In my last blog, I talked about how many new dart companies are gaining cheap advertising by offering a product sponsorship to many players. I felt that it was also time to take a look at how we, the consumer for dart related products, are spending our money and what we are getting in return for it. I know the mentality, it’s my money and as a consumer I should be able to spend it when and where I want. I get that. I am looking at this from the perspective of players getting something in return for their business. I am not saying that companies are not allowed to make a profit, but at some point we as players need to make a stand and band together. We all know that the almighty dollar dictates the growth of anything. As a mass, we have more power to dictate the growth of darts in America than any other entity.
We now have multiple companies from Asia in the market, which are making a lot of money off the American consumer and are taking all the profits and giving nothing back in return to grow darts in America. For the paltry sum of sponsoring a couple of players and offering a product sponsorship to a few other players, they are earning thousands upon thousands of dollars and using American darters, while not giving anything back to grow darts here in return. Where are the sponsors adding money to tournaments to increase payouts and attendance? Where is the (big name dart company) $10,000 USA Open? Where is the (big name flight company) $10,000 North American Classic?
The second part of the conversation covers the topic of American based companies. Do people ever wonder how come there are very little USA based dart companies in existence? Are you spending your money to get supplies from England because you save 20 cents on a set of flights? Players should be taking the initiative to support those businesses struggling to succeed in the American market and are willing to put their money back into America via players and events. You have people like Ken McCowan of NineDartOut and Bill Penn of The Dart Zone both working hard to make their mark on America’s dart scene and doing everything they can to support events and the players, yet we have thousands and thousands of players who go online and buy their products from UK based stores because they can get a lower price. Do you really think those stores are then going to turn around and put that money back into the American market for darts? No. I would imagine that should those same thousands and thousands of players who make purchases through American based companies, and then the prices would lower to be competitive with those UK based stores. It’s simple economic logic. Now imagine the possibilities of support for players and events if those same thousands and thousands of players started putting their money to work here in America. It is something we as players should seriously consider. We are a nation of strong consumers for dart related products and as a whole, if we all banded together to take that strength of numbers and dollars to move it to the American market, we could see many more advantages being thrown our way. Then people like Ken and Bill would have the opportunity to leverage those profits into improving the American market.
So next time are you looking to buy products, think about the companies that are making those products available to you. Take the time and make it a point to offer your business and support to a company that is going to, at some point, offer something to you in return for that business and support here in America. Take a stand and do something to support darts. It may seem small and insignificant to you, but it is up to each and every one of us to use commerce to make our collective voices heard.
Anne Sleepy Kramer www.sleepykramer.com
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