping me awake at night trying to figure which kidney I can sell. I seriously have sold firearms to buy CAS firearms, and have more up for sale. And like someone said, I have never liked borrowing someone's guns. It's a pride thing in a way, and kinda like borrowing underwear in another.

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I use a website called Spin go to advertise our matches.   https://www.spingo.com/   The free version posts our info on those public bulletin boards you see on TV 24 house  in advance (I think)  It has brought us several spectators since I began using it.  The paid version is more comprehensive.  I am pleased with the responses we have gotten.  We also make brochures and posters, attend sports expos, etc.  

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J Bar has some good points. I think the idea of a SASS commercial possibly partnered with the NRA would give the biggest bang for the buck if it were to run a few times on Wednesday nights during the Outdoor Channel's Wednesday Night At The Range string of shows. Especially during Jim Scouten's show Shooting USA. 

   Another idea is make the female audience the primary target. Going back to my days managing a bar the addage was "get the ladies in and the guys will follow." It may seem tacky or sexist but today women are the largest growth segment for firearms purchases so why not capitalize on that?

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I remember years ago a TV series about cowboy action shooting (and I'm not imagining it).  Seeing that and then going to a gun show where the Oakwood Outlaws had a booth were what got Lazarus interested.  Going to "watch" a match and then  someone putting a Henry rifle in his hands and letting him shoot really got him hooked.  I got hooked at the first match we went to when we shared guns.  By the next month we both had complete sets of guns, and I haven't quit shooting yet.

 

We need more local news coverage, but now days many TV stations avoid anything to do with promoting guns and shooting sports.  Having a fundraiser match and having TV news coverage might get some spectators out that could turn into shooters.  Bringing youngsters (before they get girl/boy crazy and far too busy in high school) might help, but you'd probably have to know the parents real well to get them to let you bring their kids out to a match, but I know it has been done. Would be better to get the parents involved and have them bring the youngsters, but again the cost is a factor.  Bringing your brothers and sisters and your nieces and nephews could help, but again cost is a factor. 

 

I know most of us are willing to bring out our extra, backup guns, as well as share our main match guns for visitors to shoot after a match, but some people will hesitate to shoot someone else's guns so loaners or rentals might be an option.  The main thing is to get people to come out and see for themselves how much fun we have, and how nice and generous SASS folks are. 

 

Having a booth at gun shows may not bring in any new shooters, but if it brings in even one, that is one more than we had before.  Targeting ladies as shooters is also a good thing to do.  If she doesn't want to shoot at first, dressing up and coming with her husband/boyfriend may just get her involved.  Making a woman feel comfortable when shooting is a big thing in my mind as many women have very little experience with guns unless they had dads and brothers that took them shooting.

 

Some of the most fun I've had was when The Texas Regulators had a woman's only posse and the 6 ft. plus TO/posse marshal dressed up in a skirt and wore a wig.  I know when I went deer hunting on women-only hunts it was less intimidating than having guys that you felt were critical of your inexperience or the fact that you were a woman invading a man's hunting experience.  Of course they loved the fact that I was the one that got up early, made coffee, fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner and then cleaned up by myself.  Just my two cents worth.

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11 hours ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

Hi July,

 

I'm sorry that you feel that way. It is not necessarily the short-strokes or mouse pharts that help people to win. The biggest factors are motivation and practice.

 

About ammo, Badlands Bud, multiple time EOT winner was like a son to Hubby. Bud shot my light, 108 grain, pistol ammo and did not like it. It did not have enough recoil for him. He and his sister loved my SG shells that kicked and went BOOM! Also, IIRC, he had his guns stolen one year, borrowed stock guns, and won EOT again.

 

So don't be discouraged if you cannot afford the slickest guns. The ability to win is so much more than that.

 

Happy trails,

 

Allie Mo

Just to be clear, I am not complaining or asking for a change.  I shoot SASS to have fun.  My definition of fun is cases full of black powder and shooting gunfighter.  Frontier Cartridge Gunfighter is a good enough category for me even if I’m dead last.

 

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1 hour ago, Lorelei Longshot, SASS #44256 Life said:

I remember years ago a TV series about cowboy action shooting (and I'm not imagining it).  Seeing that and then going to a gun show where the Oakwood Outlaws had a booth were what got Lazarus interested.  Going to "watch" a match and then  someone putting a Henry rifle in his hands and letting him shoot really got him hooked.  I got hooked at the first match we went to when we shared guns.  By the next month we both had complete sets of guns, and I haven't quit shooting yet.

 

We need more local news coverage, but now days many TV stations avoid anything to do with promoting guns and shooting sports.  Having a fundraiser match and having TV news coverage might get some spectators out that could turn into shooters.  Bringing youngsters (before they get girl/boy crazy and far too busy in high school) might help, but you'd probably have to know the parents real well to get them to let you bring their kids out to a match, but I know it has been done. Would be better to get the parents involved and have them bring the youngsters, but again the cost is a factor.  Bringing your brothers and sisters and your nieces and nephews could help, but again cost is a factor. 

 

I know most of us are willing to bring out our extra, backup guns, as well as share our main match guns for visitors to shoot after a match, but some people will hesitate to shoot someone else's guns so loaners or rentals might be an option.  The main thing is to get people to come out and see for themselves how much fun we have, and how nice and generous SASS folks are. 

 

Having a booth at gun shows may not bring in any new shooters, but if it brings in even one, that is one more than we had before.  Targeting ladies as shooters is also a good thing to do.  If she doesn't want to shoot at first, dressing up and coming with her husband/boyfriend may just get her involved.  Making a woman feel comfortable when shooting is a big thing in my mind as many women have very little experience with guns unless they had dads and brothers that took them shooting.

 

Some of the most fun I've had was when The Texas Regulators had a woman's only posse and the 6 ft. plus TO/posse marshal dressed up in a skirt and wore a wig.  I know when I went deer hunting on women-only hunts it was less intimidating than having guys that you felt were critical of your inexperience or the fact that you were a woman invading a man's hunting experience.  Of course they loved the fact that I was the one that got up early, made coffee, fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner and then cleaned up by myself.  Just my two cents worth.

The show was Cowboys and it was on the Outdoor Channel, Tupelo Flash was the show host the last few seasons. I asked him why the show got cancelled and he said the audience was to small and they couldn’t attract enough advertisers. Ads is where the money is.

 

Attracting lady shooters to our game is certainly one of the ways to grow SASS membership. LOCAS, Ladies Of Cowboy Action Shooting does a lot to attract women to CAS and once they are there keep them there. Ladies on our posses is a good thing, IMHO, of course.

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Here’s a novel idea that’s probably going to tweak some noses.

 

1) As Buffalo Beau James and Sarge2 mentioned. A category for beginners with one or two guns.

 

2) When possible new shooters come one the Wire and ask “what do I need?” Or “I want to buy a rifle and I am thinking about getting into this game but have no other guns” The first thing that happens, after the welcomes, is a bunch of folks pile on with “you need this, don’t buy that and then send it to so and so and have it slicked up and then you need this and you better have that...”

If you have ever read some of these threads from the perspective  of what a newcomer might be thinking you’d see WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY attracting newcomers.

The very best, not, is when two salty CAS shooters get into a peeing match over what the newcomer should have. Brilliant!

 

Look at these things as if you were 21 years old again on a serious budget when you respond to newcomers. I have no idea how many times I have seen and heard “Wow, I never realized how much work this was going to be. I’ll have to look at some things and get back to you” and they are never seen or heard from again. 

It’s not because they don’t want to play. It’s because WE ARE INTIMIDATING! We intimidate them with monetary and technical confusion.

 

KNOCK IT OFF!

 

Pat (yes, I’m yelling) Riot

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19 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Here’s a novel idea that’s probably going to tweak some noses.

 

1) As Buffalo Beau James and Sarge2 mentioned. A category for beginners with one or two guns.

 

2) When possible new shooters come one the Wire and ask “what do I need?” Or “I want to buy a rifle and I am thinking about getting into this game but have no other guns” The first thing that happens, after the welcomes, is a bunch of folks pile on with “you need this, don’t buy that and then send it to so and so and have it slicked up and then you need this and you better have that...”

If you have ever read some of these threads from the perspective  of what a newcomer might be thinking you’d see WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY attracting newcomers.

The very best, not, is when two salty CAS shooters get into a peeing match over what the newcomer should have. Brilliant!

 

Look at these things as if you were 21 years old again on a serious budget when you respond to newcomers. I have no idea how many times I have seen and heard “Wow, I never realized how much work this was going to be. I’ll have to look at some things and get back to you” and they are never seen or heard from again. 

It’s not because they don’t want to play. It’s because WE ARE INTIMIDATING! We intimidate them with monetary and technical confusion.

 

KNOCK IT OFF!

 

Pat (yes, I’m yelling) Riot

Right on, Pat.

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18 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

The first time I heard of SASS a local club had a booth setup at a gun show.  Nothing was for sale, but they had all the equipment out and people were dressed up.  I haven't seen anything like that since.  

 

I disagree slightly with the idea of a beginner's category.  Maybe we should tell them there's a beginner's category, and then when they get to the range someone can loan them guns.  One of the things that impressed me the most was how people were tripping over themselves to loan me guns when I showed up for my first match with the wrong equipment.  

 

 

Other than that, I got no ideas.  I'm not a marketing genius.  The last business I had was mowing yards in Jr High.  I advertised door to door, and I don't think that would work here.  

 

Our local club Verdant Mountain Vigilantes sets up every year at a major gun show mid-state. For 2019 we are going to try a laser target with six guns for folks to try. When I first got interested in CAS it was due to someone leaving a Chronicle in the office break room. I used to leave mine around as well as stated by "Cool Gun" above. But now we've gone to the shiny one and no more newspaper type to leave anywhere. Any how, lets try to encourage anybody that shows up at a shoot as spectator to give it a try. We've gotten a few newbies just by being friendly and informative. Every new member counts.

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On 4/10/2018 at 10:21 AM, Buckaroo Bubba said:

You may have noticed the first article, The Guest Editorial,  in the latest Cowboy Chronicle,

'How do we stop the loss of members and expand our membership' by Fire Eater.

The last paragraph mentions getting ideas from our membership to help bring in new members.

 

Thought, why not here.

So let's hear your ideas to help promote SASS, and our local clubs.

 

A few things that we have done.

 

1) Pull in Club Sponsors. We setup once a year at a sponsors store with a full display of the equipment we use, information about our clubs and SASS, and have a bunch of us dressed up ready to talk about our sport.

 

2) I got hooked up with an outdoor radio show a couple of years ago. I was able to be a guest on their show a handful of times. I talked about SASS, and local clubs.

 

3) Flyers. Put flyers out anywhere you can.

 

4) Have Business Cards made up. Be ready at any moment to "Sell" our sport.

 

5) Club merchandise. We have club t-shirts, hats, and hoodies. I don't know how many conversations I have had with people just because of what I was wearing.

 

6) Social Media. (I know it has it's issues right now) but it's a Free Avenue to reach A LOT of people.

 

7) Websites. It's 2018. People use the computer and internet. Expose your clubs on the internet.

 

Let's face it, our sport isn't for everyone but let's dig up those people who belong here with us.

Thanks, Bubba

 

(Maybe a Moderator can "Pin" this for awhile to see what we can come up with?)

 

All of the above and also renting a table with CAS guns at a gun show. Dress up cowboy and you will attract people. You could also sell some guns or even better buy some!!! You could also have "free shoots cards" for a person wanting to try it out! 

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Posted (edited)

Who are we trying to attract?   I think our natural target audience are empty nesters who finally have time and money to spend on themselves.  Embrace that reality and focus on people over 50.  I know SASS works well with people who drive motor homes or drag camping trailers.  Focus on those people as well..  Give them someplace to go with their fancy travel rigs. 

Edited by Bart Solo
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I would like to add something else.

 

Cowboy Action Shooting is Cowboy ACTION Shooting.

Not Cowboy SPEED Shooting.

Not Cowboy GAMER Shooting

Not Cowboy STAND IN ONE SPOT AND DUMP AMMO USING DIFFERENT SWEEPS FOR EACH STAGE BUT STILL USE THE SAME AMMO COUNT, THE SAME TARGETS, AND THE SAME SCENARIOS ALL TO KEEP THE GAMERS HAPPY Shooting. Yes, I said "GAMERS".

 

Also, when I started out in SASS there were Gamey Folks that shot light loads and there were Gamey folks that practiced and practiced to get faster and more efficient but there were also folks that, like me, that weren't necessarily there for a "Speed Competition", which is why IPSC, IDPA and Tactical Combat shooting lost it's allure with me. There was lots of good natured ribbing with "The Gamers" making fun of their "mouse-fart loads" and "wimp loads" but it was all in fun and most of us loved watching them shoot because "they might be a gamer but man, are they fast"...But something happened while I was away. Gaming, Mouse-fart loads and Wimp loads became the norm. Please don't get me wrong here. I am not looking down my nose at any of you. I am saying this to make a point.

 

Now I said all this to say that nearly every newcomer that comes on here hears something like this;

"That gun won't cut it. It's not fast enough."

"You'll never win a match shooting that thing, you need a Winmarlinchester 76.5"

"Those things are slow."

"You'll need to practice your "whatever" maneuver over and over until YOUR FAST ENOUGH"

 

When did this game become solely about SPEED?

If SASS was based on the premise of speed, like some of you revisionist SASS historians claim, SASS would not exist today.

SASS had an allure. That allure was "The Old West". The way things were. The way people were. It wasn't about speed shooting. It became about speed shooting.

 

"Well, see, if you take your time... you get a more harmonious outcome." - Joe Gill, Crossfire Trail

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

 

When did this game become solely about SPEED?

The day they started timing shooters and keeping score. ;)

 

CAS is a shooting sport and like most shooting sports it has evolved to meet the needs of its members.  Match directors love fast 10-10-4  stages because they move shooters along quickly.   Shooters demand fast stages so they can feel better about themselves.   Many of our shooters are over 60 and don't like running all that far. 

 

One thing to keep in mind is unlike many other shooting sports major manufacturers have never focused their marketing on CAS.  IDPA, USPSA, etc. events attract professional shooters sponsored by the big manufacturers.  There are no professional CAS shooters.  

Edited by Bart Solo
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22 minutes ago, Bart Solo said:

The day they started timing shooters and keeping score. ;)

 

CAS is a shooting sport and like most shooting sports it has evolved to meet the needs of its members.  Match directors love fast 10-10-4  stages because they move shooters along quickly.   Shooters demand fast stages so they can feel better about themselves.   Many of our shooters are over 60 and don't like running all that far. 

 

One thing to keep in mind is unlike many other shooting sports major manufacturers have never focused their marketing on CAS.  IDPA, USPSA, etc. events attract professional shooters sponsored by the big manufacturers.  There are no professional CAS shooters.  

What you wrote right there makes my point in a round about way....why are we having this conversation again?

 

Oh, by the way 10 -20 years ago EVERY manufacturer was focusing marketing on SASS.

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